Again, short stuff only because I can’t think of a lot of words to say about these. Some of them i liked quite a bit.
Pinoy Rangers 0 issue (Brandon Relucio / Sigmund Torre / Gerilya) — I was asking earlier where the heck was Gerilya komiks now; this is my answer, it seems. This follows how one man finally has had enough of the nation’s ills and finally decides to take action by recruiting a group of talented individuals. The few pages contains some of the most incredibly tight, incredibly detailed, incredibly well-paneled stuff I’ve seen in the recent Komikons. There is a lot of things to look at in every page, and yet it never feels cramped nor “busy” nor confusing. However the zero issue stopped much too soon to be fully understandable, even if everything is highly interesting and intriguing. The series will be definitely worth the follow in future Komikons, but alone the zero issue is too short.
Sigaw (Dommy Abrigo / Freely Abrigo) — This is the joint project of Freely Abrigo, who is part of the komik Indie age, and his father (?) who was a part of the golden age. The partnership results in a short work with two stories with Pinoy-horror leanings, a wonderful presentation of what is great in both eras. The story and script are classic yet smart and novel. The art is classic-Pinoy yet with a feel of the fresh vibrance of the new age. We need more stuff like this out there for the masa to see, in order to bridge the gap between the old komiks era that they know, and the new era that we Komikon regulars now see. Are you listening to me, PsiCom?
Eternal Crisis (Nino Balita) [pagsapuge] — I got the earlier free version. But I still liked it, for all that it was rather rough and such. A boy finds himself meeting St. Peter much too early. Because of a glitch in the system, he is allowed to go back to live, but can now see angels and demons, and is now pulled into the eternal battle of good and evil. As the author’s earliest work, it also shows much of his newbie-ness, with the panels being confusing in some points, the art being generally rough. But the character is nice, likeable, and relatable. Also the story and dialogue is pretty good, so the story moves along nicely even with the noted faults. It’s a nice start, and he did get better from there…as will be shown below.
Pag-ibig, Oh Pag-ibig.. (Nino Balita) [pagsapuge] — This is a simple story about a kid who gets beat up, trying to defend his crush against her boyfriend. Even the conclusion is surprisingly simple. The comic is now computer-assisted, and thus shows sharper paneling and good typesetting. The art is also more defined and more solid. The pacing is also improved, such that the story is funny and sweet without wearing out its welcome.
Mahal Kita…pero ang sakit-sakit na (Nino Balita) [pagsapuge] — By this time the author has learned a lot in making comics, and it shows. This is the story of a rocker dude agreeing to a breakup with the girlfriend he does like a lot, it’s just that the girlfriend is scared to be liking him so much as well. All aspects (pacing, paneling, background detail, character detail) have improved much even in comparison to the work of one year’s difference. The work is also just long enough to have made its point, but not too short to defeat the purpose. Overall, this is an author that deserves an admiring masa audience that likes funny romantic stuff done well, if some masa-oriented publisher will have him.
Cantera (Roshaolin Nuqui / Jake Vicente) [InkJinks] — Maya and Baku find themselves suddenly in Cantera, a fantasy world filled with duende, castles, and monsters. Apparently they have what is needed to save the world against monsters and other beings. Jake Vicente’s art stands out really well in a piece where heavy blacks are not required (as it was in Putrefying Element). The line detail, especially in the last pages, is really great to look at. But Maya and Baku look a bit too alike (since both have short cropped hair and the girl is rather boyish in her fashion sense); thus they are hard to tell apart. The pacing of the story is a little awkward, wherein the kids initially question the situation then suddenly gain mastery of the tools given to them. On the whole it’s quite likable and may be worth the follow.
Resbak (Martin de Guzman) [Puyat] — Seb and Ysa already work together in a vigilante group that works as guns-for-hire, always for good to trump evil. When Ysa runs into Mateo while hunting down the same bad guys, Mateo joins their team. The art, pacing, paneling, and typesetting are very rough, and not in the way Trizha Kho’s is bearable in its rough-ness because it is intentional. This is just rough and needs growing up. But the basics are intact, and the work does seem to progress in the right direction.
Xander: ang lapis, pagasakop, at magkapatid (vhinartist) — First of all, sir, don’t have a cover with a title that the reader doesn’t know how to read (Komikult’s Vertical Fantasy had the same initial problem, corrected since then). Young artist Xander receives an unusual pencil from a strange old lady, who asks him to give the pencil a name. Said pencil gains him access to the world of Zakaria. Said pencil also lets him draw anything that he can turn into a weapon. This one has much better pacing of this stranger-in-the-strange-land plot device. The manga style of the whole work is balanced out by the Pinoy-ness of the lead. The work is long enough to have two nice fights in, enough time to give the basics of the world and the situation, and adequate time to properly introduce Xander as a nice hero. The art is capable and good, even if it takes from the tropes. The pacing is not bad at all. The paneling is confusing sometimes but generally good. Though I partly object to the komik ending exactly where it ended, on the whole it’s nice and likely worth the follow if manga-style is your thing.
Dejavu (EJ Contado / Mon) [Salimpusa] — “Have you ever imagined how life would be if it had a reset button?” This is one answer, and such an incredibly well-drawn, well-paneled answer it is. A very good realistic and detailed inking style it is, too. The ending is also quite surprising.