Classic Filipino strip Kenkoy is one of Komikon Grande’s highlights

Rick Olivares

Posted at Nov 21 2019 05:45 AM

MANILA -- One of the highlights of this weekend’s Komikon Grande on November 23-24 at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig City is "Album ng mga Kabalbalan ni Kenkoy," a 32-page compilation of classic comic strips from Tony Velasquez, who is acknowledged as “the Father of Tagalog Komiks.”

Kenkoy is a character created by writer Romualdo Ramos and illustrator Velasquez and who was featured in a komiks strip in Liwayway magazine on January 11, 1929. 

Kenkoy offered a humorous look at Filipino life during the American period. The strip became so popular that it was translated into several dialects and even received its own film adaptation in the 1950s featuring icons Dely Atay-atayan, Eduardo Infante, and Lopito.

The tome was repackaged and remastered by local artist and Komikon co-founder Jon Zamar, according to Ian Velasquez, the grandson of another famous Filipino komiks illustrator Damy Velasquez who created the detective strip, D-13, of which his grandson resurrected with all new adventures.

“Aside from re-introducing Kenkoy to a new generation of readers, our family aims for more visibility for the character and his creator since we want to pursue Velasquez’s nomination as a National Artist in the near future,” said Ian. “More than publishing the old work, we have been active by traveling and doing exhibits.”

The reprints of Kenkoy follows the reprints of other famous nobelas or komiks stories created by the late National Artist Francisco Coching that includes El Indio, Saba ang Barbaro, Lapu-Lapu, and Dumagit.

"The Art of Alfredo Alcala" was also reprinted by Dover Publications in 2015.

Only 90 copies will be made available of these reprinted classics (each one has a retail price of P300) and will be available at Ian Velasquez’s table at Komikon Grande.