Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Francisco V. Coching
Francisco V. Coching (1919 – 1998) is known as the Dean of Philippine Komiks. He started his cartooning career before WWII and during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines, he was a guerrillero (guerilla) for the Kamagong Unit of the Hunters-ROTC resistance organization. His postwar komiks were stories of high adventure that inspired the next generation of komik artists. Unlike many of them, Coching never had the desire to work overseas. He was contented to write and draw his komiks, many of which were adapted into blockbusters.
I had the chance to conduct a short interview with Coching’s wife of 54 years, Filomena Nsvsles Coching who is 90 years old this year, and his grandson, Macoy Coching, 33 years old and a visual artist.
Coching is one of the pioneers of Philippine komiks. But for those in Asia who are not familiar with him and his work, how would you describe him and his impact on comics and culture in the Philippines?
Coching’s exceptional talent had inspired and guided artists, and being the only komik artist to be chosen as a National Artist in the Visual Arts in 2014, filled the gap between fine art and popular art. He is remembered as the “Dean of Philippine Comic Illustrators”, an exceptional artist and a master storyteller.
Did Coching ever wanted to work for Western comics in America, like many of the comic artists he influenced?
Coching never wanted to leave the Philippines to work for any Western komiks.
What was the private Coching like?
Coching was a great husband, a loving father and playful grandfather. His life was his work and his family.
How is the family keeping the Coching legacy alive?
We have held exhibitions of his works since 2009 in different parts of the country, even as far as New York and Hawaii. We have published 2 books, Komiks, Katha at Guhit ni Francisco V. Coching and later, The Life and Art of Francisco Coching by Patrcik Flores, which I recommend.
Lately, we have published 5 of his graphic novels but in Pilipino.
Filomena Coching wrote about her life with Coching in the International Journal of Comic Art Vol 13 No 2 (Fall 2011).
You can read more about Coching here: