Komiket returns to Centris for the 1st Filipino Komiks, Books & Art Market

Artists, writers, readers and enthusiasts can all march to Centris Elements this weekend for the 1st Filipino Komiks, Books & Art Market on October 3-4, 2015. From 9AM to 7PM, meet and greet over 200++ authors, illustrators and komiks creators who eagerly want to share the work they’ve slaved over the past few months.

Whether you are an avid reader or art-enthusiast, everyone loves stories. Komiks stretches the limitation of one’s experience and imagination. It offers exciting adventures other popular art forms do not venture into. Filipino Komiks aren’t limited to kids, teens or young adults. Whether you’re young or young at heart, there is a Filipino-made komiks just for you.

To name a few, some of the most exciting releases drawing early attention are: Arnold Arre’s “Halina Filipina,” Mike Alcazaren, Noel Pascual and AJ Bernardo’s zombie horror, “Patay Kung Patay,” The family of National Artist Francisco V. Coching will also be selling limited copies of his graphic novel, “Condenado,” “Lapu-lapu” and “Dumaguit”. First time creators from the 1st Comic Book Creator’s Workshop will be releasing their first komiks at the Komiket. 

Artists such as Manix Abrera, Budjette Tan, Rob Cham, Apol Sta. Maria, Tepai Pascual, Illustrador ng Kabataan, Lyndon Gregorio, Ben Coo and Eugene Madayag of Libreng Komiks are just some of the big names attending. School organizations such as UP Luna Rock, UP Graphic, DLS-CSB’s Animotion and BLINK will also be present.

All five of the major & indie publishers will be present! Visprint Inc., Black Ink, Nautilus Comics, Anino Comics and Meganon Comics will be present. Check out the titles that make it to the shelves of bookstores! It’s easy to appreciate the different stories and artworks. Komiks prices at the Komiket range from P20 to P1,000, especially if they’re full-colored and hardbound. But on average, most komiks cost P75-P150.

Since the Komiket is also an art market, expect to find coloring books for adults from Froufrou Crafts, drawing and coloring pens from Marvy Uchida and Craft Carrot, and foreign comics from Comic Odyssey. Several artists will also be selling prints, postcards, shirts, stickers and on-the-spot sketching services. Plus some surprise crafters will be present to sell their komiks-themed work.

It’s going to be a fun-filled weekend at the Komiket! Support Filipino Komiks! Tara, kita-kits sa #komiket! Tickets are only P50.

From Sidewalks to Cyberspace: A History of Komiks

by Emil M. Flores

The komiks, long part Philippine popular culture, has gone through a number of phases. What was once known as the “literature of the masses” since the 1950s practically disappeared in the new millennium. Now, through the efforts of dedicated creators, the komiks has found new life in the digital age. 

The Komik Strip and Komiks Magasin

     The first comic strip by a Filipino is “The Monkey and the Tortoise” by Jose Rizal published in Truebner’s Record in London in 1889. It was part of a piece on Asian folktales.

     In 1929, in the pages of Liwayway Magasin, Tony Velasquez introduced “Kenkoy.” 
Other characters followed, such as “Kulafu” by Francisco Reyes and Pedrito Reyes July 7, 1933. Both “kenkoy” and “kulafu” have since entered the Filipino lexicon. Newspaper komik strips continue to be popular toady with “Pugad Baboy” and “Kiko Machine” as prime examples.

     After World War II, Filipino publishers saw the potential of comic books. American GIs had brought the books along for entertainment during the uncertain and chaotic times of the war. The Filipinos also used the medium as a balm. In 1946, the first komiks magasin, Halakhak was born. Halakhak only lasted a few issues but it was followed by a number of comics anthologies such as Pilipino Komiks, Tagalog Klasiks, Espesyal Komiks, and Hiwaga Komiks. The publisher of Liwayway, Don Ramon Roces and his family would practically run the entire komiks industry in the country.

     Throughout the 1950s and the next three decades, the komiks would become “the literature of the masses” as thousands of komiks were sold in sidewalks and sari sari stores throughout the country. A number of great creators would produce sterling work that would influence Philippine popular culture for years to come. 

     Francisco Coching, a contemporary of National Artist Botong Francisco, virtually created the “Filipino style” of komiks art. With his dynamic figure drawings and attention to detail, Coching’s work, according to Dr. Patrick Flores would act as art books for aspiring Filipino artists who could not afford to go to art school. Coching’s works would be made into numerous films and Coching himself would be nominated for National Artist. Coching’s “El Indio” published in Pilipino Komiks #147, 1953 was included in the book 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die edited by Paul Gravett published in 2011 in the United Kingdom. Coching’s 1973 illustration of Lapu Lapu was used in a postage stamp in 2004. The image was also used as a t-shirt design.

