While many Pinoy readers may be familiar with the shows or comic counterparts of foreign titles such as All of Us are Dead, Hellbound, and Japanese manga, did you know that you can access a diverse library of original comics written and illustrated by Filipinos online for free as well?
Penlab.ink is an online reader platform exclusively for Pinoy komiks. Founded by creative content group Kalabaw Kolektib, Penlab is a community initiative done in collaboration with many other local komiks creators. The site launched in September 2020 flourished during the pandemic era as people had more time to create content and read at home.
In fact, Penlab currently has more than 200 creators and around 300 Pinoy komiks, that you can find all in one place and read anytime you want online.
Penlab covers a wide genre of comics, from science-fiction & fantasy, comedy, romance, drama, indie, and suspense – written in Filipino, English, and Taglish. For komikeros looking for a digital home, Penlab is also open to quality content from creators of all styles and genres. Anyone can publish for free on the platform.
Some current titles hosted here include the award-winning fantasy The Mythology Class by Arnold Arre, Nagmamahal, Maria Clara by Marianie, and The Feast, a one-shot comic from Budjette Tan, KaJO Baldisimo, and Alex Arellano, the creators of TRESE.
There's also a wealth of original komiks from a new generation of Pinoy writers and artists that anyone can read for free.
However, hosting such an ambitious platform and marketing the digital comics on social media requires steady resources.
Kalabaw Collective, the creative community behind the website is open to accepting donations to maintain operation expenses to help keep the digital home open, and implement new developments to make the space better for both storytellers and readers.
”For the most part, Penlab's small staff has worked tirelessly on a voluntary basis to manage our library of 300 titles and market them on social media. Lately, our staff has been balancing this free work with pressing personal matters. What we raise now will help us compensate our staff for their hard work over the past couple of years, especially as their responsibilities increase with the growth of Penlab and our community,” Penlab posted on Twitter Monday, April 18.
According to their latest update, Penlab has been able to raise about P40K to cover renewal expenses to keep the site up as well as some marketing expenses, but they are still open to accepting donations for operations expenses.
Hello to our Penlab community of creators and readers! Just an update on Penlab’s fundraising efforts.— penlab.ink (@penlab_ink) April 18, 2022
We were able to raise about P40K so far which should cover renewal expenses to keep the site up for another year and a bit of our marketing expenses.https://t.co/0vn1JK2emS
If you like the work that Penlab has been doing so far and want to support Filipino creators, you may send your donations to the following:
GCash: Janina Denise Torralba – 09295145452
UnionBank: Janina Denise Torralba – 101858116127
PayPal: [email protected]