Here’s a big treat for comic book lovers out there: You can soon access your favorite Filipino komiks anytime,anywhere with the all-new Penlab app, powered by Kumu, the country’s leading social entertainment platform. This new partnership makes the work of local artists and writers more accessible to a wider audience, opening the door for creators to earn a living through their passion. This has been Penlab’s ultimate goal for the past few years, and now with a readership of over 600,000 and counting, that dream is taking shape.
With the app, comic fans can browse through 300+ comic book titles, choose from various genres and explore your indie favorites all in one go. “We hope to unlock the creative potential of Filipino creators,” says Kumu co-founder Angelo Mendez. “Coming soon, we will be launching the Penlab Create feature, where anyone can upload their stories.” The app is set to launch on September 15.
A New Era for Filipino Komiks
As a platform that aims to highlight authentic voices and the value of community in the Philippines, Penlab Create is Kumu’s way of providing a space to highlight local creators, as well as connect them with their fans and supporters. “Filipinos have komiks in their blood,” shares Kumu co-founder and President Rexy Dorado. “In the 80s and 90s, people read comics more than they did magazines and newspapers— and while the industry is much smaller today, both the talents and the opportunities are greater than ever.”
The collaborative effort is a celebration of a rich network that went through significant losses and gains over the last decade. Not too long ago, between 33 and 40 percent of Filipinos read comics—a number that dwindled due to the emergence of digital entertainment. The consensus then was that komiks lost their audience as Filipinos turned to television, video games, DVDs, and online subscription services. But in recent years, thriving titles like Mythology Class and Trese make the case that the underground komiks scene is anything but dead; international publishers like Tuttle and Ablaze have even picked up Filipino comic book titles and started distributing them internationally.
Feel free to check the attached press release and photos to know more about it. I hope you can help us share it with your readers.
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