From readers’ favorites to upcoming titles, here’s the website’s top list of comics to read
Comic books are nostalgic. It is undeniable that these illustrated stories have contributed a lot to pop culture, whether within the Philippines or beyond it. What used to be just a thing for geeks is now something we all rave about. Sure, we can thank modern animation and live movie adaptations for making comics relevant to this day, but we’ve got to admit that comics still have their own magic in their pages.
That’s what digital comic platform Penlab is all about: Preserving the legacy of comics while still upholding the craft of modern Filipino creators.
Launched just September of this year, the Pinoy comics hotspot houses hundreds of titles featuring the works of local artists and authors, taking old and new generations of comic fanatics to worlds filled with fantasy, thrill, laughs, and, sometimes, the readers’ deep thoughts.
OG comic book readers will find it hard not to fall in love with Penlab’s featured titles. But if you’re a comic book novice, then you’re in luck as Penlab’s managing editor Bernie Mercado shares with Manila Bulletin Lifestyle their top reads, recommendations, and what to get excited about to get you started on your comic book binge-reading.
MOST POPULAR TITLES OF 2020
Katipunera Warrior by Bernie Mercado, Nina Torralba, Sampay
A young female warrior joins the battle of the Katipuneros who harness the powers of the gods in a reimagined colonial Philippines filled with demonic monsters.
Nagmamahal, Maria Clara by Marianie
Jumping from the pages of Jose Rizal‘s Noli Me Tangere, Maria Clara time travels to modern-day Philippines and becomes an actress.
Nang Mainlove Ako Sa Isang Sakristan by Richard Mercado
After being caught kissing at the back of the church, teenage boys Francis and Didoy set out on a journey they’ll never forget
Super Proxies by Sampay
In a world where people get tired due to inhumane work standards, the Super Proxies are here to save your sanity at a very low cost.
Dapit Hapon by Warehouse 6 Productions
Witness the crazy antics and adventures of three friends as they go through the world of high school.
Life in Orange by Lizmi
The ordinary, stick-to-the-status-quo life of high school student Vito changed after he is partnered with a new student named Kahel.
Uwian Na by Shirojiki Mattari
Agapay has decided that she wants to peacefully graduate from high school, but that idyllic plan is disrupted by Edstein and Co. as they plan to annoy her for as long as the Earth rotates.
After All This Time by BAPOGICHI
Meeting an ex is always an awkward situation. But for college student Tommy, seeing hers again is like meeting a complete stranger.
BEST OF 2020 RELEASES (TOP PICKS AND RECOMMENDATIONS)
Mythology Class by Arnold Arre, Nautilus Comics
This award-winning graphic novel follows the story of a group of students in a special Mythology Class where they have to catch actual engkantos.
Sagala by Tori Tadiar
Not the typical May festival. This comic is filled with badass ladies with guns hidden under their petticoats.
The Nowhere Tree by Mitzi Bajet
After a petty race to an enormous tree, two boys’ friendship is put to a test as they find their way back home.
Darahug by Kael Molo
A Filipino horror story mixing various myths and societal issues people are often afraid to talk about.
Kanto Inc. by Joanah Tinio-Calingo, Taga-ilog, Kilayman
Moving from one job to another, Nuclear Physics graduate Gwen encounters an ad that will lead her to the unknown.
Era of the Kalaydoskowps by Carlorozy Clemente
This comic revolves around the story of an art critic looking for new experiences diverse art forms the world has to offer.
Si Ana, ang Katulong na Maraming Ginagawa by Noel Pascual, AJ Bernardo (Kowtow Komiks)
Let’s just say Mrs. Perez has a lot of tasks she wants poor Ana to accomplish.
Elesi by Zoe Vidal
Bearing a secret from her father, an enigmatic woman goes on to clean up messes in the real and mythical world.
MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASES FOR 2021
O-Kidz by Bernie Mercado, Sampay
Children 12 to 13 years old who can see the future now run detective agencies and are commissioned by the governments of the world to prevent everyday crises from happening.
Spirit Sprints by Bernie Mercado, Nina Torralba, Hansel Dimapilis
Unlike your ordinary riddles, young Rara’s bugtong-bugtongs are magical chants that are able to summon spirits. Being the only one who knows how to perform the chant, it is now up to her to help the spirits rest in peace… before it is too late.