‘Komikera’ Marian Hukom: Speaking up, creating wonders

Marian Hukom is as busy as ever — and how!

A familiar face in the Philippine art community, her bubbly demeanor and distinctive art style continues to light up convention tables, phone screens and functional apparel through her various projects and collaborations. You may have recognized her if you attended Paskomiket and Komiket Katipunan, two of her recent merchandise exhibits at art fairs.

Marian Hukom (leftmost) at the Babae, Babawi! event with SAKA organization representatives.

Her first baby is Nagmamahal, Maria Clara, where the heroine is transported to modern-day Manila, which continues to be published under local comic publisher and website Penlab.

‘NAGMAMAHAL Maria Clara.’

Her other opus, a romance story entitled Panaginip ng Pag-ibig (Love of my Dreams), was likewise released under Komiket’s kilig anthology, which can be found in bookstores and comic conventions.

‘OPIS Myth.’

She even released a music video for this piece, in collaboration with music producer Javy Luistro.

A komikera at heart, she has concluded the first season of her comic. Called My Opis Myth, it narrates a story where mythical creatures, such as the tikbalang, kapre and manananggal join the mortal world as office workers, as they navigate their daily life.

The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Multimedia Arts alumna kicked it to full gear during Women’s Month, where she had her plate full with engagements throughout the metro. “My favorite was creating a shirt and bandana design for SAKA’s (Sama-samang Artista Para sa Kilusang Agraryo) annual feminist event, Babae, Babawi!, a gig and art fair for a cause,” she said.

She likewise had talks and exhibits at the University of the Philippines Diliman through the Foundation for Media Alternatives and the UP Graphic Literature Guild.

And she has not stopped. Currently, her political-sided works are on view at Drawing Dissent, an ongoing travelling show, together with the pieces of other popular comic artists such as Manix Abrera, Tarantadong Kalbo, Kapitan Tambay and Jessie Castro.

“Back in 2020-2021, each of us made educational situations in the form of comics for FMA’s advocacy campaigns. This show is a collection of our works from then. It intends to present the multifaceted nature of information disorder all the while raising awareness on recent digital rights concerns of the country,” she explained. The depository is currently at UP Film Institute Center at UP Diliman, but will travel nationwide and even overseas.

Alongside all these projects, she is now part of an online news website as one of their newest graphic artists. Talk about a home run!

Let us hear more about her thoughts on her latest projects:

The creator with her obras at the Drawing Dissent Exhibit

On UP Graphic Literature Guild (UP GRAIL) talk:

UP GRAIL invited me to do a talk about my political comics and art for Protests and Social Movements: The role and importance of creating comics that tackle social issues event. For my presentation, I talked about how I got into comics and creating political art, which is mostly because of my college thesis comic Nagmamahal, Maria Clara. The workshop tackled women-oriented topics, so I interacted heavily with representatives of feminist organizations and activists.


On Komiket Katipunan:

It was my first time doing a three-day convention. I stocked up a lot. I even had another simultaneous event, since I thought I over produced my goods. But I didn’t expect my merchandise to be sold out just on the second day. So, I ended up doing on-the-spot commissions for the rest of the event. Komiket Katipunan has been my most profitable con yet and I’m thankful for everyone who dropped by. It was nice to meet old and new friends from the comics community as well. Huge thanks to my table mates, Riza and Steph.

The artist (right) with a UP GRAIL officer after her talk

Upcoming projects:

As for my comics, I’m drafting a more serious one shot right now, while making step-by-step progress on my existing titles. I’m taking my time for Nagmamahal, Maria Clara, since I’ve written it out until the ending. I want to give it justice. I’ll be tabling at cons later in the year and hopefully I’ll have some comics printed out by then. Lastly, I’m still working with some NGOs for a few big projects, so stay tuned for future details.


Advice to aspiring artists:

Just keep creating, but be mindful of what you offer and what deserves your effort. As fast-paced everything is right now, remember to breathe and take care of your well-being. It will definitely reflect in your work.