Komikon Report

Posted by on July 16th, 2010 at 3:46 PM

 

 

I thought I’d take a shot at doing a few short reviews of the komiks I got at the recent Summer Komikon. These are just random komiks that I pulled from the huge pile so this is in no way an indication of preference.

 

PLAGUE
by Fidelis Tan, Isabelle Ocier, Ponci Soliongco, Arvin De Leon, Alex Sandoval, Cat, Kiko and Elbert Or

This is an anthology of comics stories, gag strips, prose and pinups centered around the theme of people dying from a strange kind of plague. The characteristics of the plague are remarkably consistent all throughout the stories, even the gag strips. It makes for a satisfyingly whole and consistent reading experience. The stories themselves are more like ruminations and reflections on death that can be dreamlike one moment then nightmarish the next.

“Plague” the lead story by Tan and Ocier is remarkably well executed. The layouts are clean, clear and easy to follow. The lettering is well integrated into the art and big enough to be read easily in a mini comic like this.

Overseen by Elbert Or, these young creators obviously benefited a lot from Elbert’s guidance. Looking forward to seeing more comics from this group.

 

SUPERVILLAINS
by Dino Copreros

What immediately impressed me in this comic book were two things. One is the accomplished cartooning by the creator, leading me to believe that this guy was no amateur, and that he had been doing this for quite some time. (Dino has since confirmed that he worked for GASI. He has also worked for a textbook company, and acted as a product designer in China for several years.) Indeed, his layouts are pretty well done, although the word balloons and lettering are not too well incorporated into the art.

The second thing that impressed me was the story. At first it seemed like it was just an ordinary story of a Filipino boy growing up struggling to fit in. But two-thirds into the story, Dino has crafted a very convincing and disturbing origin of a truly evil supervillain. I say disturbing because you are reading the story from the perspective of this little boy who becomes a true villain, and you understand his actions and feel sympathetic to him and the things he does because you went through his experiences with him.

SPOILERS! As much as I like the story overall, I find myself disagreeing with the last page, where the story seems to giving the reader a lesson and the lesson is this: you need to set aside your toys if you are to grow up and progress in life.

I do agree that toys can, for the most part, be harmful to a child’s development by taking him away from his studies if he indulges in them too much. But I also think that all work and no play can make Jack a dull boy. I too discarded komiks from my life when I stepped into high school, believing it could no longer offer me anything as I was “grown up” now. And yet here I am many years later reading comics again, and even creating them for a living.

My friend Arlan Esmeña grew up with robots. A more obsessed fan of robots I have never seen. It’s a fascination that he had ever since he was a kid and he grew up with them. And yet before his death he was a very successful architect. In fact, his designs were somewhat designed by the designs of his favorite robots.

This is just a personal point of view of course, and does not speak to the quality of the comic book in question. It’s a very good effort on Dino’s part, and I look forward to reading more comics from him.

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