I suppose I’ll have to say for the umpteenth time that I’m rather new to the komiks scene, that I properly came in during the era of the Bayanihan Center. Further, I don’t have an ebook reader of any sort. The combination of these things resulted in me not ever having seen the Windmills series, despite it now being the stuff of legend among komikeros. Until now, while hanging out at The Collective.
The Windmills series is the semi-autobiographical anamorphic adventures in life and love of the author, simply stated. The author is a bear (and even in person he does look like a nice teddy bear), and his friends are presented as cats, dogs, and bunnies. (Be advised though that the series occasionally is NSFW in both its visuals and themes.)
What makes the series the stuff of legend is its ability of see wisdom in the absurdities of life, its capacity to laugh at itself, to present itself proudly for all its author’s faults and weaknesses, in front of a possibly accusing public, and to say, ‘F- you, this is my story, take it or leave it, but I will tell it’. Further, I’ve been around the scene long enough to know that this is the author fighting through pain, making sense of life, and presenting what he has learned, with much grace.
The fifth instalment in particular tackles the stage where the author and his girlfriend decide to cool off, and eventually to break up, as the girl chooses to stay in the US. This in the middle of their ‘despedida’ trip to Baguio, and through the unexpected delays from a close friend. The work is not afraid to laugh at how insane and stupid the situation turned out to be, and was fearless in presenting the arguments and misunderstandings between close friends.
The author muses through all the confusing thoughts during this turbulent stage, sorting out his feelings about friendship and love in a psychedelic but fully understandable way, through its judicious use of paneling and inking techniques. The way the musing is presented honestly, neither too romantic nor too cynical, just a practical balance of both, makes the work feel both raw and polished, as well as…true.
This is why the Windmills series resonates with so many people. We do hope it continues for several more issues, and we all wish the author happiness in love and life, to tell more stories about.