Panday is arguably the most popular Filipino male comic book hero, and second most iconic, next to Darna. (Ang) Panday ( (The) Blacksmith in English) was created in the late 70’s and fleshed out in to the big screen in the early 80s by Philippine Cinema’s Action King, Fernando Poe Jr., which most likely gave the character just the right amount “creds” for it to be catapulted and cemented to its place in Philippine pop culture.
Although the original cinematic version of Panday, presented ala fantasy adventure period flick, slightly differ from the source material which has a more contemporary flavor to it, all the basic premise are pretty much the same, wherein the blacksmith Flavio forges a dagger from a meteorite and uses it to vanquish evil despot Lizardo and his horde of Orc-like creatures, engkantos and plain clothes henchmen.
The final ambigram above is the third version in a series of sketches and redraws with play on either just Panday and Ang Panday. I went with Ang Panday as Flavio is most often referred to with his title within or outside the story. The other two versions are below.
Initial sketches go as far back as 4-5 years ago.
I decided to present the final art the same way I did the Darna ambigram in hopes of being able to continue on and create a series of homage pieces on Filipino comics characters, similar to what I intended with the DC Ambiverse series.
This one is an homage to one of the Philippines’ most enduring comic characters. Darna. She has been portrayed by at least 18 female actors (yes, there were male actors who also portrayed a version of her as well) has appeared in over ten “Darna” films since 1951 (not counting cameos) a ballet feature and three television serials.Like many of her American counterparts she began her adventures in comic books (or komiks, to us). The actual Darna character debuted in 1950 on the pages of Pilipino Komiks, but a previous incarnation of the same character (then called Varga) first appeared in Bulaklak Magazine in 1947. Both were essentially the same in concept where a little girl named Narda come in to possession of a bulalakaw (falling star) that turned out to be a magic amulet which transform the little girl into a super heroine.
(Unlike American comic books, our komiks usually are serialized anthologies, wherein an issue may have in them up to about ten stories by different writers and illustrators.)
The publishers owned the Varga character so when her creator, Mars Ravelo,moved over to Pilipino Komiks, he re-tooled the concept and gave her a new name. Darna, of course, is an anagram of Narda. This time the character was redrawn by Nestor Redondo, Filipino ace illustrator.
While she is oftentimes compared to Wonder Woman, Darna/Narda has more things in common with Captain Marvel/Billy Batson where both adolescents speak a magic word (or name) transforming them into their alter egos. And while Billy is not the one in crutches (his friend Freddy is) young Narda (‘though not always) is predominantly portrayed as a cripple.
This seemed to be a perfect word to do a symb with. It resonates with the way Narda transform into Darna after speaking the name and vice versa. It would be nice to also carve this on a white stone, similar to what Narda find in the “falling star’s” aftermath.
What took more time in doing this symb is finding a good version of the “N/A” flip to settle with. All the rendition below each have their pros and cons so I had to go with what I feel is right for the final ambigram. A nice way to solve the problem posed by the “A” cross bar is by replacing it with a star, which goes well with its flip counterparts.
Next Week’s Preview
Before we go, I thought I’d show you a sneak peek into next weeks post. But there is a small catch… you have to decipher it. (It’s a sneak peek after all). For your trouble, the first to correctly tell me the word/phrase will be gifted an ambigram of his/her choice. Just email me your answers and by next post (likely by May 11) we’ll get to know the word/phrase and hopefully a winner! Ambigrammists are most welcome to join in the fun but (damn!) you’re probably better than me so you’d have to make do with what I come up with… hehe 😉