Skyworld: Apocrypha

SKYWORLD

ONE WORD: BANGIS!

What a way to start a great epic story. I still can’t get over how good it felt to me, as a reader, the way the storytelling and the art seemed to compliment each other. Whenever “Makabo” narrates, it was like poetry being vividly described by the panels. I hope that you guys can hear me clap right now because Mervin Ignacio and Ian Sta. Maria deserves it.

THE STORY:

Quick fact here . . .I almost believed it! (The part about the Skywold and how it was almost forgotten before the Spaniards came to our shore) Going back to the story now. 😛 The world building was loosely based on some Filipino folklore mainly the characters like the tikbalang and aswang. It was like a two-door closet style of telling a tale. When you open it, inside you can find the back story. Read it and you’ll get what I mean. 😀 The characters? Makabo; a kick-ass tikbalang, Rianka; diabolical and deceitful aswang, and Kaptan; a winged-god would take you to a place like no other, Skyworld.

THE ART:

It’s really a challenge to be an artist of a Pinoy graphic novel. You have to be creative enough to express the story with what you got. Publishers are still wary to go all out (hardcover, glossy paper and colored). With that said, although it would have been nice to see Skyworld in full color, it didn’t hinder the artist to show how great a story Skyworld is. My fave part is when Rianka deceived Kaptan. They just let the panels tell you the story.

OVERALL:

Again, BANGIS! That sums it up.If you see a copy of this comics, you better grab it. I waited for Komikon just to have one. A perfect mix of Filipino folklore, lyrical storytelling and panel by panel action packed sequential art to satisfy your craving for Pinoy komiks.

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Trese Book 4: Last Seen After Midnight

The long wait was over, TRESE 4: Last Seen After Midnight was launched October 08, 2011 at Bestsellers Robinson’s Galleria. I just got to say that THE WAIT WAS SO WORTH IT. I was sick but flu and headache wont stop me from grabbing a copy of my latest TRESE fix :P. Luck even gave me a poster of Trese (Bianca King poses as Alexandra Trese) because I so deserve it. Hahaha. Congrats to Budjette Tan and KaJo Baldisimo for paving the way and being brave to follow their dreams even though the obstacle seemed to be insurmountable. Trese is now getting the attention it rightfully deserves. 🙂

Budjette and Kajo signing the poster that I've won during the raffle. SWEET!

 The book is divided into four cases. Each case is great on its own way, in art and story. Alexandra Trese shines brighter in all of the pages, nobody could ever surpass how badass this girl is. The entire story was well executed and the art was just amazing. Trese being black and white didn’t even hold it down but instead makes it more effective. My hands are itching to type spoilers just to tell how great this pinoy graphic novel is, but I wanted the readers to experience it same way I did. Just one thing though, “WANTED BED SPACER”, BEST CASE EVER! Well, on second thought I hope more great cases come along for Alexandra Trese. hehehe

I’m not that good with words but I hope all my blabbering here is enough for those who are not that into reading komiks to grab a copy. Graphic-fiction format way of storytelling might surprise you and you might even end up enjoying it. The story and the art are fantastic and I would really be saddened that someone didn’t read it because he/she is not into komiks. It’s your loss. 😛  

Reading Buddies: A Monster Calls (Part 1)

Ok, I’m late again on posting my stuff, as usual. This should have been posted a week ago. Sorry guys. 😛 

Here are the questions and my answers:

1. “You’re a good boy,” Conor’s mother tells him. “I wish you didn’t have to be quite so good.” (p. 17) What do you think she means by that?

I think it means that the mom felt guilty. Conor was doing everything for her instead of the other way around. I remember when I was still young, I asked my mom why she does the simple things like folding my shirts, keeping my closet organized and cleaning up things for me when I could do it on my own. She told me that it makes her feel happy when she does these things for me. She said that she likes taking care of me. In Conor’s case, her mom can’t do that because of the cancer. Instead of Conor being a regular kid, he tries to take care of his mom by not disturbing her when she is resting. Because of that, she might feel like she’s taking away Conor’s youth. I hope I’m making sense. :))

2. Lily was once Conor’s closest friend but now he can’t forgive her. Why? Is he right to feel betrayed?

Lily might be Conor’s closest friend before but many things happened and some of it he wants to keep to himself. I don’t think it’s betrayal that Conor felt. He just wants to be left alone to think things through. I just hope that Lily would be there when the time comes that he needed someone to be there.

