Curtains for Hire is an ongoing comic series written, illustrated, and published in photocopied format by Joanah Tinio-Calingo . CFH was the third title J.T.C. published under Point Zero.
It's about a new theater group who thought of breaking into "show business". The concept revolves around the statement "Ang mundo ay ang ating tanghalan, at tayo ang mga gumaganap na tauhan..." (The world is a stage, and we are the characters...).
The title of the series came from the first play the group ever did in the series.
A new theater group, led by Eldrin Madrigal, just rented a commercial space somewhere in the city of Manila. Just then, an old man began inquiring about the group who rented the space. It turns out that the old man had strong opinions about career paths (namely the ARTS) that are not as financially rewarding as other careers.
This meeting prompted the group to organize a play, and perform it the day after they met the old man. Despite the short amount of time they had for preparations, they managed to finish. In the process, they also changed the lives of the two people who watched the play.
Shortly after the play, they continued their "show business".
Not much was said about the characters, except a few details about Eldrin, and the situation between him and his father, which prompted him to leave home to start a career in Theater.
Teatro Ekada was composed of 6 members, namely Eldrin, Askiya, Ben, Merv, Leonore and Mia. All of which came from Eldrin's hometown.
However simple the characters seem to be, looks could always be deceiving. And as Eldrin puts it, "We're the only ones who could pull "it" off."
The concept for Curtains for Hire did not start as a theater story. It was initally conceptualized as a "super hero" story, wherein the main character changes personas to be able to do heroic deeds. The concept "change" was the only thing retained for CFH.
CFH had a four page teaser in KOMIKS Atbp. Issue 3. It was finally released during the first Komikon in 2005. The title recieved recognition during the first Komikon Awards for indies, where it took 3rd place.
The title went on hiatus, as the author focused on the production of her other project Cresci Prophecies .
Curtains for Hire resumed production after J.T.C. and Melvin Calingo began releasing their new title, KANTO Inc. CFH was to have a cross-over with the said series, and after 6 years, Issue 2 was released during Komikon 2011.
Issue 1-2 was a short story arc in the series, and future issues will also be composed of mini-story arcs. The series mainly deals with other people's stories and the troupe's "involvement" in their lives.
The author treats the series as giving the readers "a piece of her mind", reflecting her views on certain issues, and exploring the possiblities of having to "lead a double life" as theater actors, influencing the "audience" in the process. What's important to Eldrin's troupe is what happens after the play and curtain fall.
CFH was nominated for the Grassroot Category for the Komikon Awards in 2011.
The author imagined Teatro Ekada's office to be situated somewhere in between two LRT stations, facing a school. She thought it would be interesting characters would be based in place you never knew a theater group would be in.
The author was always fascinated by the theater arts, and this partly inspired her to write the series. Also, the logo the group used was the author's deviantart account avatar. It features a mask that's half smiling, and is mostly inpired by the famous theater symbol -- the laughing and crying mask.
Just in case you missed it, CFH will have a crossover with Kanto Inc.'s future issues. The connection between the two titles is yet to be revealed.