Only a few years ago, a lot of the independently produced comic books were of the photocopied and stapled variety. But over the last couple of years, printed trade books collecting such work started to appear with books by Gio Paredes, Michael David, Lyndon Gregorio and Tepai Pascual. At this year’s Komikon, the indie TPBs have arrived in a BIG way with books coming from Aaron Felizmenio (Gwapoman 2000: Book 1, Ang Huling Baraha), Mel Casipit (Mukat Vol 1), Wan Malinao Mañanita (Ang Morion: Seraphim, Vol 1), Kai Castillo (Patintero), and Jeciel Gaerlan (Cubie ‘n Bouncy, Out of the Box). I’m sure there were a few more, but I just wasn’t able to get them.
Of course, more mainstream publishers also came out with a lot of TPBs including Vol 5 of Trese by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisomo, published by Visprint. NBS came out with Volumes 1 and 2 of Skyworld by Mervin Ignacio and Ian Sta Maria. There was also a series of serial graphic novels published by Precious Hearts.
I’m specially very happy and glad to see these independently produced TPBs because it indicates not only longevity on the creators’ part, but also dedication, the desire to take the next step, and the belief in the quality of their work for them to willingly invest quite a bit of money to have these printed.
It’s also an indication how this industry is not only growing, but maturing. I’m so excited to see what happens in the next few years!
I haven’t gotten the chance to check them all out, but I’m particularly drawn to Aaron Felizmenio’s Gwapoman 2000. I’ve been seeing Aaron’s work, and have been impressed by his potential ever since he contributed some art to Bayan Knights a few years back. His potential continued to grow with the release of the first issue of Gwapoman, and he develops further as an artist with the coming of his TPB. The art on the 4th chapter of the book is particularly impressive. I’m amazed how much his art has developed and matured. Just the cover alone shows sparks of the artist he will eventually become (if he isn’t already is). I’m really looking forward to any of Aaron’s future releases.
More reviews and Komikon posts soon!