Wherein I’m too old-ish for some of these titles, or I’m clearly the wrong fit for them.
Boknut (Edge Sarmy) — A high school guy initially gets major flak from his classmates for wearing Mary-Jane shoes, until the tide turns for the odd. Basic elements of story pacing, comic timing, paneling, and speech-ballooning are already nicely in place, though overall it’s quite clear the artist needs more growing-up to do. Characters are not as distinct from each other as I’d like, but are likeable enough. Also, if the illustrations are all going to be finished digitally, the author should have considered typesetting the dialogue. On the whole, it’s really cute, and the author has potential.
One Rabu Zone (The Arbee / Shiyami) [Plurkian Brotherhood] — Cover is nothing like the insides, which is full of chibi and comedy. (I mean, I agree that the cover must be the best foot forward, but it also must be fair and provide a glimpse of the inside content.) Miru dream-sequences her hopes and weird dreams about her first few days in a new school, despite her being a cosplaying otaku. The whole work, while completely chibi and manga-cutesy, is paneled nicely and prepared well with good cleaned art. But quite frankly I’m getting old and tired of manga clones, especially those that pepper their speech with poorly-placed Japanese.
Myth-Tech 1 (Izketz) [Marked Pinoy] — The fighting sequences are illustrated well, with effective speed lines and great action poses. But here’s the thing: I didn’t understand who were fighting, who was allied with whom, and why the heck they were fighting. In contrast to the mistake of many other indies, this one gave too little background information on its setting and history. This all results in a very pretty, but very confusing, first issue.
Kingdom Hearts Unofficial Fanbook (monomochi) — Originally from last year’s November Komikon, this is a KH doujin for Sora and Riku. Since whatever Kingdom Hearts I know comes from its Disney side, some of this flew over me. The paneling is really nice, though the lack of background for most of them leaves the impression of a white wall. Also, the fact that the whole thing is right-to-left (like a scanlated manga) is rather disconcerting, when you know that Pinoys normally make left-to-right komiks. The BL angle of this story is sweet without being overly saccharine. The art for all the characters (even the familiars) is consistently good.
M-Alice (Kaire) [Animation Guild Philippines] — This is the first original komiks attempt by the girl who made the Rin/Len doujin in the Summer Komikon, and is her personal take on the Alice in Wonderland story. It’s not bad at all for a first try, and her March Hare is quite cute and likeable while still mysterious. The font used for the dialogue is rather wider than it should be. The beginnings of good paneling and pacing are noted in the whole work. It’s still quite the manga-clone-y presentation, but the author has potential to mature and improve.
Joe McRad (Aaron Galzote) — Art student is given a flunking grade by an apparently terror professor. He unleashes his hidden Hulk-like skills into defeating the evil terror professor. I agree with the author that his art style and presentation has improved greatly over the 3-year interval between the first and second issue. His style is suited well to the kind of komik-ing that the likes of Macoy or Rawrr make, while staying distinct and unique. Meaning: it may not be me, but Aaron Galzote is on his way to having a regular fanbase.