Finally I have gotten around to reading one of the word-of-mouth sensations of the recent Komikons. First of all this must be said: listen to the hype, because it is deserved. Do NOT let the simplistic cover illustrations deceive you (as I was initially deceived).
Zombies roaming the Philippines? No problem. Live around it, as we always do. Thus Pinoys have learned to establish surge warnings, put up barriers, create tough buildings, make anti-zombie pills, etc. However everyone also reaches a level of complacency about the drawn-out problem, and people start making mistakes. On the way to school, the driver of Maki’s school bus makes one such mistake…and sends the school bus students straight into dealing with a zombie horde.
There is much skill, artistry, appropriate well-executed detail, and well-timed restraint in the art for School Run. Where needed, the panel suddenly becomes highly detailed, showing all the gruesomeness of a zombie or a the full explosion to stop an approaching horde. Thus there are points were the story is indeed positively scary. But where unnecessary, the illustrations give merely the key details of each character’s personality and actions. It’s in knowing when to go on overdrive and when to coast that Macoy shows he is good at what he does.
The story pacing is also excellent, still giving the scares even in a well-tred trope. The characters are also relatable, thinking and acting in typical Pinoy fashion, a combination of panic and good sense. It helps that he already lays down the possibility of a traitor in the midst.
Overall: don’t be fooled. It is not simplistic, it is not hastily made. It is smart and well-made. Find this series, follow it, finish it!