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REVIEW: The Nativity of Rak-en-rol in ‘Unang Katipunan ng KikoMachine Komix!’

Unang Katipunan ng KikoMachine Komix
Unang Katipunan ng KikoMachine Komix
Unang Katipunan ng KikoMachine Komix


Story by: Manix Abrera
Art by: Manix Abrera
5/ 5

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To sum it all up..

We can see how history in Philippine comics unfolded and unraveled with this beautiful volume by Manix Abrera

Posted August 1, 2018 by


The new millennium came forth in 2000, so did the birth of the paradigm shift of visual sequential storytelling in the Philippines… the name was “Kikomachine” by the University of the Philippines-Diliman Fine Arts student Manix Abrera. First appeared in the pages of the State University’s student periodical, The Collegian. Then in 2001, Manix’s creation appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, joining the rank of influential kartunistas like Pol Medina of the “Pugad Baboy” and his old man Jess Abrera’s “A. Lipin.” The path was long and difficult for the upstart, but his journey was nevertheless a meaningful one towards his current “rak-en-roll” status quo, as proof to the long queues of fans, collectors and fellow “kapanalig” during the Komikon events annually to get his one-of-the-kind autographs and selfies.

Unang Katipunan ng KikoMachine Komix

Since the current demand of high-quality compendium is still ongoing, Manix anticipates this one; and we get this excellent omnibus edition entitled “Unang Katipunan ng Kikomachine Komix!” The cover art is so exquisite. The texture is almost leather-like material, making a sturdy grip and handling whenever one would casually read this astig opus. The true inspiration of the baybayin and anting-anting (or amulets) artwork is his mother’s (the university’s current dean of College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Dr. Ma. Bernadette Abrera) extensive anting-anting collection. This is perfect for performing incantations against nonsense, BS, and other forms of evil. And, this katipunan contains the first three volumes of the “Kikomachine” run, namely “Mga Tagpong Mukhang Ewan at Kung Anu-ano Pang Kababalaghan”, “Mga Tagpong Tila Nagpapaka-weird, Kunyari Pa-deep, Sarap Sapakin,” and “Die, Die, Evil, Die!” These volumes highlight and emphasize mostly on the wacky trivial and misadventures of the intellectual students (or as we proudly say it, “ISKOLAR NG BAYAN!) in UP-Diliman, plus the introduction of characters we grew, cherish and love thru thick and thin. Since this is the beginning of Manix’s “astig” path to awesomeness, and for obvious reasons, the aesthetics in this opus is still raw, Proteus at its best. But, his distinctive voice was/is already loud and clear, promoting a true “palaban” and critical thinking perspective that is still relevant then and now. As I mentioned earlier, he’s just getting warming up, flexing his intellectual and artistic prowess slowly but hilariously surely.

Henceforth, this “Unang Katipunan ng Kikomachine Komix!” is worth double-dipping or “doble-sawsaw” even you already own the first three volumes. We can see how history in Philippine comics unfolded and unraveled with this beautiful volume. “Rak-En-Rol” would be never the same again… ASTIG!

Paul Ramos



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