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Printed komiks to look out for in 2022

By EK Gonzales Published Jan 14, 2022 4:59 pm

As we welcome the new year, we do so already with a tough challenge. But let us not lose hope, and face the challenges with courage. 

Let us also face them anticipating good things from our komik creators, who will be releasing both komik convention favorites, and new content challenging the limits of what komiks can do. 

This is a list of content that is expected to be released in print versions over the year. It does not cover other stories and content that may be made during the year or in online formats. Keep an eye on Penlab and Webkom for such online releases.

Komiket

Komiket has several titles confirmed coming in the pipeline through the year, which will eventually be released through its online stores. Majority are compilations of komik convention favorites, which do deserve wider release. 

Crime Fighting Call Center Agents compilation (Noel Pascual / AJ Bernardo)

A favorite of the komik conventions, and the series that drastically elevated the quality expected at the convention tables, it is finally going to be compiled for wider release during its 10th year anniversary.

Crime Fighting Call Center Agents is all fun and silliness, but incredibly well delivered, as a group of call center employees go on short vacation trips and get themselves in various kinds of comedic supernatural messes. 

School Run (Macoy / Ardie Aquino)

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A revision and updating of the first and one of the most iconic zombie stories in indie komiks history, the original story and paneling by komikero Macoy is now rendered in bright full color in Ardie Aquino’s distinct style.

The future Philippines had gotten so used to zombies it now treats them like typhoons, with its own zombie invasion signals and anti-zombie protection measures. But a school bus driver gets careless, and this gets the students in that school bus in deep zombie trouble. 

10 Years to Save the World Anthology

The collaboration between the UK’s LICAF and our Komiket has resulted in 10 thought-provoking pieces about climate change, why it happens, and how it directly affects our countries.

Komiket will release locally a printed version of the anthology. For the Philippines it has works by Manix Abrera, Ren Galeno, Dead Balagtas Emiliana Kampilan, Tarantadong Kalbo’s Kevin Raymundo, and the Trese team of Budjette Tan and KaJO Baldisimo. 

Tarantadong Kalbo volume 3 (Kevin Raymundo)

The popular political satire webcomics by the #Tumindig creator is back in a third compilation of the series, from the second half of 2021 and probably early 2022.

It should promise to show him as a balanced but uncompromising commenter on our current events, especially with the elections on the horizon. 

PICOF Batch 1 and 2

Over the last few years Komiket has been developing several pieces, preparing them for showcase in the Philippine International Comics Festival, and also getting them ready for publication, with potential for international distribution and collaboration.

The first few releases you’ve already seen: Little Wolf, Doobiedoo Asks, Twinkle Twinkle, and Alandal. But there are several more in the pipeline in various stages of readiness that will be announced once available. You can visit www.komiket.org to see the upcoming selections. 

Penlab Fresh

Online komik hub Penlab made arrangements with PsiCom, which will allow several titles to have national reach in print format.

The Penlab Fresh releases are expected in 2022 until early 2023, but a good number of them could be read in their online versions on the Penlab website. The titles are popular webcomics and/or komik convention regulars. 

Katipunera Warrior (Bernie Mercado, Nina Torralba, Sampay)

Pretty much a Penlab original (it started a little before the pandemic created Penlab), this is how a young lady becomes a spirit warrior for the Katipunan, against the cruelty of colonists and religious leaders, and against supernatural forces and creatures threatening the country. 

Nagmamahal, Maria Clara (Marianie)

A komik convention regular of the last few years, it finally will receive the national reach it deserves.

THE Maria Clara of the Noli me Tangere finds herself in the present time, where she is scouted and made to act as The Maria Clara in a movie. But in doing so, and in meeting new friends, Maria Clara begins to ask and to understand. Thus, it is a well-considered questioning of what it means to be a woman and a Filipina, questioning customs, demands, expectations, burdens, and responsibilities. 

Ang Jowa Kong Crosswise (tsambolero)

What was supposed to be just one joke Twitter comic sequence is now a very successful and well-read Twitter and Penlab comedy series.

Ang Jowa Kong Crosswise tells the daily adventures of a very ordinary guy and his gay manananggal partner, in trying to deal with everyday problems (like traffic) and sometimes everyday bigotry, in their own unusually supernatural ways.

It is also the adventures of their friends in supernatural love and life. The series will now be adjusted for print with additions. 

Bunganga Memories (Shawn Yohan)

A popular webcomic series, generally on Facebook besides Penlab, Bunganga Memories are the random and silly days in the life of a noisy family in a rather noisy barangay, including gossipy neighbors, people who are just weird, parents who are kind but overbearing, and kids who ask the oddest questions.

The Graveyard Shift (Oletarts)

Also a komik convention regular over several years, Maya comes from a line of mangkukulam, but she migrates to live with her nurse mother working in America.

Yet, there are also ghosts and spirits in the United States, and her background may still be found useful and necessary. Along the way, The Graveyard Shift also discusses immigrant concerns through the eyes of a young Filipino. 

Dapit-hapon (Warehouse 6)

This series was a komik convention regular over the last few years. Junior high schooler Nemo was previously bullied in elementary school and carries the psychological scars from it. But as he starts to heal, thanks to his new friends, his past starts to catch up to him.

Uwian Na (Shirojiki)

The daily misadventures of a group of high school friends during after school hours. Uwian Na has a lot of fun silly antics that a lot of people will happily relate to, executed in a very nicely detailed clean Pinoy manga style.  

Life in Orange (Lizmi)

Quietly groundbreaking, an unexpected Penlab and international webtoon success, and already mentioned several times in earlier komik lists, the series will be adjusted for print.

Closeted Vito does not want to be involved with cheerful and more obviously gay new student Kahel, but being made school project partners creates an unexpected friendship, and maybe more. 

Spirit Sprints (Bernie Mercado, Nina Torralba, Hansel Dimapilis)

Expected in late 2022 or early 2023, telling the story of Rara Balete who may have inherited the power to summon spirits and thus, pacify storms and protect nature, but is forced to use it when a cat takes her to the world of stray spirits. 

After all this time (bapogichi)

A groundbreaking piece about a gender-nonconforming person and her ex who is now a trans woman, as they navigate their friendship and possible joint future.

After all this time is one of the most respectful pieces about nonbinary and transgender people in komiks. It will be adjusted for print for the better exposure it deserves. 

Mga Nanay ni May-may (Marianie)

What started out as a fun Mer-may and May-nananggal idea turned into a full komik series, of the daily life of a real sirena, a real manananggal, and their cheerful hybrid daughter.

Most of the series is May-may’s school adventures in being proud of her lesbian parents, and the said parents wondering how to be when they are supernatural besides different in a conservative world.

We hope this list keeps you excited for more out of komiks as the new year rolls in. We hope you are encouraged that there is still good coming despite the early challenges that we are facing.