After my long Avatar gush, I would like to say that the adventures of Aang is a model or a standard by which I wish to place my new comic concept/idea against. It's called Hiniranga (pronounced "Hinirang-gah"), which is basically and literally, a manga comic based on the Comic Quest gang's shared Filipino-themed fantasy world setting of Hinirang.
To reiterate, Hinirang was created a few years ago by the group (the concept was originally hastily put together by myself and Nikki Alfar during one moment of hectic creativity)- a fantasy world based on Spanish-era Philippines, with mythical indigenous creatures and magic mixing with the local conflict of native Filipinos and tribes against foreign occupational forces. There have been many contributions and attempts to bring Hinirang to life- mostly through prose fiction from the group writers, and through a pretty cool but ultimately doomed website. Comics based in Hinirang were often thought out, but rarely ever materialized, except maybe through an Immacolata webcomic. Aside from that though, nothing yet.
That should be remedied by Hiniranga.
What do I see in Hiniranga? It's not really an anthology, though multiple side stories may be installed, if need be. Basically I want to tackle one adventure in particular. Simple enough- a band of heroes must come together for a cause. This cause must transcend their individual pasts and backgrounds. I am seeing a diverse cast of protagonists- a party of adventurers that kick ass. Almost assuredly in the book will be Immacolata, the super-powered heroine created by Dean Alfar. I am not sure though it the "Fury of Hinirang" will be an actual part of the party, or just an ally/occasional comrade. The rest of the roster is as yet undecided, but shadows of images are already in my mind. A disgraced man of faith. A wealthy scion with a secret. A rebel warrior. An elite Ispancialo soldier. A half-breed. A sorceress. They're there, beckoning, but as yet are awaiting to be formed.
Hiniranga will, obviously have manga-style art and storytelling to keep it updated to the times and because that's how I work. What am I thinking of seeing? I am seeing skirmishes between armored Conquistadores backed by warrior-prayles (friars) engaging with acrobatic, ninja-like Kali-Arnis rebel warriors aided by mangkukulam hexers. I want to see Tikbalang cavalry and flying vintas. I want to see magic cannons and pistolas, walking bahay-kubos and Higantes bashing against the Ispancialo's Great Fortresses. I want to see expeditions into haunted caves, lost barangays and mysterious ruins. AWESOME. I want to see Hinirang as its never been seen before.
Is it possible? Who knows. It's still very early but I want to have stuff ready. At the very least, I may have something ready for the Komik Kon. I'll also want to study the work of artists who are more versed into doing local-themed stuff, like Andong Agimat's Arnold Arre, or perhaps Gerry Alanguilan. I'll also see about getting inputs from the rest of the creators of Hinirang. It'll be interesting to see how far this can go.
It begins here.