rapid reviews (anthologies)

These are the anthologies I got back during the Winter Komikon but never got around to saying stuff about. Many of these are definitely going to be available during the coming Summer Komikon.

Grail comics anthology 2012 (UP Grail) — Unlike Lunarock, UP Grail’s objective is to promote comics as a literary medium. This manifests in the kind of output they produce, with an emphasis on story and theme, a tendency toward the more alternative art styles. Overall this creates a body of work that is of a higher standard in story and theme than some other groups. Paneling and presentation is consistent and even for most. Best known members: Mica Agregado and Edge Sarmy. Best: Untitled (Sunny Tan/Mika Bacani) and Deer Hunt (Dani Go).

Lunarock Quarterly Komik Compilation issue 2 (UP Lunarock) — This is a komikero group who just want to make the best komiks they can, making readers happy by delivering a good story. This of course is a different mindset from UP Grail, but is as legitimate. The art styles are as varied as the members, but all have the aim to deliver interesting and understandable stories. The editorial process has ensured that majority of them are presented with adequate well-paced paneling. Best: Ang Alamat ni JoyJoy series (Kat Capulong) and Disconnect (Elaine Quililan). JoyJoy’s series should really stand alone by now.

The Plurkian Brotherhood Anthology 2012 (Plurkian Brotherhood) — This is a group that has some growing up to do, but has plenty, plenty of good raw potential. More familiar with the manga style, they all however no longer present as manga clones, but as original creations. Best: Sister My Sister (Arbee) and Inobservance (Pansikoser).

The Quarterly Bathroom Companion Comics Compendium 2 (editors DJ Legaspi and Josel Nicolas) — The QBCCC series is still one of the standards for local komiks anthologies (along with the Gerry Alanguilan Komikero anthologies). It is and continues to be an eclectic selection of art styles and storytelling techniques, by creators from diverse backgrounds, united by the need to tell the best story in the best way they know. The contributor list is a veritable who’s-who of some of the best currently in the komiks scene, and is definitely worth the purchase.

Studio 4 Eyes volume 1 (Studio 4 Eyes) — S4E is composed of artists solidly and unabashedly perpetuating the manga style, and this is both their strength and weakness. If manga-style is your thing, you can’t go wrong having something like this to read, for these does have cute guys and rather spunky girls creating havoc in their high schools, illustrated with competence, with good paneling and level of detail. However if you’re starting to look for more substantial themes and less cookie-cutter characters, well this is as manga-style as it gets and gives not much more. Best known member: Columbia Kho.

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