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Friday, March 23, 2012

Keep On Drawing

Yesterday, I received an email from Ms. Eileen Sy, who accused me of influencing the decision of which people would get interviewed by C.B. Cebulski in his recent search for Marvel comic book artists.

Below is the email from Ms. Sy, after which you will read my reply to her, which I have decided to make public.


It's a shame that you forcibly included 8 of your buddies out of 34 artists in CB Cebulski's talent search. It can now be explained why more talented people were excluded.

Aspiring artists like us are now questioned your credibility and looked at you as the next greedy agent of comics artist.

I wonder why Migs Ramos is so disillusioned with your Trese garbage. The padrino system is still alive and kicking in person like you.

Shame on you!

To: Ms. Eileen Sy

Out of the 34 artists shortlisted by C.B. Cebulski, only two of them were my friends. They were handpicked by Mr. Cebulski himself and his decision was not influenced by me or anyone else.

I am not a “comics agent” nor am I claiming to be anyone’s “comics agent.”

If you view my work as “garbage” then that is your opinion.

There was no “padrino system” used in choosing those 34 artists. Everyone got a fair chance of submitting and everyone was chosen based on what they submitted.

I know for a fact that my other friends submitted their portfolios and they did not get into the shortlist. These artists have won local awards for their comic book work, but Mr. Cebulski did not pick them. If I was really “forcibly including” people into the shortlist, then those friends of mine should’ve got in the list as well, but they didn’t.

There is no “favoritism” or “padrino system” when it comes to National Bookstore and local comic book creators.

Miguel Ramos and National Bookstore have shown full support to the local comic book scene, as well as support to all Filipino comic book creators.

In the past years, they have sponsored and supported the Metro Comic Con and the Komikon.

They recently hosted the “HeARTworks” comic book art charity event.

They have hosted the comic book launch of Gerry Alanguilan’s Elmer, and Superior, which was drawn by Leinil Yu and Gerry.

Go to the branches of National Bookstore now and you’ll see that they distribute all kinds of local comic books: from graphic novels published by Visprint, like Kikomachine, Trese, The Filipino Heroes League, Zsazsa Zaturnnah; to self-published comic books like Kalayaan, Bayan Knights, Pugad Baboy, and Beerkada.

Ms. Sy, if you feel bad that you didn’t get in the shortlist, then don’t blame it on me and don’t blame anyone else.

I have been writing comic books for the past 22 years and I have been rejected by Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and even Atlas Komiks.

I am lucky and blessed to have found a publisher like Visprint, who finally accepted my work and supports the stories I tell with Kajo. But before I found a publisher who accepted and approved of my work, it meant I had to keep writing and keep getting rejected for 17 years. And in the past five years, I have submitted and pitched “Trese” to Vertigo Comics, Marvel Comics, and Image Comics and I still got rejected. But that has not stopped me from writing more stories and from improving my craft.

In all those times I got rejected, I blamed no one else but myself.

And as I write my next story, I make sure that this is the best one I’ve written and hope that this will be the one that the publishers will like and get me accepted.

Lastly, if this were just an email critiquing my work then I would’ve probably replied to you in private. If you really believe that my work is “garbage”, then you are entitled to your own opinion and would feel no need to try and change that belief.

However, the reason I am responding publicly is because your baseless accusations casts doubt on the recent talent search conducted by Mr. Cebulski. It is unfair of you to say that some of them got in because of some “padrino system”.

Out of the 34 artists, there was a good mix of professional artists (those who have been published here and abroad) and amateur artists. There was even one who just graduated from college. They were all chosen based on the portfolio they submitted, based on their skill and hard work.

It is unfair of you to say that some of those artists didn’t deserve to be shortlisted. It is unfair of you to judge that they weren’t talented enough to be interviewed.

I am amazed that you took the time to sit down and write that email, make unfounded accusations, call me names and call my work garbage, when you could’ve used that time to draw more and improve your craft.

Keep on drawing, Ms. Sy. Just keep on drawing.

