KAKOSA reviews "After Eden"
review by Bosyo
Arnold Arre has proven himself a master story teller with his new graphic novel "After Eden". Except for a chorus of angels and demons, this book is set in familiar territory, populated by recognizable characters and is about situations we know all too well. I am talking about the world of Starbucks, Mega Mall, Close-Up toothpaste commercials, video game arcades, L.Q.'s, M.U.'s, sex and virginity; our world. This is an unabashed romance story that I suspect is a partially autobiographical as well.
Without the benefit of mythological creatures and futuristic cityscapes that characterized his previous comic books Arnold Arre has succeeded nevertheless in enchanting us with a well crafted love story. In the hands of a less endowed writer the familiarity of the setting might have become mundane. Had this been crafted by a less genuine person the romantic plot could have turned to unbearable formulaic mush. But Arnold manages to pull it off with insightful soliloquies, humorous dialogue and credible characters.
Funny, charming and honest, the story reads to me like the way a college buddy would recount how he met his girlfriend. And just like those stories this graphic novel made me laugh at the weird coincidences, cringe at the embarrassing predicaments, and nod in agreement at the sameness of its outlook with mine. I warn you, this comic book made me giggle and smile all by myself like a madman in my office. "Oo, kinilig ako sa komiks pre'. Bakit, may problema ka?"
As in his previous comic books nearly all the people that populate this book bear an uncanny resemblance to Arnold's friends and relations. This adds realism to his characters. His lines are clean and his drawings are very expressive. Arnold's illustration style is one of the many reasons this book is such a pleasure to read.
Though the 254 pages inside are mostly in black and white the book comes with a handsome full color cover and 3 full color pin-ups inside. This book will cost you 295 pesos and is worth every centavo. You can buy your copy at any Comic Quest outlet or where ever Adarna Publishing books may be found. Go get yourself one today. Not to miss is Cynthia Bauzon's gorgeous design for this book's website that has wallpapers, desktop icons, fonts and other downloadable goodies.