‘There is superhero because there is super problem’

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(Photo by Karl Ben Arlegui/The Varsitarian)

GRAPHIC novels, commonly known as “komiks,” are also a critique of social realities, graphic novel scholars said during a literary discussion at the Engineering Conference Hall on Tuesday.

“There is a superhero, because there is a super problem. [I]f you look at the best of the best of all times, you can always see what these creators are trying to tell its readers, the lessons that each generation needs to learn,” graphic novelist Paolo Herras said.

Herras, managing editor of independent publishing house Komiket, said graphic novels are not confined to stories that “escape from [reality].”

“[Before], the stories are about fantasy but the stories now [are] about ‘me.’ I have to fix my own world, that’s why we have a lot of mental health issues and LGBT issues,” Herras said.

Bien Mabbayad, who teaches literature in UST, said comics should not be reduced to mere “kiddie fair.”

“Our constant search for personal identities is rightfully equated to our national consciousness,” Mabbayad said. “By using graphic novels as a means of space, we readers and creators can share experience that can best define and defend the right [that] is ours.”

“These stories are significant reflections of blatant realities shaped by history and years of struggle amid all forms of repression,” he added.

The event, titled “Danas: Social Realities in Graphic Novels,” was organized by the UST Literary Society.

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