The other day I mentioned how Dover Books is bringing back a bunch of out of print graphic novels including Puma Blues and A Sailor’s Story.
Well, you can add one more book to that list.
I’m thrilled to be able to announce that Dover is reprinting a new edition of Secret Teachings of a Comic Book Master: The Art of Alfredo Alcala by myself and Philip Yeh. The original edition, published in 1994 by IHAC, including Phil’s tales of his friendship with Alfredo and learning about the tradition of Filipino comics from him. My part of the book was a lengthy interview with Alfredo in which he analyzed pages from his incredible Voltar project, talking about storytelling, art history, philosophy and much more. Doing the interviews for the book was an amazing experience, and one that I think of often. Alfredo was a truly memorable person with an encyclopedic knowledge of all kinds of art and music, and he lived a life that could have been a comic book all in itself from his boyhood during World War II (he did some spying for the US thanks to his photographic memory), to his part in the “Filipino Invasion” in comics of the 70s.
This new edition is being done with the full cooperation of the Alcala family, Phil Yeh and myself. We’re discussing the possibility of updating it with some new material, and I’ll keep everyone posted on that.
This is actually the only book I’ve ever written, and I’m excited to see it back in print for that reason, But even more so, it’s so gratifying to know that the story of Alfredo Alcala and his art will be available to the new generation of comics artists and enthusiasts. The Pinoy Komiks tradition isn’t as well known as it should be, and hopefully this book will help change that a little. And also remind people of Alfredo’s mind boggling talent.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.