3. The monster talked about 4 stories, 3 from him and one from Conor. The one from Conor should be the truth. What do you think is this truth? (Feel free to speculate 😀 To those who’ve read this already, you can write what you first thought this truth was.)

I think that the fourth story that the monster wants to hear from Conor is when he loses his mom. He can’t admit it right now, like when his grandma told him that he would soon have to live with her. He won’t accept it. He wants her grandma gone because he knows that the both of them are ok on their own, he and his mum.  So, the monster wants the story and it would be the truth. No denial, he has to accept that his mom would die and that’s the truth the monster is looking for.

DC’s New 52: First Two weeks releases (Part II)

BATMAN & ROBIN #1
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Pat Gleason
Cover by Pat Gleason

To be honest, this is the first issue that I’ve ever read with Batman and Robin. A kid being subjected to a world of crimes and killings does not entice me on reading it before. But a lot of YA dystopian novel kind of prepared me and set my mind into thinking that this is just ok. And let me just tell you, I’ll be picking up the next issue because I’m interested to know more about this sick kid, son of Batman, great in combat, and he would not even think twice of killing bad guys. The name is Damian Wayne. Some of my favorite lines coming from him are “Life’s a battlefield, father. Good people meet horrible fates the same as the bad ones” and “grief and remorse are a disease of the weak. You wage war and destroy your enemies before they destroy you.” It’s just some lines if you think about it but coming from a 10-year-old kid? Hhhmmnnn

ANIMAL MAN #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Travel Foreman & Dan Green
Cover by Travel Foreman & Dan Green

This is also the first time I’ve ever heard of Buddy Baker – Animal Man. So I read this with a clean slate on my head and an open mind. I didn’t even picked it up immediately like Action Comics #1 fresh out of its delivery box. The ravings of other comic enthusiast did and I’m glad I listened to them. At first, the I was distracted by its art. A bit rough for my taste (the first half, just want to clarify that) but the story telling was flawless so I continued reading. The info dump at the beginning was a bold move too but I liked it. It gives me a feel as what and who Buddy Baker is. The dream sequence erases all my doubt to the capacity of the artist to pull this through. Great job there, both the writer and the artist. And the ending was just . . . freaky. Hehehe. I’m definitely gonna pick up the second issue. 🙂

Candor: In This Town, You Are What You Hear . . .

Oscar Banks live in a perfect town, Candor. Nobody leaves Candor. Why would you? Everything you needed is already there. The messages make sure of that. Who would not want perfect parents or perfect kids, healthy living and zero-crime rate? But what if someone wants to be different? To not be perfect . . .

 The idea of subliminal messages being used for brainwashing was already out there. I remember way back high school, other says that many listens to Eraserheads (Local Filipino band) because it uses subliminal messages, hahaha :P. Going back, Candor was the first novel I’ve read that used it. Pam Bachorz makes you believe that it is real. The main character, Oscar Banks, seems to be in control of his mind. He founds a way to block the messages. He still pretends to be the model candor boy. He follows the messages like “the great are never late”, “respectful space in every place” and “always strive to be your very best”. Then something makes him change his mind . . . Great storytelling and plausible world building. At some part while reading it, I wanted to cover my ears. Maybe someone’s trying to brainwash me. 😉    

READING BUDDIES: Before Reading A Monster Calls

It was MIBF when I bought Patrick Ness new book, A Monster Calls. My friend Tina told me how good the book was and I quote her when she told me “I’m sure you’ll like it”. Looking at it by the time I got home, with a scarecrow-like illustration of what I think would be the monster, I told myself that I wanted to read it differently because it looks so out-of-the-box, it looks special. With that in mind, a tweet from a friend telling me that the book I’ve been pushing to other readers of our group was being reviewed. It was a great way to share/review a book that you think a group of your friends would like. Suddenly I got an idea, why not do it with this book? We do have a group at goodreads.com with a reading buddies thread. We read the book together but instead of posting our comments in the thread, we post it on our blogs. We read an assigned chapters every week. after 3 days, Tina would send us questions about the said chapters and we would be posting our answers every friday. We would be linking every blogs that would join us reading the book, so that our readers could see different points of view about it. I just hope That it works out. 🙂

On Spotlight: Miles Morales, the New Spidey!

