Monday, April 27, 2009

Andrew Wheeler reviews Pinoy comic books

Review: Three dispatches from the Philippines
Snapshots from another world of comics
by Andrew Wheeler

Where Mr. Wheeler reviews ELMER: "Elmer isn’t perfect; some aspects of the story strain credulity – even after the reader accepts the initial premise – and Alanguilan can be melodramatic in spots. (Also, the dialogue avoids contractions nearly all the time, which can be distracting.) But his art is impeccably detailed, and he manages to wring a lot of facial expressions out of his chickens. And his storytelling is equally good; Alanguilan is a fine comics creator who’s essentially unknown over here. This is one damn good – if damn weird – story."

His comments on TRESE: "So Alexandra Trese’s exploits are more exciting than even those of another tough female investigator with a mysterious past would be, even more intriguing than another story illustrated by Ka-Jo Baldismo would be. And these two volumes are already very good urban fantasy to begin with.

"I won’t try to describe all of the stories here, but you know the general type – mysteries about the supernatural, with a heroine we slowly learn more about, a woman with a direct connection to these creatures herself…whatever the exact nature of that connection is. Tan tells those stories well, and Baldismo shows us that world, in black-and-white frames that look like a world illuminated by lightning."

And MARTIAL LAW BABIES: "...there’s a lot to like in Martial Law Babies; it’s warm and funny and engaging. The dialogue does drop into Tagalog more than I expected, though, and I have to say that there’s a small but real chance that I missed some important bits because they were in a language I don’t understand. And I’m pretty sure I don’t have anything like the understanding of what “martial law baby” implies that an actual Filipino would. My cultural blind spots aside, though, I really enjoyed Martial Law Babies, despite Alan’s monomania."

Read the complete review at:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Roger Stern talks about Jay Anacleto's art

MARVEL HOTLINE BLURB: 15 years have passed since news photographer Phil Sheldon first documented the Marvel Universe in the award winning MARVELS. Now, the series that launched the careers of Alex Ross and Kurt Busiek returns and co-writer Roger Stern calls into Marvel Hotline.

At the tail end of this call, Roger Stern raves about Jay Anacleto's art for MARVELS: EYE OF THE CAMERA.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

TRESE reviews in Manual (January 2009)

Book review: TRESE
Manual, December/January 2009 issue

I hate Budjette Tan. Because he is living out my dream. No, no, not my dream of becoming a mutant porn star superhero millionaire. It's my other dream: To be a comic book writer. And, despite the fact that he has to struggle with a day job, Budjette still writes comic books.

Since I cannot live out my other dream, then I am forced to spend my children's college fund on my ravenous comic book collections. So I daresay, when it comes to comic books, I know what is good s&*^ and I know what is bulls*(&. But what Budjette has created in his magnum opus TRESE, well THIS is the s*(&.

TRESE explores the world of Alexandra Trese, a nightclub owner slash paranormal investigator who is, herself, paranormal. With the assistance of her twin bodyguards called kambals (duh), Trese is called in by the cops to solve the type of crimes that would make their testicles retract to the pit of their stomachs. In Trese, Budjette has artfully weaved in Philippine lower mythology into modern Filipino life: It is a Manila where you can visit your neighborhood nuno lurking in a manhole, hang around with an engkanto at the nearest dance club or drag-race with your alpha-male tikbalang. These lower mythology concepts that have been explored in earlier works such Arnold Arre's The Mythology Class and Whilce Portacio's Stone , but not in the same grounded and noir-ish fashion that Budjette has done in Trese.

For those not too steeped in comic book lore, the easiest pop culture reference for Trese would be a 'local' version of the X-Files. Similar to the X-Files, each Trese issue is a self-contained story that builds towards an overarching story line. But for those of us whose lives have been immersed in four color universes, I get a fanboy-gasm when I am able to pick up the different American comic book influences that have seeped their way into Trese, like Warren Ellis' exploration of the superhero archetype with his "archaeologists of the impossible" from Planetary or Alan Moore's dissection of the post-modern superhero in Miracleman or Watchmen.

And get this: the best of Trese is yet to come. He's still got five more stories in store for us, as he plans to end Trese at (couldn't it be more ominous?) the thirteenth issue. I really hate you Budjette.

Trese is available at National Bookstore and Powerbooks.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Filipino comic book artist Segovia draws WOLVERINE:HUNGER

Marvel announced the release of an online exclusive featuring the ever-popular clawed mutant mega-star, Wolverine. Wolverine: Hunger is an 8-page story written by Karl Bollers and drawn by Stephen Segovia. The story takes place shortly after the now-classic Weapon X story written and drawn by industry legend, Barry Windsor-Smith.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Art of Kajo Baldisimo

Hey kids!

Kajo’s first art gig for Dark Horse (THE DEFUSER) comes out this week and this Saturday (April4) he’ll be at Comic Odyssey, Robinsons Galleria for an autograph signing session (1pm to 3pm). See you there!

“My comic will be hitting stores April 1st. I had a hand in the story and have seen all the art for the book. Very great style. I love the artist; Kajo Baldisimo.” – The Defuser

Yup, that quote came from the The Defuser himself, which he posted at

The full-color preview pages of THE DEFUSER comic book came from

Art from :

More artwork can be viewed at:


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