TicTiger! is a Philippines-based zine written, edited and published by Erick A. Fabian Sr. and his lifetime partner Miam Tan-Fabian, who both also run the independent multimedia operation TicTiger! Productions. TicTiger! was first published in 2001 under the moniker 'Talk Is Cheap!' and went on until the eighth issue when it was changed to 'Talk Is Cheap, Tiger!', which was eventually shortened to 'TicTiger!' in the 11th issue.
The 'Talk Is Cheap!' Phase
'Talk Is Cheap!' was put together by Erick as a way to combat boredom and job discontent while he was then working in the Makati branch of Tower Records as store staff in 2001. He had the idea of publishing his own version of the well-known parody magazine MAD during college, but never got around to it until that time when he saw his co-worker in Tower Records discreetly photocopying his own punk zine.
Rather than follow the punk fanzine format that his punk co-workers subscribed to at that time, Erick wrote about his personal experiences growing up in a conservative evangelical Protestant background, becoming a lacto-ovo vegetarian, living the punk ethos, and the abuses that take place in his previous jobs. Having taken a creative writing course during college, he also wrote occasional poetry and reflections on his evolving philosophical view of faith-based anarchism. Lacking consistent contributors, practically everything was done by Erick, including cover art, comic strips and a minimalist layout design.
The 'TicTiger!' Shift
The twelfth issue reflected a radical shift of content and look as Erick, in collaboration with his wife Miam, started incorporating a more streamlined art style that departed from the usual gritty cut and paste aesthetic of most punk-oriented zines. He also started gearing the zine towards non-punk audiences, which eventually garnered him a wider readership. While the personal slant of the articles remained, the content became increasingly critical of mainstream social thought, discussing topics like DIY lifestyle, alternative political views, post-colonial Filipino issues, the effects of global outsourcing in Philippine society, and other issues that started to gain significance as part of growing into adulthood. Surprisingly enough, these topics were deliberated while remaining accessible to a non-zine-reading audience.