Local storytelling is championed by multiple creative industries. From producing films to music, publishing novels to comics, Filipino creatives have taken to multiple media platforms to create unique narrative styles. This Jun. 12, komiks take center stage with the first ever Philippine International Comic Festival (PICOF) being launched by the annual Komiket, an open market for independent creators to launch and discover new local komiks.
Bringing together a community
Within five years, the team behind Komiket has organized 24 komiks and art markets in 6 cities, gave 17 komikstarter grants to 18 Komiket Awards winners, taught 6 batches of Comic Book Creators Workshops, and featured over a hundred creators in 4 comic book anthologies.
That being said, Paolo Herras, the PICOF director and Komiket co-founder explains, “The issue is not that komiks is dead. There are over 750 komiks creators that are living, breathing proof that komiks is alive and surviving.”
“The issue is not that komiks is dead. There are over 750 komiks creators that are living, breathing proof that komiks is alive and surviving.”
Those very creators were invited to send in their entries to be one of the eleven world-class graphic novels to be published from the festival. Aside from that, an international jury was invited to judge entries for the 2020 Komiket Awards. Paolo says, “We’re hoping their seal of approval can convince more Filipino readers with global standards that Filipino komiks is worth reading.”
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Weaving our own identity
One of the biggest defining characteristics of the local comic community is diversity. This is both in terms of art and themes. Paolo explains that the Filipino identity is mostly found through story, rather than distinct visual iconography. By opening our comic book market to international creators and publishers, PICOF will also essentially share our rich local narratives to the world.
By opening our comic book market to international creators and publishers, PICOF will also essentially share our rich local narratives to the world.
Aside from that, there will also be Industry Seminars and Art & Story Workshop for students and professionals looking for industry advice. Meanwhile, comic creators can attend Komiks Pitches and Business Matching Meetings with Publishers, Merchandisers and Film, TV & Animation Producers looking for content.
Paolo encourages young creators to create their own comics as now is the “right time to create.” He explains, “Creativity is the new currency in this age of content creation. We create our value.”
For more information, check out PICOF’s official event page here.
Official PICOF poster by Cy Vendivil