On Mar Roxas Comic: Don’t Hate The Artist; Hate The Employer


The comic depicting presidential candidate Mar Roxas in Sa Gitna ng Unos (In the Middle of a Storm) has made quite a stir in a lot of his detractors. Truth be told, it was hoped that the comic would draw more voters to the Liberal Party (LP) faction but has, in fact, drawn even more detractors as it insults the very memory of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. As a piece of propaganda, Sa Gitna ng Unos achieved the opposite effect of what it was meant to do and not only failed to endear Filipinos to him but outright disgusted some of his own supporters away from his camp.


Being a staunch opponent of the LP and its antics, I’m quite pleased with this development as it shows that Mar Roxas is quite behind in terms of potential presidency. However, I am somewhat displeased with the way the artist of the comic is also catching flak to. Granted, I’m not really that much into local comics but I still think that it’s not exactly fair to bash the man who drew the comic as he was merely hired by the lower echelons of the LP to create a comic that will perhaps sway people to their side. One must remember that he was only “hired” to draw the comic, it was never his choice to do so in the first place.

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Sadly enough, what many of the comic artist’s detractors fail to realize is that many comic artists in the Philippines never get the respect, recognition and, most importantly, revenue that they truly deserve. For instance, asides from Mars Ravelo (creator of Darna) and Carlo J. Caparas (creator of Panday), can you name any other Filipino comic artist that has earned considerable fame and fortune in the Philippines? Truth be told, I doubt there will never be many because not many Pinoys even understand the concept of “art” in the first place. Thanks to the fact that majority of Pinoys can’t tell the difference between superficiality and substance, many artists (and not just comic artists either) are generally ignored in favor of actors who can’t act, singers who can’t sing and dancers who can’t dance and just have pretty faces and friendly but fake attitudes the masses can relate to.

What’s even more sad is the artist who drew Sa Gitna ng Unos probably wasn’t even a permanent attachment to the LP’s staff. More likely than not, he’s just another comic artist struggling for some recognition and a little pay to get by. Once the election probably ends, Mar Roxas (given his rather dismissive attitude to people he doesn’t know) would outright forget the artist who worked so hard to polish his image and look down on him as just another desperate employee. Truth be told, if the Philippines held good artists, no matter what their craft may be, in higher regard he would no doubt have more important things to do and better comics to draw than propaganda pieces given to him by corrupt politicians.

25 Replies to “On Mar Roxas Comic: Don’t Hate The Artist; Hate The Employer”

  1. Grimwald, I agree and disagree with you. Here is the problem. I do not judge people on what they do to get money or fame. What I do judge people on is living with the decision that brings a person the money or the fame. If you rob a bank to get money, you cannot complain about going to jail. If you make a comic, you cannot complain about the bad or good it brings to your doorstep.

    1. Wasted is one of the greatest love stories ever told. it is free for download at alangilan’s personal site.

      I always thought portacio was fil-am (hawaiian) and didnt rub in on his filipino heritage (unlike jasmin trias or that other forgotten american idol winner… a cookie for those who can name her from the top of your head).

    2. However, you have to ask, why are they not well-received in their own country? Don’t you think they should be making superheroes for our own local comics?

      1. No market for local comics here. That’s why, talented Pinoy like that, like the rest, work abroad where their talents are much appreciated. It’s not because they don’t want to.

        1. My point exactly…

          And oh, by the way, did you know that you’re the first comic book hero I’ve read about. When I was 7-8, my mom refused to buy me Spider-Man or Batman comics because they were too violent until I was 10. All I read was “Groo the Wanderer” at the time.

      2. Because grim, print does not sell to the masses. Unless na gamitin na pambalot ng tinapa. No one takes comics as an art form because to them, its childish and immature. Basketbol, singing, dancing, yan ang hobby ng tunay na pinoy!

  2. The man should have had principals, ESPECIALLY since he openly states that he will vote for another candidate. He could have just told the Roxas people to go fly a kite.

    If you associate with scumbags, people will think you are one too.

    So don’t complain now that people think you suck. You took their money to spread their twisted propaganda. So shut up! Guilty!

  3. Its sad to see comic book artists getting flak for this one. It is undeniable that as far as comic book art is concerned, Filipinos are quite capable of making great art. Some Filipinos even made it to the big-leagues drawing Marvel and DC comics. I hope one day to see Filipino-style art on Japanese Manga. But here is the common theme: The artist and the writer are not one and the same. It seems, a Filipino can only “draw or write” but can’t “draw and write.”

  4. I read somewhere a comment which I quite agree with its point.

    The problem with the comic book artist was that his work was tried to be presented as some sort of historical accounting which contradicts actual events. He wrote it in a way like “base sa tunay na pangyayari”

    I mean all you have to do is google up Yolanda and Mar and you will get the picture. Yet knowing this he still went on with the story. Sure we can give him a pass IF he qualified that his story was a work of fiction. Kaso hindi eh

    1. He was commissioned to do that work. Of course the only he’ll get paid is if he complied to the wishes of his client. On one hand you can fault him for accepting a job counter to his ideals. But on the other, this is the Philippines we’re talking about: Where work and sustainable income is about as easy to come up to like winning the lottery.

  5. He must’ve learned this comic book approach from “pinoy prideist” paulzial, a Phd of UP social political sciences who pioneered this approach to promote fantasies of self inured in an art medium which juvenile imbiciles look up to -and that only gullible people would believe. Lookup “Buhay ang Baston” by talented artists Jaime Bautista, Jonas Diego. How to create an illusion of your being so great.. using comics!

  6. Okay…the Comics story Illustrator, did it all. The guy was paid to do, a good Comic Illustrated story, making Mar Roxas, the more than “mortal” hero ,of the Typhoon Yolanda story.

    The fault here, lies not in the Comics Story Illustrator. He was only doing his/her job. And is paid to do it.

    What is outrageous, is the Story. It is FALSE…it did not happened…

    I don’t know what to call this type of story. A work of fiction? A Super Hero story? A Political Propaganda gone: shady, low down and untrue?

    I have read volumes and volumes of Comics Magazines; when I was very young. Some were: Fairy Tales; Action Heroes; lives of great people; Religious Stories; etc…

    However, this Mar Roxas Comics Illustrated Story Magazine; defies any Sane Logic. I am glad, I’ve grown up….

  7. It’d be worrisome for Duterte if he have supporters like the illustrator. Why? You brand yourself a Duterte supporter then with the right price, you do a job for the enemy camp. Unless it’s his way of campaigning for Duterte because Mar did take a downward slide from his fictional comics.

  8. If anybody tries to penetrate the past with the knife of the present will always act in vain. The past is invulnerable. Such attempts can only cause the present or the future to bleed.

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