Who is the Doorkeeper?

In six stories illustrated by some of the country’s most groundbreaking comic book artists, Doorkeeper tells the tale of a cosmic being who appears at pivotal moments of Philippine history and myth. From precolonial times to half-imagined queendoms, from the dark years of dictatorship to the frontiers of the future, the Doorkeeper is there to safeguard the ways of time and space. But what if even an immortal being begins to question his role in the universe?

To comics fans, the character of an impartial, all-knowing, cosmic figurehead is a familiar one, but one that co-creators Ethan Chua and Scott Lee Chua subvert and bring to bear on the grand scope of Philippine tradition. “If you’re an immortal being, how would you see the world?” ask the authors of their main protagonist. “How would you begin to understand humanity?”

In these stories, many disparate characters must come face to face with the Doorkeeper’s reckoning. These include a musician struggling to find love and meaning during martial law, a young boy whose childhood is shaken by the Second World War, and even Count Adolfo from the immortal Francisco Balagtas epic Florante at Laura. Each of their choices will define their lives, the flow of history, and the future of the universe itself.

Doorkeeper was co-created by two young college students, who are already award-winning writers in their own right. Scott Lee Chua won the Nick Joaquin Literary Award for short fiction in 2017, and his children’s book series Top Ten Travels was nominated as a finalist for the National Book Awards. Ethan Chua received the 2017 Geballe Prize for short fiction, and is a member of the Spoken Word Collective at Stanford University. They wrote Doorkeeper in between classes, on top of their college workload. This is their first collaboration, and their love letter to Philippine storytelling.

The roster of artists is equally accomplished, and is a varied mix between industry veterans and promising up-and-comers: Allen Geneta (Chapter 1), Bianca Lesaca (Chapter 2 and Interlude), Jap Mikel (Chapter 3 and Cover), Gia Dominique Duran (Chapter 4), Brent Sabas (Chapter 5), Bow Guerrero (Chapter 6), Aaron Felizmenio (Epilogue), and Borg Sinaban (Chapter Covers).

Doorkeeper will be launched on November 11-12 at Komikon, the Philippines’ biggest and longest-running comics convention. It will be available in all major Philippine bookstores, supermarkets, specialty comic stores, and convenience stores for P275.