juris go of jan­jan comics

Artist Juris Go doc­u­ments Filipino life­style and hu­mor through min­i­mal­ist (and viral) comic strips


IT ALL STARTED with a meme. nd we mil­len­ni­als all know this meme’s source ma­te­rial by heart—a somber Derek Ram­say, a thief il­le­gally record­ing a lm show­ing in a the­ater, a woman squeal­ing in sur­prise when the toma­toes she’s hold­ing are knocked out of her hands by the run­ning fugitive. In­tense, but laugh­able and un­nec­es­sary drama. Pare, pulis ako.

When this lo­cal phe­nom­e­non of an anti-piracy ad­ver­tise­ment began gain­ing more trac­tion on­line thanks to mul­ti­ple Pho­to­shopped memes, artist uris Go seized the op­por­tu­nity and cooked up a piece for , Jan­jan Comics, his weekly we­b­comic se­ries. am­a­tis is a four-panel comic cen­tered on the woman’s odd lack of a plas­tic bag for those iconic spilled few days later, which was around the time the Philip­pines hosted the Miss Uni­verse pageant, uris re­leased another comic ti­tled dvo­cacy, which clev­erly merged el­e­ments of the Derek Ram­say anti-piracy ad with the Miss Uni­verse hype.

Jan­jan Comics blew up on­line af­ter that. The se­ries fol­lows the ad­ven­tures of orig­i­nal char­ac­ter an­jan as he goes through the av­er­age Filipino day we’re all too fa­mil­iar with—tak­ing a full MRT train, fac­ing crit­i­cal ti­tas dur­ing fam­ily re­unions, get­ting stuck in DS traf c. I was sur­prised af­ter it went viral . I’m very thank­ful, be­cause be­fore the am­a­tis thing hap­pened, I had trouble get­ting an au­di­ence, uris says. I’m glad that there are now peo­ple who look for­ward to my comic and I am more mo­ti­vated to make them.

Juris has been draw­ing since he was ve years old. Back in high school, he joined art com­pe­ti­tions and con­tin­ued to hone his talent for draw­ing up un­til his days in De La Salle Univer­sity, where he took part in cre­ative or­ga­ni­za­tions like Malate Lit­er­ary Fo­lio and Green Me­dia Group. nime se­ries such as Dragon Ball, Ghost Fighter , and Poké­mon in uenced him through­out his child­hood. uris was also ex­posed to the aes­thetic and hu­mor of Tum­blr, of which he was an ac­tive user in col­lege.

Jan­jan Comics started in Novem­ber 201 af­ter uris got ahold of a sty­lus and the Taya­sui Sketches app. He even­tu­ally de­cided to go full-on dig­i­tal. hat makes his we­b­comic so ap­peal­ing to the Filipino and mil­len­nial au­di­ence is its re­lat­able lo­cal ( and some­times pop) cul­ture ref­er­ences. uris’s sim­ple, col­or­ful art style and use of lan­guage make his

comics easy to di­gest and wildly sharable on so­cial me­dia. The char­ac­ter of an­jan him­self—which uris shares is a re ec­tion of his in­ner cu­ri­ous, in­no­cent, and hon­est child—is an adorable pro­tag­o­nist that the av­er­age mid­dle-class Filipino can eas­ily iden­tify with.

On his com­mand of Filipino hu­mor, uris says, Filipinos are wit­tier. I think our cul­ture has a higher stan­dard of funny our hu­mor is so good. I guess that’s what hap­pens when your coun­try’s me­dian age is 22. It’s ex­plod­ing with jokes ev­ery­where that no other peo­ple on arth could un­der­stand. I al­most feel sad that they’re not in on the fun we’re hav­ing.

The world of we­b­comics it­self is slowly be­gin­ning to ex­pand here in the Philip­pines, with the likes of artists Rob ham, Hu­lyen, and sshulz cre­at­ing dis­tinctly Filipino art. uris has earned him­self a top spot in the lo­cal scene thanks to his widely spread work. It’s awe­some. There are so many lo­cal comics now and it makes me happy that we’re cre­at­ing our own cul­ture. I see a bright fu­ture for us, he says. I’m ac­tu­ally a fan of Hu­lyen’s Ugh se­ries. They are so pre­cious, of­fen­sive, yet sin­cere. Be­fore I started mak­ing , I read an is­sue of about Rob ham’s suc­cess and it gave me the push to make my own comic.

The heart and soul of , ac­cord­ing to uris, is ac­tu­ally his own ev­ery­day ex­pe­ri­ences, no mat­ter how av­er­age they may seem. One doesn’t need to lead a spec­tac­u­lar life to cre­ate ex­tra­or­di­nary out­put. nd we see it in uris’s funny but hon­est work. His tips to the aspiring car­toon­ist? Be pos­i­tive and live in the mo­ment.

reativ­ity is a mus­cle. The more you do it, the bet­ter you are at it. Hav­ing a reg­u­lar sched­ule for is one of those things that keeps me think­ing of sto­ries to share, says uris. Stay­ing cre­ative is ba­si­cally just be­ing in the mo­ment. The more I ex­pe­ri­ence life, the more life there is in my art. That means go­ing out with loved ones, hav­ing time for my­self, hav­ing a healthy work-life bal­ance, and em­brac­ing cir­cum­stances I’m given.

“Filipinos are wit­tier. I think our cul­ture has a higher stan­dard of funny. I guess that’s what hap­pens when your coun­try’s me­dian age is 22.”

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