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.