Ramon R. Marcelino


For an ordinary reader, perhaps the name RAMON R. MARCELINO cannot be recalled. But for those who became part of the komiks history in the Philippines, his name is always remembered. He was a longtime komiks writer and prominent komiks editor.

Marcelino started his komiks career in 1951, then fresh from high school, when he became an assistant of Extra Komiks editor Edilberto Tablan. When Tablan sold the publication to ABC Publications, Marcelino became its editor.

In 1959, Marcelino, together with Tony S. VelasquezAngel Ad Santos and Clodualdo del Mundo, established the Association of Publishers and Editors of Philippine Comics Magazines (APEPCOM) in collaboration with the Catholic Laymen’s Committee for Decency (later changed to the Knights of Columbus Good Press Committee). Its declared objective was to practice self-censorship within the industry by producing “only clean, wholesome, entertaining and educational strips” in order to promote the welfare of the komiks reading public. This was actually an adoption of ACE’s “Golden Code” comics publishing editorial policy; the APEPCOM code was the Philippine equivalent of the American Comics Code Authority.

When the giant Ace Publications, Inc. collapsed in early 1960s due to a labor strike, Don Ramon Roces (its publisher) met with Tony S. Velasquez, Damy S. Velasquez, and Ramon R. Marcelino, to discuss the future of the komiks industry in the Philippines. Hence from that meeting, Graphic Arts Service, Inc. was born. The company was formally launched on August 1, 1962, with Marcelino as its editor. They had offices and a printing press in Manila and their first publication, Kislap Komiks, hit the market in September 15, 1962. By one year into operation they were publishing five komiks-magazines.

In June 1968, a major revamp on the top management of GASI was implemented by Don Ramon, who now decided that it was time to put the Roces name on GASI. Hence, Marcelino resigned from GASI to organize the new Ace Publications, Inc. After some ten years with the company, he resigned to devote his time to freelance writing and editorial consultancy jobs.

In 1978, Marcelino founded the Islas Filipinas Publishing Co., Inc., another komiks publishing company of the Roces clan under ATLAS Group of Companies. It published the oldest running comic book for kids in the Philippines, the Pilipino Funny Komiks. He would later become a production manager at the Manila Times.

Marcelino remained writer throughout. He was the creator of the komiks character “Cleopakwak” which was adapted into movie in 1968 and featured in ABS-CBN’s Komiks Presents in 2006. He was the screenwriter of the movie “Bakekang” by Carlo J. Caparas in 1978. He also wrote a book about the history of Roces family and their komiks publishing business in the Philippines and made some books and reading materials about komiks scriptwriting. He was the editor of the first book about komiks entitled “A History of Komiks of the Philippines and Other Countries” published by Islas Filipinas Publishing Co., Inc. in 1985.

Marcelino studied Journalism and graduated from Manuel L. Quezon Institute (now Manuel L. Quezon University).

He passed away on September 18, 2010 due to heart attack. He was 81. [1] [2]

[Also see Ray Morgan]

Published Works