Defying the Odds
I cited this process of screening because Mrs. Paguio herself would later relate to me the extraordinary circumstance in which my Devil Car synopsis defied the odds and just barely made it through their board. “It was unusual in that it was probably the only occasion wherein the editor’s solo yes vote won over the concurring no votes of the editor-in-chief and myself, “she recalled, not without some amusement. “It was not that I didn’t like the idea. In fact your concept or making an inanimate object the main character was really different, and that rather appealed to me. There never was a doubt in my mind either that rather appealed to me. There never was a doubt in my mind either that a fine script was in there just waiting to be unleashed, and I knew it could only get better once that script got illustrated. Now, what I didn’t like was that it was a horror story through and through (the same reason that Silangan editor Andy Beltran gave). This was because we had already tried using horror novels before, but that didn’t exactly cause the readers to come stampeding to our publication doors. I reminded Ollie that it was the fantasy stories and love dramas that worked for us—these were the sure-fire circulation boosters and would do well to just stick with those. And these were the exact same sentiments of my editor-in-chief Joe Lad. “
But still, according to Mrs. Paguio, Ollie couldn’t or just wouldn’t believe that comics readers didn’t like horror stories as much as they did fantasy tales. He insisted that maybe they just hadn’t come up yet with the right scare materials, but now Devil Car was already there, just staring them in the face. Ollie really felt confident that my story would bring about wonders to his Holiday Komiks and maybe even start a new trend—and he wasn’t about to take ‘no’ for an answer. Well, continued the GASI lady boss, she admired her young new editor’s zeal in fighting wholeheartedly for something he believed in. Not wanting to douse cold water on Ollie’s high spiritedness, Mrs. Paguio finally relented and gave the editor the chance to prove his contention: She gave the approval for Devil Car to be scripted, but with open misgivings about the decision.
As I’ve already mentioned, Ollie was only just starting out in his career as an editor during that time. So while he was taking on that little gamble on my story idea, he must already have realized that he was sticking his neck out on a limb. Devil Car was to be his first crucial project as an editor in GASI and if it didn’t deliver as (he) anticipated, then it would be the first stain on his record. But as things turned out, Ollie needn’t have worried.