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Support local artists by reading these 10 truly Pinoy webcomics

Last month, the much anticipated animated adaptation of the Filipino comic, “Trese”, made a lot of buzz online. Sure, some of the attention was in the form of backlash against the voice acting choice, but it did open an avenue for more local comics to be exposed to the masses. In order to truly push these works in the spotlight, websites such as Penlab have been serving as a platform for local artists.

According to their website, Penlab is an initiative to bring quality Filipino komiks together in one place.” Their purpose is to provide a space for Filipino comic creators to get the reach that their works deserve. Hosting around 830 titles of original Pinoy content, its library is always open to accepting new webcomics for artists  

Seeing the vast amount of riveting and visually appealing comics that you can find on Penlab will surely make you glow with Pinoy pride. To jumpstart your interest in local content, here are 10 titles you should add to your binge-reading list.

1. Hunghang Flashbacks

Written and illustrated by Drew Borja, “Hunghang Flashbacks” is a collection of short, usually 4-panel comics. It ranges from random jokes to hilarious encounters that a typical Pinoy faces in life, told through eight different characters who form a wacky barkada. It currently has 35 episodes on Penlab and is still ongoing.

The comic spawned its own website, where you can go through the released episodes as well. It also has its physical copies and its own line of merchandise available for people to buy. 

Show your support to Drew Borja through his Facebook page for “Hunghang Flashbacks” right here.

2. Nagmamahal, Maria Clara

“Nagmamahal, Maria Clara” tells the story of our titular character from the Spanish period who finds herself suddenly in the modern era. She wanders in the middle of a busy street until she meets Jenny, P.A. to a film director hosting auditions for the role “Maria Clara”. Thinking that she is in a costume for the audition, Jenny takes Maria Clara to the studio, and eventually into showbiz.

This ongoing series is written and illustrated by Marianie, who mentioned in the comic that this work was made for her thesis. It currently has 7 episodes posted.

Give your support to Marianie through the official Facebook page of “Nagmamahal, Maria Clara”.

3. Palaso

local comics webcomics

Another work by Marianie, “Palaso”, is a one-shot comic involving a bit of mythology. Our main character, dubbed as Dark Cupid, is a god whose job is to remove Cupid’s arrows from mortals who have fallen out of love or finally moved on. In an unexpected circumstance, he meets Joy, a girl who happens to have a lot of Cupid’s arrows stuck in her back. This is a heartfelt story about falling in love and moving on.

4. Ang Jowa Kong Crosswise

“Ang Jowa Kong Crosswise” is an ongoing comedy series written and illustrated by Tsambolero. It tells the story about the life of gay couple Tomas and Leo whose relationship is more than meets the eye. Tomas is a manananggal—a self-segmenting folkloric creature of the night. Their adorable and funny antics might make you reconsider the whole image of the manananggal in Filipino folklore.

You can reach Tsambolero on Twitter and give them support here.

5. {Ang Manananggal}

local comics webcomics

Speaking of those creatures, “{Ang Manananggal}” is a comic written and illustrated by electromilk. It revolves around a senior high school student named Anna, who has been having the same nightmare about being chased by a manananggal. As classes finally open in her school, she meets Maria, a transfer student who eerily resembles the subject of her nightmares.

Currently with 6 episodes posted, we dive into Anna’s life as she is haunted by this being who is very interested in her pregnant mother.

You can find more of electromilk’s works on their Twitter account.

6. Lucia Dreaming

In an anthology series made up of her dreams and hallucinations, Lucia Asul illustrates and talks about the things she recalls about them. “Lucia Dreaming” evokes a creepy feeling with its black and white drawings. This English-language series currently has 3 episodes and is one of the most viewed comics under the indie genre.

Show your support to Lucia Asul through her Facebook page and her Patreon.

7. Katipunera Warrior

local comics webcomics

Explore the re-imagined version of colonial Philippines in “Katipunera Warrior”, written by Bernie Mercado and Nina Torralba with illustrations by Sampay. The story is all about a little girl branded as a demon by her townsfolk—a product of sin made by her mother, Mahinhin. Determined to save her people during a disaster, she is aided by the soul of a bakulaw, who seems to call her mother “inay” as well.

Show your support for this comic through its official Facebook page here.

8. Walang Laman ang Kahon

Up for something a little weirder? Go ahead and try the one-shot comic “Walang Laman ang Kahon” written and illustrated by Chocnut-san. It is told from the perspective of Rosanna, a girl from Tacloban who flew to Manila for a job in order to give her mother and sister a better future. You’ll be sure to feel the creeps along with our main character as there seems to be something sinister following her around, hiding in a cardboard box.

You can find more of Chocnut-san’s creations on Facebook.

9. Uy! Si Crush!

How about a bit of palate cleanser to shake off those eerie vibes? “Uy! Si Crush!” is an ongoing romantic comedy series by Gaby Taylo and Richard Mercado. The main character, Juan, believes that his crush (Isay) likes his much more attractive bestfriend (Kasi), so he acts as a wingman for her even though it stings. Unbeknownst to him, Isay actually likes Juan a lot and is wondering why Juan is always mentioning his bestfriend to her.

Join Kasi’s exasperation as Juan stumbles all over in order to achieve his crush who actually already likes him back. More of this comic can be found on its official Facebook page.

10. Life in Orange

local comics webcomics

Undoubtedly the most popular one in this list, “Life in Orange” by Lizmi is a student-centric, feel-good series about friendship and stereotyping. The story begins with a boy named Vito, who is annoyed because he is stuck with Kahel, the transfer student that he is supposed to help adjust to the class.

Vito finds this boy quite weird, due to Kahel’s feminine tastes and outgoing nature. Read as Vito’s societal views are challenged with his blossoming friendship with the new kid.

This completed comic was based on the author’s bittersweet friendship with a girl back when she was in 7th grade. You can find more of Lizmi’s creations on her Instagram.


DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the contributor/s and do not represent those of InqPOP! and INQUIRER.net. The InqPOP! staff assumes no liability for any error in the content of this material. Got something you want to share to the world? Get a chance to publish your awesome creations and share it to the world through our InqPOP! Creator Community program. Send us your stories, videos, photos, fan fic, and even fan art at [email protected]

For more details, read the POP! Creators FAQ page.

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