…which was the lucky day for a certain very young, very talented, but still very inexperienced artist. ‘Vic”, Cescil Torres, another GASI “youngblood” staffer and newly appointed editor of their most prestigious comics-magazine Aliwan Komiks, said to me “How would you like to take a chance on this new artist we’re trying to develop? His name is LAN MEDINA and though he’s still a beginner, he’s an exceptional one. He’s really very good and I think his style will be perfect for your Devil Car.”
“Hmm” I replied, not having really seen any of Lan’s drawings yet at that time, “you must have a lot of faith indeed on this kid for you to recommend him so fearlessly in such a major project.”
“Its not just me,” Cescil explained. ‘Ollie and Mrs. Paguio are both very much impressed with this newcomer’s work. I’m the one who sort of “discovered” Lan first and that’s why I’m playing advocate in his behalf. But Ollie says he’ll approve of Lan’s teaming up with you should you agree to try him, and Mrs. Paguio in fact encourages the idea. But then of course, this is just if you still don’t have any other replacement in mind yet for Carl.”
Cescil then showed me some of Lan’s short story illustrations and they were indeed outstanding work for a newcomer. Novice or not, he sure looked ready to take on a novel already. I consented, on the spot, to try him as my new teammate for Devil Car. Cescil was delighted. A thing like that was unheard of; no top rate comics novelist risked putting his weekly serial in the hands of just any artist, let alone a still untested and virtually unknown one. In my case though, I thought I could afford to take that gamble: First, one look at Lan’s work and as I said, I immediately saw that he indeed had a lot of potential; Second, I thought that if he was good enough for Ollie and Mrs. Paguio, then he was good enough for me; and lastly, let me tell you that in that little world of ours, as in every other area in life, playing a bit of POLITICS was unavoidable if you were smart and wanted to get ahead. Well, I shrewdly foresaw that Cescil was going to be an important player in the GASI editorial hierarchy in the days to come, and it wouldn’t hurt to get in her good graces early in the game, would it? So I thought I was doing her a favor by acceeding to her suggestion. In the end though, I realized that it wasn’t Cescil—but actually myself and Devil Car--- whom I had done a favor by acquiring the services of Lan.