Nothing beats the feeling of flipping through pages of a comic. Oftentimes, it feels more than just a visual treat—it also means living vicariously through extraordinary characters and navigating the strangest realm any artist could possibly imagine.
Comics also depict our current collective feelings and realities. And if you’re looking for a place that does just that, stories made by young Filipino artists are your best bet. If your school library doesn’t have them—or you missed recent conventions—there’s an easy way to access titles online.
Penlab, a Filipino komiks platform founded by the group Kalabaw Kolektib, recently launched their app that lets readers explore series and one-shot comics by various artists and writers.
“Two years of komiks and community. Nasa susunod na kabanata na tayo! (We’re now in the next chapter!),” they said in the Facebook announcement unveiling their newest initiative.The post features a one-minute teaser clip following an animated red-haired artist trying to fill in the gap of an empty comic con hall and discovering the wonder of comics all over again through the app.
Scrolling through the app will leave you indecisive on which story to read first. Are you in the mood for comedy? Sci-fi and fantasy? Or maybe some of that guilt-free romance? Currently, our reading list includes high school tale “Life in Orange” by Lizmi, intergalactic love-at-first-sight adventure “The Burger Refuses” by Ryan, shonen fantasy series “Katipunera Warrior” illustrated by Sampay and written by Bernie Mercado and Nina Torralba, and “Palaso” by Marianie, which follows a certain “Dark Cupid”. A “Trese” re-read is also in order, of course.
Take your pick on the Penlab app, available on iOS and Android.
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(L to R) Still from the Penlab app teaser on Facebook and screenshot from the Penlab app homepage