Black Ink Goes Dark

Filipino komiks aficionados once again had a blast during the #SummerKomikon2018 last April 14, 2018. Komikon has been one of the longest-running local comic conventions. Komikon gives local artists the chance to showcase their works. Exhibitors like sellers, publishing houses that caters graphic novels, komiks enthusiasts and lovers of artworks also take part in this annual event.


Every year, Komikon, Inc. organizes three events: Summer Komikon, Indieket, and the last quarter Komikon. #SummerKomikon2018 was held at Bayanihan Center Unilab Compound, Pasig City. Various publishing houses that caters local komiks were also invited to join the event. They were given the opportunity to announce their latest releases.


One of the exhibitors, Black Ink—an imprint of Precious Pages that publishes Manga or Comics—goes dark in the recent Summer Komikon. Black Ink launched its latest releases: Black Rose and Blackout.

The two books sure defies the sunshine amidst summer season. Black Rose is written by Reira Francisco and illustrated by Mike Banting. This story is about Dante who has been maltreated by his father when he was young and his ‘friend’, Rose, who constantly inflict pain to those who have done him wrong. Another dark story to lighten up the summer is Blackout written by Jake Vicente and illustrated by MJSJ. This recounts the story of Bon and his distorted view of the world and of the people devoured by darkness.

Another book that was released on that day is the fourth volume of Librong Itim, an anthology of short Philippine horror stories that focuses on the theme Mysterious Message.

These latest Black Ink books are a mix of horror-mystery-psychological thriller meant for those into dark stories.

— Stefhanie Ann Yanes




Learning How to Scare People—In Fiction

Writing isn’t easy—also a bit scary actually. Writers have to weave every element accordingly; from the characters to conflict to plot that the readers will be left in awe. The goal of every fiction is to satisfy every reader’s peculiar need—to love, to be loved, to hate and to be hated, to scare and be scared. If you aim to make the readers fall in love, write the most romantic plot. If you want to scare your readers—

Well, writing a short horror story is another story. And it is not as easy as it seems just because it is a “short” story. Establishing effective characters and scenes in a horror story is not as easy as shrieking away a cockroach. Well, yeah… a little cockroach surely evokes fear even on some men but an effective horror short story should not just stir a there’s-a-cockroach-on-the-wall kind of fear. An effective horror story would leave a reader breathless, with goose bumps and a blood rush.


“If Romance will make you feel in love and happy Horror should make you feel afraid or even bothered.”

It takes courage and talent, and of course, a formula. And when’s the best day to learn how to fright other people? Friday the 13th—the most controversial date in the field of horror.

Last April 13, Black Ink facilitated their second Short Horror Story Writing Workshop headed by Miss Melanie Esguerra, the Brand Manager of Black Ink. Coincidentally, there were thirteen participants who join the workshop.

There were series of lectures and activities during the workshop. Miss Esguerra first introduced Librong Itim to the participants as an anthology of horror fiction.

Miss Esguerra then started the lectures on how to write a horror story. She started with the basic parts of a short story: the beginning (first 500 words), the middle (the 1,000 words), and the ending (the last 500 words). To further ratify the first part of the story, she discussed the proper way of characterization—from the character’s basic information to her/his behavior.


“Who is your character? The Good or Protagonist? The Bad or Antagonist? The Innocent One? The Daredevil? The Crazy Person? The Unknown? Or a combination of two or three of these…?”

Properly introducing the character in the story could help in the progress of the story. The middle part is where all the fear-evoking scenes are established. The most essential elements should be emphasized in the central part—the storyline itself and the ‘horror feel’ of the story. And lastly, Miss Esguerra discussed the final part of a story. The ending could be written in different ways. A writer could provide a definite resolution or could end the story would a cliffhanger.

After the lecture, the participants were asked to draft their own horror stories. All of them discussed the characters, the plot, and the conclusion of the story. Some of them conscientiously followed the horror story paradigm. Some of the stories were really nerve-racking and spine-chilling.

At the end of the workshop, each participant were given a certificate of recognition. They could submit their stories to Black Ink and may continue to scare people—in fiction.

— Stefhanie Ann Yanes

Creators’ Corner Registration Form

Manga Fest Creators Corner Letter


Creators’ Corner caters to Filipino manga artists that sell independent (or indie) comics with manga style illustrations. Other products such as stickers, posters, art materials, personalize merchandise, and Japanese or translated manga can also be sold here.

It is to encourage those who are fans of anime and manga to create and sell their original works. It is also a good opportunity to know readers and learn in the process.


All requirements must be sent through e-mail:


Yes. You or your indie group will also decide on the price and size of your indie comics.

The ingress will start from 8 AM until 9:30 AM and the program will begin at 10 am until 6 pm.

Proof that Black Cat is Not A Bringer of Bad Luck

(A Black Cat Book Review)

by Daryll Hanna Dulay

During Aklat Awards 2017, Ice Habunal won as the Most Favorite Writer and Black Cat is the comic book she created that also won the Most Favorite Comic Book category. Having these knowledge sets my expectation before reading Black Cat.