     Mars Ravelo is well-known for creating the iconic character Darna in Pilipino Komiks May, 27, 1950. The character would star in movies in the 1950s up to the 1990s.  There have been two television shows in the 21st century so far. Aside from Darna and other superheroes such as Captain Barbell and Lastikman, Ravelo would also create Maruja and Dyesabel, – fantasy romance, Roberta- social drama and Bondying- humor.

     Pablo Gomez wrote komiks for Pilipino Komiks and Tagalog Klasiks and then established his own publishing House PSG in 1963. He wrote such memorable works such as “Inday Bote”, “Machete”, “Kapag Puno na and Salop”, and “Bunsong Kerubin.” Most of his works were translated into film and television.

Komiks Artists in America

     While it was the writers who were well-known in Philippine komiks, the artists were the ones who became renowned internationally. In 1971, Tony Dezuniga met with DC Comics editor Joe Orlando which led to the “Filipino invasion” of the United States Comics scene.

     Numerous Filipino artists would work for American fantasy and horror tiles published by DC, Marvel and Warren. Tony Dezuniga himself co-created Jonah Hex. Nestor Redondo, the original artist on Darna, drew for acclaimed titles such as Swamp Thing. Alfredo Alcala, aside from drawing and inking numerous titles from swamp Thing to He-Man would have the distinction of having his original komiks creation Voltar published internationally. This last image was from the reprint in the The Rook #2, 1980.

English Language Superhero Komiks and Pinoy Graphic Novels

     While the international exposure of the komiks artists did not significantly affect the komiks in the Philippines, the success of Whilce Potacio in the 1990s ignited a new form of komiks. Created by writers and artists more influenced by American mainstream comics, the new works were mostly superhero books written in English. The monopoly developed a lack of innovation in the industry leading creators to self-publish their works.
The superhero book Flashpoint was the first self-published work and feature early work from Carlo Vergara. Titles such as Exodus and Memento Mori followed. Because of the lack of mainstream publishers, the books did not finish their storylines. Some would just have two issues published. 

     Arnold Arre’s Mythology Class would not only finish its four issue run, it would also usher in the graphic novel into Philippine komiks. It would crate a template of being a self-published work in separate issues that would be collected and published by mainstream book publishers such as Adarna Books. Others like Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah (written in Filipino and English) by Carlo Vergara and Trese by Budget Tan Kajo Baldisimo would also go through this process. Gerry Alanguilan’s Elmer was also self-published in separate issues. In collected form, Elmer won the Best Asian Album in France and nominated for the American Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album in 2011. It has since been published internationally.

Pinoy Manga and Indie Komiks

     In the year 2000, Culture Crash was released and ushered in the “Pinoy Manga” trend in Philippine komiks. The anthology was in full-color and was heavily influenced by Japanese manga and anime aesthetics. Articles written in English about Japanese films and music were also part of the book. The stories themselves though were mostly written in Filipino. The popularity of Culture Crash led to the country’s first comics convention C3 Con in 2002.  English-language “Pinoy Manga” magazines such as Mango Jam would follow the trend which still proves to be popular today. 

     With the collapse of the komiks magasin industry in the mid-2000s, the indies took over. Due to the opportunities created by desktop publishing, the online community, and komiks centered events such Komikon, the grass-roots indies are what komiks historian Randy Valiente calls the “new face” of komiks.

     Ang Maskot by Macoy, a photocopied black and white pamphlet has become a cult favorite and an independent short film version was produced. Trese also began as photocopied indies picked up by mainstream book publisher Visprint.

     In May 2013, Flipreads converted independent komiks into digital format and released them for free for a limited time. These e-komiks included Ang Maskot, Mythspace by Paolo Chikiamco and various artists, and CADRE by Emil Flores and Ron Escultura.

     From a strip drawn in Europe to digital comics, the komiks continue to evolve and provide an outlet for expression and a source of entertainment and inspiration for people in the Philippines and beyond. 


Emil Flores teaches at the UP Diliman Department of English and Comparative Literature.







INDIEKET: The Komikon Grand Independent Komiks Market set for August 15

KOMIKON, Inc. is celebrating its 10th year of organizing the biggest and longest running local comic book convention in the country. What started out as an annual event in 2005, KOMIKON now hold three events a year: The Annual Komiks Convention, Summer Komikon & the Indieket. The Indieket is a smaller event held every August since 2012. It focuses more on independent local creators, with more of a “tiangge” feel.

