National Artist Award... PHAIL  

Posted by Laya in

I was gearing up to blog about my reactions to the recently concluded SONA when something happened that made me want to stand in the middle of EDSA and scream a la Edvard Munch painting.


Granted, he gave us Panday and Bakekang.

But what about Tony Velasquez, "the father of Philippine komiks," who gave us Kenkoy? What about Mars Ravelo, arguably "the greatest Filipino komiks writer of all time," who gave us Darna, Kapten Barbell, Bondying, Dyesebel, and a host of other unforgettable characters and stories? What about Larry Alcala, lauded for "his lifetime dedication to the art of capturing humor in the character and everyday life in the Philippines?"

What about, especially, Francisco V. Coching, considered "the Philippines' greatest illustrator"? Coching who shaped the Filipino style of komiks illustration, who many, if not most, of the Philippines' great komiks creators credit with being a great influence and inspiration? Prolific Coching, of whose 61 komiks-novels, all but 10 were translated into film? Coching, who has already been twice nominated for the honor of becoming the first National Artist for Visual Arts for his role in pioneering and elevating the art of komiks illustration in the country, yet who was always turned down because the popular art of komiks illustration was not of the same gravity and importance as the "high arts" of painting and sculpture?

Upon receiving the news, komiks illustrator and industry advocate Gerry Alanguilan tweeted:

"This is the day that the National Artists Award lost all its credibility. As an artist, I am deeply saddened, offended, and disgusted.

I feel insulted and offended for Francisco V. Coching. This is absolutely shameful."

I agree with Mr. Alanguilan. That award should be Coching's by right, is his by right. For the true pioneers of an art form to be passed over in favor of someone who, even in the eyes of many of his peers, sucks, is unjust and insulting. Coching, Velasquez, Ravelo, Alcala and the rest, must be turning over in their graves.

The following are some of Coching's komiks-novels which he wrote and illustrated, from Gerry Alanguilan's Komiks museum:

This entry was posted at Wednesday, July 29, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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