KOMIKON-versations: Toto Madayag (Libreng Komiks)
At 71,000 fans and counting, to say that Libreng Komiks is a success is an understatement. With sharp wit, simple (but sometimes brutal) punchlines, a distinctive art style, and a finger on the pulse of pop culture, Libreng Komiks has become the source of many memes and humorous, passive-aggressive jabs, perfect for a generation of online Pinoys who love to poke fun at anything and everything.
At the recent Summer Komikon, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to talk to the brains behind Libreng Komiks. Check out my interview with Mr Libreng Komiks himself, Toto Madayag.
Okay, please introduce yourself, sir.
My name is Toto Madayag. I run a Facebook page called Libreng Komiks. I’m planning a compilation book soon, and I’m accepting preorders for it.
How do you get ideas for your stories in Libreng Komiks?
‘Yung mga ideas actually is, uh, galing sa mga everyday conversations, things you see on TV, things you see sa magazines, sa ibang publications, popular media. Movies, music, anything na ma-ti-twist ko to add a little humor into, parang, kahit dalawang tao lang ‘yung nag-uusap, ganun, and i-ti-twist ko nang onti ‘yun para maging humorous ‘yung situation. So basically, um, everyday life.
Why did you choose Facebook as your first platform for Libreng Komiks?
Matagal ko na siyang pinag-aralan, and nakikita ko ‘yung mga models ng webcomic artists sa US atsaka sa ibang bansa na they give out stuff for free for the sole purpose of, ‘yung makikita ng tao kung ano ‘yung kaya mong gawin, makikita ng tao kung ano yung style mo, before trying to earn of of it.
For one whole year naman, actually anniversary na ng page ngayon, I started it in April, since then nag-gain na ng followers, kasi namimigay ng libreng komiks.
Which is ‘yung idea ng, ‘yung core idea ng comics [ko].
And saka mo na iisipin na kumita mula dun sa komiks by selling your merchandise, basically any variation ng art mo, stickers, mugs, button pins, ‘yung mga binibenta ko ngayon [sa Komikon]. And of course a compilation book nung mga komiks na inano ko, ni-release ko sa Facebook.
Do you have any advice for people who want to break into comics? Would you advise them to follow the same path you did?
Para sa’kin, oo, well it really depends on the artist, actually. Hindi pa ako ganun ka-expert para malaman kung ano ‘yung best way to go about it, pero if there’s one thing na mai–a-advice ko, it’s to give out, at least ano, kung magrerelease ka ng Book One or at least half a chapter para makita nila ‘yung core idea ng book.
Or parang ganito nga, ‘pag webcomic siya, ‘pag webcomic series, mag-tease ka ng mga free comics, before, uh, so that you can gain a following. Kasi, sa social media naman, ‘yun naman yung pinaka-importante. To first gain a following before anybody decides to buy your stuff.
Um, also, ‘wag ‘yung parang pag-earn ng comics ‘yung end goal mo. Dapat, it’s putting your work out there. For people to know what you’re capable of.
Follow Toto Madayag’s hugely successful Libreng Komiks on Facebook. As of this writing, the first book compilation of his popular Facebook strips is 84% funded – help make this a reality by pre-ordering now.