The heroine named Catherine was labelled as the black cat for her misfortune. The story became more interesting when she met Remlas en Cantas, a real black cat that can turn himself into a human. For a cat person, this is like your dream put into pages. Some say, women who do not have a boyfriend marry their cats. So reading this manga is like tolerating your fantasies to be with your adorable cat and wishing it can turn itself into a handsome boy.

black cat_Page_14

In my opinion, I think Black Cat can pass as an archetype of the Japanese manga Kamisama Hajimemashita because of two points. The first one is, mythology and cultural beliefs are present in the story. If Japanese believed in the keeper of the shrine and spiritual practices, in the Philippines, where Ice Habunal came from, there’s a belief of small creature called duwende. They have the ability to bring good fortune or bad fate to people. The second point is the noticeable similarities of the power of the male lead characters. This fact is actually the first thing that reminds me of Kamisama Hajiimemashita. Black Cat has Remlas while Kamisama Hajimemashita has Tomoe which both can turn themselves into an animal. Regarding the characters, it should be noted that despite their similar physical form, their personality are different which means that their approach in the story is dissimilar.

About the concept, I admire Black Cat for incorporating mythology in the story because it gives some sort of originality that it is indeed made by a Filipino to present the Philippine culture. This might bore some, but if you have observed, many manga readers admire Japan because they see the beauty of Japanese culture through their manga. So if we do the same, by using this kind of concept to Filipino made manga, it will or can also capture the attention of the Filipino and foreign readers and they will discover more of the Philippines.

black cat_Page_44

The mixture of fantasy, comedy, and romance genre along with the excellent illustration pushed the Black Cat to deserve an award. The book has it all—great story line and nicely drawn characters. It is just sad because it came out as a single story. I think it will be great if it will be written as a series with the integration of more characters and mythology. However, I can say that Black Cat really stood out. It can diverge itself when mixed with local and foreign manga because of its uniqueness. No doubt it is a winner.

aa2017 black cat

Is Love Genderless?

(An Andy is Andrei Manga Review)

by Daryll Hanna Dulay

I never imagined myself reading a book or manga about same sex relationship. I thought everything will be awkward to read. Since I’m reading a Boys’ Love story for the first time, maybe this review will made a good point after all.

Andy is Andrei is a black and white manga published under Black Ink. From the title itself, it obviously reveals that the manga is a gender bender themed story. The story is about Kyle who decided to pursue Andy, a cosplayer that he like and followed on social media. Little did he know, that his new neighbor Andrei is also Andy. The story climaxed when Kyle found out about Andrei’s secret.

Cover Andy Is Andrei - BS

Sweet scenes which were commonly for a boy and a girl were replaced by a girl-looking boy and another boy. I thought everything would make me cringe because I am aware that Andy is a boy. But as I moved towards the end of the story, it is actually good. Maybe the illustration helps. Andrei is illustrated looking like a girl in the manga so as my imagination runs along the story, in my mind, he is a girl in male clothes. Regarding the layout and dialogue balloons, I must say they were properly positioned. This is important because we do not want readers to lose his/her track in reading. What do you expect? It’s Jana Dhel. Everything is neat and the characters looks great too.

Gays and girls might think Kyle was so perfect making them want to say, “I wish there was a real Kyle.” As the story progressed, I bet everyone would fall in love with Kyle. All thanks to the script, dialogue and storyline written by Claudine Erang. She will feed your imagination with your dream boy.

The only con I saw in this manga is the title. Like mentioned, it was like a giveaway of the story line. Though you cannot conclude how they will end up, you will still have the hint of the major plot twist of the story. Overall, it was great to find out how they ended up and what really happened after Andrei was busted and how he was caught. Also, Andrei and Kyle have scenes that I never thought I will enjoy regardless of the fact that they’re both male. Andy is Andrei gave me a fun experience which encouraged me to read more BL genre and even the other works of the author. It is said that this book is her third work in Boys’ Love genre. I think her story is worth searching for.

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Do you want to be an Animator or Mangaka?

Mark your calendars, anime and manga aficionados! You can now look forward to learning the ins and outs of Anime and Manga. Precious Pages Corporation will be organizing an event called “Manga Fest” this February 24, 2018 at the 4th floor of their building at #16 Sto. Domingo Ave., Q.C.

Manga Fest is an event for anime and manga sellers and collectors. Now is your chance to showcase, sell, and also to find what’s missing in your collections!

Manga Fest will also have two panel discussions. If you’re dreaming of becoming a comic writer or an illustrator, you can sign up for Black Ink 101. The lecture would be from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM and would be led by Miss Melanie Esguerra, Managing Editor of Black Ink.

If you want to know the basic techniques of animation, you sure will learn a lot from Mr. Brian Barredo, CEO and Founder of SEACAT during the next session, Insight to Japanese Animation Production from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM. Both speakers are enthusiasts and experts in the world of comics and animation.

The panel would carefully assess each respondent and only few will be chosen. Black Ink 101 has only 10 limited seats and Insight to Japanese Animation Production will only accommodate 30 persons.

