Pilipino Funny Komiks

PILIPINO FUNNY KOMIKS is the oldest running comic book for children published by Islas Filipinas Publishing Co., Inc. Its maiden issue appeared on June 26, 1978. It was an instant hit. With coated paper (then book-paper) cover, all regular pages in full-colors, 90 per cent of the contents in cartoons – and featuring the best cartoonists hereabouts – Pilipino Funny Komiks simply could not fail. Larry Alcala contributed his “Bing Bam Bung”, Roni Santiago came up with his “Planet op di Eyps”, Leandro S. Martinez created “Superkat”, Rene Villaroman, teaming up with cartoonist Vic Geronimo, created the laughable brat, “Batute”. R.R. Marcelino started the fantasy-adventure “Darmo Adarna”, at first teaming up with Joseph Christian Celerio as the illustrator, later with Rey Arcilla as the novel produced sequel after sequel.

In 1981, Martinez migrated to the United States and took the copyright of the cartoon character Superkat with him. However, he continued to send his artworks for it until 1983. A replacement for Superkat, which had been a hit with children readers right from the very start, had to be found. “Superdog” was born, created by Christian del Cruz and illustrated by Roni Escauriaga. The new cartoon superhero, like its predecessor, was an instant hit.

Prior to this, the comic strip, Batute, had to be discontinued by its author. Batute was also one of the mainstays of Funny Komiks, and somebody had to take his place. The publication turned to one of the most prolific comedy writers then, Ms. Pat V. Reyes. She came up with a comic character – a boy of Batute’s age with a decidedly different way of being funny. Ms. Reyes christened him “Niknok”, and like Batute, he became an instant favorite with the children.

Other features of Funny Komiks which attracted a great number of young readers and which are rarely carried – if ever – by the other komiks-magasins are those that make them directly participate in its contents. One  is the spread that publishes drawings sent in by children readers, most of them copied from Funny Komiks’ characters, some from English cartoon strips. The response of the kids to this regular column was such that the contributions came in much, much faster than they can be accommodated. Those published in any given week have postmarks of almost a year back!

And then there is the regular space for photographs of children complete with their birthdays –  “Birthday ng mga Bida”. The response from parents wanting to see their children’s photographs published is very heartwarming. Later on, another feature was started: “My Funny Child”, where parents send in short humorous anecdotes that spotlight their children.

But children are not the only readers of Funny Komiks. A survey revealed that while a sizeable percentage of the readership is composed of children, those who comprise the bigger majority of actual buyers are adults – apparently the elders themselves. And the parents and the other adults in the household actually read Funny Komiks – they enjoy the contents just as much as their children do, proof that people actually remain kids at heart!

It was with this knowledge that a couple of years after its maiden issue, Funny Komiks started coming out with regular features geared for the adult members of the household. The very first one is a series of cartoons that even grandparents can appreaciate. And Fr. Ben Carreon, OMI – the popular radio-TV personality from the clergy – was commissioned to write a joke-column. Another feature, this one educational, is also of help to children attending school: Broaden Your Vocabulary. This spread carries the most common English words that tend to stump the average adult, with their respective definitions. Included in the spread is a series on idiomatic expressions complete with meanings and sample sentences. These non-comic features are carried in a regular supplement of eight pages in special one-color printing.

One particular regular feature of Funny Komiks which school-children find quite helpful with their assignments is the series on great Filipinos. Biographies of these personages are capsulized and published with their pictures.

Since its founding, the Pilipino Funny Komiks for Children have had several editors. The first was Reynalita Manuel, followed by Dolores Ordono, then by Rico Bello Omagap and Rene Villaroman. Next was Rosario Lorilla and later Angelina C. Marcelino-Arellano, a journalism graduate from the University of Sto. Tomas.

Pilipino Funny Komiks became the most, and still the widely read pinoy komiks-magazines in the country whose target audience were kids. Its closest rivals were “Bata Batuta Komiks” and “For Children Only Komiks“, both published in the late 1980s by Graphic Arts Service, Inc.

List of Serials

List of Shorts