Mga Tagpong Mukhang Ewan at kung anu-ano pang Kababalaghan

(A Tagalog Review of Mga Tagpong Mukhang Ewan at kung anu-ano pang Kababalaghan! )

RATING: ASTEEG!

Ang Kikomachine Komix ay compilation ng mga comic strips mula sa Philippine Daily Inquirer na likha ni Manix Abrera. Storya ito ng magkakaibigang estudyante sa UP. Minsan korny, minsan cheesy, may pagka-politikal din pero lahat ay maaring hango sa tunay na buhay. Payak ang pagkakalikha, pero makukuha mo na kaagad ang gustong ipahiwatig sa bawat frame. Mga simpleng senaryo tulad ng pagsakay sa jeep, pagkain ng isaw, pagrereview, peer pressure at iba pa na nilagyan ng katatawanan (o hindi, depende sa lalim o babaw mo. hehehehe). Nagrereflect ito sa pananaw ng mga pinoy sa buhay na minsan mahirap ngunit mas gugustuhin pang idaan na lang sa tawa ang mga bagay-bagay. Isa si Manix Abrera sa mga youngblood sa larangan ng comics na dapat bigyang pansin at pugay.

Sir Manix Abrera, mabuhay ka!

Rak en’ Rol!

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THE HUNGER GAMES

GIRL ON FIRE, a very fitting description of the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. A clever, strong-willed, very independent, responsible, clueless when it comes to her feelings, a girl you could go hunting with, great w/ bows and arrows, very keen survival instinct, and all of the things that a guy would go crazy over a girl, she’s got it. But seriously, you would really fall in love with her. The way she handles her self when her father died, steps up to provide for her sister and mother, you would really respect the kind of person she is.

I can’t help but to compare Katniss to Katsa. A lot of similarities when it comes to being a kick-ass-chick they both are but Katniss is more plausible when it comes to how she became who she is. The character building is solid, well-explained and believable. I guess one factor that I should consider is the genre, Graceling is fantasy while THG is dystopian, still the execution on how the characters are depends heavily to the author and hands down to Collins because she did it very well. No dull moments while reading it. You could even see me smile or sometimes cry while reading it. I was so sad when Rue died, I got so attached to her.

One thing that I felt was missing is the lack of giving importance to the antagonist. We all know that Capitol is the enemy here. I just wish that there is a specific person that I could hate like Mayor Prentiss and Aaron of “The Knife of Never Letting Go” or King Leck of “Graceling”. But the book is great without it. A MUST read. Thanks to my GR friends who pushed me on reading it. ^_^

HIGHLIGHTS:

*When Primrose Everdeen was called to represent the girl participant of district 12 for the Hunger Games.

*When she volonteered to replace her sister.

*The bread story.

* The Mutts (Muttations are genetically altered species used by the Capitol like the Jabberjays, Tracker Jacker, and something that is somewhere between a wolf and human)

*The parade of the contestants where they dress them up with what best represents their district.

*The walk out after shooting the apple out of the roast pig’s mouth.

*When Katniss drop the Tracker Jackers nest to the Career tributes.

*Alliance between Rue and Katniss.

*The death of Rue.

*The changing of the rule, that if the two tributes coming from the same district would be left, they would be declared as the contest winners.

*When the mutts that attacked them, Cato, Peeta and Katniss, are the tributes that died.

*(A bit cheesy and clever at the same time) The two star-crossed lovers would eat the nightlock berries at the same time.

P.S: I don’t know but I could really relate to the guys like Jacob(Twilight), Simon(TMI) and now Peeta(THG). Damn that unrequited love. (Bitter much? hehehehe)

Lines from THG (Peeta):
-“I’m sure they didn’t notice anything but you. You should wear flames more often,” he says. “They suit you.”

-Peeta rolls his eyes at Haymitch. “She has no idea. The effect
she can have.”

-“I don’t think it’s going to work out. Winning … won’t help in my case,” says Peeta. “Why ever not?” says Caesar, mystified. Peeta blushes beet red and stammers out. “Because … because … she came here with me.”

-“Well, Peeta, we know, from our days in the cave, that it was love at first sight for you from what, age five?” Caesar says. “From the moment I laid eyes on her,” says Peeta.

-“So, what you’re saying is, these last few days and then I guess … back in the arena … that was just some strategy you two worked out.” “No. I mean, I couldn’t even talk to him in the arena, could I?” I stammer.“But you knew what he wanted you to do, didn’t you?” says Peeta. I bite my lip. “Katniss?” He drops my hand and I take a step, as if to catch my balance.“It was all for the Games,” Peeta says. “How you acted.”“Not all of it,” I say, tightly holding onto my flowers.“Then how much? No, forget that. I guess the real question is what’s going to be left when we get home?” he says.“I don’t know. The closer we get to District Twelve, the more confused I get,” I say. He waits, for further explanation, but none’s forthcoming.“Well, let me know when you work it out,” he says, and the pain in his voice is palpable.

-“One more time? For the audience?”

WATCHMEN

A very rare and complex graphic novel. Mature in it’s content and the panels or the drawing scenes (I don’t know what to call it ^_^) are very well thought w/ an in between chapters explanation or sort of a background story to some of the characters. Not my usual comic book but I’m glad that I’ve read it.

I would admit that some parts are not that clear to me, especially where the author tries to intertwined another story to the current page you are in. Like a story within a story, but here it’s like a comics within a comics. It sounds cool and the idea might be great too but it confuses me.