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor
Lettering by Cory Petit
Published by Marvel Comics

The new Spidey, Miles Morales, is out now. Amidst the release of DC’s new 52, I think this issue will not go unnoticed. I know that the press release of the half-black, half-latino web slinger caused a havoc to Peter Parker fans but I think after reading Spider-Man #1, Miles Morales would do just fine.

What do we know about Miles Morales:

We do know that Miles Morales is poor. His parents are good people who wants the best for him so they take a chance in a lottery that could win him a slot to a good school. Sara Pichelli could really draw emotions and with that we could say he is a meek and humble kid. After winning a slot Miles said “It shouldn’t – – all these other kids. Should it be like this?”, we already knew that he’s got a good sense of what’s right and wrong.  

What I like about it:

Story

This issue did not start with web-slinging, crime-fighting, cars-exploding panels and I like it.  Brian Michael Bendis takes time to introduce you to what environment Miles was in. It focuses on his family and on how it would affect him as to what he would become, I think :P. You could feel the warmth and love of a parent to their son on this issue. Bendis is making us know that the family would play an integral part to this series.

Art

Sara Pichelli should also be praised with how this first issue turned out. She accomplished to put real emotions to the characters on how exactly they should look like at every panel. Another one is on how unique every character was drawn. It shows that she really put time on the details. The color was also spot on. It helps to transcends what Pichelli has drawn.

Overall

It was a great first issue and it would be a mistake to not buy it because you don’t want Marvel’s decision of killing Peter Parker. With just the first issue, Bendis already got me caring and rooting for Miles Morales. Great job guys! 🙂

DC’s New 52: First Two weeks releases (Part I)

It’s been a great start for the DC’s New 52. I saw a lot of comics enthusiast grabbing a copy of the new titles right out of its delivery box (uhm, am I one of them?) :). Here are some of my comments to the ones that I’ve bought.

Action Comics #1

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Rags Morales
Cover by Rags Morales

I’m not really a Superman fan but I would have to say that Grant Morrison started Action Comics with a bang. DC gave him Action Comics and he delivered. It started with a chase, and it kinda felt a little bit Batman-ish, not in a bad way but just different from what I was expecting before reading it. I never thought I would hear Superman say “Catch me if you can” but yup, he said it. I still don’t know where he would go (Morrisson) with it but that would be one of the reasons why I would be reading the next issue. To see what he would do next with it. A panel after panel full of action and that is enough reason for you to grab a copy. 🙂 

Superboy #1

Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by R.B. Silva & Rob Lean
Cover by R.B. Silva & Rob Lean

Before reading this, the only thing I know about Superboy was what I’ve watched from the “Young Justice” cartoon series. It somehow did nothing to make me interested to pick up a comic book about him. With the release of DC’s New 52, many where saying that Superboy is the one that you should not miss. I was surprised as to how good Scott Lobdell executed the story. He gave enough background for new readers and at the same time, creating something new for the Superboy fans. The last page makes me so excited as to what would happen in the next issue!

Justice League #1

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jim Lee & Scott Williams
Cover by Jim Lee & Scott Williams

This is my long overdue comment on the Justice League issue #1. Comic Bloggers are clamoring that the first issue of Justice League did not live up to readers’ expectation. With all the hype and it being the first of the DC’s New 52, much has been said. Some says that the story should start where the Justice League already exists or the issue should have been a full story. I would have to disagree to them. I think Geoff John starts a very solid 1st issue here. If you’re looking for a full story, you should have bought a graphic novel instead. You could not expect that the writer could squeeze all the characters there on the first issue. This is the way to go, a scene where he makes a dialogue with two or even three of the characters as a way of introduction. The readers, specially the new ones, would have a feel of who the characters are. Like what he did with Batman and Green Lantern, who would disagree to me that it was an awesome banter between the two characters? Yup, I knew it, NO ONE. If he could sustain that great writing all through out, I’m quite sure that Justice League would sell like hotcakes in all comic stores. With that said, I think it is worth it to grab the second issue of the Justice League.

So there you go. I did put a part I at the title and hopefully I would be able to finish writing some of my comments to the other comics that I’ve got during the first 2 weeks of DC’s New 52. Till next time, I mean next post. 🙂

Intro to Komix Korner: Why Do I Read Comics?

