Fan­tasy 101

FHM (Philippines) - - Contents -

Arnold Arre was des­tined to be an artist—or at least that’s what he had set his mind to at a very young age. But ac­cord­ing to the famed il­lus­tra­tor, he wasn’t the orig­i­nal cre­ative in the fam­ily.

“It was my older brother who knew how to draw. I would sit be­side him and copy his draw­ings. Then later on, he fell in love with Math, Science, and Physics and com­pletely for­got about draw­ing, so I be­came the artist of the fam­ily,” Arre says. A few years af­ter grad­u­at­ing with a de­gree in Fine Arts from the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines, he be­gan work on a graphic novel that would even­tu­ally de­fine his art.

The Mythol­ogy Class is about a group of friends brought into a world of ad­ven­ture and Pi­noy folk­lore. “They're based on peo­ple I knew in col­lege,” Arre ad­mits. The Mythol­ogy Class was orig­i­nally pub­lished in four is­sues but was col­lected and reis­sued by Nau­tilus Comics.

Arre re­calls that at about the same time he was work­ing on it, his con­tem­po­raries were also pro­duc­ing comics about Filipino su­per­heroes and some of them would in­ject Philip­pine mythol­ogy into their sto­ries–but only as fillers.

“I was look­ing for some­thing that was more in-depth. The rea­son why I made The Mythol­ogy Class was be­cause I wanted to read a book about Philip­pine mythol­ogy. I also thought that it was about time to mod­ern­ize our folk­lore so the younger gen­er­a­tion would be ex­posed to it,” Arre says.

Fast for­ward to this year and Arre is at work on a se­quel and a new graphic novel called Busi­lak.

Of­fi­cially ti­tled The Mythol­ogy Class Book Two: The Chil­dren of Bathala. It is darker, ma­ture, and more se­ri­ous, but he as­sures us that it will still have the same DNA as the first book. “The story is in the present day, so the char­ac­ters are older and some of them are look­ing back at what hap­pened to them, and they don't feel com­fort­able with it. Al­though some have ac­cepted their fate, some ac­tu­ally felt trau­ma­tized. That's go­ing to be the con­flict be­tween the barkada,” Arre ex­plains. His tar­get for re­lease will be late 2018.

As for Busi­lak, Arre de­scribes this new graphic novel as high fan­tasy. “The plot of this novel would be that en­gkan­tos and hu­mans are liv­ing in har­mony un­til po­lit­i­cal un­rest threat­ens to de­stroy their peace,” Arre says. Al­though he al­ready put in more than 400 pages for Busi­lak, there’s still no def­i­nite re­lease for this project yet.

Ex­pect news on both through Arnold’s Face­book ac­count since he oc­ca­sion­ally posts new comic cells from the novel. “I'm very ac­tive on so­cial me­dia and I like en­ter­tain­ing my friends and fol­low­ers by post­ing an art­work. It’s nice when­ever they would say that it made their day.”

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