So, what are you waiting for? Register now and learn with your co-Manga and Anime fans for only P20.00! Online registration is until February 20, 2018.

Click the designated link for the panel discussion you wish to attend.

For Black Ink 101, please click this link:

And for Insight to Japanese Animation Production, go to this link:

And for the few chosen ones, don’t forget to bring your portfolio and resume on the day of the event. See you there!

How To Draw Manga School Tour

Attention to all Teachers and Students! Black Ink is now offering a FREE How To Draw Manga Workshop to any schools within Metro Manila!

We are Black Ink, an imprint of Precious Pages Corporation which publishes comic books with various genres such as Romance, Adventure, Mystery, Paranormal, Slice of Life, et cetera. This year we will be offering a free workshop to at least thirty students who will buy our books during the book fair to be held at your respective school or university.

We can conduct the How To Draw Manga Workshop on various grade levels.

For Elementary (one-hour or two-hour session depending on the number of attendees)

A fifteen-minute talk about how to draw the face of a character. Followed by a fifteen-minute drawing activity. The rest of the time allotted will be spent on one-on-one checking of the said activity with the speaker or artist.

For High School and College (one-hour or two-hour session depending on the number of attendees)

A thirty-minute talk about how to draw the face, anatomy and hands and feet of a character. Followed by a fifteen-minute drawing activity. The rest of the time allotted will be spent on one on one checking of the said activity with the speaker or artist.

The illustrator/s we will invite depends on the illustrator’s availability. The workshop can be divided into sessions depending on the number of attendees. Our preferred time for conducting the workshop is between 1pm and 5pm.

We hope you can let us share what we know about creating comic book characters to your students and help us promote the enjoyment found in reading.

For inquiries please contact Jobelle Espejo (School Tour Coordinator) at 0932 872 82 71.


Whose Ship is Sailing?

(A Ship Me Not Manga Review)

by Daryll Hanna Dulay

Ship Me Not is a 60 pages Tagalog manga published under Black Ink. It is written by Reira Francisco and illustrated by Jana Dhel. The writer of Fake Job and the illustrator of Andy is Andrei are now joined together to create a romance genre. With this two, they are able to create an exhilarating story to read.


The story of Ship Me Not is about Martin and his best friend, Jero, who fell in love with the same girl. In the beginning of the story, Martin was about to confess to Jena (the female lead) when Jero suddenly came and ask him to relay his love letter to Jena. The story became more interesting as it goes on when Jena overheard Martin and Jero talking about Jero’s plan of confession. However, the only part Jena heard is Martin saying:

“Gusto ko sanang malaman mo na… May gusto din ako—”

(I want you to know that. I also like—)

As a fujoshi, it hyped our female lead to push the two to be together.

Aside from the exciting storyline, the illustration greatly contributes to the manga. It was drawn magnificently neat and beautiful. The layout is perfect. It prevents the reader from being lost in direction. Great scenes were boldly emphasized by giving it a larger portion of the page. Even the dialogue balloons were perfectly placed near the speakers. As for the characters, the cover page says it all. But am I the only one who loves manga in black and white? If the characters printed in colored (cover page) looks good, you will fall in love more with their appearance in black and white.

Regarding the writing, even the title screams creativity. The title Ship Me Not makes you want to find out why it was titled like that, who was being shipped, or why he/she does not want to be shipped. When you finished the manga, you’ll realize that the title makes sense and it has something to do with the persona of the story. About the dialogues, they were written in simplistic way which is actually good because the story sets in regular days in school, and being written in informal conversation gives it a comfortable and realistic vibe.

Overall, Reira Francisco and Jana Dhel combined is a good one. Their creativity creates a good manga which readers would want to put in their manga collection. Still, I think the plot of the story deserves a series of manga to elongate the story and emphasize the scenes of the three lead characters. From my view, the manga is not just a love story. It is also about being a fujoshi and how women can support the same sex relationship. However, I am not giving away the story. Everyone deserves to discover how the story went. So I am only leaving you a question. Who do you think ended up with whom? Martin and Jena, Jero and Jena, or Martin and Jero?

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Short Horror Story Writing Workshop

There will be a Writing Workshop on April 13, 2018 (1pm to 5pm) at the 4th Floor of Precious Pages Building – #16 Sto. Domingo Ave., Q.C.

The workshop is about knowing the horror genre, its format and what could be an effective way to write a short story for Librong Itim, an anthology of short Philippine horror stories published by Precious Pages Corporation. For those interested to join please register on or before March 31, 2018.


Registration Form

Full Name:


Contact Number:

Answers: (Please limit your answers to thirty words only; use Tagalog words)

1) Nabasa mo na ba ang kahit anong volume ng Librong Itim na inilabas namin? Ano’ng masasabi mo tungkol sa mga istoryang nabasa mo?

2) Bakit gusto mong magsulat ng horror na istorya?

3) Matagal ka na bang nagbabasa ng mga nakakatakot na kuwento? Bakit?

Send your registration form at and write Registration Form for the Writing Workshop as “Subject” so we can track your message. Thank you.