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Digmaang Salinlahi Book 1 Review

Written by Jon Zamar and illustrated by a bunch of awesome artists, Digmaang Salinlahi (Unang Aklat) compiles three comicbook issues of a fantasy-adventure story that takes you to a wild ride that has lots of unexpected twists and turns.

Better be ready and strap yourself in for some action because if you don’t, you might easily get lost along the way. Yes, most new readers might find it challenging to merely familiarize what seems to be hundreds of names and places such as Kahimanawari, Kahilwayon, Lantaka, Indara, Idaranggian, and Manaraia, to mention a few. Fortunately, Digmaang Salinlahi stays true to the graphic novel tradition of including bonus features like maps and character profiles. These features effectively guide readers along the journey to make sure they don’t go astray as the tale progresses.

That in mind, you can bet this is definitely not a comic you can quickly read and finish during a lunch break. Each chapter just requires your time. Books like this can best be appreciated after more than one reading anyway.

Personally, I admire the mind of Jon Zamar for coming up with an epic plot (think of it as a manga-inspired version of the Lord of the Rings with a Filipino flavor - or something to that extent).  It’s really not a popular route to take, especially in the indie Pinoy comics scene, but he went for it anyway. I’d say he pulled it off quite well and I’m hooked enough to stick around for the next issues.

One worry I have about the book though is that the serious tone and old Tagalog terms might get in the way of readability for some. Of course, Digmaang Salinlahi has lots of awesome character designs, interesting clashes of ideologies and cool turtle shells used as warrior shoulder pads but I’m still thinking adding a little humor wouldn’t hurt and might indeed make it more catchy.

Art-wise, I’d say I’m all blown away. I heard its Keso who’s more of a fan-favorite and that’s easy to see why. He’s really, really good when it comes to details and dynamic paneling. It’s Jhomar Soriano, though, who makes me an instant fan. He has this distinct style of preferring clean, simple lines over complicated hatchings and shadings. I find that very eye-pleasing. and I’m surely eager to check out more books from this guy.

Lastly, let me commend Jon Zamar once more and this time, for the book’s production value. Kudos for taking the title to the printing press and not settling for photocopiers! I’m aware this is not an easy feat for indie creators to achieve (because it can be very expensive) that’s why I’m appreciative for the effort. The tones are sweet, man! They surely take the artworks to the next level.

Go pick up a copy of Digmaang Salinlahi (Unang Aklat) at your favorite comicbook stores now or visit their official  blog if you’d want to read online instead.

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4 Responses to “Digmaang Salinlahi Book 1 Review”

  1. macoy says:

    nice review markus!

  2. Mark Rosario says:

    @ macoy, thank you!

  3. noel says:

    Nice to hear about this. Maybe we can ask them if we could sub it to english like Naruto/Bleach mangas so we could introduce this great comic book. “Keso” kasi tagalog at di matanggap ng iba pero in reality it is really good. Actually, di ko pa ito nababasa pero tingin ko okay din siya.

    Do they have a website? Thanks!

  4. Jon Zamar says:

    Hey Noel, Thanks for having an interest in my little project. You could read most of what I’ve already published over at

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