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April 7, 2014

Retelling Stories via the Grafiction of Siglo: Freedom

sigloOne of the good things about attending the Summer Komikon is that there are plenty of great treats to be easily had from homegrown illustrators and storytellers. Some may be newcomers breaking into the field via ashcan editions, while there are also those who’ve established a name and a presence in the graphic novel genre. And a good way to have an overview of these talents is by picking up a compilation like Siglo: Freedom.

A collection of 10 graphic stories set in the comics format, this anthology is edited by Dean Francis Alfar and Vin Simbulan, published by Mango Books, Inc. in cooperation with Quest Ventures and Kestrel IMC, Inc., in 2003.

Within its pages, the reader is taken on a journey throughout various places and decades in the history of the Philippines. These are tales told from different viewpoints on the title concept of “freedom”: from a housewife struggling to find her place in life, to the violent epiphany of one man out to free himself from the sins of the past; from a young Chinoy woman’s desire to fulfill her family duty, to an exploration of the invisible prison of the future we have created for ourselves; from the struggle against the tyranny of language, to the freedom to dream of a better place.

Featuring the works of award-winning writers and artists, its lineup include Arnold Arre (After Eden), Carlo Vergara (Zsazsa Zaturrnnah), Gerry Alanguilan (Superman, Wasted), Dean and Nikki Alfar, Jason Banico, Marco Dimaano, Andrew Drilon, Honoel Ibardolaza, Lan Medina, Elbert Or, Vin Simbulan and Reia Vergara-Simbulan.

Siglo: Freedom won the “Best Comic Book Award” in the 2004 National Book Awards by the Manila Critics Circle.

For those wanting to check out the local graphic novel scene, this year’s Summer Komikon will be held on Saturday, April 12, at the Bayanihan Center, Unilab compound, along Pioneer Avenue, Pasig City.

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