I don’t have much to say about these, because I already follow them eagerly, and have gushed about them earlier.
Mark 9verse47: extra verse ‘Old Friends’ (Maika Ezawa/Tepai Pascual/Dragfly) [Meganon] — If you’re wondering why the second compilation of Mark 9verse47 does not have a long review, it’s because its content (the Ron Hunter arc, issues 5-8 — and I’m still immensely happy about ANY local komik which isn’t Trese HAVING an arc) has been crash-coursed and reviewed already. The content remains almost un-altered in the compilation. What IS unique to it is the extra chapter at the end, which has the newly-minted Visdei going back to visit the grave of one of his old friends. It’s a nice and slow thing, after all the action you see from the core chapters. It also gives us a nice transition point between Visdei’s old self and the self he started to be. The salute to Tony de Zuniga is also noted and appreciated.
Maktan 1521 issue 7 (Tepai Pascual) [Meganon] — The high level of detailed inking in this series continues to improve. This is most visible in this issue, where the Spaniards are now beginning the offense, but Lapu-lapu’s men have a very tight defense. The level of research that gets into this series also shows well, in the kind of tactics both sides use and the contrast between them. As usual the strongest point of Maktan 1521 is the way Tepai immerses us in the action, such that we feel for the characters, and never feel that this is a history lesson.
Patintero TPR (Kai Castillo) [wallpush/Frances Luna III] — The TPR is the compiled issues 1-6 of the series, and they have been reviewed elsewhere. I still recommend the get, even if you have all six, though. It looks pretty on a shelf (especially beside the other TPRs that came out of the winter Komikon). Furthermore, Patintero tended to be released as computer printouts in their indie form, thus much of the lines were gray, not black. As a compilation, the inking has been improved, thus the art is now clearer and overall more distinct. Mel Casipit’s cover art does full justice to the characters, without losing the feel of Kai’s original art.
Bruno Barbero: Bururus (Rommel Estanislao) [Mango Jam] — I don’t know if there’s a dare going on between Sir Omeng and Boy Bakal’s author, but anyhow. This continues the adventures of Bruno Barbero and another challenger to his Barbaro alter-ego. This enemy is able to manipulate poop at will, creating a poop monster to deal with Bruno. Between the ewwwwsogrossewwwwwws and the laughing at how preposterous all this is, you can’t help but be amazed at his masterful control of digital inking and line art, balanced with comedic timing and incredible story pacing.
Kalayaan: vs Nelong Nuclear (Gio Paredes) [GMP] — Kalayaan (now with modifications to his collar) and Cyfer track down a new vigilante, nuclear scientist Nelo who is now Nelong Nuclear. The collaboration with Ed Tadeo with some of the crucial pages resulted in a drastic shift in the art, but this is not a major complaint. As usual it’s appreciated that Kalayaan’s enemies are not completely evil beings, and this is especially true with Nelo, who snapped and has an axe to grind, but is not inherently mean. The overall quality of the inking for the offset printing by the way is really nice.
Kanto Inc. issue 4 (Joanah Tinio-Calingo/Taga-Ilog/Kilayman) — Now that Isaac’s team is complete, they now go on their first mission as the Ghostbusters….erm…as an insect-extermination team? The main spread is quite the impressive feat. Also overall the line art and inking continues to be more detailed with each new issue. All this without losing the pacing, and without making it looked cramped even if Isaac tends to talk in long sentences. The fanart at the end was really cute.
Paraluman: Alaala ni Maria Clara issue 6 (Rikki-Ikotron) [Ikotron Studio] — Emsi and Kot finally reach Ang Layang Maya, where the rest of the good guys live. In general this is a ‘breather’ chapter, where new characters are introduced and people just talk to each other and plan for future events. This is not a bad thing at all. We are also introduced to a manananghel, which is an awesome spin on the manananggal. Artwise the style is beginning to stabilize and Emsi’s look in particular is now consistent. This is also one of the series aiming for a TPR, so watch out for it!
Sulsi: Paglusob sa bahay na bato (Ronzkie Pacho-Vidal) [Ikos] — The little stuffed toys that could continue on their quest to rescue their dog friend from the castle. It continues to be interesting in its Toy-Story way. This is helped all the way by how well the whole thing is drawn and paneled to be convincing. This story already deserves notice by local publishers like Adarna (you know, catered to kids), and since Adarna already publishes the Pilandokomiks, Ms. Vidal should seriously give it a try.