The Indieket this year will be held on August 15, 2015, Saturday, 10am – 7pm at the Bayanihan Center, Unilab compound, Pasig City. It’s bigger this year as it uses 2 halls of the Bayanihan Center, compared to previous Indiekets. With more tables for artists, Indieket also features a table for local guest artists Jim Jimenez (Artist for Tokyo Pop& local publisher Black Ink’s K8), Roy Allan Martinez (Marvel & DC artist) & Jann Galino (Artist for Ranger of Azure Press & Iloilo Comic con organizer) will be sketching during the event. An on-the-spot drawing contest will also be held as well as a few on-stage games.

Tickets are pre-sold at Comic Odyssey branches for P100. This event is presented by KOMIKON, INC and is sponsored by Comic Odyssey, Cadimus Prime Collectibles, Yourcomicshop, Komiket, Pockets Fulla Pillz Comics, Craft Carrot, Artwhale.ph, Nautilus Studios & Resurgent Publishing. For more details on KOMIKON, please visit our website, www.komikon.org, and for updates follow us on Facebook (/indieket; /komikon.org) & twitter (@komikontweets; @indieket).  

KOMIKET all set for Easter Sunday

The 1st Filipino Komiks Market or the KOMIKET is all set and ready to launch this Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015 at the Elements Centris (EDSA cor. Quezon Avenue). DON’T MISS OUT!

Whether you’re a curious komiks newbie or a voracious book reader, come and join the fun—discover a Filipino komikbook this Easter. Get first dibs of the newest releases, meet and greet the artists, and hundreds of komikbooks to choose from!

SUPPORT FILIPINO KOMIKS.Komiket aims to help cultivate, promote and recognize local talent in Philippine Komiks, and give more opportunities for creators to share their works to more readers.It’s only an MRT ride away to a fun and exciting way to spend Easter. 

Doors open from 10AM to 8PM. Tickets are 50php only. 

For more information, like the Komiket page on Facebook.


Pinoy superheroes take flight in Ballet Philippines’ Manhid

Comic book fanatics, musical theater lovers, and political activists are bound to be moved by Ballet Philippines’ newest venture, “MANHID: The Pinoy Superhero Musical”. Inspired from comic book super heroes of the 60 – 90’s – MANHID introduces a new generation of Filipino super heroes redefined for today’s times. Set in an alternate present day Philippines where the EDSA revolution failed, this musical features heroes and villains with superpowers, and a people sick with Kamanhiran (Apathy). “MANHID” is the final production in BP’s 45th anniversary season.

Super-powers, entertaining scenes with well fleshed out characters and an exceptional score spells the rare formula for MANHID. MANHID has already achieved cult status because the Eraserheads – the band who helped compose the music and performed it in the original production in 1992 performed at the University of the Philippines – have gone on to become one of the country’s leading pop groups. They released “Kailan”, one of the songs from MANHID, which became a top selling hit.

The main author of the work is Kanakan-Balintagos (a.k.a. Aureaus Solito) multi-awarded film director of Ang Pagdadalaga Ni Maximo Oliveros and Busong. Noted film, TV and stage composer Vincent de Jesus also co-composed the musical. Ballet Philippines artistic director, Paul Alexander Morales directs the musical and shares the choreography with Alden Lugnasin, BP’s resident choreographer.
MANHID is a musical take on comic books. It is divided into three “books” that are patterned on classics of the comic book genre; 1. the origin issue 2. the “dark/crisis” issue and 3. the all-out / good versus evil battle episode of the “annual”.

The play is about the battles of two groups of super–heroes: the Maragtas headed by tabloid writer Bantugan Buenaventura and the lady activist Lam-ang Panganiban versus the Tulisan ng Bayan headed by General Apolaki Regalado.

The Tulisan are employed by Mamalahim-ma a demonic Minister of Humanity who plans on enslaving whole generations of Filipinos with her epidemic of Kamanhiran. The heroes and villains, as children of their native land receive their powers when they were named after the gods and heroes of Philippine myth as a protest for the Masaker ng Taong Bayan. In their battles these opposing teams fight for the future of the Philippines.

The cast is led by Sandino Martin as Bantugan, who recently won Best Actor at the Cinema One Originals Awards Night for his role in “Esprit de Corps”. He alternates with BP apprentice Mark Anthony Grantos. The female lead, Lam-Ang, is played by recent UP Diliman Theatre Arts graduate Teetin Villanueva, and award-winning Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company member Regina De Vera. Also starring in this production are Gold Villar, Kim Molina, Jean Judith Javier, KL Dizon, Ronah Rostata, Fredison Lo, Ricardo Magno, JV Ibesate, Mailes Kanapi, and Mayen Estanero.