Looking for something to write on my intro to Komix Korner, I stumbled upon a question raised on newsarama.com. “Why do you read superhero comics? . . . . . . . . . . . I pause for a minute (to think) . . . . . . . . Uhm . . . . . . aahhh . . . . . . oh god that’s a tough one.  I think I always asked that whenever I’m at the cash register and about to pay for my comics. Leafing through them, at the back of my mind, I always settle for the simple “you like them comic books dude” answer. But now, I guess I should give it some thought and answer the question.

      • Escape . . . ? – I would really settle for the “I like them comics” than to admit that in some ways, it is a form of escape. But, yeah IT IS. You are so frustrated with how mundane your life is, that you’d rather believe a person can really fly and be sucked into a story that the superhero would come and save the day. You’d rather focus on the conflicts of super-villains and heroes, them fighting, reach it’s climax and the heroes win (or sometimes die). See the use of “YOU” instead of “I”? hehehe
      • Collectability – I would stare at it for quite some time whenever I’m at my room and feel satisfied. I’m not like other collectors of comics who does it for the money. Keeping it in mint condition, not even touching it because of the acids (sweat and other stuff) on their hands that could damage the goods. I like reading it again if I feel like it and sometimes just looking at their pages. But going back :P, it is more of liking the feeling whenever I completed a series.
      • I like the Art – Whenever a comic is well drawn (sometimes not even needing a balloon to convey the story), I would really stare at it and say, AWESOME! Seriously, if the illustrator is that good, it could really blow your mind. I envy them (illustrators) when this happens. I wish I could be like them (awesome job by the way).
      • Story – For me, I consider comics as a short story written in balloons that is so concise, that a writer should convey what he/she wants to say in one to two sentences. And believe me, that is hard. It could also be considered as script writing. The story would be written in the form of a dialogue. But either way you look at it, it is still a story. I think a story with pictures of superheroes are the best stories ever told (coming from a child’s point of view :P).

I seriously tried to put a reason as to why I read comics but still the bottom line is “I like them comic books” :). As a show of love to the world of comics, every week I would TRY (emphasis on the word try) to post comments about the ones that I’ve read. Not that long, and not as thorough as what I’ve read on other blogs (serious comic bloggers) but my own point of view as to how I see it. You might see a lot of the DC’s new 52 because that’s the one that I’ll be anticipating this coming months. So there you go and for the lack of better words to end it, I’ll just say ta ta! 

NOTE: The sketches are not mine (obviously). It is available through the net, and I do not claim any of it. 🙂

Alfred Kropp: A Hero by Default

I just finished reading The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp (Alfred Kropp #1) and Alfred Kropp: The Seal of Solomon (Alfred Kropp #2). Hands down to you, Mr. Rick Yancey for making a very unique male protagonist. Although I find Alfred Kropp a bit too honest and way too innocent, he was written plausibly. Both Action-packed and fast-paced novels, you would be left wanting to read more of Alfred Kropp.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp (Alfred Kropp #1) : I already got a copy of this seating on my bookshelf for a long time now and there was no one asking me why I haven’t read it yet. I blame my GR friends, you know who you are. hehehe. But seriously, this is a great YA book. The world building, unlike any other fantasy books, is somewhat near to reality and that’s the way I like it. Others would try to let you swallow the story upfront, like here’s a cake and you should eat it all in one bite. But here, it started out like a YA contemporary lit. Then an unexpected event happens that turn the book into a fantasy. It was followed by series of events and info that would make the fantasy plausible. In short, AWESOME! 😉 

Alfred Kropp: The Seal of Solomon (Alfred Kropp #2) : After reading the first one, I immediately grab this so the adventures of Alfred Kropp would not be interrupted :). With this one, I like how the author withholds the information and suddenly drops it to you like a bomb in perfect timing to give the readers the effects he wanted. The consistency was there, which I think is necessary for a series. It should feel and read like the main character from the first is still the character your reading up until the end of the series. I suggest that you read the first one before you grab a copy of  The Seal of Solomon because some of the events here was directly related to the first. You wouldn’t enjoy it much because there would be a lot of questions unanswered. A great follow-up book. I can’t wait to read the next Alfred Kropp adventure. 🙂