Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April sketch & PekOMIK mini KON

me with Sang Rimau, PeKOMIK mascot
well..finally pekomik minikon is over.. for 2months i was busy preparing the first PeKOMIK mini konvention...

now that i can relaks a bit..
so time to do other job..and life is normal again..so can did some sketches & doodles..
letih wooo nak buat event ni...for free demi komik Malaysia..
this a sketch i did when testing berol marker before buying it.. hoping that i can ink as good as Eric Canete, paul Pope and Jeff Smith..

btw thanks to Saiful Helmi ( Freak) & Odows ( Firdaus) for d photos
regarding the PeKOMIK minikon..so busy i didn't announce it here..
here's the comment on the Malaysia mini comic convention by Hafidz Mahpar..he comment it in IASCW Forum:

And just like that, PeKOMIK's first ever mini-convention is over.
It's really a worthwhile event that makes you realise the joy and pride of being a comic creator/cartoonist/comics publisher. Many of the PeKOMIKON organising committee members themselves could not attend the informative panel sessions in Kedah/Johor room because they were manning (or wo-manning) various PeKOMIK booths outside the room, sacrificing their time and potential knowledge gain just so others were able to benefit.
The whole team behind PeKOMIKON -- Jonos, Ruby, Azhar, Batmanbegins, Fieza, Nurie, Dinjerr, Prem, etc, -- deserves a big round of applause. It ain't a perfect event, but there's a lot of passion and love that went into it (no, I haven't been watching any romantic movies lately!). And many of them were still at PWTC long after the convention ended (this was at 8.30pm), dismantling the "illustrators portfolio showcase" gallery. The tapes used to stick the artwork to the panels could be real tedious to wipe off and did try my patience.

frm left: me , Lat, Tazidi, Jaafar Taib & Zunar
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe today (Sunday) saw the best attendance during the whole PeKOMIKON. The hall was almost totally packed during the PeKOMIK launch and National Illustrators Conference. And why not? You had veterans like Lat, Jaafar Taib, Zunar, Reggie Lee and Pekartun president Tarzidi gracing the event. And the PeKOMIKON also attracted people like Ujang, Imuda, Gayour, Milx, Tan Eng Huat, Chee, Lefty, Slaium, Kerengge, Ubder... the who's who list goes on and on. One of the questions asked of the first panel, comprising Lat, Jaafar Taib, Zunar and Tarzidi, was regarding illustrators not being given recognition in children's books such as on the cover.
Lat said that the name of the illustrator could be one of the main attractions. If someone has read a book like "Treasure Island" previously, he may still buy the book if he sees that the illustrator is well known. At the same time, Lat noted that until today, people don't know who drew comics in Beano, like the Bash Street Kids, because the stories actually came from a group of writers. He said artists should use their name as a draw. (Uh, I didn't intend to make that pun...) Lat pointed out that in Japan, the author's name was written quite big on the cover of a book translated from other languages, and even the translator's name was big! "But the translator is famous in Japan. If he is not famous, people won't buy the book; so the translator's name was also big. If in Malaysia, a book translated by Adibah Amin, people would want to read." Jaafar Taib, Nora Abdullah & lat share their experience on comic in 60s & 70s

