Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Introduction to KomikSerye: A Pinoy Komiks

KomikSerye
Girly Tips - KomikSerye is an online animated Pinoy komiks (Filipino comics) strip. The strip is very popular among upper to middle-class millennials. It is also widely followed by workers in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. It was created in December 2015 by Lucrecio Escariote. The story revolves around the lives of three girlfriends; Abigail Matute, Angela Strohm, and Selina Bravo. Supporting and recurring characters also appear in the strip, composed mainly of colleagues and friends.
Abigail Matute of Girly Tips - KomikSerye
Abigail Matute
Angela Strohm of Girly Tips - KomikSerye
Angela Strohm
Selina Bravo of Girly Tips - KomikSerye
Selina Bravo
Most characters and situations in the strip are fictional in nature. Although, some allusions to actual people occur in some episodes. The main location of the story is around the fictional version of the City of Paranaque. This is also where the office of the partly-fictional company Idlecombe IT Solutions is based. Idlecombe is an actual (but non-operational) company listed with the Department of Trade and Industry. Most locations used in the strips are also fictional; like The Mamba, where the girls usually spend their weekend nights. Majority of characters and settings in KomikSerye are drawn and created using the online cartoon generator, Bitstrips. In July 2016, an Instagram account was created.


INITIAL CONCEPT

In November 2015, Escariote was contemplating on writing a blog. He noted however how young people care less about written content and tend to focus more attention to memes. In December that year, he rediscovered Bitstrips; a website he once used for Facebook updates. Since he didn't have any drawing skills, Escariote figured, he could create characters using the platform and write stories for an online Pinoy komiks strip.

The first character that came up was Abby. Originally, she was supposed to personify a freestyling, easy-go-lucky brat. It was later decided to just make her in the mold of a Chrissy Snow of Three's Company. Angie and Selina then followed shortly after, Other characters were created to revolve around the lives and career of the three characters.

Social media accounts were created for campaign support. A KomikSerye Facebook page was opened in December. Followed by Google+ and  Twitter accounts. A Girly Tips - KomikSerye YouTube channel was also established for the purpose of hosting all the strips and teasers.
Girly Tips - KomikSerye Teaser on YouTube

Teaser pics were posted on social media accounts in late December 2015. During this time, Escariote was already creating content for the pilot episode. The first video teaser was posted on YouTube on December 29, 2015. It opens with the words "Girl Power is Back" and with New Order's "Thieves Like Us" drum intro playing in the background. And it closes with an announcement of the first release in January 2016. On that same day, the much shorter and controversial "Undies Teaser" was also posted. The pics were originally intended as the intro for a backstory on Selina's past. But, Escariote decided to put that project off for special episode in the future.


THE STRIPS

The Pilot

As promised, Escariote came out with the pilot strip, titled The Interview, on 3 January 2016. The story covered Abby's final interview at Idlecombe Solutions. The entire episode is 3:43 long. It features three other characters from the human resources department of the company. Martina Chavez, the HR Assistant; Sebastian Pastrana, the Recruitment Specialist; and the creepy HR Manager, Tristan Saludes.


Second and Third Full-Strips

The second episode is titled Flirtations, and was released on 22 January 2016. The location of the episode is at The Mamaba; the favourite hang-out of the girls. Angie and Selina -and their personalities- are introduced in this episode. In this episode they exhibit strong contempt towards Saludes. Dennis Guzman also makes his first appearance towards the end of the strip. He eventually becomes the love interest of Abby in future episodes. "Cars and Girls" by Prefab Sprout plays in the background inside the Mamba.

The third strip was released on Valentine's Day 2016, and is aptly tiltled, The Date. The episode revolves around Abby and Dennis' plans for the night. The location is inside the pad of the girls. The background music is "There She Goes" by The La's.

Idlecombe TVC

On 18 March 2016, KomikSerye created an ad for Idlecombe Solutions, titled "You Already Have A Website?". Escariote displayed his talent in music by creating the background with DJ Akolero.

Single Strips

Moka Poks of Girly Tips - KomikSerye
Moka Poks
By mid-March 2016, Escariote became embroiled physically and mentally in the heated political campaign during the general elections, and was unable to concentrate on the next strips. He was passionately involved in the online activities on his chosen candidates and poured much of his resources into the endeavor of writing blogs and creating memes. It was at this time when he decided to do single-page strips. He called the Girly Tips - KomikSerye Single Strips. The strips generally express politically charged humour; an obvious offshoot of the elections and its results. The strips would sometimes feature characters that represent real individuals in daffy situations.

New personas have also been created for no initial specific roles. These were introduced to the series as extras; often as laughing backdrops. From the series a new character, Moka Poks emerged. She is the parody character of the insanely popular pseudo-blogger, Mocha Uson. Moka is poised to be a recurring, but influential character in the Komiks series. It is also projected she would have her own full-strip exposure in the very near future. To enhance the parody, Moka Poks Blog was established on 2 July 2016. Blogger suspended the blog-site immediately after some unknown parties falsely reported it. But, after appeals were made, it was re-instated on 6 July 2016.

Snapchat Buys Bitstrips

Bitstrips Announcement Girly Tips - KomikSerye
July 2016, Snapchat shuts Bitstrips down
In early 2016, the character generator used to create all of the persona in KomikSerye, Bitstrips, was acquired by Snapchat for a whopping $100 million. And in July of the same year, Bitstrips was officially shut down. The company instead, decided to concentrate on its other subsidiary, Bitmoji.

The turn of events was devastating to Escariote and KomikSerye. Without a cartoon generator, there won't be any strips; not even SingleStrips. In its short statement posted on the landing-page, BitStrips announced that all characters can be downloaded in the near future. The situation opened another opportunity for the series to evolve.

TEXTSERYE

TextSerye was conceived in August 2016, after Snapchat decided to discontinue its Bitstrips business. The new series is a spin-off using the same characters in the previous incarnations. The concept is very simple: Two characters engaged in a short, but funny text exchange. The topics covered are as varied in the previous series.

45 comments:

  1. The first strip really got my attention.

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  2. Loved the last episode!
    "Some things hurt more much more than cars and girls."

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  3. Just discovered this. And, I'm totally loving it!

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  4. I just watched the new strip. Bitin...

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  5. Is there a specific schedule you follow in releasing episodes?

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    Replies
    1. That is the idea. We are just starting, and schedules need to be sorted out. Thanks!

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  6. Replies
    1. Oh yes. We're transitioning to a different concept called TextSerye. We hope you enjoy that as well.

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  7. Replies
    1. No.
      La la la... I la la luv YOU!
      :)

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  8. Replies
    1. Sorry dear. We will be coming out with a concept not so different from the one you're loving.

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  9. I'm trying to enjoy this while it lasts.

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  10. Replies
    1. We're hoping to have a positive development with the Bitstrips situation. There is a slim chance.

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  11. Some characters are creepily funny.

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  12. SingleStrips is cool!

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  13. Where's TextSerye?

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  14. I just love Girly Tips - KomikSerye!

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  15. There should be more strips, right?

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