Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On Self-Publishing: Tepai Pascual and Maika Ezawa

The following is the third in a series of email interviews with some recently acquired contacts in the komiks community. If you'd like to share your own story, or just be a contact, please email me at

Today's article comes from the tag team of Tepai Pascual and Maika Ezawa. We start with a list of their work:

MEGANON Comics [April 2009]
Founded by Tepai Pascual, Maika Ezawa and Dragfly. We debuted this at the Summer KOMIKON 2009 but we were still with the UP LUNAROCK (Tepai's Fine Arts Org). We released our first title, MARK 9verse47 with chapters 1 and 2 then followed by MAKTAN 1521 on SUMMER KOMIKON 2010. MAKTAN 1521 is now on SULYAP, the first KOMIKOM inc., publication that just came out last KOMIKON 2010, November 13.

MARK 9verse47. Written by Maika Ezawa and Art by Tepai Pascual. Edited by DRAGFLY.

MAKTAN 1521. Story and Art by Tepai Pascual.

1 What made you decide to publish your own komiks?

We publish our own komiks because it's hard to get a publisher who is willing to print and publish our work. Furthermore, we like the experience of selling our komiks and see the people read your komiks and see how they react to our works. The interaction with the readers is priceless for us. "Masarap magbenta" kumbaga. :)

2 What did you need to do to get into komiks?

Tepai & Maika have both been making komiks since high school. Tepai had a formal art training in UP College of Fine Arts so she's at her best but still learning a lot until now. Maika didn't have formal training in writing [she took up engineering] but she is a good storyteller and has a wild imagination, so she can write anything. The duo works together to form a better flow of story for their piece and gives it to their editor "Dragfly" to check if it's good or if there's something that needs to be revised (especially the grammar LOL)

February 14, yeah, it was valentine's day. Tepai got the chicken pox and had to stay home for 2-3 weeks. She was bored and sometimes when artists are bored, something just "clicks". Tepai began to dig up some stories and thought of Maika's draft of MARK 9verse47. She thought of making some sketches and then BOOM, she made the first page of the komiks and it went on and on. But Tepai wasn't really thinking about producing it then. She just wanted to kill time but apparently, she was invited by the METRO COMIC CON 2010 Indie go Valley that same year and the first Summer KOMIKON came to the scene. She just had to grab the opportunity to submit the requirements and named us  "MEGANONComics". She's also the one who's sponsoring the reproduction of our komiks. She first took it from her monthly salary then able to reproduce more komiks with what we've earned from the sales. Maliit ang kita, pero masaya parin kami kasi nababasa na ng mas maraming tao ang gawa namin kumpara dati na mga kaibigan at kamag-anak lang.

We sell our komiks during conventions and we distribute it outside the convention by consignment. We look for shops like Comic Quest, Comic Odyssey, Sputnik, Wakuwaku, CSCentrl. Since our MARK 9verse47 is manga-ish, we consigned in Wakuwaku and CSCentrl. It's not the usual comics shop but our target audience is going there. Maktan 1521 is now at Comic Quest so that's good for us too.

We let the whole world know through the cheapest advertising vector ever--- internet. Since Tepai works in an advertising agency, she knew which strings to pull to get people's attention. Minsan, para syang advertisement sa boxing match ni Pacquiao. Yung tipong every after ng isang round, may ads. MAKULIT at PAULIT-ULIT. But good for us, people remember us. Same reaction about our group name. MEGANON Comics was just an impulse name. Tepai heard her officemate said "meganon?!" then BOOM. We're now MEGANON Comics. And she just keeps using it everytime and everywhere like, "MEGANON sa KOMIKON" "MEGANON sa MCC" "MEGANON sa kung ano man." LOL

3 What are the main hurdles to overcome in self-publishing, and how should new komiks makers get over these hurdles?

A common hurdle for indie komiks makers; having good story but no editor; a good story but no good artist; a good art but the story isn't that good; and budget. We may have a good story and a good artist but if the budget isn't good, it's hard to keep komiks going around. Although, the answer to that is making a web comics. It's free and more people gets to read it. We can do that but like what we said earlier, we want the interaction with the readers. That's one of the priceless moments when selling your work.

Another hurdle: TROLLS. Yup, that's right. Trolls. Some people think that what we're doing isn't good or just a waste of time, money and energy. These people usually like to see us go down miserably because either no one wants to buy our comics or no one likes our works. These trolls tend to take you down by spreading bad news about you or your works. Crabs or self-proclaimed critics if I may say.

The best thing to do about this is just keep on doing your thing. These people may have some points to consider and may they may give you hints that may be used to do better in your works. LISTEN to all the things you here. Some may be harsh and cruel but some are also encouraging and enlightening. It's just a matter of breaking them down and see which of these should you consider.

Check out MEGANON Comics DeviantART page here and Tepai's personal DeviantART page here.

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