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Top 10 Komiks Characters

Tony Velasquez

Father of Philippine Komiks

Tony Velasquez (1910-1997) a Filipino cartoonist widely recognized as “The Founding Father of Philippine Komiks Industry”. He created the very first serialized Filipino car- toon strip, Mga Kabalbalan ni Kenkoy (‘Kenkoy’s Antics’) in 1928.

These are the most popular characters in the Pinoy komiks industry, having appeared in various forms of art other than komiks (such as film, theater, musicals, etc). Indeed, they have acquired the status of pop icons, so that they almost become movie superstars with loyal followers.

Arguably the most influential comic strip in the Philip- pines, Mga Kabalbalan ni Kenkoy opened the floodgates that started the tradition of cartoon strips in the Philip- pines. During his career as a comic artist Velasquez created more than 300 cartoon characters, some of whom became household names in Fili- pino homes, such as ‘Kenkoy’, ‘Tsikiting Gubat’, ‘Talakitok’, ‘Talimusak’, ‘Ponyang Halobay- bay’, etc.

10. Zuma. His green skin has the menacing look of a snake which he can sum- mon anytime he wants to. His snake-haired head and a couple of phytons dangling from his shoulders are his most memorable trademarks.

9. Asyong Aksaya. Larry Alcala’s hilarious parody of the Filipinos’ senseless expenditures is bitingly reflected in the char- acter of Asyong Aksaya, a wacky millionaire who lights a cigarette with a wad of bills.

8. Kulafu. The very first Tarzan-like character in Philippine Komiks, whose “kingdom” was a deep jungle in the Visayas, battled evil men as well as dragons and siokoy. This famous creation by Francisco Reyes now lives on in the label of a famous Tsinoy Sioktong called Vino Kulafu.

Early Life Tony Velasquez was born in Ulilang Kawayan, in Paco, Ma- nila, on October 29, 1910. His parents were Eusebio Velas- quez from Pangasinan, and Andrea Santos of Cavite. Tony was the sixth child amongst the eight children of Eusebio and Andrea. He went to Paco Primary School in 1916 and in 1919 transferred to Sta. Ana Elementary School. In 1927, he attended evening classes at Jose Rizal College, and worked as part-time artist in Banaag Press. That same year, Banaag Press was bought by Don Ramon Roces. As part of the deal, Roces retained all Banaag’s employees, including Velasquez. Banaag was renamed Acme Printing, tasked to create graphics for Liwayway.

7. Mang Kepweng. Are you sick or brokenhearted? Mang Kepweng can heal your malady with potion, oils, herbs, and an overdose of witty laughter. Mang Kepweng is truly one of the most popular Pinoy komiks characters.

6. Polgas. The wise and philosophical pet dog of the obese Sungcal family in the hilarious Pugad Baboy strip by Pol Medina, Jr...

Career In 1928, Liwayway writer Romualdo Ramos asked Pro- copio Borromeo, an engraver in Banaag Press, to create a cartoon series in Liwayway. Borromoeo could not find the time to create the requested comic strip, and the assign- ment was given to Tony Velasquez, who created the strip Mga Kabalbalan ni Kenkoy in 1928, starring a young teen- ager named Kenkoy Harabas. The script was written by ...

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