Black Ink is among the imprints of Precious Pages Corporation. It was October 2012 when we released our first eight comic books at the Komikon event. Then, on January 2013 we officially released our thirteen books on several bookstores. The thirteen books are entitled: Animen (Book One and Two), My Midnight (Trilogy), Hands of the Dragon (Book One), Vergil: The Warrior Angel (Book One), The Reaper (Book One), Pepe: The Lost Years of Rizal (Book One), Fairy Tails (SHORTCUTS), Two Comic Anthology (SHORTCUTS) and Manga Style Anthology (SHORTCUTS).
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1. Precious Pages is well known for publishing “Precious Hearts Romances,” a very popular and very successful line of Tagalog romance pocketbooks. What made them decide to enter comics, which admittedly can be a very risky business nowadays for big publishers?
Precious Pages Corporation has been involved in the field of promoting reading advocacy for over twenty years. It does not only publish Tagalog romance novels. It also publishes children’s books, cookbooks, licensed graphic novels, and puzzles. It is not really a big decision for the company to join the comics industry. We noticed the numerous attempts of other publishers and self-published authors and illustrators to revive the comics industry, so, why not take part in it?
Twenty-two years ago, the publisher also took risk in publishing Tagalog romance novels with more than twenty other publishers as competitors, so why not publish something that he had loved and missed so much. After all, he belongs to the generation of the golden age of komiks and it saddened him when komiks gradually disappeared from the newsstands.
2. Black Ink presents a departure from the traditional format of mainsteam Pinoy komiks of anthologies with different writers and artists in one issue. You decided to use a more compact format, which may be considered as the graphic novel format with a single team of creators for either one book or series of books. What made you decide to use this format?
We did not intend to use a specific format. It just so happened that the first releases were in the graphic novel format. Our concern is more on the content.
3. What were your considerations in choosing the writers and artists for your books?
As long as the story—be it short, serialized, or a sixty-page novel—is worth publishing, from a new or veteran comic’s writers, then Black Ink will publish it. With regards to the illustrators, we believe that Filipinos are good comic’s illustrators so we welcome illustrators who are willing to work for us and find an outlet for their talents. The illustrators come to us based on recommendations; others answer our announcements. Once we give a project to an illustrator, they have to give studies of the characters in the approved stories for approval.
4. Is there a preference for any specific genre or stories or do you allow your creators to explore any genre they wish be it fantasy, sci fi, drama, crime, etc?
Black Ink wishes to present stories in a wide variety of genres, including romance, horror, superheroes, fantasy, comedy, fairy tales, historical, adventure, etc.
5. What do you hope the impact of Black Ink will have in the current komiks industry?
We are aware how the industry decades ago are different from the industry today, yet we still hope to make a contribution, in our own way, to help revive the industry. But Black Ink cannot do it alone. It is a collective effort.