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Filipino-made comic book app Penlab launches online

By Katelyn Cassandra Alvarez Published Sep 14, 2022 6:48 pm Updated Sep 15, 2022 1:23 pm

Want to read Pinoy komiks for free? You can now swipe your way through the wonderful world of Filipino komiks on your phones. 

Penlab recently launched their new mobile application, powered by Kumu, for both Android and iOS users via Google Play Store and App Store. 

With just a few clicks, you can now easily access tons of Filipino one-shot comics or series from different local creators right on your smartphones.

Penlab is an online comic reader platform where komikeros and komikeras can share their marvelous works for free. Founded by the creative content group “Kalabaw Kolektib," Penlab is sure to be every local creators and readers’ safe haven for the wonders of creative Pinoy komiks. 

While the Penlab website that brings quality Filipino komiks together in one place has been around for more than two years, the launch of the app makes the titles even more accessible for today's generation of digital readers. 

Penlab covers a wide genre of comics, from science-fiction and fantasy, comedy, romance, drama, indie, and suspense – written in Filipino, English, and Taglish.

Here are just some of the komiks you can read and enjoy through the app, with the official synopsis of the titles from Penlab's site.

Trese (Genre: Suspense)

Artist: Kajo Baldisimo 

Writer: Budjette Tan 

Synopsis: "When the sun sets in the city of Manila, don’t you dare make a wrong turn and end up in that dimly-lit side of the metro, where aswang run the most-wanted kidnapping rings, where kapre are the kingpins of crime, and engkantos slip through the cracks and steal your most precious possessions. When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese.”

Life in Orange (Genre: Student)

Artist: Lizmi 

Writer: Lizmi 

Synopsis: "Vito has always followed societal norms but his views are challenged when he becomes partners with the new student Kahel, who is quite contrary of what people expect a teenage boy to be."

Dante, Damian, and Pascal the Pusang Kalye (Genre: Comedy)

Artist: Levi 

Writer: Levi 

Synopsis: "See what Dante and Damian are up to now, along with their adopted cat daughter, Pascal. Follow their witty daily adventures and make yourself giggle with the cuteness they bring."

Nagmamahal, Maria Clara (Genre: Drama)

Artist: Marianie 

Writer: Marianie 

Synopsis: "When Maria Clara herself is magically transported into modern-day Manila, the lost dalaga makes uncanny friends, gets into showbiz, and starts to defy her own expectations."

Patay Kung Patay (Genre: Suspense)

Artists: Josel Nikolas, Kowtow Komiks 

Writers: Kowtow Komiks, Kwanimation Studios 

Synopsis: "When an entertainment TV crew crashes a party of society's elite at a rmote hacienda, a supernatural revolution of the dead suddenly boils over."

Ang Jowa Kong Crosswise (Genre: Romance)

Artist: Tsambolero 

Writer: Tsambolero 

Synopsis: "Ang Jowa Kong Crosswise chronicles the life and times of Tomas and Leo, who are, for all intents and purposes, an unremarkably average couple in their mid-twenties...or so it would seem. Tomas is actually a self-segmenting winged creature of the night (manananggal)."

Lucia Dreaming (Genre: Indie)

Artist: Lucia Asul

Writer: Lucia Asul

Synopsis: "An anthology series of short stories based on the author's dreams, nightmares, hallucinations, and other sleep-related experiences."

Uy! Si Crush! (Genre: Student)

Artists: Gaby Taylo, Richard Mercado 

Writers: Gaby Taylo, Richard Mercado 

Synopsis: "Juan is an average-looking kid. He has a crush on his classmate Isay, but he thinks she is in love with his hot best friend Kasi. Uy! Si Crush! is about Juan and his journey to get his crush. He realizes what love entails along the way."

Champion of the Rose (Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy)

Artist: Dominique Duran 

Writer: Cat Aquino 

Synopsis: "A princess's hand in marriage is made the grand prize of a deadly tournament. She thus strikes a deal with a trans swordswman: if he fights for her to help her win her own hand, he can finally return home."

Somewhere in my Past (Genre: Romance)

Artist: Gigi Chan 

Writer: Gigi Chan 

Synopsis: "Set in the late 1980s, Gian Celis is a high school student who has no idea what love is like until a transfer student named Joaquin Cojuangco comes into his life. Throughout their high school life, Gian does everything to spend time with Joaquin and make memories together."

Currently, the Penlab app has already reached more than 5,000 downloads on Google Play Store since its launch on September 11.

For fans of Pinoy komiks, Penlab will also be present at the upcoming Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) from September 15 to 18, 2022.