As COVID-19 unravels one national issue after the other, social commentary on the Internet has since magnified. But among the multitude of online voices, there are those who trade the usual preachiness for humor to deliver effective truth bombs, such as comic artist Tarantadong Kalbo.
Tarantadong Kalbo’s content is exactly the type you’d expect from such a moniker: blunt, unfiltered, and an all-too-real reflection of our overwhelming exasperation with current events. Despite his not-so-PG works, it’s this realness and relatability that has endeared him to his 78k followers and counting.
‘Tarantado’ is an endearment my friends call me whenever they see my works. ‘tarantado ka talaga’, shares 34-year-old graphic artist Kevin Raymundo in an interview with We The Pvblic.
‘I shave my hair regularly (semi-kalbo) so I just combined the two. It’s catchy’, said Kevin, adding that TK started out as a simple hobby.
‘I really love to draw, and the page is a sort of outlet for me to share my thoughts. It just so happened that the current political landscape has really affected me, that’s why it is bleeding through my current artworks’.
Aside from his webcomics, the animation director has worked as on shows such as Curious George, My Little Pony, and the upcoming animated feature of ZsaZsa Zaturnnah by Rocketsheep Studios.
When asked how he comes up with his viral, yet quick commentaries, he admits that he doesn’t know himself.
‘It just clicks, like that. Sometimes I get ideas at 3am and I have to write it down just so I can get it “off” of my head. You could say that it is both a blessing and a curse (laughs)’.
‘But I can’t complain, you know. One day I’ll probably run out of witty things to say and I won’t be able to do anything about it. So I’m just enjoying what I have at the moment’.
And as anyone on social media could attest to, being vocal comes with its own fair share of haters. For Kevin, he has one rule in dealing with critics: Do not take things personally.
‘A silent war is being waged on social media, and the people behind these fake blogs and troll farms will always find a way to break you. A negative comment on a post is an admission of defeat.
Ang pikon ay talo’.
It’s a mindset that sums up Tarantadong Kalbo’s hilariously unapologetic content. And as much as Kevin appreciates the love from his readers, he advocates going out and exploring other local artists.
‘Read more komiks, not just from me but also from other artists as well. Support lokal’.