Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Promoting Filipino Comics

I've been disheartened lately when it comes to promoting Filipino comics due to a series of unfortunate incidents: a Fed-Ex package sent to a friend abroad encountered a mishap (and it's a tragedy not because of the financial costs, but rather because those were two dozen comics that's difficult to obtain due to the nature of indie comics), the company website's database goes down on the day I started plugging a comic I enjoyed (I suggest Registering first, filling out all the forms, then Logging in before checking out your order), and despite my best attempts to get more female comic creators (you can hear my rant about the lack of female name recognition in this podcast) to participate in the day job's Free Comic Book Day, a lot declined.

But feeling sorry for myself gets no one anywhere, so here's my last ditch effort. I think there's a lot of interesting, diverse work being done in local comics, but due to small print runs, lack of distribution, and absence of digital copies, it's a huge hurdle to spread awareness of Philippine comics outside of Metro Manila. So it dawned on me to get various comic creators to distribute their work at the day job's eBookstore for Free Comic Book Day. You can read more about it at the company blog, but I wanted to highlight some comics that I think will be of interest to my readers (and what I'll be picking are in English, so you don't have to worry about the translation hurdle):

 Kuting Magiting by Robert Magnuson
Despite the title, this is mostly a wordless, all-ages comic in English and highlights the strengths of the comics medium, whether it's the beats, the panels, or the effective use of imagery. If there's one comic I want you to try out, it's this one.

Confused Volume 1 by Trizha Ko
While admittedly not the most polished work in terms of visuals, there's a rawness and willingness to tackle taboo subjects in this comic. It has a solid feminist bent that's lacking in the local comics scene, and hopefully others will give it a chance.
Bakemono High: Recess by Elbert Or
This one's an all-ages comic from my best friend. I wouldn't say it's high art, but definitely one that features amusing, self-contained strips.

 Skygypsies by John Raymond Bumanglag & TJ Dimacali
It's not often that I encounter Filipino science fiction stories, so here's a comic that's just that.

Mythspace: Free Comic Book Day Sampler 2013 by Paolo Chikiamco,  Koi Carreon, Cristina Rose Chua, Jules Gregorio, Paul Quiroga, Borg Sinaban, Mico Dimagiba
My main problem with this is that it's a sampler (rather than a self-contained comic), but if you're interested in a Filipino folklore-inspired science fiction comic, here's a preview of what we're capable of.

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