rapid reviews

Brought to you by typhoon Maring, and me being stuck at home surrounded by floody streets. Initial reads from Indieket 2013. (I am aware that I am not done with the Summer Komikon 2013 stuff yet. I’ll get to them, eventually.)

Again, short does not mean did not like, just means short.

Neox 4 (Jomar Bulda / Rustico Limosinero) — The series continues to improve by leaps and bounds with each new issue. Neox and his friends continue to run into more challenging enemies, which forces them to upgrade, not exactly their gear and tech (even if that does upgrade), but their skills. Now the four, already friends, have to coordinate their movements if they even want a chance at defeating this new bad bot. Which is me saying: the art continues to get more detailed and more action-descriptive, with much better shading and much more coherent paneling, and the plot continues to change and improve with each release. Now it’s no longer just for kids. Even the regular komiks crowd is going to like this series, the way it’s going.

Pinoy Totoy Pi-Totoy 3-4 (Carlo Valenzuela) [Bakal Komiks] [Chain Mason] — In contrast, this is starting to become a problem with Pi-Totoy: Sh-t-Face’s irreverently-and-NSFW-named henchmen are all starting to act the same and feel the same, and Pi-totoy’s tactics follow a pattern that is becoming predictable, even as it continues to be fun and interesting. I am starting to ask for more complicated plots for both Boy Bakal and Pi-Totoy, with more than the baddie-of-the-issue story. All this said, Carlo’s paneling and detail work continues to improve, which clearly shows through the deceptively-simple style he maintains.

Desolation 1.5 (Mik Fajardo) [Pazin-Tave] [Chain Mason] — Our main character still has girlfriend problems simultaneous with zombie problems, trying but failing to properly get out of a mall with said zombie problems. The action is clear and understandable, and the panels without dialogue work as well as the ones with dialogue. But the story cut off at an odd place, leaving you satisfied with the pacing of the material you did read, but also leaving you hanging terribly. The art is improving, with a better balance of the shades and tones.

Kiss It (Rawrr Enrique) [Rawrr Komix] [Chain Mason] — Patrick Enrique is arguably one of the strongest members of this new komik coalition, and he keeps improving as he keeps challenging. It is indeed NSFW, as most of his work tends to be, so be warned accordingly. But he is right: Only the ignorant will truly take offence. In no way does this short thing advocate pornography or giving in to your sexual urges. If anything, it’s a weirdly sci-fi precautionary tale against it, in a way only this irreverent style can execute without being moralistic. His detail work improves by leaps and bounds, and his respect for the female form is quite a sight to behold.

Manosaur (Elbert Or) — It is cuuuuute. Enough said. A dinosaur promises to live as a man, to honor the memory of his parents. So the tyrannosaurus tries his best to live a human life, and cutely fails miserably at it. But, I swear, it’s really, really, really cute. The cuteness is heightened because all the art is pared down to its most important lines, eliminating shading and tones, such that the komik looks more like an adorable coloring book. Go find for all the adorable. The corgi at the end is so much win.

Hola Filipinas! A Spaniard in Manila.True story (Daniel Collado) — As the title says, these are the adventures and insights of a Spanish ex-patriate in the Philippines, which is somewhat different from the view of most Americans. It’s cute and makes you both laugh and admire being a Filipino, and you’re happy that the Spanish guy, on the whole, loved his stay. The art is cute and likeable. The comic timing of the art and dialogue work very well (especially the submarine!). The paneling is simple and does the job, though some of the lines at the corners did not photocopy well. Overall, really cute, really sweet, and you’re happy for the Spanish guy.

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