Philippine comics

Philippine comics
Earliest publications 1920s on
Languages Filipino

Comics in the Philippines (Filipino: Komiks) were partially inspired by American mainstream comic strips and comic books during the early 20th century, particularly after World War II, the medium became widespread and popular throughout the country, though its popularity has subsided somewhat with the advent of other mass-media forms such as telenovelas.

The word komiks is simply the English word "comics", adapted to fit the orthography of native Filipino languages such as Tagalog.



While the first indigenous cartoons may be traced to José Rizal's fable "The Monkey and the Tortoise", the origins of the mainstream komiks industry would not arise until after the Spanish-American War. In the 1920s, Liwayway magazine began running comic strips under the direction of Romualdo Ramos and Tony Velasquez such as the still-running Mga Kabalbalan ni Kenkoy (The Misadventures of Kenkoy). Originally inspired by American comic strips and comic books left behind by American GIs , the medium steadily diverged, and by the 1950s, drew more inspiration from other forms of Filipino literature such as komedya, as well as Philippine mythology. Many komiks were evidently inspired by specific American comics, such as Kulafu and Og (Tarzan), Darna (Shazam!), and D. I. Trece (Dick Tracy). The predominance of superheroes has continued into the modern day. However, other characters such as Dyesebel draw more from traditional folklore.

At one point, between 33 to 40 percent of Filipinos read komiks, but this number has since dwindled somewhat due to competition from other media forms. More recently, comic artists have begun producing what is often called "Pinoy Manga", inspired largely by Japanese anime and manga which have been widely available in the Philippines since the 1970s.

In the late 1960s, Filipino artist Tony DeZuniga broke into the American comics industry, under the auspices of DC Comics editor Joe Orlando. In 1971, Orlando and DC editor-in-chief Carmine Infantino traveled to the Philippines on a recruiting trip.[1] Alfredo Alcala, Mar Amongo, Ernie Chan, Alex Niño, Nestor Redondo, and Gerry Talaoc were some of the Filipino komik artists who went on to work for DC, particularly in the 1970s and '80s.

See also


  1. ^ Duncan, Randy and Smith, Matthew J. "Filipino Artists," The Power of Comics: History, Form & Culture (Continuum, 2009).


External links

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