Arts & Entertainment

This Graphic Novel Was Illustrated By 9 Filipino Artists

‘Doorkeeper’ is a sci-fi fantasy epic that travels across different eras of Philippine history.
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Filipino talents in the arts have long been acknowledged, not least in the many Filipino comic book artists we’ve seen through the years: Darna’s Mars Ravelo, Zsa-Zsa Zaturnnah’s Carlo Vergara, and Whilce Portacio, who’s written, pencilled, and inked Marvel titles like The Punisher and Iron Man. And there’s a new crop of young local artists who can begin to count themselves among those ranks. Nine of them worked on a new graphic novel called Doorkeeper, which is out on stands now.

Doorkeeper was written by two Filipino students abroad: Scott Lee Chua of Yale-NUS College Singapore, and Ethan Chua of Stanford University. Scott is the recipient of this year’s Nick Joaquin Literary Award for short fiction, as well as a Palanca Kabataan Essay award back in 2011. Ethan is a spoken word poet whose works have been published in various newspapers and magazines, and is a recipient of the 2017 Geballe Prize for short fiction.

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And with the help of our brothers and sisters at Summit Books, they’ve assembled nine Filipino artists to illustrate Doorkeeper. Here’s what you need to know about each, and why you should be looking forward to seeing their work in Scott and Ethan’s novel.

Gia Dominique Duran
Who is a: Visual Communications major at UP Diliman, College of Fine Arts. In 2016, she released two comics: Heart On Your Sleeve, which was nominated for Best Student Komiks in the 2017 Komiket Awards; and Sins of the Forefathers, which is part of a comic anthology and was nominated in Komiket 2017.
And is inspired by: Jen Zee, an artist at Supergiant Games, and Michelle Czajkowski, the creator of Ava’s Demon.
See more from this artist: on her Facebook page.


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Aaron Felizmenio
Who is a: Freelance comics artist and story designer. He’s best known for his independent titles: Manila Accounts: 1081 - Good Criminals Wear White, The Minkowski Space Opera and Gwapoman 2000.
And is inspired by: “My cousin, Vicente Pado Jr., was the only artist in the family back then. He’s a professional painter, currently based in California, and was one of my first artistic inspirations.”
See more from this artist: on his personal website and his Facebook page.


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Allen Geneta
Who is a: Freelance artist who works on game assets and 2D concepts and illustrations. He has worked on game titles like Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3, The Last of Us and The Sims 3 expansions. Allen collaborates with local and foreign indie comic books and titles, and is currently trying his hand at comic book coloring.
And is inspired by: Mark Millar; cartoons like Thundercats, He-Man, Super Friends, and Transformers.
See more from this artist: on his Art Station page.


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Bow Guerrero
Who is a: Winner of the National Book Award and co-creator of Mikey Recio and the Secret of the Demon Dungeon, as well as one of the artists behind The Lost Journal of Alejandro Pardo.


Bianca Lesaca
Who is a: Freelance illustrator and member of Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK). She graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Hong Kong. Her work has appeared in children's books, editorials for newspapers, on skulls and giant shoes.
And is inspired by: James Jean and Aya Kato
See more from this artist: on her website.

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Jap Mikel
Who is a: Freelance illustrator and designer. He has illustrated for both local books and magazine editorials, with a personal style that he calls “geometric impressionism.”
And is inspired by: Philippine history, folklore, and pop culture
See more from this artist: on his Tumblr and his Instagram.

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Brent Sabas
Who is an: Ad agency art director and a member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK). A Fine Arts major at UP Diliman, Brent has illustrated the children’s book May Lakad Kami ni Tatay and the comic book Sumpa. His works have appeared in Bench's #LoveLocal shirt series, and in local magazines.
And is inspired by: His colleagues in the local scene: Kevin Roque, Jap Mikel, and Rommel Joson.
See more from this artist: on his Tumblr and his Instagram.

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Borg Sinaban
Who is a: Cartoonist and a member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK). In 2014, the second issue of his children’s comic book series, Pilandokomiks, won the a National Book Award for Graphic Literature in Filipino. A founding member of local comic book studio Studio Salimbal, Borg has worked on Mythspace, Muros, and the anthology The SEA Is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia.
And is inspired by: Philippine history, folklore, and pop culture
See more from this artist: on his website and his Instagram.

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Raymund Bermudez
Who is an: Artist based in Quezon City. His most notable works include Amazing Spider-Man #1.3 and #1.5 for Marvel; and Justice League 3000 #5 and Action Comics: Lex Luthor #23.3 for DC Comics.
See more from this artist: on his DC Comics profile page.


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Doorkeeper is available in bookstores nationwide.

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Miguel Escobar
Assistant Features Editor for Esquire Philippines
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