Comics Dude
by Christine C. Rivero
Junior Inquirer - February 24, 2001

Writer-illustrator Arnold Arre explains why he really, totally, absolutely HAD to go into comics.

A comics dude wakes up one day wanting very badly to do two things - 1) draw and 2) write a story. "When I was a kid, I knew what I wanted to do," says 29-year-old comics dude Arnold Arre. "I wanted to draw, thats for sure."

Then while working as an artist at an ad agency, Arnold realized, "There were tons of stories inside me that I couldn't really show through advertising." Several splashes of ink on white paper later, Arnold decided to dreate his own comic books.

Catch an engkanto, become an all-Pinoy her

"If you really love comics, there's no way you can stay away from them," Arnold begins. It all started way back when he was 7 years old.

"I kinda stole comics from my brother," he admits, wincing. While he was doing this veerrry bad thing (you know you shouldn't take things without permission Arnold! hehe), Arnold ended up reading the comic books. "It wasn't anything like reading a book," he recalls, "it wasn't anything like watching a movie either. It was somewhere in between, really a mixture of the two!"

From then on, Arnold was hooked. "I started making my own comic books," he says. He enjoyed fantasy, science fiction and happy endings -- "I love doing happy endings," Arnold chortles -- so his comics featured all of that and more.

"Even when I was a kid, if I tried to do sci-fi, I would try to introduce a Filipino character," he explains, "like a guy who used to drive a jeepney is now riding a spaceship. Something like that."

Arnold never lost that "Filipino feel" in all his comic book stories. In fact, his first big comic book, Mythology Class, had a barkada of Pinoy college students working to save the country from rogue engkantos and a mean, mean bunch of aswangs.Know what? Mythology Class won an award for "Best Comic Book" in last year's National Book Awards.

"It's nationalistic in a way," says Arnold, "but I also wanted people to be comfortale with my stories to be themselves and pretty much enjoy what they read."