Most of the komiks coming out are generally for the young adult and adult level, and a good number of them are already worth discussing.
Again, please note that this list will not have the catalog under Anino/Adarna House, Visprint, Meganon, Nautilus, and Haliya. I’ll get to them, there will be a separate list for them. Yes it is best to start with the works they have, some of the best in all of komiks.
This is a list of completely-indie material that will hopefully work for the college level.
– Patay Kung Patay (Mike Alcazaren/Noel Pascual/AJ Bernardo/Josel Nicolas)
Yes it’s about a zombie invasion at a hacienda of a powerful political family, but it is an incredible exploration of the abuse of political power, the reality of political dynasties, the disconnect between the powerful rich and the abused poor and working class. It even attacks the state of news and media in the country.
– Pasig (Melvin Calingo)
One of the classics of the indie age of komiks, about a futuristic Pasig, people being enslaved and made to fight in ‘sabong’-type battles, and the people fighting to free and help such fighters. Some of the best science fiction in all of indie komiks is in this series, and its discourse about right and wrong when poverty and power are at stake is solid.
– Muros (Paolo Chikiamco/Borg Sinaban) [Studio Salimbal]
Information broker Caloy Loyzaga goes deep into a Manila filled with aliens, trying to find a young alien woman in danger from the underworld and political goons, as well as make sense of his own powers. So it presents a half-futuristic gritty Manila, addressing the fact of the underworld and its political ties, as well as racism in the country in general.
– Windmills (Josel Nicolas)
Josel Nicolas’s semi-autobiography rendered in animal form, it is some of the best heart-openings in komiks, revealing the insecurities of a young adult in love and as an artist, with incredible honesty.
– I’m a Legal Alien (Francis and Patrick Concepcion)
The whole world and the Philippines in particular have had to accept actual humanoid aliens from another planet. But racism is alive and well in the country, we just have different ways of showing it. This series does explore that, by following the life of a middle-aged alien with a son marrying a half-alien.
– Uwian: a wlw anthology (CatGablin)
Made by a collective of newer komikeras, many one-shot stories about women falling in love with other women, a celebration of LGBT relationships, and a wonderful look into the possible future of komiks as held by women creators.
– No Pun Intended (Gio Custodio)
Short and quiet, but directly addressing our current reality of EJK, it moves quietly then hits hard.
– Keith Busilak (Julius Villanueva)
A taxi driver who is an honest supporter of the president has to live life normally, as the world changes around him, as the reality of the unserved promises make him at least consider. It’s a wonderful discourse of the dissonance of all the political messages, of both sides.
– Darwin’s Association of Delicious Evilness (Carlorozy Clemente)
Yes, I know what I’m saying. Darwin is a very bad elementary level boy, who dreams of ruling the school underworld, as it were. But the whole work is presented as accessible to adults, rather than children, along the way discussing power plays in childhood, or presenting adult power plays in the guise of childhood games. It’s about time it’s analyzed for these things.
– Agents of Ambush (Andrew Villar/Sam Velasco)
The sequential newspaper daily story is actually some of the best discourse in komiks about family in the Philippines, the one you are born with and the one you accept. It head-on addresses separation between a couple, the impact on the children, and even the reality of second partners. All this, while Amber Gonzales tries to save the world and everyone she loves.
Also: there are currently many one-shot komiks and zines made by komikeros often in college comic orgs, dealing directly with mental health issues, LGBT issues, feminism, politics, and sexuality. One just needs to go to any Komiket or Komikon and get all of these works, because many of them appear only once.
Give the indie age of komiks a chance. Wonderful stories are being made all the time, wonderful insights are now being made. Give the indies a chance.