“Skygypsies” – Free Philippine SF Comic, Now Online

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 1 - 2011

Filipino artist John Raymond Bumanglag illustrated a comic adaptation (originally a thesis) of a prose story from Timothy James Dimacali entitled “Skygypsies”, which was published in “Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 3.” The result is a classically illustrated comic book adaptation of “Skygypsies” which has been posted on John Raymond’s blog in its entirety, for your viewing pleasure.

It’s quite an unexpected treat, and a quality read. The artwork is meticulous and it is clear how much care and love went into its production. As for the tale, Philippine space-based science fiction stories are something of a rarity, and the fact that this features one of our more distinct indigenous cultures is a bonus. The Sama Dilaut (or Sama-Laut, as referred to here) are sea nomads who tend to avoid violent confrontations. I’m no expert, but based from what I’ve read about the Sama Dilaut, their portrayal in the story seems consistent with their history–they have a tradition of male bonding that develops from the prolonged isolation of each ship, and suffered discrimination at the hands of some of the more aggressive cultural groups. They could find their way across the seas through the use of sailing songs, kalangan tebba, which helped them commit to memory precise alignments or landmarks. [Herminia MeƱez Coben, "Verbal Arts in Philippine Indigenous Communities"]

May I extend my congratulations to both creators, as well as my thanks–I’m thrilled to be able to use the tag “Sama-Laut Science Fiction” in a post. (And thanks to Budjette Tan as well for bringing this comic to my attention.)

3 Responses to ““Skygypsies” – Free Philippine SF Comic, Now Online”

  1. adam! says:

    ganda! ust peep ba si bumanglag? privy to some of the grad FA peeps ngayon from ust, tas their adviser told them to buy the PSFs daw for adaptation-thesis ideas (one contacted me about ABECEDIARYA na hindi daw pinayagan so she did EL BIMBO as a coffeetable book). sana mas marami pang gumawa ng ganito – it’s crazy beautiful, hayup. ganda lang talaga.

  2. kmfdm says:

    congrats tj and john! tagal na nagge-gestate ang adaptation na ito ah. badjaos in spaaaace ftw!

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