Maktan 1521 issue 1-5 (tepai pascual) [meganon]

I’m only reviewing this now (not after Komikon or Metro ComiCon) because I just got this series, even if I was already intrigued by it. After all I had already bought the compilation for Mark 9:47 off her during Komikon and was broke during ComiCon. But Comic Odyssey had all 5 issues on display, and it was within the price range, so they finally were bought and read.

It’s 1521, and the Martians have landed….erm I mean the Spaniards have landed at Maktan. Unlike the Chinese who want to trade, the white men want everything. Some tribes have chosen to immediately bow down to the white men with the lightning sticks. But not Lapulapu and his tribe. This is the stylized visualization of how the datu got in the history books.

Unlike Mark 9:47, Maktan 1521 is a solo endeavor, and that immediately shows in the way this comic is more about visuals than dialogue. The distinctness and quality of Tepai’s inking and line art is also shown better here. It also shows her uniqueness as an artist better, since her Filipino side shows front and center in a work like this.

For the gripes:

– Miss Tepai, PLEASE TYPESET YOUR DIALOGUE! Her handwriting is readable enough, but they are rather fine-print. And as a comic in competition with others who use digital techniques extensively, the lettered-in speech balloons lose to typeset ones.

– Occasional lapses into modern-usage dialogue and terms make people like me lose focus. For instance: ‘Kristianismo’ and ‘walang problema’, being loan words from English.

– I find it hard to tell the characters apart, even if their headgear and apparel vary. If they don’t give their names in dialogue, I would not know who they are (unlike in Mark 9:47 where all the angels look distinct from each other because of clothes and personalities).

I say those things, but I assure that I totally loved the series and what she is striving to do with it. The art is beautiful and incredible. All those fine lines in the elaborate jewelry and those tattoos….wow. The pacing of paneling and action is near perfect and never confusing. The action scenes are beautiful. The story and its execution draws you in and forces you to stay, even if you know what to expect of the ultimate outcome.

I may even buy the compilation when it comes out. ^^v Keep up the great work!


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