I’m not even sure I know what is in my stash, besides some conscious purchases.
Kazanato Funeral Planning Service pilot [Kahit Ano Studios] — I got the first of already five releases (I was openly gaping at five stacks of books and asking aloud “Why are there already so many?”), of a little webcomic quietly updating through the years. Chou and Fuyuka work for a Ms. Kazanato, helping both the dead and the bereaved in their funeral and in moving on. That is NOT as boring as it sounds, especially when they keep getting mixed up with gunfights and mafia men. While it does smack of being typical manga-style, and the art in the pilot is level with Cresci Prophecies (which is to say, there are many others that are better, but the story pacing trumps the weaknesses), something about this series is not as gratingly manga-style as the others. For one thing, this is an honest attempt to have an original story, even through all the tropes it uses, with likeable characters that have quirks and strengths. This makes this series likeable in the same level Mark9Verse47 is likeable. Also appreciated is the Pinoy-style yet completely coherent grammatically-correct English. I’ll definitely read through the Smackjeeves online version.
Noodle Boy (Paolo Herras / Tepai Pascual) [Neverheard Webcomics] — The series was reviewed already as part of the Neverheard roster , back when I didn’t fully know them and they were just this group of wow artists who are friends. Admittedly some of the impact of the comic is lost when the digital coloring had to go, but I’m also glad to have the comic panels in close succession, having the story accessible as a whole. The story definitely needs to continue, because we need to know about how anime-otaku guy meets cosplay-maid girl, how noodles brings them together, and how love happens.
Hipon Gamay 2: Speakless (RH / Odree) [Frances Luna III] — I am probably still confused by the ending of the introductory chapter, therefore I’m not sure I completely understand what happened. But generally, a costume party happens, Tabo is cute in a dog costume, Joey is adorable in a cat one, and Hipon gets even more woman problems and another well-deserved smackdown (that’s not the spoiler, the spoiler is how it gets here, and I’m not saying). Odree’s art is cute and likeable, especially in a series dealing with love and relationships. The work continues to be even-paced with interspersed musings about love and its weirdness.
Mythspace: Devourers of Light (Paolo Chikiamco / Jules Gregorio) [Rocket Kapre] — This is the release I did not get a preview of. Barkarilkarilmon, Supreme Apex of the Laho, meets the heads of the other planet clans to make an announcement: he is going to be supreme apex of all the other clans. Most of the stuff in between is this annoying guy proving it, to terrifyingly good effect, thanks to Pao delivering atrocities with an even pace to tighten the noose. The art that goes along with this is filled with great tight detail, and a keen understanding of the universe-build. Beautiful stuff, really. Though, quite frankly, the Apex could have made his point in maybe 5 less pages of paneled art. (I suppose I just sealed the fate of the planet Earth with that statement…)