Posted November 7, 2014 by GP Manalo in Comics

LET’S TALK KOMIKS: Bringing a Song to Life with Gab Chee Kee

10599578_10152592929093300_537451863290443998_nLike a superhero, Gab Chee Kee wears two different masks; a comic book writer  by day,  and a songwriting guitarist family man by night. You may know him for being the rhythm guitarist of the nation-famed rock band – Parokya Ni Edgar but right now he is making a name for himself in the komiks scene as he brings his band’s famous song to life in komiks form, “Mang Jose” and his upcoming project “Tanod“.

Flipgeeks was able to sit down with Gab to talk about the progression and future of his upcoming projects, working with talented artists, and his heroes.

FLIPGEEKS: Who is Mang Jose? because Mang Jose was featured in your band’s song so was it really meant to be just a song or a comic book character that was meanwhile turned into a song?
Mang Jose, as the song states, is a superohero for hire. No job is too little for him. The reason for charging for his services goes deeper than financial gain though.

It was meant to be a song. Ace Enriquez and I just thought it could be cool to develop the lore of Mang Jose.

[Check out… KOMIKS REVIEW: eJuan and Tanod]

You gave away a preview issue of Mang Jose during a past event. What feedback did you get?  Is your audience from the music scene different from your now audience in the komiks scene?
Didn’t get much feedback except that it was “nakakabitin” which was what we were going for. Hehe. I don’t think there’s much of a difference between those types of audiences. These people come to enjoy our work mapa music o komiks. So, same same.


So, was the script already finished then or were you still not done at that time?
There really was a plan to write the Mang Jose comic. We made the teaser as an advertisement. The first issue we’re releasing is a continuation of that.

At the time, the script wasn’t fully finished yet.

In connection to that, what is it like working with Ace Enriquez? Did you give him a loose or a compact script during the comic’s early stages?
Penciller Ace Enriquez, inker Allan Burdeos and  I go way back so it was like being in college again. We would mostly geek out on stuff then after a while, realize that we had a comic book to finish. I gave him a specific, more compact script which was challenging for me since it was my first time writing in that format.

Tell us more about Mang Jose: Ang Superhero-ng Naniningil! #1? Do you have set a specific number of issues, and could you also tease the future of Mang Jose-verse?
There’s always a super villain. Hehe. Issue 1 shows what happens when Mang Jose takes a job. It will be 16 pages long initially. It will be black and white for now.

There isn’t a set number of issues yet. There’s not much I can say since I’m learning stuff about Mang Jose almost at the same time you are. Haha! I just hope a certain manong-ish superhero could grace one of our issues.


We heard about your other upcoming Komiks project, Tanod can you tell us all about that?
Tanod is about barangay tanods. Duh. Hehe. The first arc is about Donato.  Thinking of introducing other tanods from other barangays as well.

How is Tanod different from Mang Jose? Are they the same kind of heroes?
I don’t wanna say they’re the same but they are. Same principles, both are heroes in their own way.

Are they in the same universe?
Yes, they come from the same universe. I wouldn’t be surprised if they crossed paths.

Will there be a ‘Tanod’ song coming soon?
Who knows? There could be a song somewhere down the line.

Who are the writers that you look up to while writing Mang Jose?
My top 3 local storytellers would be Budjette Tan, Robert Magnuson and John Nano.

Sir Budjette’s Trese is my go to book whenever I need to de-clog my brain.

Robert made a comic called Poso Maximo that floored me at how  he easily conveyed the story without using words.

The characters John Nano created in Kuatro Kanto are so endearing. Parang kabarkada ko na sila.

So last question, why should we be excited about Mang Jose and Tanod?
Oh man, I dunno where to start. Both books have awesome art. Ace and Jerico Marte knocked it out of the park with the pencilling duties. Modesty aside, I believe the story is just plain fun. Both books are labors of love by their creators. It’s our love story to you, our readers.

Where will we find you in this year’s Komikon though?
Unfortunately, I won’t be at Komikon. Ugh. I know! I have a gig in Vigan of all places. There will be a booth in place though. The artists will be there to sign your comics should you want them signed.

Mang Jose: Ang Superhero-ng Naniningil! #1 and Tanod #1 are both set to debut in this year’s Komikon, November 15th! Watch out for ‘em, Flipgeeks!

By G.P. Manalo and Norby Ela

GP Manalo

G.P. Manalo is a student by day, and a resident tortured writer by night. Writing to keep him sane from all the Business School papers and presentations piling up each week.