Manix Abrera illustrates cover for DC Comics’ Batman The Knight

Rick Olivares

Posted at Jan 03 2022 03:32 PM | Updated as of Jan 03 2022 05:12 PM

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(UPDATED) “Pa, makakapag-drawing ako ng Batman!”

Manix Abrera regards his father, renowned comic strip artist and editorial cartoonist Jess Abrera, as an inspiration. 

Yet the son, in some ways, has gone where his father -- who has penned strips such as “Pinoy Nga” and “A. Lipin” and has illustrated work by the late National Artist Nick Joaquin such as Sarimanok "Versus Ibong Adarna" – has not gone before and that is international comic books.

The younger Abrera, whose Kikomachine comics strip is in its 13th trade paperback volume and also on the pages of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, has drawn the covers for Department of Truth #16 and Monkey Meat #1 both for Image Comics. And now, he’s doing cover artwork for DC Comics’ upcoming title, Batman The Knight.

Batman The Knight #1 will be on sale this month.

“Dream come true itong paggawa ng cover para sa Batman The Knight #1,” said Abrera. “Mula noong bata ako, nagbabasa at bumibili ako ng mga comics. Ang mga favorite ko ay ang mga ng X-Men, Batman, at WildCATs. Pero ngayon more on graphic novels or trade paperbacks binibili ko.”

This cover for Batman The Knight #1 was done through a collaboration between Next Comic Art, Comic Odyssey, and Sanctum Sanctorum and was approved by DC Comics’ Batman editor Ben Abernathy.

“Kung tama pagkaalala ko, etong October ko lang nakuha 'yung assignment na 'to tapos two weeks lang 'yung deadline ko,” recounted Abrera. “Siyempre nakaka-pressure kasi 'yung style ko na very cartoony hindi pang-usual superhero style.”

What Abrera rendered was a strong tribute to original Batman illustrator Bob Kane imbued with his personal style.

“Sinabi ng DC na eto 'yung main plot kung paano naging Batman si Bruce Wayne tapos ako na bahala kung ano gagawin ko,” further explained Abrera of the process of creating the cover. “Ginawa ko style-Kikomachine na ginawang Batman. Punong puno ng symbolism, magic, at occult.”

“Naghanap ako ng something na bagay sa plot ng Batman at naisip ko 'yung Philosopher’s Stone – na maraming steps bago maging gold. So maraming steps bago maging Batman si Bruce Wayne tapos may mga stages of grief from depression and anger bago siya makarating sa hope. Nung pinadala ko to sa DC may kasamang explanation.”

As they say, the rest is history.

“Dream come true na makapag-drawing ng Batman kahit cover lang.”

“Sana makapagbukas ng ibang pintuhan ito. Imagine mo kung makapag-illustrate din ako ng cover ng X-Men?”