Jaafar Taib said there was some confusion on the matter. Even Disney books, he explained, did not have the artist's name on the cover. "For Gila-Gila, I couldn't put the artists' names on the cover because it's a group effort. But when we produce a compilation, we'll put their name big because it's 100 percent their own work," he said. He said that if it's a book like "How To Read ABC" whereby the artist's role was 90 percent but he didn't get his name printed, this should be fought for. (A thunderous applause followed.)
Another example, he said, was a book on Sang Kancil and Hang Tuah. If people buyt the books due to the illustrations, the illustrators have the right to be credited as their role is a selling point, he added. Zunar said the artists themselves might be to blame for not getting their names on the covers. "I'd like to ask, how many artists who received an assignment to draw actually asked the publisher to feature their name? They (usually) only ask what the payment rate is. This means that before we ask other parties to recognise us, have we done this (ask to have the name on the cover)? We need to form a strong 'penyatuan', not a strong 'persatuan'. We have a moral responsibility to put ourselves in a position of respect. If we do that, others will also respect us." Fieza cited a study that many students and ex-students (80 percent) in a poll said it was not worthwhile to be illustrators because of various reasons such as no recognition in Malaysia and there was no contract. I didn't hear where the respondents came from. PeKOMIK showcase: more than 50 local artists are displayed: International standard wooo
Anyway, I sensed that the panellists might be a bit skeptical of the
study, which only covered about 100 people. They might be too polite to refute it pointblank, especially since the chairman/emcee Zamri stressed it was a "large" number. Zamri also went on to say he encouraged illustrators to "fight" overseas, in places like the US and Japan, due to the treatment of illustrators in this country. Zunar was quick to point out that going overseas would never solve the problem in the country. He said there were issues to be resolved internally like copyright, and he proposed a bigger seminar (than the National Illustrators Conference) that involved all parties concerned: artists, publishers, the government, and lawyers. Jaafar Taib said the problem of copyright and royalty had existed even 30 to 40 years ago when he first started in this business.He asked that people not be confused about copyright. "If the work has been decided by the publisher who says 'I want this concept,' etc, the assignment is being given by the principal or publisher. It's like the government assigning an architect to build a building. The architect could not declare that it is his copyright. "The artist is similarly employed by the publisher. "If you complete something from your own idea and bring it to the publisher, are you willing to keep the copyright or sell it for a big gain? If you sell it outright, you bear no risk. The principal bears the risk (if the magazine/comic fails). But if the work is popular, then the artist starts to feel he has made a loss. Hence the complaint arises, 'I don't get royalty'. If you're brave to take the risk, only then will you get royalty. "In the case of school textbooks, in which the artist's role is 75 percent of the story or selling point but his name is not on the cover, logically if the royalty is 10 percent, the illustrator should get 7.5 percent while 2.5 percent goes to the writer. Royalty distribution must be fair." He continued: "Look at P. Ramlee's works. Who does the copyright belong to? We cannot sigh (with regret) because everything was agreed upfront by P. Ramlee."
despite my soar & dry throat, cough and squeeky husky voice..the show must go on..

Pami (Gemuruh) then asked the panel about the need for a fixed minimum rate for a piece of illustration work. Lat answered (I'm translating his reply from BM so hopefully I got it right): "Hopefully we don't think too much about the issue of copyright until the point of being incapable to even make a drawing. What is important is that copyright is already ours. Why must the issue arise in the first place? "We should be involved in negotiation (with the publisher). The most common is to have a letter of agreement. We have to remember that the copyright is ours unless we work on assignment. "The copyright for my cartoons in NST belongs to mee but I give them publishing right for a certain period. What's the point of NST holding the right forever? So, just give it back to me.... "We have to get everything in black and white from publisher if we want to ensure that when our creation becomes famous, they would not do unauthorised merchandising.... Nothing can stop us from negotiation.
"I sympathise (with the survey respondents who thought it's not worthwhile to be an illustrator), but you have to ask yourself, 'How important is art to you?' If you want to make a higher salary, you can do other businesses like direct selling. If in your heart there is a piece of art that is fighting to be transferred onto a piece of paper, then you can draw (for a living). Money is negotiable." On the fixed floor rate for illustrations, Lat said: "Let's say we put a price of RM300 for a 6" by 4" artpiece. But if I have an idea for a 6" X 3" page worth RM3,000, do I want the rate to still be RM300? "If I'm paid more, I'll think more because I want to give the client my best... "If we get the lowest rate, we will also give the lowest effort. "So don't be like that. There are some artworks which, believe it or not, are priceless. The price is too high.... So don't talk about the price."Longest Comic Art in display

Lat mentioned an arts guild overseas that has set a minimum rate, but he said it was only a guideline (not cast in stone). He said it might help first-timers, to give them a guide. "But the real guide is in negotiation with agencies. Don't be shy; it's not even their money but their agency's money. "Creative work is from our mind and everyone has different types of creativity. That's why I don't want too many of our people drawing (the typical) manga because if everyone's work looks the same, it'll be hard for us to put a value on our work." Lat said that to avoid being cheated by publisher, the artist must negotiate and sign an agreement. For a start, the agreement can say, "I'm drawing this assignment for X payment and the copyright belongs to me." "But we also have to look at how important that work is," he added. "A beginner must learn to give and take because many people do not know him yet. What's important is midway through the career. "If you're asked to draw something for RM200, do an artwork worth RM200. Don't give a RM2,000 artwork for the price of RM200." After Lat's speech, PeKOMIK president Azhar said PeKOMIK will produce a guideline for first-timers and publishers. After that, Reggie Lee was invited to give a comment, and he said: "Do it from the heart and not for the money until you're established. It's really a worthwhile journey to work straight from the heart."
Longest Comic Art in the making: Pami & Kromosom in action

