Thursday, February 21

King of Komiks FV Coching Exhibit at SM Aura

SM Supermalls under the ownership of SM Prime Holdings has been the home of both international and local art scenes. For many years, SM Malls have been featuring many forms of arts from, music, dances, fashion, culinary and visual arts that are socially relevant and geared towards the promotions of nationalism and global awareness.

Today, I am one of the few lucky media partners to be invited at the launching of Francisco V. Coching's Centennial Exhibit which is now open for public until February 24 at the Atrium in SM Aura Premier.

SM Aura Premier, with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, presents National Artist for Visual Arts and King of Comics: Francisco V. Coching's Centennial Exhibit.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was headed by no less than Miss Universe 1973       Ms. Margie Moran together with Coching's family, SM Malls and Vibal executives.

The exhibit features original artworks, Unang Labas komiks spreads, and life-size reproductions of his most popular characters and works. This event is perfect for anyone who wishes to see nostalgic comic artwork from way back in the 1930’s.

Who is Francisco V. Coching and why is he called the “King of Komiks”?

Francisco V. Coching is dubbed as the King of Komiks of the Philippines and he was posthumously recognized as a National Artist for Visual Arts. He is also considered as the “dean of Filipino Illustrators” through his artistic influence that reflects a generation’s aspirations and social ideals relevant to his time and made to depict the sentiments that echoed patriotism.

As the son of a novelist Gregorio Coching, Francisco was already exposed to publishing and started working at Liwayway Magazine where he met Tony Velasquez, the man behind “Kenkoy”. This incident fueled his interest in comics and became an apprentice of Velasquez in illustration arts. At 15, he had his first comic story published in Silahis Magazine.

His first comic work entitled “Bing Bigotilyo” in 1934 was inspired by Velasquez’s “Kenkoy” but Coching geared towards targeting his own age group as audience where he casually injects humor through jokes and hilarious stories that he would often share among his peers.

Just after a year, Coching has significantly honed his craft and began pushing his imaginations by working on melodramatic action-oriented stories. In 193, he began bringing to life a warrior woman heroine through his comic illustrations and story “Mara-Bini, Marahas na Binibini). His poetic side came up with lines that are deeper and illustrations that are powerfully animated.

Coching mirrored in his works in Sagisag ng Lahing Pilipino and Lapu-Lapu, the social issues of the Philippine colonial society where racial and social class conflicts triggered his patriotism. As a guerilla war veteran during the Japanese occupation, Coching reflects his sentiments during this time and went on creating comic stories during the post war. He managed to shift his characters and settings in the 50s and 60s to a more urbane that depicts the changing times which showed in his works such as Gigolo, Maldita, Talipandas and Pusakal.

His imagination and creativity dramatically propelled him to create legendary stories and characters such as Haring Ulopong, Hagibis, Pedro Penduko and the legendary Thor which was published a year ahead before Stan Lee take on the character.

From the day he started his comic career in 1934, Coching was a significant persona in honing the art form of comics. He is an integral part of the ‘golden age of Filipino comics’ in the 50s and 60s until he retied in 1973. His iconic works have fascinated the reading public during those times and inspired a lot of artists, writers and cartoonists up to this day.

SM Aura Celebrates the Life and Works of National Artist for Visual Arts Francisco V. Coching in a Public Exhibit

Celebrating the King of Komiks 100th birth anniversary, SM Aura Premier pays tribute to F. V. Coching through an exhibit that will feature his works, actual illustrations and life size characters.

This exhibit also shows glimpses of the creative process where exhibit goers can take a peek at the vivid imagination and exemplary creativity of Coching proving his mastery of the art in creating Filipino comic classics. 

*Pinoy komiks have been an integral part of Filipino culture. I still remember the good old days when you can rent to read a comic magazine in stands. Although the digital age has changed how illustrations and comic books look like, but there’s nothing more gratifying than to hold a classic comic book in your hands for a comics aficionado like me.

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