Ballet Philippines dancers also take on the challenge of portraying the roles of comic book heroes and villains. Featured are Jean Marc Cordero, Katherine Trofeo, Richardson Yadao, Earl John Arisola, Cyril Aran Fallar, Emmanuelle Guillermo, Timothy Paul Cabrera, Rita Angela Winder, Denise Parungao, Kazier Policarpio, Ma. Celina Dofitas, Victor Maguad, and Erl Emmanuel Sorilla.

The artistic and creative teams of MANHID: The Pinoy Superhero Musical are led by Paul Alexander Morales (Director and Choreographer), Alden Lugnasin (Choreographer), Francis de Veyra (Music Director), Zard Eguia (Set Designer), Victor Ursabia (Costume Designer), Roman Cruz (Lighting Designer), Rody Vera (Dramaturg) and the Radioactive Sago Project (Live Band).

“MANHID: The Pinoy Superhero Musical” will have a three-weekend run at the CCP Main Theater on February 20-22, February 27-March 1, and March 6-8, 2015.

For bulk reservations, show buys, and inquiries, visit www.ballet.ph or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003. For tickets, call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or Ticketworld at 891-9999.

Connect to Ballet Philippines online through the following social media networks:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/balletphilippines
Twitter: @balletph
Instagram: @balletphilippines
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/balletph

The 45th Anniversary Sapphire Season. Rare scenes of power and grace. Love, valour and redemption. Under the artistic directorship of Paul Alexander Morales, this is a toast to 45 years of dance excellence! 

See you at the theater!

Grand Meganon Comic Book Launch at the 4/F Fully Booked BGC

Now, readers of all ages can grab some of the most popular pinoy indie komiks this side of Manila at the Meganon Comic Book Launch on September 27, Saturday, 5:30PM at the 4/F Fully Booked BGC. Get first dibs on some of the best pinoy indie komiks today, meet and greet the artists, and get a chance to win original artworks or limited edition collector’s items! 

Meganon Comics aims to help build a more sustainable comics industry for indie komiks artists. Giving indie comics an easier access to the general public is the first step towards that goal. Every comic book you buy helps support the livelihood of a struggling comics creator, so he can continue to create more comics. For the first time, this selection of pinoy indie comic books will be available at every Fully Booked store:

CODENAMEBATHALA (Action/Superhero) by Jon Zamar and Judd Abinuman. English. 
Michael Divinahustisya is a differently abled man, but when he dons the awesome armor of Bathala, he acquires the speed of the fierce habitat winds. Sworn to protect the public against misused Haven Technology, he roams the sky as a stalwart armoured champion. 

DIGMAANG SALINLAHI (Action/Adventure Fantasy) by Jon Zamar featuring artists Wenz “Cheese” Chua, Gabriel Dela Cruz, Jhomar Soriano, Franklin Ouano, JM Valenzuela, Judd Abinuman, Renie Palo, Armand Roy Canlas and Mel Casipit. Filipino.
Digmaang Salinlahi chronicles the war raging in the magical lands of Kahimanawari. 

GWAPOMAN 2000 (Action) by Aaron Felizmenio. Filipino.
After missing in action for twelve years, a forgotten hero returns. How, when and where nobody knows. But his resurfacing may be traced to the craziness of the world, or the rise of crime in the city. Gwapoman is sworn to fight against all the ugliness of this world.

MARK 9VERSE47 (Action/Supernatural) by Tepai Pascual and Maika Ezawa. English.
A blind fighter named Visdei must prevent the demon Mal from opening the gates of hell. But to have a fighting chance, he must first find the Gatekeeper, and keep him safe from harm.

THE MINKOWSKI SPACE OPERA (Sci-Fi/Fantasy) by Aaron Felizmenio. English.
Delve into the vastness of space and time for an all-new sci-fi fantasy epic loosely based on an old Bagobo tale. Randall, a lost traveller, with the help of voyager monk Nick Artus, journey to find home in Arcadia, the last planet in the universe. 

NOODLE BOY (Romantic Comedy) by Paolo Herras and Tepai Pascual. English.
Noodle Boy is the quirky love story of Carlo, an introvert call-center agent who expresses his feelings
through cosplay, and Ayumi, a failed ramen shop owner who can’t cook. !

STRANGE NATIVES (Supernatural) by Paolo Herras and Carlorozy Clemente. English.
Spoiled city boy Francis is left with his stern grandmother in a provincial town. Blind to tradition,
he angers a forest spirit and is given capiz eyes. !

