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Arts and Design Students from Makati-based iACADEMY and pioneering members of its in-campus elite group Vision Creative Unit headline the news as the only students from Asia and the Philippines to qualify as finalists in the Negative Space Comic Book Writing Competition this May 2022 along with top design schools like SCAD and Northern Michigan University, USA.

One of the winning entries, "As Above, So Below", is an illustrated novella by Zoe Samantha Panganiban, a major from the Multimedia Arts and Design program and a mentee from the VISION Creative Unit. It centers around a cynical young thief who unwittingly steals a magical stone and swaps bodies with its owner, an overachieving engkantada princess, where the two warring personalities must learn to trust each other and restore the mystical balance of the world to save the people. 

"Gonerdog" by Alma Patricia Ramos and Lee Moreno who are also members of the Vision Creative Unity and current students under the Multimedia Arts and Design program tackles revenge and morality, wherein a vengeful assassinated husband is given a divine chance to live a new life. Despite warnings against it, he finds himself going down a dark path by choosing to chase the past and gain revenge over his killers. It is a young adult fantasy comic story set in a canine world in the contemporary era. 

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Headed by its Creative Director and multi-awarded artist Keith Sicat, iACADEMY's VISION Creative Unit exists to train and mentor students alongside renowned filmmakers, visual artists, animators, and comic artists to help prepare them to pitch original concepts and stories in local and international competitions and emerge as the best artists in their respective fields and medium, positioning iACADEMY as Asia’s top arts and design school of choice.

"The marvelous news of three VISION mentees – Zoe, Lee, and Alma – becoming finalists for the international Negative Space Student Comics Writing Competition is a testament to their hard work and dedication. All of the members have come so far so fast, and what’s beautiful is that many of them are coming together to help each other. A major battle for any creator is already won when they take the brave step to share their creations. In sharing, they win by swimming in the same creative waters with peers and pros from around the globe", shares Keith Sicat, also a faculty at iACADEMY's School of Design and the Arts. 

"Congratulations to everyone in VISION as all of you truly support each other; this is a win for the whole gang. May these laurels put wind in your sails so you continue to bring your ideas out into the world!", he continued.

Negative Space is a comic book writing competition based in Manhattan, New York, USA. It is one of the first international comic book writing competitions that gives emerging book writers a clear path to the industry by providing winners with mentorship programs from prestigious agencies, award-winning writers, and artists. 

The other submissions from iACADEMY were also recognized by Negative Space Comic Book Writing Competition, noting that the students exhibit great potential and talent in comic writing and storytelling. 

"We also want to give a special shout-out to iACADEMY, a school in the Philippines. We saw seven submissions from students of this school alone and they were all amazing! There is some serious talent at iACADEMY and we can’t wait for the world to see what their comic book students are up to!", Negative Space shared. 

Among those who submitted from iACADEMY were Game Changers Moira Brugada, Ruth Dichoso, Erika Nagashima, Beatriz Santiago, Lisa Vasquez, Ma. Jefe Ella Yeh, and finalists Zoe Panganiban, Alma Ramos, and Lee Moreno, who were recognized alongside students from the Northern Michigan University, and Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), one of the best art schools in the world. 

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Following the school graduates' 96% job placement rate and industry-relevant programs, iACADEMY is recently recognized by the international publication Global Business Review Magazine in UAE as the Best Design School and Most Innovative Education Provider (Philippines) for the 2nd time since 2021. It is also announced as the Leading Computing, Business and Liberal Arts, and Design Education Provider in the Philippines by World Business Outlook Awards. 

Since its establishment in 2002, iACADEMY has developed specialized programs that utilize both theoretical and practical approaches to various disciplines and technical courses in computing, business, liberal arts, and design. With over 200 local and international industry partners, iACADEMY ensures students are educated about the emerging trends and immersed in the industry practices so that they will be future-ready professionals even before they graduate. 

Among its cutting-edge programs are Animation, Multimedia Arts and Design, Game Development, Music Production and Sound Design, and Software Engineering. 

To see the complete list of specialized programs, visit www.iacademy.edu.ph. 


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