rapid reviews

These are various titles acquired between GTMACC, Winter Komikon, and various other places in between.

Bato, Agimat Warrior (Gener Pedrina) [Kathang Indio] — If there is such a thing as a hero without a real clue, you’ve just met him in this guy. For some reason that’s why he’s actually something of a popular komiks character among the Bayan Knights. Bato does have the mean skills and the moves, but his timing is off most of the time, he’s arrogant and prefers to do things alone, and, yeah, in many cases he doesn’t have a real clue; he just wants a big fight and a reason to defeat stuff like kapre and tikbalang. But I suppose he’s likeable that way, and Gener Pedrina does have an incredible Western-comics style of inking and paneling that demands your attention. There are plenty of typo errors, and one often wishes this was presented in Tagalog instead, but generally a solid piece by a komikero who knows his way around.

Sandata issue 0 (Gener Pedrina) [Kathang Indio] — Yet another of the Bayan Knights and part of Sanduguan, this gives the story of how Sandata got the rather-magical arnis sticks he uses in battle. A straightforward delivery, with a nice well-paneled fight in between, which makes you like the character more. It’s definitely the product of a man who knows his komiks and knows how to tell a komiks story.

The Manila Automat annual comics roundup (Mica Agregado) — This is the compiled tumblr comic posts and other comic pieces by the author, who has a distinct alternative style and cynical, rather hipster, tone that sets her apart. She is definitely better that she thinks she is, though her style does take getting used to. Her insights and the presentation of such is still better organized, therefore clearly understandable, than in some of the practitioners of this kind of comic-ing. If this is your kind of comic, she is definitely worth the follow.

Confused volume 1 (Trizha Ko) — TKo is from the same direction of comicing as Mica Agregado, and this clearly presents itself in her output, angsty, psychedelic, cynical. Also bordering on rather worrisome; that is, my OTHER training keeps popping up when I see something like this and asks if this is a complicated call for help. In any case, a distinct work that demands attention by being completely out-of-the-box. The use of red within the works was effective both for the shock factor and for the emphasis it gives in certain points.

Agbagtitakmanen (Rawwrr Enrique) — I have no idea what the title means in a dialect, I’m sorry. Kapitan Bomba Man, after many adventures, dies the death, and someone has to take his place. This new guy is taken from our world, via the toilet, he is appointed the new Kapitan Bomba Man, et cetera et cetera, through the power of the awesome jacking off. Rawwrr Enrique’s work definitely needs a certain kind of appreciation for NSFW material, and this is no exception. But that said, it’s hard to ignore such great control of inking and paneling, using such a unique art style, as well as good comic pacing for good comedic effect. Especially if you can accept green humor, this author is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Magugunaw na ang mundo, nasa’n ka na ba labs ko?! (Tin A Pie/ WilVic) [Salimpusa] — A guy wakes to find that he can’t contact his girlfriend…oh, and that demons are taking over and the world is about to end. It’s quite the cute and competent take on the end-of-the-world scenario, with a little romance on the side, lots of well-timed comedy, plus a guy who unwittingly becomes heroic for all the legitimate but simple reasons. It deserves to be the somewhat-hit status it currently has among the indie-tiangge releases, as it keeps getting asked for in various ways in the recent Komikons.

Desolation issue 1: Deadzone and Friendzone (Mik Kamote) [Pazin-Tave] — Guy is too concerned about potentially angering his girlfriend that he doesn’t know the zombie wave has happened until it’s a bit too late. And even then he’s more worried about her girlfriend being mad at him. In that respect it’s a different take on the zombie genre, and a rather interesting one. The paneling feels somewhat too wide-spaced, but not as bad as in some komiks I’ve seen, and in general it’s well-paced and well-inked. It just stopped too early, or it went on a little too much about the relationship, one or the other. But it’s interesting enough to keep following.

Tarangka (Anino Karimlan) [Ikos] — It stopped too soon, such that we don’t know what exactly happened, but a young man finds himself in a strange town, the only survivor of a wipeout against his own cursed town. There is enough information to keep one interested, but not enough to encourage someone to follow through to a second issue. But the art style is great and hard to ignore, the paneling understandable.

Tales of Wiz (Double Jeff) [Salimpusa] — If you’re looking for a nice little story with a fantasy element, you can’t go wrong with this one, a nice blend of original material with things derived here and there from fantasy RPGs. Wiz is a wise-cracking cat out to seek his fortune while looking for adventure. But his next adventure comes to him as he returns to his hometown, and meets up with the princess of the realm who befriends him and joins him. It runs like your typical fantasy story, but there are many things to like, including the spunky main characters. The art is quite nice, with adequate paneling and good pacing, with sufficient detail where it is needed.

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