Here we discuss the komiks that are printed under a publisher, which makes them a bit easier to find. Maybe start with these, then try finding the rest of komiks during a Komiket or Komikon.
These are suggested as hopefully useful for college discussion.
– Kabuwanan (various female artists) [Haliya]
An anthology created by some of the best komikeras, including Emiliana Kampilan and Hulyen, the anthology presents various situations with women in them, showing their strengths and vulnerabilities.
– Dead Balagtas: Mga Sayaw ng Dagat at Lupa (Emiliana Kampilan) [Anino]
The important work by the creator of the webcomics, tackling LGBT relationships and their acceptance in society, the reality of employment contratualization, the discrimination against activism, the reality of growing up.
– Strange Natives: The Forgotten Memories of a Forgetful Old Woman (Paolo Herras/Jerico Marte)[Meganon]
An old women goes through all her memories, passing through the changes in Philippine history. It is a wonderful and personal exploration of our joint history, through the eyes of one woman.
– Tabi Po series (Mervin Malonzo) [Visprint/Haliya]
The important work by Mervin Malonzo is gritty and does not hold back on blood and human anatomy, but the story of the aswang who lives as the Noli Me Tangere plot moves resonates, in its questioning the over-emphasis we have on Rizaliana, the classism that persists, and our treatment of whoever we think as other.
– Gwapoman 2000: Ang Huling Baraha (Aaron Felizmenio) [Meganon]
A hero fallen from grace now has to fight crime with a salamangkero and a rogue private detective. But before he gets there, the whole work is a good discourse about justice in the country, how it bends for the powerful, and has capacity to ruin the powerless.
– The Mythology Class (Arnold Arre) [Nautilus]
Arguably all of Arnold Arre’s material deserves academic discourse, but his pivotal work is still this, giving us a solid glimpse into Filipino folklore as a group of students try to stop evil forces from consuming the world.
– Elmer (Gerry Alanguilan) [Komikero Publishing]
The Sir Gerry’s important work, about a chicken trying to live in the world of men, which still resonates. Several important topics are given a discourse, including employment discrimination, racism, and classism.
– ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Sa Kalakhang Maynila (Carlo Vergara) [Visprint]
In contrast to the original series, this sequel is better at addressing current problems faced by LGBT in daily life, besides having extra characters and villains. It is also braver about Ada expressing love in general, which makes for better discussion points.
I’m probably forgetting some, so it’s okay to suggest some more titles.
Meganon, Nautilus, and Haliya are independent publishers, and the best way to get their books is to contact them directly. Visprint and Anino/Adarna House titles are easier to find in bookstores, but they’re just a fraction of all the komiks available. Take a chance on one or several, and come back for more.
Take a chance on komiks. There are wonderful stories with wonderful insights always coming out now. Take a chance.