SULYAP (Anthology) Edited by Jon Zamar. Sulyap 1 artists: Rommel Estanislao Jr.; Macoy; Gio Paredes; Tepai Pascual; Mel Casipit; Josel Nicolas; RH Quilantang; and Ian Olympia. Sulyap 2
artists: Noel Pascual; AJ Bernardo; Lariz Santos; JP De Torres; Jonas Lechuga; Niño Balita; Carlorozy Clemente; Ronzkie Pacho Vidal; and Francis Martelino. English and Filipino.

Sulyap is a collection of the freshest up-and-coming Pinoy Indie comic book artists exhibiting in the Philippine Komikons. Sulyap1 and Sulyap2 are stand-alone anthologies of different pinoy indie komiks creators and their creations.

SUMPA (Supernatural) by Paolo Herras and Brent Sabas. English.
Curses are broken promises. Reluctant hero Sumpa and pre-colonial god Aliw know this all too well as they break curses that come their way. But the bigger the curse, the harder to break. Can they break the ultimate curse that plagues the native land?

Support Pinoy Indie Komiks! Grab a comic book at your nearest Fully Booked store today. For more info, please visit meganoncomics.com or email info@meganoncomics.com for inquiries. Like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Meganon-Comics/562706333841314?fref=photo

Scifi and fantasy take centerstage in NexCon Manila

End your summer with the biggest genre event of the year!

Dubbed NexCon Manila, it is the ultimate celebration of all things science fiction and fantasy where fans can meet some of today’s important names in genre entertainment, and party while they’re at it!

The event happens on May 31 to June 1, 2014 at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig City. It will run from 11AM to 9PM, and will be filled to the brim with exciting activities that will thrill Pinoy genre fans.

The biggest activities are the various panel events featuring some of today’s biggest names in Pinoy genre entertainment: international comic book superstar Leinil Yu (AvengersSuperman: Birthright), and filmmakers Erik Matti (Tiktik: The Aswang ChroniclesOn The Job), Louie Suarez (RPG: Metanoia), and John Wong (editor, Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah, White Lady). Other guests include horror and fantasy authors Karl de Mesa, Yvette Tan, Joseph Nacino, and Carljoe Javier; and Pinoy cartoonists like komiksveteran Danny Acuña, Andrew Villar, and Lyndon Gregorio.

Another major event is GeekFight! Battle Royale, where genre fans can test their knowledge of sci-fi and fantasy trivia and slug it out with other triviaheads to be declared Geeks Supreme. The contest happens on May 31, and is organized by the people behind the hit bar game series GeekFight!

Cosplay is an important part of Nexcon Manila, which has two events for costuming enthusiasts:Cosplay Rumble and Cosplay MasqueradeCosplay Rumble is a Western-format cosplay contest spotlighting characters from Western and Filipino comic books, TV series, video games, and everything in between; awards will be given to Best in Show, Hero of Heroes, Villain Most Vile, Stupendous Sidekick, Extraordinary League (for group cosplay) and more! Cosplay Masquerade, on the other hand, is a free-form cosplay contest where secret judges positioned all over the venue can determine the winners; all a cosplayer has to do is show up and be in character!

Closing the event with a big bang is NexCon ROCKS!, a rock show of mindbending proportions featuring the rousing music of indie rock bands Peso Movement (featuring former Rivermaya member Japs Sergio and guitarist Francis Reyes, formerly of The Dawn), dance-rock outfit Paranoid City, and Stereodeal.

All these and more happen at NexCon Manila! Ticket prices are set at P150 (Bronze Pass) for the Dealers’ Hall and public access areas, P500 (Silver Pass) for a one-day access to the entire event, and P999 (Gold Pass) for two-day access to the entire event. First 200 people to purchase a Gold Pass get to receive exclusive NexCon shirts. Tickets can be purchased at all SM Cinemas and SM Tickets branches all over the country. Those who wish to watch NexCon Rocks! separately (P150 only) can purchase tickets at the venue. Bronze and Silver ticketholders can upgrade to watch NexCon ROCKS for only P100. Gold ticketholders watch NexCon Rocks for free.

The event is is produced by Cosplay.PH in partnership with Stompworks. Cosplay.ph is behind the highly successful Cosplay Mania events in Manila, while Stompworks is a media solutions company specializing in television and video productions. The event is also brought to you by Content and Media Partners Warner Bros. Philippines, Magnavision, and Cinema One; Official Regional Media Partners AXN and Animax; and Fun-O, Nissin Yakisoba, Visprint, Flipgeeks, WhenInManila.com, RadioRepublic.ph, SM Cinema, SM Tickets, Snack Time, Digipost, GeekFight!, the Philippine Outpost of the 501st Legion, and NexCon Rocks! equipment provider Lyric.

Check out www.nexconph.com for more details.