Posted November 9, 2017 by Drew Bagay in Comics

LET’S TALK KOMIKS: Gerry Alanguilan Gives the Rundown on ‘Bakokak’

Welcome to Let’s Talk Komiks, a regular series where we interview local comic book creators about their works and upcoming projects, among other things.

This is part 2 of our interview with the creators of Bakokak, a comic book about giant frog terrorizing a city. You can read our interview with artist Kevin Ray Valentino here. In this edition, we talked with legendary comic book creator and  writer Gerry Alanguilan.

Bakokak-coverFlipGeeks: What is Bakokak?

Gerry Alanguilan: Bakokak is my next major comic book project which I am writing and Kevin Ray Valentino is illustrating. It’s a one shot story told in 80 pages. It’s basically a disaster movie in comic book form, featuring a giant frog.

When did you get the initial idea of it?

Watching the local version of “Supergirl” featuring Pinky Montilla in the title role when I was a child sparked a fascination with big monster movies. This one had a giant frog in it which terrorized a local town. It just blew my mind. That image of actor Ike Lozada clutching new slippers he was holding in his hands because he didn’t want to sully them and then he gets stepped on by the frog was an indelible memory.

What made you want to create this story, featuring a frog monster specifically?

Seeing Carlo Vergara feature a giant frog in ZsaZsa Zaturnnah jolted this memory in my mind and every since then I wanted to do my own monster comic book featuring a giant frog. And just the giant frog.

What sort of research have you done for the story?

Very minimal. It’s pure fantasy. It’s a fantasy version of a frog that has really no basis in reality or scientific fact. Kevin did a lot of research though, because he needed it to come up with a good frog design and since Bakokak is set in Manila, he also did some visual research so that the setting would look like Manila.

Is the story all focused on this monster or are there people in play as well? Who are the main characters?

There are human characters, but they do take a backseat to the frog. There is a connection to an earlier comic book I made though – Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby. The military facility in Bakokak is part of the military facility featured in Rodski.

When you wrote Bakokak, did you draw thumbnails?

Very rough thumbnails. As in very rough. Kevin and I met regularly to discuss the thumbnails to let him know what happens in every page.

Who is Kevin Ray Valentino?

He is a young artist who is a member of the Komikero Artists Group. I think I’ve known Kevin for a good 8 years now so I met him when he was really young. I found it fascinating to see him develop into an artist of great potential in the years I knew him. He previously created his own comic books like Starchild and Jaganath.

RELATED: LET’S TALK KOMIKS: Kevin Ray Valentino Talks ‘Bakokak’

There are so many talented artists, but how/why did you choose Valentino? If Valentino wasn’t interested/available for this project who was your back up artist?

I don’t remember it actually. A few years ago I got in touch with a few other artists to see if they would be interested in working with me. Most of them responded positively and time willing, those projects will eventually come to fruition. One of the projects that got the earliest go signal was the one with Kevin. I think that’s because I already had a story fully formed in my head and Kevin was willing to invest the time and effort to do it.

Did Valentino suggest anything to supplement Bakokak?

Sure! I was pretty open to his suggestions. He would suggest new scenes that expanded existing ones and if they made sense to me, I let them in.

You’ve collaborated with many talented artists, were there things that you learned from them that helped you in making this story?

I guess I learned to just fit the story somehow to the artist’s style. I don’t know if I’ve been successful with that with Kevin, but all I know is that those pages look really good!


Kevin Ray Valentino and Gerry Alanguilan.

Being the writer is already tough, but I assume you also edited Bakokak. How was editing the book like?

Editing can be tedious. Actually, my wife Ilyn helps out a lot in editing as well. I need a second set of eyes to check the dialogue for errors in grammar and spelling,nd she has caught a lot that I missed.

Was there any art that you wanted to revise from Valentino?

Just minor stuff here and there. I remember one panel where an image seemed a little too phallic in nature that I asked him to revise it. I just pretty much left him alone to do what he wanted.

From start to finish, how long was this project?

OMG, I think I started thinking seriously about it in 2014 so that’s three years from conception to finish.

Between writing and drawing, which one do you like more? Which one is more comfortable to you?

I really like writing. Sometimes I find drawing a bit tedious. It’s my own damned fault because I tend to put in a lot of details. I generally enjoy doing that, but there are days that I look at the page and I’m like, holy crap, I need a break.

What’s your favorite thing about writing than drawing?

It’s different with writing. I never get sleepy when I write, as I often get when I’ve been drawing for too long. No mater how long I wrote, I never get tired or sleepy. I tend to get really lost in the telling of the story. Ilyn has to tell me to stop and take a break.

Do you see frogs as pests or pets?

I don’t consider them pests. I also don’t want them for pets. I just want them to be there, hang around and chill, make that croaking noise when it rains. I really like frogs. I don’t mind if there’s a colony of them in our garden. But I don’t consider them precious. Because you know, I tend to eat them from time to time. The edible ones anyway.

And finally, why should everyone pick up Bakokak?

Well, I wouldn’t say everyone should pick it up. They can pick it up only if they want to and if they want to enjoy a crazy giant frog story terrorizing Manila. It’s not all fun and games though, as people will see when they read it.

Bakokak by Gerry Alanguilan and Kevin Ray Valentino is set to debut at Komikon 2017 on Novemeber 11 and 12.


Drew Bagay

Drew is a lover of comic books, movies, and all things pop culture. He enjoys crime/thriller/noir fiction, playing the guitar, and taking long walks. He also doesn't like talking in third person.