... well, actually, if you want to be strict about it, this is more like Phase Four or Five... a lot of people have been putting in a lot of work into Studio Salimbal over the past year, and even beyond that. We've been pestering people on social networks, we were at the Summer Komikon, we even held that launch event back on April 6... but this milestone, the website launch, it feels like a beginning. For good reason: the Internet is a big part of our identity as a studio. It's how we publish our comics (at least initially) and it's how we communicate with our readers. Having a site makes both of those things easier...
But if we're treating this as a new beginning, let's start from the top.
Meet Studio Salimbal
Studio Salimbal is a new comics studio / creators collective / gang of fourteen (at the moment) ... the terminology varies, but what unites us remains the same: we want to make comics. We want to make them in a manner that is creatively fulfilling and commercially sustainable. To do that, in this day and age, means that we need to make sure that we can give readers -- give you -- what they want. And what readers seem to want are great stories, delivered regularly, and made conveniently available. In the Philippines, where only a handful of creators can make a living from comics alone, where distribution is troublesome at best, achieving creativity, consistency and a wide circulation is almost impossible for the lone creator.
Less so, for fourteen. Particularly these fourteen: Borg Sinaban, Budjette Tan, Butch Mapa, Cristina Chua, Elbert Or, John Amor, Jules Gregorio, Koi Carreon, Mervin Malonzo, Mico Dimagiba, Noel Pascual, Paolo Chikiamco, Paul Quiroga, and Tintin Pantoja.
What's in a Name?
The Salimbal, or Salimbar, is a ship from Bukidnon mythology that can take people directly to heaven, without first needing to die. It is said that the ship descends from the Skyworld from a hole in the sky, then ascends back up with its cargo via a string or chain which is pulled by a god. Entry to the Salimbal was possible only through a doorway guarded by two magical kampilan (large swords) which would cut down anyone seeking entry who was unworthy of the Skyworld.
The Salimbal is representative of the unique and wonderful nature of the myriad mythologies we call Filipino, and as a Studio, we aspire for that uniqueness and wonder, and draw inspiration from our cultural heritage. The Salimbal as an otherworldly vessel is also representative of our desire to transport readers to new, fantastic realms, beyond their wildest imaginings.
Together, we at Salimbal -- and those who may join us further on down the road -- will work together to create great comics, and deliver them to you in ways that are quick, affordable, and yet allow you to support the Studio and its creators. We hope that this site is not only the beginning of a comic studio, but the beginning of a community of readers and creators, both from the Philippines and beyond.
We are Studio Salimbal.