This is one of the first read among the stash bought at Komikon, partly because of all the good press about it already, locally and international-online.
The good press is well-deserved. Very well-deserved.
Trying not to spoil too much, High Society is set in 1784, when Spain was very much in control of the Philippines. But even then there were pockets of resistance among the natives. This includes an unnamed carpenter, a feisty girl named Rita, and Yog (a nuno). Our country-erm…our native entities, being the resourceful people they are, use wood in their battles, making clockwork machines and models in the fight for liberty.
So yes, if you’ve heard that this is steampunk folklore-fantasy set in a Europe-colonized Asian country, that is so correct and more. It is also a little bit of romance, quite a bit of well-timed comedy, and a generous helping of action. All this in a booklet. It can be done, and here it is done exceedingly well. The meeting of a writer who I already know is incredible, and an illustrator who delivers the concepts with a distinct style, it’s a match worth celebrating.
All characters introduced are distinct and memorable, from the Alferez to the nuno. The art, as mentioned, presents the country of that era without going beyond the necessities. It is also unique to the illustrator, a unique mix of inspirations from manga, Western, and indie, plus personal preferences. The use of English is understood and makes the work very readable, although with some descent into current slang, not a problem nor a concern.
High Society is available on Flipreads, Amazon, and the iTunes store. Dead-tree version? Pao, you really should have it available at Comic Odyssey and Planet X branches, with a short blurb at the back.
And if we could please have more, that would be so cool!