Panels and Pages #8 | Paolo Fabregas Interview

Panels and Pages #8 | Paolo Fabregas Interview

Jun 16

He keeps himself busy earning a living in an advertising agency. After the working hours, he loves spending his free time with his wife and kids. However, this guy diligently gets up early each morning and makes it a point to devote at least an hour or two doing something he is absolutely passionate about – creating his own comics!

Meet Paolo Fabregas – writer, artist and creator of the Filipino Heroes League, a very engaging comicbook that gets you from the first page to the last.

I tell you, I became an instant fan after reading this title that I couldn’t resist the idea of getting in touch with him to ask for a short interview. Yeah, it’s true I’ve been out of the loop with my indie interviews for several months now and perhaps that’s exactly the point! I liked the book that much I wanted to know more about it and about the creator.

Fortunately, the nice guy was cool about the whole idea and consented right away!

So for this month’s Panels and Pages feature, let’s meet him as he tells us about his awesome comicbook and much, much more.

Mark Rosario:  Hi, Paolo! Thanks for agreeing to do this. Please tell us about how you discovered comics and what eventually hooked you into the hobby.

Paolo Fabregas: I discovered comics when I was about 10 with Todd Mcfarlane’s Spider-Man. I loved his detail and all that extra-webbing. I was such a huge fan of Mcfarlane and so upset that he left, that when Erik Larsen replaced him on Spider-Man, I redrew all the frames that Larsen drew in the style of Mcfarlane.

MR: What motivated you to pursue the passion and eventually become a comicbook creator yourself?

PF: I stopped drawing and obsessing over comics when I was around 15. I got distracted with other things - girls, theater, and such. And so I doodled for about 12 years until I got re-introduced to it.

I was working with Ian Sta. Maria, co-creator of Skyworld, in an advertising agency and he saw a doodle of mine – Batman taking a snooze on a chair. After he saw that, he pushed me to write my own comic book. He offered the last six pages of Skyworld for my own little teaser. It’s through him that I met Budjette Tan and the growing world of Komiks in the Philippines.

The story that I first wrote for the back of Skyworld had a similar mythological theme. However, it just didn’t feel right for me at the time. I dropped it to pursue what I really love about comics – superheroes.

MR: So Filipino Heroes League is your first ever comicbook release.

The Filipino Heroes League is my first comic work. I’ve always wanted to make one but I just couldn’t find a story that I felt was good enough. Luckily, I stumbled upon the FHL.

MR: How did you come up with the idea for FHL, anyway? Did you base them on real events or people? Invisiboy’s real name sounds kinda familiar to me, you know! Haha!

PF: When I set out thinking about the FHL, I wanted to write a story about Filipino Super Heroes but I didn’t want them to be trapped in a Marvel-like story where they only battled super villains or themselves. I wanted them to address the real problems of our country. With that as my guiding thought, the entire world of the FHL kind of fell into place.

With regards to Invisiboy’s real name… um, pure coincidence.

MR: Now I’d like to ask… How does it feel to be getting lots of positive reviews for the book, so far? I mean, no less than Gerry Alanguilan himself praised your work at one point!

PF: Well, it feels great, of course! Now I just don’t want to disappoint. I think it’s taken the better part of two years to write and draw Book 1 of the FHL so it feels good that all that effort is being appreciated.

MR: Personally, I’m loving the mix of politics, showbiz and superheroics. Plus the mystery elements keep me on my toes. And I’d have to tell you - I literally laughed out loud for that pedicab chase scene, man. That was insane! Haha!

PF: I’m glad. I hope people are entertained. I’ve got a lot of things planned for my heroes and I hope people will read on to discover what happens next.

MR: You’ve been mentioning on DA that the next goal is a compilation. That means the trade paperback edition is already in the works, right?

PF: Yes, the full book 1 is now complete. It’s going to see print under Visprint in 2011.

MR: I so can’t wait for that! In the mean time, tell our blog readers about where they can find you and your comics. Any events where you will sell your stuff or something?

PF: I believe that some of my ashcans might still be in Sputnik but I’m not altogether sure anymore. But seriously, most of the pages that I sell are already online at my DeviantArt site and Glyph Wall.

I’ll still be in the upcoming Metro Comic Con and the November Komikon. I might be selling posters of the cover but I’m not sure yet.

MR: And oh! Kudos to you and your friends at Glyph Wall for pioneering the first online indie comics store in the country. That’s totally awesome!

PF: Thanks. We wanted to showcase the talent we saw at the comic cons online.

MR: Yeah, that’s a good idea. At least far-flung comic fans can still get the books just in case they miss the conventions.

PF: We hope that Glyph Wall can really become a venue where our indie creators can develop an audience. Filipinos are rabid consumers of the internet and hopefully they start shifting their eyeballs to the local talent.

MR: Thanks a ton for your time, Paolo. Good luck to your graphic novel!

PF: Thanks, Mark. And thanks for taking the time to interview me. It’s been a pleasure.

MR: The pleasure’s all mine, Paolo! I assure you that! :D

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