MANILA—Epik Studios’ fourth graphic novel in its line that aims to reintroduce the Philippines’ mythological creatures to a new generation is about a girl who may or may not be a sea goddess.
The title character in “Osyana,” launched on the opening day of this year’s AsiaPOP Comicon Manila, is a girl whose past is “shrouded in a mystery as old as the briny deep itself.” She is later on entrusted with the power “to protect” and “to save” the sea.
The book, their first to be led by a female, takes inspiration from a folklore embedded in the culture of the Badjao, an ethnic group known as the sea gypsies in Mindanao, Dennis Crisostomo, Epik Studios’ head and editor, told ABS-CBN News on Friday.
He added that he made a “thorough” research before borrowing the character, but said some creative liberties were taken to make Osyana’s story more appealing to today’s audiences. It is similar to the approach the group went with modernizing both its universe’s versions of Pedro Penduko, who is a half-Filipino kid who lived in the US, and Bernardo Carpio, who is an MMA fighter.
“We want to push Filipino culture and mythology lang talaga [into the forefront],” Crisostomo said, explaining as to why the line has been focused on past, often forgotten characters.
A movie for “Osyana” has already been penciled for 2020. He said that they are already looking at some local female actresses to be cast as the lead, but did not share names.
It’s just one of the films slated in Epik Studios’ ambitious Marvel Studios-like cinematic universe, that includes the James Reid-led “Pedro Penduko” scheduled for next year.