This is one of my upcoming projects that Ill be doing alongside ELMER. It is my first attempt at an all-ages comic strip, one that can be read by both the young and the old. No grit. No blood. No profanity. No nudity. Just all out fun!
This is the culmination of the research Ive been doing on Jose Rizal for the past several months. The research is still continuing, as Im striving to get a lot of the details right.
I really have to thank Adam David for the inspiration of this story. You see, Adam sent this email to the Alamat Mailing List back in October 2000:
""hehehe. well, are you interested on reading a comic book series about
Jose Rizals Secret Adventures?
you see, he didnt die in 1898, because he drank Christs Blood from the
and also, find out where Rizal got all his ideas
and how Rizal manipulated Philippine HIstory into what we read in the
books. hes immortal, dont you know?
ah, and its going to be called the SECRET ADVENTURES OF THE AMAZING
DOCTOR RIZAL, written by your truly, Adam David. no artist, yet.
dog-gone it, thats always the problem.
im planning on doing it in the belgian BD album format, like TINTIN and
er, anyone here interested in drawing it?
-your friend, Adam""
Reading this email sparked something in my imagination. I thought it was fucking brilliant. My mind was instantly filled with idea after idea so much so it made me delirious. I was envious that he thought of it first. It was the title more than anything else that did it for me.
I had forgotten that he included Secret Aventures in it, as I remembered only the Amazing Doctor Rizal and that he didnt die. I started to imagine Jules Verne, Terry Gilliam, and the Philippines as a technologically advanced nation by the end of the 19th century. And Jose Rizal was a genius, an inventor, an adventurer, surgeon, teacher, chef, scientist, time-traveler, astronomer, astronaut, pilot, sub-mariner, playboy, 100% Filipino and most important of all, HERO.
I most likely wont be using any references to Jesus Christ, or that he manipulated history books (he will probably manipulate time itself though), he wont be immortal (not in the physical sense) and that his adventures will be anything BUT secret. The artwork will definitely be something very clean and clear, with no hatchings and it will be in full color.
I was inwardly wincing in pain that it wasnt ME that was going to do it. I immediately fired off an email to Adam, saying that it was a bloody brilliant idea and that he should pursue it. And if done right, it could become a truly great comic book, one that he will be known and remembered for. I just had to let it go.
Once in a rare while we would correspond and Id remind him how fantastic his idea was. I dont remember now how it all came to it, but sometime late last year, we talked about it again, I once again said how amazing an idea it was. By this time, he wasnt as yet been able to start doing it himself. And just like that, he gave it to me completely, allowing me to do with it as I will.
Holy, holy CRAP! I was ecstatic. After seven long years of thinking about it, seven years of me not losing enthusiasm over it, I am finally able to do it. Im extremely grateful to Adam for letting me have a go with it. I gotta say, Adam, its very much appreciated, and Im very grateful.
Definitely it cannot be our Rizal, but an alternate one. It also cannot be our Philippines, but an alternate one. Its an issue that will certainly be tackled through the course of telling the story. But I am trying very hard to be faithful to who the real Jose Rizal is. I cannot do anything that will violate any characteristics that he was known to have, good or bad.
I will be celebrating Jose Rizal as a true Filipino hero, in ways weve never imagined, but perfectly consistent with who he was a real person and human being.