Having expressed my disappointment at Atlas Publishing for coming out with Playhouse Magazine in lieu of comics, Playhouse being a well produced magazine for adults which I found to be cheap and tasteless as adult magazines go, I am very happy to say that they haven't forsaken comics all together. I'm sure those who have said that Atlas is no longer a publisher of comics would also be glad to know that they still do, and I do want to thank Atlas for it.
Released a couple of months ago, "Ibong Adarna” and “Florante at Laura” are new full color komiks adaptations of classic Filipino stories adapted by writer Glady Gimena and artist Ric Neri.
These comic books are available at National Book Store for 60 pesos each.
To Atlas Publishing: Thank you very much! More Comics? :D
“Bless our Trip” is a large format photocopied comics, which is called “Grapikomiks” by it’s creator, Edwin Ybabao Estioko. To be honest, I only picked this up because the format fascinated me. I’ve always entertained the idea of doing a photocopied comic book the size of a bond paper, which is 8.5×11 inches. But the cost of doing so always kept me from pushing through with it. So naturally, this comics then sells for P100. Who would buy a photocopied comic book for P100? I would, because I’m crazy that way.
As it turns out, I’m glad I bought it. It is a very rough package of what could be a remarkable Filipino graphic novel. The artwork is weak, but the story is simply bursting with potential.
“Bless our Trip”, written in Tagalog, is an overlapping anthology of sorts. It all starts off in a public vehicle waiting shed where we see all the characters that will be featured. The story then branches off, featuring the life of each character one at a time, and the various experiences that occurred in their lives that brought them to that moment. In the end, they all converge once again at the waiting shed for a bit, slightly interacting, and then go on once again with their lives.
I like it for the insight that we get into the lives of these characters, and the way they all seemed real to me in the time I read it.
There are actually a couple of pages here that showed some potential in the art, specifically in the flashback to the old man’s life, but overall, the art never quite lives up to the story being told. If a much stronger artist was involved in this, plus a bit of editing here and there, this could may well be one great Filipino graphic novel.
And speaking of GREAT, I also got the 2nd volume of TRESE by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, TRESE: UNREPORTED MURDERS. After having raved so much about this series, I don’t think I have anything left to say.
But I will say something anyway. Trese volume 2 further confirms that Budjette Tan is one of the premiere Filipino comic book writers we have today. Kajo has always been a good artist, showing growth with every issue. But with the last story in this volume, “The Association Dues of Livewell Village”, Kajo has become quite an excellent artist, one of the best we have working today.
I can’t wait for what these two have in store for us in Volume 3.