Ramon Gil is creating a comic book anthology by Filipino illustrators

'The Men from DARPA'

‘The Men from DARPA’

Advertising man Ramon Gil gave up his dream to be a comic book creator 20 years ago, but in mid-life has decided to give his first love another shot.

Gathering local FilAm artists like Rudy Nebres (DC/Marvel), and Len Peralta (“Geek-a-week”) as well as Philippine-based illustrators like Ryan Orosco (“Darna”), Lui Antonio (“Red Sonja”), Gilbert Monsanto (“The Darkness”) and Jeric Acayen, Ramon has written an anthology of stories, titled “The Scifies Anthology,” featuring stories with Filipino Americans as lead characters.

“Since the ‘70s, when pioneers like Nestor Redondo and Tony DeZuniga were recruited from the Philippines to work for the U.S. comic industry, there have always been Pinoys illustrating for Marvel and DC. But there has never been a comic book published in the U.S., written and produced by a Filipino American, edited by a Filipino American, drawn by Filipinos and starring FilAm characters,” said Gil. “That changes today with ‘The Scifies Anthology.’”

Cover art for the anthology was done by comic book legend Rudy Nebres, one of the early pioneers who came to the U.S. in the ‘70s along with Redondo and DeZuniga. The editor is accomplished writer/editor Noel Shaw, with lettering done by industry veteran, Janice Chiang.

“Ramon was my Advanced Illustrator instructor at Parsons, and now 14 years later, we are collaborating on his exciting new comic venture,” said Chiang. “His voice, humor, and wisdom won through life experiences thread and bind the storyline. We’ve come full circle in a great and historic way.”

Though late to professional writing, Ramon has it in his blood. He is the nephew of the late Manila Standard opinion editor Gerry Gil and grandson of former Alemars editor-in-chief Avelina J. Gil.

“In 1994, the comic book industry imploded and I got laid off after only drawing two issues for Vortex Comics,” shared Gil. “So I went into advertising for the next 20 years, even running my own design company. But now with the Internet, print-on-demand and outsourcing to the Philippines so easy to do, I figured it’s now or never for me.”

The stories are mostly sci-fi based, hence the title “The Scifies Anthology.” They include the following stories:

“Life with Superpowers.” What happens when you introduce a “superpower-granting armlet” into the complicated dynamics of a romantic relationship between a struggling, insecure guy and his more successful girlfriend.

“The Digit Debacle.” Earth has just made contact with an alien race for the first time. But a little misunderstanding on the math may lead delicate negotiations straight to disaster.

“The Facebook Phenomenon.” Two superheroes battle it out with a supervillain while comparing Facebook pages.

“The Men from DARPA.” A group of bumbling yet brainy government scientists go on an adventure to retrieve an object from the future from an ex-girlfriend.

“Race Encounters of the Third Kind.” Discover the dark side of modern agriculture: racism against Filipino farm animals! An amusing story with art that will make you smile.

With “The Scifies Anthology,” Ramon is leveraging everything he’s learned in design, marketing and business to get his comic book self-published — or picked up by a major comic book company.

Ramon held a launch party recently for a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project. Many friends and family were in attendance including PR consultant Cheryl Duncan.

“You can work with someone for many years, as I have with Ramon, and only ever view a handful of their many facets. It’s so refreshing to learn about Ramon’s passion for comic books and I’m thrilled he’s following his dream!” said Duncan.

For aspiring comic book creators out there, Ramon is offering a workshop on producing and publishing your own comic book as one of the Kickstarter prizes. Another incentive is being able to create your own superhero and Ramon will incorporate it as a lead character in one of the stories.

Supporter Jess Oberes didn’t miss a beat. “Once upon a time I had a series of characters I was creating. So when I saw that one of the pledge levels included an opportunity to ‘cast’ one my characters, I nearly jumped out of my chair with excitement!” he exclaimed.

Anyone wishing to pledge their support for this All-Filipino created comic book can go to scifies.com.

'Life with Superpowers'

‘Life with Superpowers’

'The Scifies Anthology'

‘The Scifies Anthology’

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