The last major local comic book convention has come and gone with dozens and dozens of creators showcasing their latest works at Komikon Grande (November 23-24, 2019) at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig City.
Here, in our opinion, are some of the titles that you should get. The titles will be available in local comic book stores after Komikon Grande or via their respective Facebook pages.
Kenkoy Klasiks: Album ng Mga Kabalbalan (Velasquez Characters Komiks)
Only 90 copies of this special edition were printed and they sold out fast. I was told that a regular edition will be out before the month ends and should be available wherever local komiks are sold.
The late Tony Velasquez, acknowledged as “The Father of Filipino Komiks” first came out with this comic strip on Liwayway magazine 90 years ago.
Velasquez's grandson Ian thought this would be a great way to remember his Lolo and reintroduce this character.
This is a great title to have in anyone’s collection as you will feel the nostalgia (yes, reading it dates the strips because this was during the American Colonial Period) but also the pride at having our own strip.
If you like those classic American strips such as The Katzenjammer Kids, Gasoline Alley, Blondie, and Dick Tracy, then Kenkoy is worth adding to your comics collection.
Ang Mga Huling Awit ng Digmaan (Point Zero Comics)
Jon Zamar is a veteran writer and artist, and despite his long involvement in the scene remains under the radar. He soldiers on against all trends; he sticks to his guns and stories. He has brought in artists David Sysing (who illustrated Ang Lakambini ng Kahilwayon) and Brian Balondo (who worked in the second chapter Ang Mga Bihag sa Pulang Lupa).
If you liked Warlands or Elfquest, then check out Ang Mga Huling Awit ng Digmaan.
Ugh #5 (Ugh Comics)
When Hulyen first released Ugh Comics, I raved about it for its irreverence and sarcastic view on growing up and life. This was our Beavis and Butthead, our Reality Bites even.
At some point, I thought the magic wore off. But Ugh #5 finds Hulyen once more in her ornery irascible self, I thought, by expounding her strips and not forcing them to end in a single page or a few panels.
I am an Ugh hipster.
Tales from the Kingdom of Tundo Book One
A compilation of the first four issues of writer-artist Mark del Rosario’s epic alternative mythology. This fantasy epic is everything we loved about local folklore mashed with the stories mark grew up reading from The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, while adding Asian elements (Hindu and Buddhist beliefs).
It is an epic in the making with loads of potential.
The Children of Bathala Volume One (Nautilus Comics)
Some stories are sacred. And we shudder to think when creators deem it time for a sequel. It didn’t work with The Dark Knight Returns and I am not crazy about anything that they have done as a prequel or sequel for Watchmen.
I wondered about that too when I heard that master storyteller Arnold Arre was cooking up a sequel to his beloved tome, The Mythology Class. In fact, he didn’t just have one sequel, but five.
If The Children of Bathala is the result, then my fears have been allayed. This is the best artwork he has done in his career.
Two decades after the events of Mythology Class, our cast of characters are older and the experience of their previous adventure has faded over the years as they moved on with their respective lives. But new visitors from the magical world of Ibalon have arrived and a new danger and journey unfolds.
Strap yourself in for this ride.
Bulwagan ng Misteryo (Kikomachine Komix)
It is so easy to pace any work by Arnold Arre or Manix Abrera into this list. But they aren’t living off their reputation. They are consummate and prolific storytellers and they are back once more with some terrific work.
I love the format of Manix’s new work. It is square-bound in the manner of your favorite Calvin and Hobbes editions. It makes the art easier to look at and the words easier to read.
When I first read Manix’s work, I thought of Gary Larson’s The Far Side. And while there are differences, the imagination, wit, and madness (I mean that in a good way) are similar.
This latest work is mind-bending.
Additional titles to pick up: Trese Deviations: Dakila & Fr. Trese from David Hontiveros and Marvin del Mundo, and D-13 #2 from Ian Velasquez and Rico Rival.