--budjette tan

p.s. if you ever want to show your new and improved portfolio to Mr. Cebulski, feel free to email him at : cbcebulski @marvel .com


alex cruz said...

So where can i find the portfolio of Eileen Sy? - Alex Arellano

alex cruz said...

So where can I find the portfolio of Ms. Eileen Sy?

Unknown said...

well said budj!

vengaza said...

that was a good response Budjette. Eileen Sy is an example of an artist think her works are above all of them.She thinks her work is perfect.No more room for improvement. Don't be a sore loser. Ms. sy

macoy said...

eileen sy needs to stop blaming others for her failures.

Duy Tano said...

Budj, I wouldn't take Marvel and DC's rejection of TRESE as any kind of statement about your craft. There's probably a whole laundry list of reasons, not the least of which is marketability (it's set in the Philippines, after all). You're as good a writer as it gets.

Arko Gepetto said...

When a 'loser' accuses someone of cheating or being biased during a competition, it just sounds like a sore loser whining. Though it is a bit understandable what may have prompted her to do this, it might hve been better if she made sure of the facts before she ranted. And lastly but sadly , this is a trait that is prevalent among us filipinos: to blame others as an excuse for failing... :(

Pussy Lover said...

I wonder what gave her that notion though? It sounds so ridiculous.
I submitted as well but wasn't among the chosen few. It's the second time I've submitted my portfolio to Marvel and I don't feel discouraged by striking out again. It just means, like you said, I have to keep on drawing, keep on writing.

Lyndon said...

An irrational, accusative comics fan? It's unheard of!

Budjette, I accuse you of forcibly including your favorite Marvel heroes in the movie Avengers, leaving out The Wasp, Black Goliath, Squirrel Girl and more talented heroes out there from their first big-screen adventure.

I accuse you of forcibly keeping your beloved Shane alive throughout Season 2 of the Walking Dead when he should have died at the end of Season 1 if we base it on the timeline of the comic book.

I accuse you of bringing back some of Darth Maul in Clone Wars. You've always thought of Maul as "not half-bad" ever since you watched Phantom Menace and you used your ...illusion? What's better than illusion? Ah, dis-illusion! ...on your padrino George Lucas to get your way.

Shame on you. J'accuse!

Reno said...

I am now very much curious to see what Ms. Sy's work looks like.

But I am a bit miffed by Arko geppeto's comment, however, that this sort of behavior is prevalent among Filipinos. It happens everywhere. Yes, even in the good ol' US of A.

kaJO said...

To Madam (or Sir) Eileen Sy:

Try befriending and employing white dwendes (or Nuno) to draw comic pages for you. That's what talentless hacks like me do.

Avoid black dwendes. I tried them. they suck at meeting deadlines and they don't like drawing backgrounds and feet.

eva_guy01 said...

We dont even know if this Eileen Sy is even an artist herself, although I believe you dont need to be a good or bad comic artist to give you the right to criticize other's work or methods(ive met good readers and comic collectors who dont draw, but knows their art).

But I do agree on the fact that her letter is only meant to hurt and cast doubt, and not to improve as there are no solid evidence to back up her accusations. For all we know, this "Eileen Sy" may be a pseudonym, a mask behind another disgruntled individual who fears retaliation from an army of enraged supporters in the internet.

Whatever the case is, im glad you clarified this in your blog, as people tend to glorify/sensationalize negative traits without checking out the facts (Facebook is full of them). Neways, ill be reposting this in my FB for everyone's info.

Keep up the good work!

warrior nerd said...

So, Migs Ramos is "disillusioned" with your work yet he's supposed to be one of your "padrinos"? Is she trying to be sarcastic?

Okay...sumabog ang ulo ko diyan.

Eileen is possibly a good artist. She probably just didn't get the submission instructions right.

Arko Gepetto said...

Sorry i dont live in the US of A and therefore I dont know much to include them or the rest of the world in my comment. Though i know that it is a human trait and probably a lot of other people regardless of their nationlity may be guilty of it, i will not include them because its just like being ms sy: judging someone without proper info.