The Filipino comic book landscape has definitely changed over the last few decades. From superhero titles and fantasy-themed books, local comic books have since diversified to address issues that are relevant in today’s society. Comics have become the collective voice of creators to express their thoughts, feelings, and hopes for the future.
If you’re looking to get into local comic books, here are some titles you might consider reading.
Perhaps one of the biggest names in the local comic book marquee, Trese is a supernatural crime/noir thriller penned by Budjette Tan and drawn by Kajo Baldisimo. The series is set in a fictional version of Manila, replete with Aswangs and other creatures from Filipino folklore. As a consulting detective, the titular Alexandra Trese helps the police solve crimes that “take a turn for the weird.” The series is slated to be adapted by Netflix into an anime show in 2021.
Originally published in 1999, Arnold Arre‘s magnum opus The Mythological Class is a four-issue graphic novel that combines Filipino folklore with modern humor, action, and sensibility, resulting in a distinctly enjoyable and quirky book. A group of students, desperate to complete their thesis, embark on a quest to help Mrs. Enkanta combat an age-old terror.
If you’re the type that digs superhero stories with an edgy context, look no further than Aaron Felizmenio’s Gwapoman 2000 Book 1: Ang Huling Baraha. The book is a deconstruction of the superhero genre and a commentary on the ills that surround our society at large. Aging street-level vigilante Edgar Liwayway must contend with his inner demons while exploring a conspiracy that involves a powerful enemy.
Considered as one of the quintessential comic books of all time, the late great Gerry Alanguilan’s graphic novel Elmer has garnered citations and nominations from various award-giving bodies abroad. The book is set in a timeline where chickens suddenly gain human-level intelligence and the ability to speak. It focuses on one particular chicken, Jake Gallo, who is part of the second generation of intelligent chickens. When his father dies, Jake inherits a diary chronicling a struggle for equal rights that spans twenty years. Elmer is a study of racism, color, equality, morality, and ultimately, family.
Patay Kung Patay is a six-chapter miniseries helmed by the trio of Director Mike Alcazaren, Noel Pascual, and AJ Bernardo. The series attempts to explore the socio-politico-economic ruling establishment, society’s various circles, and the layers of the entertainment scene while framing a story that features zombies. Showbiz reporters cover a party at a hacienda when a zombie invasion erupts, setting the stage for the series’ conflict.
Which titles are you looking to get? Do you have any local comic book recommendations? Let us know in the comments!
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