Arnold Arre was destined to be an artist—or at least that’s what he had set his mind to at a very young age. But according to the famed illustrator, he wasn’t the original creative in the family. “It was my older brother who knew how to draw. I would sit beside him and copy his drawings. Then later on, he fell in love with Math, Science, and Physics and completely forgot about drawing, so I became the artist of the family,” Arre says. A few years after graduating with a degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Philippines, he began work on a graphic novel that would eventually define his art.
The Mythology Class is about a group of friends brought into a world of adventure and Pinoy folklore. “They’re based on people I knew in college,” Arre admits. The Mythology Class was originally published in four issues but was collected and reissued by Nautilus Comics. Arre recalls that at about the same time he was working on it, his contemporaries were also producing comics about Filipino superheroes and some of them would inject Philippine mythology into their stories–but only as fillers. “I was looking for something that was more in-depth. The reason why I made The Mythology Class was because I wanted to read a book about Philippine mythology. I also thought that it was about time to modernize our folklore so the younger generation would be exposed to it,” Arre says.
Fast forward to this year and Arre is at work on a sequel and a new graphic novel called Busilak. Officially titled The Mythology Class Book Two: The Children of Bathala. It is darker, mature, and more serious, but he assures us that it will still have the same DNA as the first book. “The story is in the present day, so the characters are older and some of them are looking back at what happened to them, and they don’t feel comfortable with it. Although some have accepted their fate, some actually felt traumatized. That’s going to be the conflict between the barkada,” Arre explains. His target for release will be late 2018. As for Busilak, Arre describes this new graphic novel as high fantasy. “The plot of this novel would be that engkantos and humans are living in harmony until political unrest threatens to destroy their peace,” Arre says. Although he already put in more than 400 pages for Busilak, there’s still no definite release for this project yet.
Expect news on both through Arnold’s Facebook account since he occasionally posts new comic cells from the novel. “I’m very active on social media and I like entertaining my friends and followers by posting an artwork. It’s nice whenever they would say that it made their day.”
Going to Film: It’s already been announced that Arnold’s The Mythology Class will have a movie adaptation, and here’s what we know about it so far.
- Heneral Luna’s Jerrold Tarog will be directing the movie adaptation
- Zombadings’ director Jade Francis Castro will be its screenwriter
- The Mythology Class’ production is already hard at work for its movie treatment
- No release date has been announced yet