Thursday, May 04, 2006

GAMESMASTER reviews comic books

GAMESMASTER, May 2006, Page 78
Reviewed by Vincent Coscolluela
www.gamesmastermag.com.ph


WASTED: FINAL EDITION
Writer and Illustrator: Gerry Alanguilan
Publisher: Pulp Magazine
(GM VERDICT: 91%)

Testament to its popularity, WASTED has been available in many form over the past few years: in its original eight-part mini-comic debut, a compiled edition by Alamat Comics, and finally serialized and also recompiled by Pulp into a “Final Edition.”

The hundred page mini was written “during a time of extreme personal difficulty,” as Alanguilan says in the book’s afterword – and it does show in the work.

Eric, WASTED’s protagonist, goes on a killing spree after his girlfriend, Jen, breaks up with him, Instead of being a mediocre excuse for wanton violence, the book actually pulls us into Eric’s world and makes us experience in shocking visuals his own inner demons. Alanguilan’s passion for WASTED shines through in his crude, black-and-white drawings and earnest dialogue, which form an uncompromising story about lost love, one that has inevitably found its way into the Philippine comic book canon.


TRESE #1
Writer: Budjette Tan
Illustrator: Kajo Baldisimo
Publisher: Alamat Comics
(GM VERDICT: 88%)

A white lady is found dead in Balete Drive, and the cops call in Alexandra Trese to investigate. Blending Philippine paranormal mythology into a contemporary setting, the dynamic duo of Tan and Baldisimo pitch in a great premise for an ongoing series.

This first issue draws us in with great black-and-white visuals, whose play on shadow and light is perfectly in-sync with the title’s theme. Though dialogue-heavy, the panels give enough breathing room for subtle details and the occasional action scene.

A high quality comic that we hope would get more attention, TRESE is a wonderful local title worth looking forward to. Download the first issue for free at tresecomix.blogspot.com.

AFTER EDEN
Writer and Illustrator: Arnold Arre
Publisher: Anino Comics
(GM VERDICT: 82%)

A graphic novel about a pair of yuppies, AFTER EDEN throws us the question: what happens to love after Adam and Eve? Geeky dice-chucking gamer Jon and corporate events organizer Celine try to find out in their twenty something, helplessly romantic world, which at first is bliss, but takes a turn for the worse when their friends start longing for their formerly cool kabarkadas and not the sappy new lovebirds Jon and Celine have become.

A bit too lengthy for its own good and turns up the cheesiness a little too often, AFTER EDEN makes up by way of great characterization and some memorable line. Gives hardcore comic readers a breather by supplying much needed romance to the genre.

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