There are parts that the page seems to shine. A great illustrator and a brutal storyteller would really put this graphic novel to the pedestal of its kind. I like the part when Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan and Night Owl went to the funeral of the Comedian. Like a flashback every oine of them remembers a scene with the comedian then it goeas back to the funeral again. In it’s entirety, a great graphic novel indeed. But not for all, I guess even graphic novel readers defer from what genre they want to read.

ENDER’S GAME

“Everybody thinks Hitler got to power because of his armies, and that’s partly true, because in the real world power is always built on the threat of death and dishonor. But mostly he got to power on words, on the right words at the right time.” The power of words, that makes the book great for me. Orson Scott Card could persuade you to what he wants you to feel, believe, or even imagine. The brutality of it scares but impresses me. An in-your-face, no-holds-bar, so-fucking-what type of writing. A novel that goes beyond the norms that some readers might not want to continue but to those who dare (and I did), it surely would exceed all your expectations. To tell you the truth, I was really hesitant to pick it up because the front cover suck (I know, shallow, right?). But from the moment I started reading it, all doubts down the drain and I was sucked in the world of Ender Wiggin. Sure, you could say to me that there’s nothing new to the story, a lot of spaceships, invasion of another planet, humanity winning over the aliens, blah blah blah BUT the execution on how the author attack and delivered the story to you would lead to a nerdgasm. It also focuses on the main characters inner turmoil that could make you feel his despair and loneliness. Highlight: Battle room, rating: AWESOME!

KING DORK

“Life is a wince-a-thon”

You really can’t win in this game called life because at the end, you die. But to make it much more unbearable, you have to pass through an obstacle course that could wear and tear you inside out. What an effing guy’s supposed to do? You put a salt on your open wound, rub it and feel the pain then wear a SMILE.

Chi-Mo is someone at the bottom of their school hierarchy, included in the infamous dud chart, the one who gets laugh at during PE for having his balls a little bit seen by normal semi-hot girls in a not-so tasteful way. A very interesting character, he doesn’t speak much but he thinks too much. He does have a friend (not an imaginary one), Sam Hellerman (because he was the guy who sat next to him in alphabetical order from the fourth to eighth grades). Both of them belonged to a band called ahm, erh, whatever. It was always being replaced like a girl changes clothes up to a point that I couldn’t keep up. Nah, I’m just messing with you guys because I like all of their band names (shame some of them didn’t even last for a week). Just to give you a preview:

BAND NAME : TENNIS WITH GUITARS

LEAD AXE : Love Love

BASS AND RAT CATCHING : The Prophet Samuel

VOCAL, KEYS, BUMPING, GRINDING: Li’l Miss Debbie

DRUMMER : Beat Beat

FIRST ALBUM : Amphetamine Low

COVER – White with the album title in tiny black type on the back. The band name does not appear anywhere on the outside packaging.

SECOND ALBUM : Phantasmagoria, Gloria

PHOTO – A police dog licks a broken doll’s face.

RATING: Totally AWESOME!

NOTE: The only two real person there is the lead axe and the Bass player (with a little bit of rat catching on the side) anything else is made up. None of the albums have songs in it.

My only hang up with this novel is the father angle. Was it suicide? Or murder? Maybe an accident? I don’t know, even though the epilogue did try to explain it, to me or even to Thomas Charles Henderson (That would be Chi-Mo’s real name BTW), it would remain uncertain. But who needs closure? That’s life, it gives you something to think about but never bothers to give you an answer. Like I said (or the author of this book, who cares?), “Life is a wince-a-thon.”

With all seriousness, hands down to Frank Portman, he knows words that would be good in a sentence like lyrics to a song.

UNWIND

This novel tries to resolve a very much debated question: is it right to end a life if it’s still unborn and unwanted?

PRO-LIFE VS PRO-CHOICE

ANSWER: “THE BILL OF LIFE”

“It states that the human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. However, between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, a parent may choose to retroactively “abort” a child … on the condition that the child’s life doesn’t “technically” end. The process by which a child is both terminated and yet kept alive is called unwinding.”

This is the first novel that I’ve read written by Neal Shusterman and I really don’t know what to expect. After reading the first chapter I got hooked already. It fascinates me how he always try to merge the line dividing insanity and possibility, making all of his ideas (even though not thoroughly explained) believable. He taunts your mind to imagine things so morbid and creepy you would want to stop reading just to remove the thoughts but still read it simply because you want to know every gory details and there’s nothing you would want to miss.

A great book, I enjoyed reading it even though there’s a lot of disturbing parts but I think those are the one that makes this book so unique for me. The idea of having a kid for the sole purpose of being an organ donor is not new to me (My Sister’s Keeper), it was the way it was presented that makes the difference. It could also make you sympathize with the “unwinds,” to feel their pain, the state of being unloved, be angry, disgusted, scared and the feeling of being worthless. Shusterman also makes an effort and succeeded on making every character on this novel interesting because they have their own story to tell. There are also parts of the book that stands out. I like how the three main characters (Connor, Risa and Lev) ended being together when they escaped (or on the case of Lev, kidnapped) being unwound. Also the rumored story of Humphrey Dunfee, how twisted and sick it was. Same goes with the part where the Admiral shows Connor the “crate.” It was the most disturbing part for me, the picture that my mind imagined it would look like keeps popping in my head. I also like the part when Roland was being unwind part by part, organ after organ while he is conscious (it reminds me of the movie “Awake,” the only difference was that in “Awake” the patient was in a state called anesthesia awareness). Lastly, I really like the Akron AWOL story that inspires the “terribles” to revolt against the system at Happy Jack Harvest Camp after the clappers detonates and for me it is the climax of the book.

I’d give it a two thumbs up and if I could raise my feet with them,I just might.