Comics in the Philippines were partially inspired by American mainstream comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

s and comic books
American comic book
An American comic book is a small magazine originating in the United States and containing a narrative in the form of comics. Since 1975 the dimensions have standardized at 6 5/8" x 10 ¼" , down from 6 ¾" x 10 ¼" in the Silver Age, although larger formats appeared in the past...

 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 telenovela
A telenovela is a limited-run serial dramatic programming popular in Latin American, Portuguese, and Spanish television programming. The word combines tele, short for televisión or televisão , and novela, a Spanish or Portuguese word for "novel"...


The word komiks is simply the English word "comics", adapted to fit the orthography of native Filipino languages such as Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...



While the first indigenous cartoons may be traced to José Rizal
José Rizal
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda , was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by...

'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
Liwayway is a leading Tagalog weekly magazine published in the Philippines since 1922. It contains Tagalog serialized novels, short stories, poetry, serialized comics, essays, news features, entertainment news and articles, and many others. In fact, it is the oldest Tagalog magazine in the...

magazine began running comic strips under the direction of Romualdo Ramos and Tony Velasquez
Tony Velasquez
Antonio "Tony" Velasquez is a Filipino illustrator regarded as the Father of Tagalog comics and as the pioneer and founding father of the Philippine comics industry. He was the creator of Kenkoy, an “iconic Philippine comic strip character”.-Family background:Velasquez was born in Ulilang...

 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
Literature of the Philippines
Philippine literature is the literature associated with the Philippines and includes the legends of prehistory, and the colonial legacy of the Philippines, written in both Indigenous, and Hispanic languages. Most of the notable literature of the Philippines was written during the Spanish period and...

 such as komedya, as well as Philippine mythology
Philippine mythology
Philippine mythology include a collection of tales and superstitions about magical creatures and entities. Some Filipinos, even though heavily westernized and Christianized, still believe on these tales...

. Many komiks were evidently inspired by specific American comics, such as Kulafu and Og (Tarzan
Tarzan is a fictional character, an archetypal feral child raised in the African jungles by the Mangani "great apes"; he later experiences civilization only to largely reject it and return to the wild as a heroic adventurer...

), Darna
Darna is a fictional character and Filipino comics superheroine created by writer Mars Ravelo and artist Nestor Redondo. In her more popular incarnations, she is a deceased warrior from another planet manifesting herself through a girl from Earth, named Narda...

(Shazam!), and D. I. Trece (Dick Tracy
Dick Tracy
Dick Tracy is a comic strip featuring Dick Tracy, a hard-hitting, fast-shooting and intelligent police detective. Created by Chester Gould, the strip made its debut on October 4, 1931, in the Detroit Mirror. It was distributed by the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate...

). The predominance of superheroes has continued into the modern day. However, other characters such as Dyesebel
Dyesebel is a popular mermaid character in the Philippines. The comic book character was originally conceived by the Filipino comic book illustrator, Mars Ravelo. Dyesebel is a prominent character in Philippine cinema and television.-1953: 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
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 and manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

 which have been widely available in the Philippines since the 1970s.

In the late 1960s, Filipino artist Tony DeZuniga
Tony DeZuniga
Tony DeZuniga is a Filipino comic-book artist best known for his work for DC Comics, where he co-created the characters Jonah Hex and Black Orchid.-Early life and career:...

 broke into the American comics industry, under the auspices of DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

 editor Joe Orlando
Joe Orlando
Joseph Orlando was a prolific illustrator, writer, editor and cartoonist during a lengthy career spanning six decades...

. In 1971
1971 in comics
This is a list of comics-related events in 1971.-Year overall:* The Comics Code Authority revises the Code a number of times during the year. Initially "liberalized" on January 28, 1971, to allow for the sometimes "sympathetic depiction of criminal behavior . ....

, Orlando and DC editor-in-chief Carmine Infantino
Carmine Infantino
Carmine Infantino Carmine Infantino Carmine Infantino (born May 24, 1925, in Brooklyn, New York is an American comic book artist and editor who was a major force in the Silver Age of Comic Books...

 traveled to the Philippines on a recruiting trip. Alfredo Alcala
Alfredo Alcala
Alfredo P. Alcala was a Filipino comic book artist, born in Talisay, Negros Occidental in the Philippines. Alcala was an established illustrator whose works appeared in the Alcala Komix Magazine. His 1963 creation Voltar introduced him to an international audience, particularly in the United...

, Mar Amongo
Mar Amongo
Mar Amongo was born in Santa Cruz, Manila, Philippines. After studying with cartoonist Nestor Redondo, he had a long career doing comic books in his native country and in America for DC Comics. From 1983 to 1994, he worked as an illustrator in the Middle East...

, Ernie Chan
Ernie Chan
Ernesto "Ernie" Chan is a Filipino-born American comic book artist.-Biography:Chan migrated to the United States in 1970, and became a citizen in 1976. For a number of years, he was obliged to work under the name "Ernie Chua" as that name had been wrongfully entered on his U.S...

, Alex Niño
Alex Niño
Alex Niño is a Filipino comic book artist best known for his work for the American publishers DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Warren Publishing, and in Heavy Metal magazine.-Early life and career:...

, Nestor Redondo
Nestor Redondo
Nestor Redondo was a comic-book artist best known for his work for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and other American publishers in the 1970s and early 1980s.-Early life and career:...

, and Gerry Talaoc
Gerry Talaoc
Gerry Talaoc is a Filipino comic-book artist best known for his 1970s work for DC Comics' war and horror anthology titles. Talaoc was among the vanguard of Filipino comics artists — including Alfredo Alcala, Nestor Redondo, and Alex Niño — recruited in 1971 for American comic books by...

 were some of the Filipino komik artists who went on to work for DC, particularly in the 1970s and '80s.

See also

External links

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