Posted August 30, 2015 by Luigi Cabrera in Comics

Adam David and Rob Cham on the RISE

Adam David (Abangan: The Best Philippine Komiks 2014, Ang Huling El Bimbo) and Rob Cham (Abangan: The Best Philippine Komiks 2014Sad Comics For Dirty Lovers, Light) worked together to bring us a comic that strays from what is usually out there.

[CHECK OUT… ABANGAN! Adam David about Komiks atbp]

Rise, which can be read from Highchair, is a silent comic that tells the story of the tenants of a condominium floor. Each room has its own story as well as the corridors that connect them. Though the people are separated by the building’s walls, each of their actions has some effect to the other tenants. Still it’s interesting to see how each story and the tenants interact with each other.

One of the highlights of Rise is that even if it just focuses on one floor, there are a lot of things that is going on. Re-reading a page is a must to follow each tenant’s story and how they affect each other. Some are light-hearted and some are just dead serious. One is even adult rated. Instead of words, emoticons were used as a substitute for dialogue. The art looks like it should be a poster hanging in your room.

rise 01

Flipgeeks managed to ask the two of them about their latest collaboration and Adam willingly explained how the concept of Rise started.

“Like with a lot of things I do, RISE represents a convergence of some of my ongoing preoccupations: 1) contemporary urban living, 2) vignettes or the Pinoy short-prose form called “dagli,” 3) to write a book set inside a building, 4) to play with the form and process of the comic book page, with how we read it, how our eyes move around the panels, how creators write and draw for it, what else can be done with the comic book page that can only be done in the comic book page, and 5) I wanted to work on a book with Rob, doing something that the two of us have yet to do.” 

His answer sparked our curiosity so we asked him why Rob Cham.

Adam then told us why . “I’ve always loved his room interiors pieces, most famously the posters he did for the movie ANG NAWAWALA. He has sufficient command of the clutter and mundanity of urban life and make it look more interesting and more dynamic than it really is, which is what the project needs. He’s the Jack Kirby of condo living, in other words.”

When asked why they chose Highchair to publish their work online, Adam answered “Ah, I’m a member of High Chair. We have an ongoing feature in the journal this year, publishing our works in progress. RISE is one of my projects that not a lot of people have seen, yet, and I felt it was time we finally showed it to people. Also, publishing it as a work in progress means making a promise to continue and finish the whole book soon.” He also let it slip that Rise will have a total of 36 pages, so we can expect more stories in the future.

Both of them hope that they would be able to print their story as a book once it is completed. Seeing how his silent comic Light was a thing of beauty, Rise would also probably be a hit.


Rob told us that the first part was supposed to be one off but he liked what they talked about so once Adam has the time to make more scripts for the other parts, then maybe they could make the book come to life.

Since Rise is different from other comics, we asked Rob how to read it in the best possible way.

“I mean I would think it works better in print since it’s less loading times and well, you’d be able to read it a lot faster that way plus flip back and forth to see how everything pieces together but I don’t think there’s any right way. It’s up to the reader to sort of either take it all in at once, follow a particular character/apartment but everything kind of links and I tried and sneaked in some smaller easter eggs but that’s sort of what I liked from how Adam structured it? It demands some rereads. It has small stories here and there. It’s something I haven’t really seen in comics so I definitely loved working on it.”

Rise can be read HERE.

Luigi Cabrera

Enthusiast of things geeky, weird, and random. He finds peace in writing.