Looking for something else to read other than what’s being made by Marvel or DC? Then this selection of comic book titles from our local artist may just be for you.
The rich culture of the Philippines is not without its share of colorful characters going various adventures printed in either black & white or colored on paper known as Comics. Philippine Comics, or Komiks as we like to call it, was said to have published as early as the 1920s, and saw a widespread boom before having its true ups and downs up until today. Spawning characters such as Darna and Captain Barbell, the popularity of Komiks has lead to the territory of mainstream media as movies and TV shows based on popular comic book characters were being produced and even lead by what is considered the country’s top stars.
While the Comic Book culture in the country is currently influenced by its western counterparts and other oriental comics such as Japanese manga, the local scene is not to be left out just yet as it still has its share of great comic book series from Pinoy artists and writers.
Our picks for pinoy komiks, or comic book titles include present day, easy to find and easy to enjoy series that you can readily grab in your friendly bookstore. While hardcore fans may disagree at some point, one thing’s for sure, reading any of these comic books may have you wanting for more. Note that we will be focusing on comic book series only, so webstrips and comic strips will not be counted.
Story by: Russell Molina
Drawn by: Ian Sta. Maria
Superhumans may be the first thing that comes to mind when talking about comics, amazing feats such as super strength, increased speed, and maybe even flight is taken into account. Russell Molina’s Sixty Six does an amazing twist in your common superhero setting by making the protagonist gain his super powers at the age of 66, hence the title. In the story, you will follow the life of Celestino Cabal as he goes through his simple life, accomplishing feats like lifting cement mixers, and stopping trucks by sheer force, while taking care of his beloved life, Aura. Sixty Six offers a good mix of the super hero comic book genre while implementing a slice of life feel, told in silent comics style, all wrapped up in one good series.
The Filipino Heroes League
Story and Art by: Paolo Fabregas
Talking about Superheroes, a rag-tag team of Pinoy Supers make up the Filipino Heroes League, and by rag tag I would mean that they actually look like wearing rags tagged together to look like a hero costume. Though it may sound offensive or demeaning, that is actually the setting of Paolo Fabregas’ comic book series featuring local supers in the most non-ideal situation possible, with a dilapidated building for a base, steel pipes for weapons, and a Pedicab for a vehicle. One great thing about this series is how it imagines a possible situation for this country’s good guys, who, instead of being appreciated, are sometimes even held (very) liable for their actions, and have to make do with what they have, much like what most of our real-life good guys had to go through. With some easily relatable elements, conspiracy theories, and a tale of redemption, the Filipino Heroes League is definitely a must read.
Story by: Kajo Baldisimo
Art by: Budjette Tan
Philippine occult has been one of the favorite topics when it comes to popular media with various TV shows and Movies featuring creatures of the darks such as the Aswang and Manananggal. Such popularity has been imbued with the comic book series Trese which features the occult investigator Alexandra Trese as she solves crimes involving these creatures. Combining the crime solving genre with the supernatural resulted in the series elements like the Aswang running kidnapping rings, Engkanto hitmen, and the richest guys in the city being a herd of mighty Tikbalang. Trese‘s unique approach to the supernatural genre, combined with real life references really make it a story to behold.
Story by: Mervin Ignacio
Art by: Ian Sta. Maria
It has been arguably said that the Philippines has a very exciting and colorful mythology, spawning numerous gods and goddesses throughout its earliest history, and never are those myths been creatively retold in Skyworld. Stemming from an old age war between good and evil, Skyworld showcases this rich cultural aspect of the Philippines, by utilizing mythological figures like Kaptan and Bernardo Carpio , and even real-life Filipino Heroes like Lapu-Lapu and Jose Rizal. With its great historical element, and a very creative approach to Philippine Mythology, Skyworld may make you, not just wish for another chapter, but even take a deeper dive into Filipino Folklore.