Posted December 6, 2014 by Norby Ela in Comics

LET’S TALK KOMIKS: What’s inside Jemuel Bernaldez & Rai Villanueva?

This time we got to talk to the creators of the local komiks, Inside EdithJemuel Bernaldez and Rai Villanueva.  We’ve discussed interesting input about the book and their background.

Inside Edith Cover_0

FLIPGEEKS: Tell me about yourselves in a short bit. How’d you get into comics? How’d you two meet?
JEMUEL BERNALDEZ: I’m a Senior Texture artist working at The Studio of Secret 6 inc.

I got into comics way back when I was still in grade school I think. It was through a great college professor of mine (whom I’ll forever owe for expanding my mind in the world of comics) that I got really into it.

Simply enough, we both met in the office, haha.
RAI  VILLANUEVA: I was a newbie 2D artist at the studio when I met Jem, already archiving a bunch of dead or incomplete stories I’d made in the past. It was because of him that I got to focus on writing again.

Comics? I’m more of a book reader, but I got into Archie and the old X-Men when I was younger, and then manga which may have narrowed my comic experience (as I was set on certain specific fandoms *cough*). I recently expanded my reading list again through Jem here though, so my soul could be redeemed.

About Inside Edith, other than the synopsis, could you please tell us more about the comic?
It’s basically a body horror story, like them Junji Ito stuff.
RAI: Umm, yeah. Body horror. With research. Like certain abnormalities… except weirder. I’m horrible at explaining, but basically, the beginning of the story is based off stuff that can actually happen to your body. It isn’t one specific thing, but we drew from one or two actual conditions.
JEM: Yeah what she said. Hahaha.

[Check out… KOMIKS PREVIEW: Inside Edith #1]

From my presumption basing it on the given synopsis, have you both gone near-death experiences? Is this your first comic both working together? Have you both worked in the past with different collaborative/solo work?
It is our first project together, I have worked with a previous writer during college. But sadly the comic wouldn’t see the light of day. It’s a shame because I thought it was awesome.

Nothing much on the near death. but I did have a bad trip one. *Shhhhh.
RAI: On near death experiences– nope, I think we’ve been relatively safe and coddled (well, unless you count scary car rides.) The idea came from a dream. I think one of the later parts has the dream exactly as it happened…
JEM: This just means we still have a lot of work to do, haha.

How many issues is Inside Edith? How’s your experience working with a collaborator? And how is the experience now?

JEM: Like every project, the fun part’s always the beginning where we throw in all those cool ideas and references that we could use, the middle part is the struggle. Juggling between work and life and friends, I had to be a hermit for a few months, haha. Thank god for coffee and vodka
RAI: It’s six issues in theory. Hmm… I like working with a collaborator, especially when I admire their work. And agreed! The talking and discussing part is fun!


Have there been any arguments during the making of the comic?
Not much besides the time where we talked about helping each other out in the process, haha. And I think that’s healthy because we get to be honest about each other about our work.

Since we both work in the same company, we understand what we’ve been through every work week. And it says a lot if we just openly say that we can’t handle this part right now this weekend etc.
RAI: Not arguments, per se. But there were times Jem had to drag me by the collar to get work done. Oops? Hahaha.
JEM: More like carry you to get work done
RAI: Zzz.

Why make a horror comic?
I’ve always wanted to make a horror comic at some point. This is going back from me being engrossed in a lot of HELLBOY, HELLBLAZER and tons of Horror manga.

And the art style lies within my comfort zone for now because I’m planning to do my next project in a really different style.
RAI: Oo, horror manga! (Spirals)

Horror — because I like telling that kind of story. There’s really so much about the realm that we could still explore and learn from. Maybe human fear is inexhaustible? Is it weird if I say creepy gets me kilig?

What do you think on what kind of genre is the local scene is in these days?
JEM: From what I’ve seen, Trese started making our Philippine mythologies cool again (I’m not really that into the local scene, besides some Pugad Baboy and Kikomachine) and I just seem to notice that’s the thing on it now. And I think it’s awesome that they were able to get those stories out. And I really think Studio Salimbal got the right people to wave the flag.
RAI: Well, yeah, actually we do refurbish and regurgitate a lot of Filipino mythology (I find our myths pre-etty awesome anyway) and that’s cool. I’m glad we’re looking into our own culture and experiences this way.  There’s so much to be proud of, and a lot of interpretation and recreation that we can continue to share with each other.


What comic books/books do you read?
JEM: Currently into SEX CRIMINALS and SAGA. And just recently, an officemate of mine (and seriously an awesome illustrator) lent me some other great books to read the french comic BEAUTY by illustrated by the amazing husband and wife team KERASCOET (currently one of my best reads this year).

There’s also this web comic by a french cartoonist BOULET, you might recognise his works on his
famous DARKNESS mini comic. And lastly, the forever amazing master of eerie nostalgic horror EMILY CARROLL’s THROUGH THE WOODS
RAI: Saga, some Emily Carroll and Blacksad are on my currents right now, but I’m planning on diving into my other collections too sometime.

Who were the people that you were looking upto while making this comic?
Sean Phillips is my major influence on this. his control of gritty noir black and whites are just astounding. and of course Junji Ito’s works as well.
RAI: I trusted a lot of Jem’s comic knowledge on this piece, and I was constantly looking at Junji Ito’s works the most during this time.

I gotta say that you both are awesome friends to have. With kind hearts, give us some other reason on why we should get your book?
Ummm… there’s a butt on the cover…
JEM: A wrinkly one…
RAI: Jem worked really hard on the butt.

No but really, we’re dedicating this to our other friend, who recently went through a big big surgery! Just some love and support all ‘round.
JEM: Yeah, because we probably just spend it all on booze and stuff our parents warned us about. Haha!

Norby Ela

Now residing in San Diego, CA, I strive to work in art and further grow FlipGeeks around the world.