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Triple Punch Komiks!, published by Polyhedron Comics is an anthology of three stories in three different genres. The first story, “Project BC” written and illustrated by Ron Escultura, is science fiction, featuring a human controlled giant robot reminiscent of something like Daimos. I like the simple and soft rendering of human figures and I would have loved to see that applied in the backgrounds as opposed to photos. The constant flashbacking got kind of confusing, specially during moments when you didn’t realize you were already back in the present. It nevertheless serves as a nice introduction to the who, what, and where of the series, and what to expect in the future. I’m not sure what purpose the one panel Bernardo Carpio strips that run along the bottom of the pages though. I wouldn’t mind seeing more Project BC.

The second story “Ang Ulupong ng Morong: Suntok sa Langit” with story and script by Ian Magallona, art and layout by Nixon Na and lettering by Jordan Santos is crime/action, featuring a lone hero/super soldier named “Pong”. It offers a completely different vibe from “Project BC”, and might not be entirely appropriate for kids as it has profanity, sex, and lots of bloody violence. As an adult, I like the violence. There are genuine moments of excitement during the action scenes. Figure drawing could still be improved though, as well as the foreshortening of the head at certain angles. If more Ulupong ng Morong stories are created, I wouldn’t mind checking them out.

I have to admit, the true gem of this issue is “Poso Maximo”, written and drawn by Robert Magnuson. I am a long time admirer of Robert’s work, but I’ve never had the opportunity to write about him until now. And I do so because Poso Maximo is something that every comic book fan should read, whatever your age may be.

It is by far, the best short story I’ve read in comics in 2010. I also think it’s a work of sheer cartooning genius. His storytelling is impeccable as Robert tells the story clearly and beautifully in 12 wordless pages. Everyone I show the story to come away with a smile on their face. This is a story that a lot of people will love. This is the kind of comics that could bring children back to reading comics.

And I think it might be to Robert and Poso Maximo’s disservice to be included in a comic book that might deprive them of a younger and wider readership because of adult material elsewhere in the book.

Let me be clear. I don’t mind sex and violence. Have you read my comic books, specially Wasted? I think a story like Ulupong ng Morong can stand completely on its own and as such its sale can be restricted only to those who are old enough. To include something like Poso Maximo in there would only deprive the story of its proper audience.

I am glad that Robert would be coming out with a much bigger solo project in time for Komikon in November. I’m looking forward to that!

There’s one more thing I want to say about Robert. He’s also a children’s book writer and artist. His books have been published by Hiyas Children’s Books. Robert has been doing something very sneaky with his story books. He has begun to tell his stories with panels and word balloons (example above), virtually creating comic books specifically for children to read.

Robert is one of the very few local creators creating a new audience for comics by gearing them for younger readers. This is the time when we need more new readers than ever before.

Comments

9 Responses to “Indie Komiks Review #2”

  1. adam david! on April 23rd, 2010 12:46 pm

    I’ve always thought that Robert Magnuson has always been left out of assessments of local komix purely because of his output being generally focused on kids. It’s a sad fact, especially when it’s apparent that Magnuson is one of the sharpest most coherent and clearest artists we have right now, and we’ve had him for about a decade already. It’s high time for a decent Magnuson assessment.

  2. Nixon Na on April 23rd, 2010 2:02 pm

    Hello Gerry,

    Thank you so much for the reviews on Triple Punch Komiks. Also I would like to personally to thank you so very VERY much for being straight out with your comments on my work in Ulupong. This being my first comic and having the privilege seeing your comments really made my day. Thank you so much.

    Now it’s off to evaluating the things I can improve on, and hopefully on the next comics the improvements will be evident.

    Again, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH and GOD BLESS :)

  3. Leinil yu on April 23rd, 2010 2:10 pm

    This is looking good!

  4. Auggie on April 23rd, 2010 4:58 pm

    Ang Komiks na may tama! I like that Blurb.This Magnuson guy is looking good. I like his strokes. Saan makakabili ng kopya Gerry? available ba ito outside metro manila?

  5. hazel chua on April 23rd, 2010 6:18 pm

    Mukha ngang maganda itong gawa ni Robert M. Isa itong aabangan ko sa next KOmikon!

    Very nice reviews. Very direct!

  6. Raipo on April 23rd, 2010 11:17 pm

    Gosh I missed a lot of good indies! Next time aagahan ko talaga sa KOmikon!

  7. kc cordero on April 24th, 2010 10:21 am

    The production value is very good also. :)

  8. Ian Magallona on April 26th, 2010 10:23 am

    Hello Gerry,

    Thanks for the wonderful comments for Triple Punch Komiks, both the praises and the points of improvement. This is our first outing and your comments are very encouraging. I’ll write more “Ulupong ng Morong” stories (maybe as stand-alone books) as soon as I convince the artist Nix to draw more cars, guns and military hardware for it. :-D

    Thank you again, and God bless you.

  9. Ron Rscultura on April 26th, 2010 12:41 pm

    Sir Gerry,

    Hi. This is Ron Escultura the artist/writer of Project BC. Being critiqued by you is really an honor. Thank you so much for your nice words. Us newcomers rely on your feedback to make our craft better.

    Mabuhay po!