Filipino folklore is a world rich with strange creatures, powerful gods, and ordinary beings with extraordinary gifts—yet it is a world that Filipinos often outgrow after childhood. Now, one of today’s most talented Filipino comic artists brings this mysterious world to modern readers, reimagining it with captivating art and spellbinding stories.
Ian Sta. Maria, co-creator and artist of the bestselling comic series Skyworld Volume 1 and Volume 2, unveils a collection of art inspired by local folklore with Salamangka, published by Summit Books. The artist, who is currently based in Denmark where he works as a senior concept artist for The LEGO Group, adds Salamangka to his list of published works that also includes Kadasig, Seven Gifts of the Skygods, and Sixty-Six.
In Salamangka, Sta. Maria offers his contemporary touch to the characters and concepts that have long colored Filipino folklore. He pairs each work of art with short, succinct stories that spark readers’ imaginations and invite them to fill in the gaps themselves—inspiring a fresh interest in our local tales.
Sta. Maria, a self-confessed fantasy and myth geek, took inspiration from the legends and stories he first heard in his youth in crafting the world of Salamangka. “Ever since college, I was (and still am) obsessed with Filipino mythological creatures and stories which our culture is so rich with,” he says in an interview with SPOT.ph.
It is no wonder that Sta. Maria’s reverence for his subjects shines through in page after enchanting page—and his peers in the Philippine creative industry attest to it.
Erik Matti, critically acclaimed director and producer of BuyBust, On the Job, and Honor Thy Father, calls Salamangka a “collector’s piece.” In his foreword to the book, the award-winning filmmaker says, “[Sta. Maria] always manages to push his artwork beyond simply just the pulpy comic book aesthetics, making it into something more precious.”
“It seems like he casts his spells with his art,” says Budjette Tan, writer and co-creator of the award-winning comic book Trese, who also writes a foreword for Salamangka. “He can conjure diabolical beasts, majestic heroines, mystical realms.”
“With a few magic words and a wave of his pen, he can open portal on a piece of paper and give you a glimpse into another world,” says Mervin Ignacio in his afterword. Ignacio worked with Sta. Maria as co-creator and writer of Skyworld Volume 1 and Volume 2 and Seven Gifts of the Skygods.
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Ian Sta. Maria, co-creator and artist of the bestselling comic series Skyworld Volume 1 and Volume 2, unveils a collection of art inspired by local folklore with #Salamangka, published by @summit.books. In Salamangka, Ian—known as @takbotikbalang on Instragram, offers his contemporary touch to the characters and concepts that have long colored Filipino folklore. He pairs each work of art with short, succinct stories that spark readers’ imaginations and invite them to fill in the gaps themselves—inspiring a fresh interest in our local tales. Salamangka will be launched at the Manila International Book Fair 2019, which takes place from September 11 to 15 at the SMX Convention Center. Copies will be available for P495 at the Summit Books booths (Booths 51-54 and 71-72, 2nd floor). Following the launch, copies will be on sale in bookstores nationwide.