Friday, April 02, 2004

I've always been curious about the SKP or Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas (Society of Philippine Cartoonists) ever since I first learned what it was way back in the 80s (newspaper cartoonists sign 'SKP' beside their initials in editorial cartoons and I first thought it was a sign for some top secret group like the KGB). Back when I was just a wee boy dreaming of one becoming a cartoonist, penetrating this exclusive circle was already akin to reaching cartoonists' heaven. The group's an alliance of local cartoonists and comic strip artists founded by the late Larry Alcala during the late 70s, primarily to move Filipino comic artists up to par with international standards.

I was uncomfortable with turning down the first invitation to join their meeting last month solely because it coincides with the scheduled meeting with my high school friends for the upcoming reunion so I jumped at the opportunity to attend the second one last night. I told my batchmates early on about my plans and they were cool with the idea. Me, Az, and Ryan met at Lyndon's house at 8 pm before taking a taxi to Pupung's Restaurant owned by cartoonist/businessman Tonton Young. The group was a mixture of old and young cartoonists Rene Aranda (Philippine Star's "Prof"), Roni Santiago (Manila Bulletin's "Baltic & Co."), Norman Isaac (Manila Bulletin's "Norman's Island" and editorial cartoonist), Boboy Yonzon (Publisher, Mango Comics), and a lot others whose names and works now escape me. And there were pals like Syeri (Carpool), Jon Zamar (Minsan Ako'y Nanaginip) and Jomike Tejido (Phil. Daily Inquirer's "Mikrokosmos").

Jomike Tejido and Rene Aranda

There were word balloons and thought balloons all over their heads that the camera didn't get.

Az, Tonton Young (background, with the red cap) and Lyndon

After a round of introductions and talks for upcoming projects the group started talking among themselves till we all left at around past 11 p.m. Me, Lyndon, Az, and Ryan transferred across the street to Wendy's where we continued talking about The Passion, local comics like Darna, Lastikman, Az's new title as "The King of the Land of Tuna" (don't ask) and others. We left the place around 1 a.m. but before we went home we checked out the new 7-11 in this renovated mall along EDSA. We finished off with a post-midnight snack of Slurpees, sodas and cookies for a few minutes before going our separate ways.

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