Monday, November 23, 2009

new komiks haul

my recent acquisitions --all filipino komiks!
I've heard a lot of good things about 12 by Manix Abrera of the Kiko Machine comic strips and I was curious as to why Gerry Alangulan called it the best of Komikon 2009. My mom bought this for me as my xmas gift and while some may say the minimalism is "gawang tamad" or lazy work, I'd say he used the barest of features so that everyone could relate to his 12 chapters which are 12 silent movies on print. Manix has a vibrantly twisted imagination. I really don't know where he gets his ideas. My favorite would have to be the one about how not dissecting a frog almost changed the world.

Trese: Mass murders by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo is book 3 of the Alexandra Trese series. The X-files-y treatment of Pinoy monsters and urban legends hooked me early on when it was still an online comic. This installment reveals the origin of the kambal and how Alexandra became the bad ass warrior she is. The first 2 books were episodic and involved more otherworldly creatures so my sister was a bit disappointed that the new one only had 1 major villain. My main gripe is how even as a young girl, Alexandra is so stoic, her personality is impenetrable. I'm not saying get her a loveteam, but I'd love an insight, what's beneath that stony facade? Fortunately, the creators say they're not done yet. Maybe the next book wil delve into the 3 lost years of Trese's life and maybe more?

Underpass is a book that I bought without knowing what it was about. Turns out it's a horror/suspense anthology featuring some of the best in local komiks:

Sim by Gerry Alanguilan is a cautionary tale that contrasts with the bright, colorful panels that remind me of Tintin. Is this the reason writer/artist Gerry doesn't own a cellphone? :)

Judas Kiss by David Hontiveros, Budjette Tan and Oliver Pulumbarit is a more complex story of sexuality, relationships and guilt but sadly, the use of colored markers detract from the story. Watercolor or colored pencils with a restrained palette might have worked better.

Katumbas by David Hontiveros and Ian Sta. Maria is the best realized story of the bunch. The dark colors gives the right atmosphere to this somber work.

The Clinic by Budjette Tan and Ka-jo Baldisimo. From the same team that gave us Trese, the tone is very much like it in that Budjette shows the dark side of an otherwise ordinary celebrity doctor to the stars to show how monsters might survive in the present day. Here, Kajo steps away from the dark shadows of black and white to revel in glorious color. But I must admit, I prefer his Trese work which look more mysterious yet stylish.

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