CSM Publishing successfully launched Ma-i during the recently concluded Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) at the SMX Convention Center in SM Mall of Asia. The launch of the new pinoy manga/komiks culminated with “Araw ng Ma-i” (Day of Ma-i) on Sunday, September 20 as cosplayers from Naruto Cosplayers PH (NCPH) portrayed the various characters of the comics. CSM and NCPH entered into a partnership to promote this new pinoy manga.
Lakan (David D’Angelo Jr.) and Luta (Helen Cleodara D’Angelo) impressed the creators of Ma-i because according to them they were indeed very similar with the characters even their age. Dara even admitted that like Luta she also likes to eat while Jr’s body features is very similar to Lakan.
Arya Chelabian and Faye Villanueva exchanged discussion with Lakan and Luta as they were the ones initially presented. Later in the day other characters were introduced including Aman (Benjie Casi), Makaka (Jan Christian Cascaro), Apo Guinoo (Ferrari Lacson), Kal’lila (David D’Angelo) and Tiktik (Fatima Jongco). The group performed an impromptu skit which coincided with Ma-i.
“Nabasa nyo na ba ang komiks?” (Have you read the comics?) Arya asked after the skit but the fact is since the comics was not yet released the skit was just based on the character profile given to the group.
Here are the rest of the cast of Ma-i comics cosplay:
We have read the initial 5 books of Ma-i and we are very impressed with the story line, the drawing and the character development. So far Book 4: Ang Alitaptap is the best which would probably put you into an emotional state due to the turn of events.
Ma-i is very different from other Pinoy Komiks since it’s storyline is not the traditional superhero style or school scene which dominates most of the comics we see at conventions. Thus, this would be something we should consider reading since it will also make us explore our own country.
MA-I is about a fictional world called MA-I, where harmony among the land and its mystical creatures had been marred by a dark being named Ka’lila, and a young boy named Lakan, together with his friends, must take on the quest to defeat this darkness which is larger than themselves.
The initial release has five books (chapters) entitled “1 – Si Lakan,” “2 – Palaboy,” “3 – Si Malakas at Si Maganda,” “4- Ang Alitaptap,” and “5 – Aman at Makaka,” focusing on the main characters in the series and their initial forays into the epic struggle between good and evil. Each book also features a trivia page about the Filipino culture and items (such as crafts and weapons) common during the Philippine pre-colonial era.
Each book contains more than 50 pages and will be sold for less than P100. The whole series is planned to have 60 books when completed.
Genre: Shounen (young boys), Action, Fantasy, Comedy
About the authors of Ma-i:
Arya Chelabian grew up learning valuable lessons from local folklore and novels as well as Eastern (manga) and Western comics. He is a graduate of Industrial Engineering at Mapua Institute of Technology where he spent his vacant time at the fire exit with friends, playing Hunter and Legend of the Five Rings, and sharing stories written by both famous and unknown authors. His love for values found in the Bible and the beauty of the Filipino ethnic culture drove him to write this story. He believes that stories can influence the next generation with important life lessons the way stories of old have influenced him. He is an engineer by profession.
Faye Villanueva has been creating stories and drawing since she was a toddler. Her influences are classic and Christian novels, Japanese and Western comics. She attended intensive story writing workshops (mostly for film) during her college and working years (as a Communications graduate and practitioner). For the past decade, she has contributed her designs and illustrations to various published books in the Philippines. She now desires to bridge the gap between otakus (manga and anime fans) and God. Follow her at Instagram @spatialchild.
Related Articles about Ma-i Komiks:
- MA-I: A Filipino Manga that Promotes History, Culture and Values
- New Pinoy Manga released in Araw ng Ma-i
- Ang Kwento ng Ma-i at bakit dapat mo itong subaybayan?
- Discover the unique of Pinoy literature through MA-I