Later, during the reunion event in the afternoon, one of Malaysia's earliest comic artists, a lady named Puan Nora Abdullah (that's her pen name -- her real name, if I remember correctly, is Nik Nor Zaharah), gave a talk. She started drawing comics (in jawi) when she was 13 or 14 (in 1954), guided by an artist from Thailand. Puan Nora is probably known most for her "Duyung Mas" comic, which she continued in the 1980s in "Fantasi". That was her last published comic work. Last year there was an exhibition of her portrait paintings done when she was in her 20s. Puan Nora, who is in a wheelchair and now uses a magnifying glass to read, used to draw in a kampung where there was no electricity. She drew up to four pages at night by candlelight, until the wax had all melted. She was married at age 14, and her late husband (he passed away in 2006) encouraged her hobby. She got paid RM60 per comic at first, and later RM120.On whether she asked for a higher rate, she said: "Saya tak nampak pada duit masa itu, mungkin sebab saya dah berumahtangga. Saya buat dengan ikhlas. Kalau bagi RM30 pun, saya rasa cukup." I find her story inspiring. I didn't know there was a female comic artist in those early days, and she was driven to pursue her craft amid traditional upbringing. Here's a woman who shows that being married does not mean that you have to give up your dream. She also raised five children. She was a pioneer among women artists and a pioneer in the industry as a whole. I think if you didn't attend the afternoon session today (Sun), you missed something quite special and rare.

Kudos to PeKOMIK for inviting such veteran comic artists and making the effort to show the younger generation, via a slideshow, about our comic history! (One gripe, though: the words shown on the screen were way too small, and I believe almost no one in the audience could read them. What a shame. We'll have to do better in the future!) Another panel in the afternoon comprised the artists who have worked for overseas publishers, namely Milx, Tan Eng Huat, Chee, and Don. (Yayyy, it's Don!)
Tazidi, Pekartun President & me launching WOW! PeKOMIK zine

They were talking about how only Image Comics gave full copyright to artists, so I threw them a question: "What is preventing you guys from coming together -- there's so much talent in Malaysia -- to create our own Image Comics?" Milx said he was collaborating with Sonny Liew now, and asked: "Is there anyone out there willing to invest (in an Image-like endeavour)?" Tan Eng Huat said: "It's a very tough question. Finland's Nokia has developed its brand successfully and become very big and other countries also tried to develop their own brands. Why don't we have our own superheroes? When you design a character and want to make it big and long lasting, how much effort and money do you have to invest and how many failures are you willing to take before seeing a successful product? We have to take this into account." Chee and Don, meanwhile, did not give a reply. Well, I'm happy that Milx is working on his own comic planned for Image. He is hoping to publish it also under his own company. At least he'll have something with his own copyright. To be honest, I'm not satisfied with the answers I got. Perhaps there is no real answer.Doing international comics for US at home: milx, tan Eng Huat, Chee & Sheldon

Anyway, I still imagine Malaysian artists getting together and creating something like an Asian Marvel Comics. Maybe it's just a pipe dream. I was surprised to learn that Don only got only 4 hours of sleep at night (if he's lucky) when he is working on a comic project. As you guys know, Don is drawing G.I. Joe comics written by Larry Hama for a Hasbro toy line. Don has a day job and married with kids, so he's drawing in the little free time he has. That's dedication! "Luckily there's a 2-week gap between comic books so I can get a breather," he said. Well, Don, glad you could at least make it to the PeKOMIKON this year despite your tough schedule! :) I'm going to wrap up my report now. If I made any mistake in my report above, I hope someone who attended PeKOMIKON can correct it. I'm kinda writing this when I'm very sleepy, just hours after the PeKOMIKON, so I might have made some errors. If so, forgive me.
Okay, I'm going to sleep now. Ciao...
by Hafidz Mahpar
Thanks Hafidz

now here some of my sketches on April..boleh laaa...belasah je

still weak on drawing female character..this piece i ink using Berol marker..still a lot more practice for me....

4 comments:

3kheng said...

wao...hebat nya~~

mutalib saifuddin said...

hi

er, i was told many times that Nora Abdullah was the 1st female cartoonist in M'sia, do you know how far is it true? any info on that?

thanks.

gayour said...

sayangnye gua tak dapat bersama dan bertemu dengan dato' lat, saudara jaafar taib dan the real IRON WOMEN ibu NORA ABDULLAH.

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