Comic books

‘Pirated Inferno’: Manix Abrera’s comics released to combat intellectual piracy

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‘Pirated Inferno’: Manix Abrera’s comics released to combat intellectual piracy

Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines

PRESS RELEASE: The National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights turns to comics to educate the public, especially the youth, about piracy and its consequences

The following is a press release from the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), together with the National Book Development Board (NBDB), is widening the public’s access to Pirated Inferno, a comic book by artist Manix Abrera, after launching 5,000 hard copies and ensuring its accessibility to online readers. 

Published as part of the joint mission of the interagency National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) to protect intellectual property rights, physical copies of the comic book were presented last June 13 at IPOPHL’s main office in Taguig City.

Pirated Inferno was created with the aim of broadening the reach of IPOPHL’s information campaign among Filipinos, especially the youth, on protecting intellectual property rights and the consequences of piracy. 

“In a world where technology and connectivity has opened doors for opportunity, it has also provided a breeding ground for piracy to flourish. As leaders, consumers, and members of our society, we have the power to shape the narrative by choosing to support genuine works and rejecting piracy in all its forms,” said IPOPHL Deputy Director General and Officer-in-Charge Nathaniel Arevalo during the launch. 

“I hope that Pirated Inferno will inspire us all to take action and stand against piracy by championing the value of creative work,” Arevalo added.

The online version of the comic book was previously released in 2023 with a soft launch held during last year’s Philippine Book Festival. The current launch of the print version is also part of the NCIPR’s 16th anniversary celebration on June 21. 

The power of stories to fight piracy

“One of the struggles of creatives – especially when you’re starting out – is that you already have a hard time creating something and then it just gets pirated. I’ve heard so many stories like this,” said Abrera in Filipino, sharing that this is why he readily accepted the challenge to create an anti-piracy comic when NBDB, IPOPHL, and NCIPR approached.

Abrera is a freelance cartoonist best known for his daily comic strip Kikomachine Komix published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the weekly webcomic News Hardcore in GMA News Online. He was also honored at IPOPHL’s 2024 Gawad Yamang Isip Awards for his contribution to the government’s intellectual property enforcement efforts with the publication of the comic book.  

“Telling stories is a powerful tool to raise [intellectual property] awareness,” said NBDB Director Ryan Esteban. Esteban explained that this collaboration with IPOPHL and the NCIPR is aligned with their thrust since 2017 to create an entertaining and engaging work in protecting the rights of Filipino creators, which would educate the public at the same time. 

The NCIPR serves as the interagency body that formulates and implements plans and policies, as well as strengthens the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the country. The NBDB is a member of the NCIPR, where IPOPHL serves as vice-chair and acting chair.

“This comic book is just one step in our collective efforts to inform, advocate, and inspire people to take action against piracy,” said IPOPHL’s Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Office Supervising Director Christine Pangilinan-Canlapan. 

“Together, we can make a difference if we just say ‘no’ to piracy,” Canlapan said. 

IPOPHL and the NBDB will be distributing the physical copies of Pirated Inferno to various stakeholders at their respective youth-targeted events while Abrera will be sharing copies at the Philippine International Comics Festival in July and the Manila International Book Fair in September.

Online readers can enjoy the comic book for free through this link. –

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