Remember when most of your comics came from America and Manga was seen as “exotic”? Now the internet has opened up global access to comic publishers across the world, including The Philippines.
NUBI’s in love with the Asian continent, it’s no secret. We’ve brought you Vietnamese pop stars, Japanese grime rappers and the continent’s best rising fashion designers. This week, we caught up with an independent duo making their way in the comics world of the Philippines; introducing Pockets Fulla Pillz and their debut title Rocketgirl…
The first of what the two hope will be an expanding selection of titles, the storyline follows a Filipino/American CIA rookie involved in a “tale of damnation, bullets, & revenge”. It’s a refreshingly straightforward description reminiscent of the “EXTREME” titles of the 90s.
The character’s dual heritage reflects the shared experiences of the PFP duo; artist Jeck “Jerk” Florres was born in the Philippines, while Fred “That Guy” Corder hails from Washington, DC. The two have been friends for a long time, and 6 years ago did what any two friends dissatisfied with their employment would do: quit their jobs and found an art studio instead.
Although the ambition was always to create comic books, they started building up the company through album artwork. They got out because “it didn’t lead to fans, or real money”. Leaving an unprofitable business to publish your own comics instead might seem counterintuitive to some Western readers, but Corder assures that comics culture in the Philippines is way, way more serious business than even today’s most fanatical MCU watcher can imagine:
“In the US it’s sports first, celebrity gossip second, then maybe pop art culture third. In the Philippines it’s pop art culture 1st. They take the art seriously. You can lose a friend over the question ‘what’s your favorite comic or anime?’. I love that.”
Over the years they’ve worked with a variety of record labels, and even appeared in music videos with Waka Flocka Flame while working on Brick Squad Monopoly. However, their connection to the music industry deepened after doing the artwork for Maria Herrera’s EP Her Erra when the Filipino rapper agreed to be the model for Rocketgirl‘s main character.
Although they’re still building hype for the title, Pockets Fulla Pillz have already had some positive feedback. So positive, in fact, that one fan said she’d kill them if they stopped making the comic. Now that’s dedication.
PFP’s future plans include a host of other series, fleshing out characters such as The Suit/The Machine up there – a junk cyborg with a fax machine for a head – and Test Subject 667, who has already appeared on art products and t-shirts.