KarMa Reads: Liminal


As you might’ve known (if you’re following our blog) (and if in any case you weren’t following us… how dare you?), KarMa went to last year’s Zine Orgy and had loads of fun mingling with other local and self-published artists in Los Baños. (We also made a blog about it here.)

Zines (from the word – yes, you guessed that right! – magazine) (also pronounced as “zeen”, not “zayn”) are those little booklets made with letter-sized paper folded in two and filled with the magic of art. It’s what budding artists usually do when they want to put something out there that’s independent and self-published. The process in making such pieces is quite enjoyable to say the least. We here at KarMa have been self-publishing our works through this medium ever since the dawn of time (if time started in 2006) and that’s why it’s always been close to our hearts (naks!).

But going back to Zine Orgy… aside from selling our stuff, we also traded and purchased merch with and from our fellow artists. We hoarded a lot of stuff from the event but one of our favorites would be the zine that, at that given place and time, was unlike any other… and you’re about to find out why.


Old Mr Webster defines the adjective ‘liminal’ as something that relates to an intermediate state, phase, or condition. An ‘in-between’. But why ‘liminal‘?

Amrie Cruz’s “Liminal” is a… hmm, wait. Is it comics? Is it a graphic novel? Or is it an illustrated short story? Well, we believe that it’s a hybrid of a graphic novel and an illustrated short story. An unfamiliar cross that, because of some trick of fate, works. It follows the story of five uncanny humans: Gab, Lean, Elliot, Lloyd and Rya. These five characters make up Liminal’s “Tropang Subersibo“.

The story starts, with how any other super cool tropa story starts, from a rendezvous and a cool ‘get to know the squad’ sequence. They talk about what’s happening in their lives and their personalities. We still don’t know their ages (aside from what age Rya had her nose pierced – a substantial amount of data can be taken from this information, Ms. Cruz. We will be investigating this) but they all talk about their lifestyles during the first few pages.

Lean is part of a band that makes revolutionary songs. Lloyd is the artsy one. Gab is a journalist and Rya is… Rya… is… we actually do not have the slightest idea but we think she’s cool. Elliot is a hacktivist and apart from that, like Rya, we also have no idea what he does or who he actually is. (Tsk, Ms. Cruz…)

The story continues with Lean talking of collab work with Lloyd for their next album whilst Gab and Rya are talking about the beginnings of a novel. They start to talk Elliot into joining their revolutionary clique. Tackling their circumstances as artists and citizens in a highly commercialized, capitalist, and oppressive society, these uncanny friends team up as the Tropang Subersibo to save the world (and make awesome stuff along the way).

Art-wise, Liminal can be quite minimal (hehe), in the sense that it focuses more on the subjects of the storyline rather than the whole scene. Because of this, it gives off this ‘millenial art’ feels reminiscent of the art we usually see making its rounds in social media. Liminal has this somewhat “informal” feel. It’s a very light read, despite the weight of what it’s discussing. The whole storytelling of Liminal works really well and is enjoyable because of its conversational tone (which is, apparently, quite ‘in the now’ in this generation of literature), like when a friend of yours tells you about his/her day and is totally “hashtag relatable”.

On a scale of one to ten, we’re giving it a Millie Bobby Brown (aka an Eleven. Heh. See what we did there?). We’ll be on the lookout for the next Astigventures ng Tropang Subersibo!

*we have no idea if this word even exists

P.S. – If you want a copy of Liminal, you can contact Amrie in the interwebs via twitter or watch out for upcoming events of The UPLB Writers’ Club (where she’s a member).

BONUS!~ Liminal fan art, ’cause we just love it and we’re desperate for the second volume.


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