Panels and Pages #9 - Mel Casipit Interview

Panels and Pages #9 - Mel Casipit Interview

Dec 22

I finally got to meet Mel Casipit in person just a few weeks ago – the mind (and hand) behind not one, not two but three Komikon Comics Creation Contest winning indies namely Baboy, Dogstyle and MLU.

Our venue, however, wasn’t at a comics convention or a comic book shop but at a painting exhibit here in Dagupan. We’re both from Pangasinan actually and, you see, aside from being a comics artist, Mel is also an excellent painter. Two of his paintings are displayed at Nepo Mall’s Alulong Art Exhibit (which is open to the public until December 31 so if you happen to live nearby, go hurry!).

I asked him how long it typically takes him to finish a piece and he says it could take weeks, if not months, because he’s always busy with many other things (he’s also working as a call center agent).  He even laughs and points to one of his pieces and tells me it took him four years just to get it done.

Quite ironically, however, we spent longer time talking more about comics than about paintings. Sorry, we really can’t help it! Hahah.. The guy really speaks with lots of enthusiasm when it comes to that topic and I find his insights impressive. I really wanted to dig a little deeper than our 2-hour conversation and I thought featuring him here on Panels and Pages would be cool.

So ladies and gentlemen, comic geeks of all ages, let’s all welcome my kabaleyan, Mel Casipit!

Mark Rosario (MR): Hi, Mel! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Welcome to PlanetMarkus!

Mel Casipit (MC): Hi Mark, It’s an honor to be featured here in your prestigious blog site! :)

MR: First things first, what age did you start drawing and what eventually motivated you to start creating your own comics?

MC: I can’t recall the time when I first started drawing but my mom told me that as soon as I was able to hold a pencil in my hand, I was already drawing and vandalizing our house hehe. That was maybe when I was 1 or 2 years old.  I’ll confirm that with my Mom when we see each other again.

MR: Baboy was your first entry for the Komikon Comics Creation Contest - and you got to take home the grand prize right away! How does that feel?

MC: I wasn’t expecting but it really boosted my urge to do more comics! I have always been drawing comics before but it was put on hold when I started working in the call center industry so it really was a great honor and experience to win the contest.

MR: I actually dig the gritty, detailed artstyle you used for Baboy. I’m just curious, why did you choose to use very few words for that comic book?

MC: I want my comics to stand-out, to be unique and to be different (medyo redundant ah hehe) so I used the gritty art style and very few words, if not none. I believe that a good artist can tell stories with only few words. I think it adds mystery to the story and highlights how good the artist is.

MR: I fully agree with you there, man. And oh! Congrats for making it to the Sulyap Komiks Anthology. I’m happy Baboy got included there. The story deserves the exposure!

MC: Thanks, Mark! I’m really humbled to be part of the Sulyap Komiks Anthology. I thank the Artist’ Den for Komikon and the Anthology. And especially to Jon Zamar since he’s the one who invited me for Sulyap.

MR: Now let’s talk a bit about Mukat comics. I enjoyed reading that one, too… You did that way back your college days, right? I find it interesting that you were actually into Manga-ish artstyle back then.

MC: I’m happy you love Mukat, too. Yes, I did that way back my college days. I’ve always wanted to create my own characters and comics and so I thought  “Why do I need to wait for someone to tell me to do it? When I can start doing comics on my own?” So I did. Most of my influences that time were all anime/cartoons so I adapted the art style straight away. My main influence was the art of Gundam Wing, I like animes with not too large eyes.

MR: How has your style evolved over the years? Your flexibility is pretty noticeable, man. I mean I’m amazed how you can comfortably switch from serious, edgy art to cute, cartoony stuff. That’s something not all artists can do well.

MC: Well, all I can say it that my art style evolves as everyone else’s does. You can’t just stick to just one style because sometimes it doesn’t match the story that you need to do.  It was not easy at first to do cute, cartoony style. I did researches and experiments until I came up with MLU style art.

MR: A little fun question here: Name at least three indie comics creator in the country whose work you truly admire.

MC: Rommel “Omeng” Estanislao of Lipad, Love Story, Anak ng Tupang Itim etc,  E.A Damaso of Cat’s Trail Rewind and Melvin Calingo of Pasig because they are really good - not just as artists but also as comics writers. I also love the way they do story-telling on their panels.

MR: Okay so, what can fans expect from Mel Casipit for 2011? Any new comics you plan to release or something?

MC: Yup, I am going to release the Mukat Comics series and some new titles. I promise to produce my best comics every time. I’ll just surprise you all.

MR: Now go tell our blog readers where they can buy your stuff, Mel! Or maybe how they can get in touch with you online.

MC: My comics are available at Comic Odyssey, Robinson Galeria in Ortigas and at Comic Quest SM North Edsa. You can also contact me thru email, Facebook and DeviantArt for online orders. Sulyap is now available at Powerbooks Trinoma, MOA, Greenbelt and Glorietta.I also see to it that I attend every comics event/convention there is at the Metro Manila area so you can also catch my comics there.  On Dec. 22-23 at  Megacon, at the Megatrade hall 1 at Megamall and Komikstrip UPLB this February 2011 and many more events to come!

MR: Thank you for your time, Mel! Good luck to you and what you do!
MC: Thank you too, Mark, for this opportunity, I’m proud to be a Pangasinense Komiks man! More Power to you and your blog. :)

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  3. Panels and Pages #4 – An Interview With Aaron Felizmenio


  1. Thanks a lot for the interview Mark! :) Let’s meet again sometime. mabuhay ang Pinoy Komiks!

  2. @ Mel, basta ikaw! Kitakits!


  1. Mukat Comics|Comics Review | Planet Markus - [...] You don’t expect the same from Mel Casipit. [...]

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