rapid reviews

More from the GTMACC stash. BTW it doesn’t mean that if it got a rapid review, that I didn’t like it. I just seem to not have a lot of words to say, that’s all.

Paglaki Ko (alabmemei/Kwai Marie P.) [AKAProduction/Haraya] — It’s a simple little story of little boy Makisig, who becomes friends with little girl Marikit. As grade-school relationships go, Marikit soon makes the mistake of disappointing Makisig, but Makisig has sad parental reasons to be sensitive to such things. The work is manga-style but is nicer than many of its peers. Also it presents itself as Pinoy in theme, character, and setting, which is really good to see. It has points to improve on, but on the whole it’s cute, sweet, and worth the time.

Reaching Your Heart 1-3 (Aejel) [AKAProduction/Haraya] — Hazel, a nice enough college student, lives alone in Antipolo while her dad works in the States. Her mother died in an accident that also partly affected Hazel. One day she comes home to find a good-looking young man, Jedd, who claims to be not only her old friend but also her fiance! And, he’ll be living with her in that big Antipolo house! It’s a Pinoy version of a rather well-tread shoujo manga trope, and if it were the Komikon instead of the small event that GTMACC was I would have skipped on this. But it was not a bad decision to get this series. The characters are really likeable, and have the spunk you expect of Pinoys that you don’t get from similar Japanese characters. The paneling and pacing are generally nice, and the art is pretty good all throughout. If manga-style is your cup of tea, this is a nice series to get.

Mona: Queen of the Babes (DarkChapel) [SSM!Sierra] — Another of the hits of the Indieket, with some of the most distinct art styles on those tables, and some of the most memorable comedy lines in recent Komikon history (ask the people at the Indie Komiks Manila FB group). While in school, devil-may-care Mona gets text messages from home to come home immediately if not sooner. When she gets there she finds her home in ruins, her grandparents in their last breaths, and some instructions. Such instructions turns her into super-busty superhero Mona Queen of the Babes. This is some of the craziest treatments of some very trope-y openings to a series, and this is what makes it one-of-a-kind. You don’t know if you’re going to be sad for Mona, or die laughing at how this is all panning out. With the awareness that this is PG-18 material, keep an eye for more of this series.

Bakit? (Freely Abrigo) [Freetoons] — This is the output from one of the make-a-comic-in-24-hours challenges. I grew up on variations of the Philippines-versus-the-world long jokes, and yet I found myself still chuckling at how Freely drew these scenes. The rest of the bakit-ang-Pinoy-ay-astig snippets are usual Pinoy things, just taken to comedic extremes. This is what makes Freely Abrigo very awesome in his own right: He takes what we all know as part of us and manages to make us laugh at ourselves. Totally worth your time, especially if you did grow up on those Philippines-versus-the-world jokes.

Trap Them All (Richard Arguilla) [Catch Comics] — This is composed of three short comics, all about goth girl Marian, with two putting her in a good light and one in a bad one. Chard’s pacing in this one is much better than it was for Attack of the Man Eating Beef Steak, such that Marian’s stories are well understood even when there were no dialogue balloons in many panels. Again this kind of comic is not for everyone but totally deserves all its fans.

Kid Comet (Oliver Page, Lowe Beltran) [infernokrusher factory] — I have only a few words for you sir: Pitch to K-Zone Philippines. No, seriously. If I were a kid I would like this stuff very much, with the way the characters grandstand and speechify (not a bad way, but in a kiddie way). This, while keeping a fine skill with illustrating mecha, a good pace in the paneling, and a great sense of digital inking and finishing. If you have the dedication to keep this up and keep delivering this material every month for years, I am serious, pitch to K-zone. You’re bound to have an audience. (Actually I have that to say about practically all the output of infernokrusher factory except Pagliacci, but more on that in another post.)

Daleth’s Embrace 1 (Ray Magbanua) [Revel Circle] — Dampen Daleth is the daughter of Death, and wields the scythe that claims new souls. This is the story of one of her acquisitions. Aside from the point that, seriously, raykosen, get a better printer, the people you work with do not do your art enough justice… Ray Magbanua’s style is one of the more interesting among those who use the manga-style, especially in this story. The work is highly detailed, and this is seen in Daleth’s gothic attire as well as her weapons. However he too makes the usual artist misstep of enjoying the illustrating so much that the story pacing somewhat loses. That said, this is still quite the awesome piece, made by a creator who is willing to push boundaries and keep improving.

Impulse Overdrive (Trizha Ko) — This is a collection of short comics from the author, about various topics, principally about relationships, emotional and physical. Be aware that frontal nudity is part of this material, so it is NSFW. Um…this is from the experimental, alternative side of the comics spectrum, and it does take getting used to if you’re more familiar with the usual kinds. That said, they’re quite understandable, and they probably did get the emotional responses the author wanted out of me. If you’re more from the QBCCC crowd, then this is definitely up your alley and is one good representative of that kind of style. Come to it with a thinking mind, and you’ll be fine.

Lefty / Ana, Ang Katulong na Maraming Ginagawa (Noel Pascual / AJ Bernardo) [Kowtow] — These are two stories, both initially part of QBCCC. Lefty is about this guy who, on the verge of snapping, decides to activate his dormant, evil-er left brain hemisphere. It makes no qualms about facing the criminality of our police system head-on. Ana is the househelp who does the dirty work, literally, of saving the world as part of her duties! Between these stories you’ll see more awesomeness from the duo that makes the Crime Fighting Call Center Agents, a writer with a crazy brain to take the mundane and make it extraordinary, and an illustrator more than able to make such crazy thoughts come to life.


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