Back Story

Notes from Dan Matutina

Malignx was inspired by old works of mine back in 2010: “LEAP” and “Lunarize: Big Hole”. You can read more about these projects at:

Malignos in Space

The idea for the characters and story of LEAP started when I made illustrations for Lunarize. Before I ended up with the final illustration, I made a sketch of a Mananggal exploring the “Big Hole”.
Manananggal in Space. 2010.

After that, I created the story of Malignos going to the moon.

They left the Philippines because it was getting chaotic in the planet. The humans were displacing them from their ancestral domains. Why not settle on the moon, then? Since the moon is associated with everything supernatural, it made perfect sense to have them move there.

I had 5 characters in mind: the Mananggal, Kapre, Tiyanak. Duwende & Sigbin. Taking inspiration from Halo’s Master Chief, I thought of making them wear chrome helmets so people won’t see their actual faces. It added mystery to the characters. This eventually became LEAP.


I pitched the idea to UNO. My initial idea was to make a photo essay of the story’s Prologue, think fake movie OBB. I wanted to treat is as a fictional film called LEAP. The title was taken from Neil Armstrong’s famous words: “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind…” It also pertains to “leap of faith”.

I then asked help from Charles Buenconsejo, Leeroy New & Dang Sering to produce it.
Dwende on the Moon. LEAP. 2010.

Here’s the PDF of LEAP that was published in the now defunct UNO Magazine: