Table Manners (gaoiran/tan) [n/a comics]

Well the back-cover blurb gives the better description than I ever will: “From a troubled past, a man constantly searches to find satiety from life. The hunger for acceptance and thirst for redemption continues to consume his mind. Will Timo finally be able to attain the only thing he has ever wanted?”

That is how blurbs are done, thank you very much, with only enough information to draw people in.

The comic itself plays like the first few minutes of an indie film, introducing Timo and his wanderings about town looking for the best meal at the cheapest price. Suddenly he goes berserk at the slightest annoyance, then blanks out until the next day, still hungry.

It’s hard to tell from just this first issue if this story will turn out genre (ie., horror-type) or realist. I wished there were several more pages to this issue before it stopped, just so it could give more information about Timo and what’s wrong with him. The story, since it’s so grounded in gritty Manila, may have been better delivered in Tagalog instead, but I would understand if the writer was more comfortable using English.

The pencil art is highly impressive in its detail, which is not lost but instead enhanced during the action scenes. The paneling is rather formal, a combination of traditional Western paneling and the classic Pinoy-komiks style, which heightens its effect. The typesetting and overall layouting is almost pro-grade and very impressive.

It’s a really incredible first issue, and makes one want more.

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