Also launching at the event was Iisang Halimaw, a collaborative effort by a number of artists and writers. Edited by Miko Mendizabal and built by Andrei Venal, featuring work by the likes of Dead Balagtas, Lakan Umali, and Karl Castro, the zine called for contributors to create work about “the same monsters that plague our society” then and now — timely for a release date that falls on the anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the country. “It’s not just a description of our society but also a means for them to see art as a weapon para makapagmulat, para makapag-engage,” says Miko. The zine is nonprofit, its selling price based only on production costs, with the added initiative to donate to farmers in Negros.
Miko and Andrei also balance zine-making with their jobs, the former as a sociologist and the latter as an artist. Zines, says Miko, “ang mga nakaw namin na proyekto, because we also have our day jobs.” Andrei adds, “Ito ’yung mga espasyo for people like us to engage creatively and create platforms and avenues for social issues.”
The zine fair coincided with what was at the time an ongoing call for submissions to Komura’s Creators Grant, which allows selected creators to fund and publish their zines with a capital of P12,000. This particular call for submissions prompted creators to tell a story involving alternative ways of living that wouldn’t be under oppressive systems, focusing more on content and concept. Submissions have closed and the winner (along with the subsequent produced zine) will be announced at the Warehouse Eight Christmas Party in December.
Komura co-founder Czyka Tumaliuan cites that many aspiring zine makers lack the means and resources to produce their ideas. The grant, which will continue funding different zines, is Komura’s way of encouraging more people to partake in the movement. After all, she says, “Anyone can make zines.”