Comic series explores youth culture in the Philippines
Fil-Am actor Dante Basco — best known for playing the red-mohawked Rufio in Steven Spielberg’s “Hook,” and Zuko in the animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” — is working to turn a comic series called “Kids Being Kids” into a full feature film.
The webcomic series, created by Philippine-based artist Aiyeim, is set in the Philippines and depicts three kids overcoming their own personal obstacles in life. It currently has 13 episodes on Tapas Media.
Having optioned “Kids Being Kids” from Tapas Media, Basco will develop the comic into a movie. A serialized format of the film in the future is also possible.
“I’m excited to work with Tapas, bringing this unique story and these honest characters to life as well as representing my community in a way that I feel, hasn’t been done yet,” Basco told Deadline.
Michael Son, editor-in-chief of Tapas Media, also sees the comic series as being a thrust forward in promoting Asian representation in the media.
“We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with Dante Basco and Aiyeim on Kids Being Kids,” said Son. “I’ve been a huge fan of Dante’s work and efforts in promoting more Asian representation in media and popular culture — and knew that Aiyeim’s immensely empathetic story about youth culture in the Philippines would be the perfect fit.”
“It’s our vision to help promote diverse stories from creators from all around the world, and help us all connect through the power of storytelling,” he added. “I think we’ve found the right partners that share the same vision.”
‘Kids Being Kids’
Published last year on Tapas Media, the webcomic — Aiyeim’s only series on the platform — has been read nearly 500,000 times, has nearly 30,000 subscribers, and over 400 supporters.
Its prologue lightly introduces its three characters before diving more into the character of Odette Dimatibag, one of the students at “Pilipin High School,” in the first four episodes.
The episodes make nods to Philippine culture through illustrations of the country’s typical school uniforms, the inclusion of the Philippine folklore “Alamat ng Pinya,” the Philippine action drama television series “Ang Probinsyano,” and the Philippines’ national anthem “Lupang Hinirang.”
To Tapas Media, the anonymous Philippine-based artist said watching Tagalog dubbed Japanese anime shows were what sparked an interest in “anime” style illustrations.
Mentioning the character of Odette as the most personally relatable, Aiyeim said as a message to readers, “I do wish that they’d think of the characters as someone they know. Someone they can be friends with.”