The POC’s Metakritiko section has my review of “Askals” by Dodo Dayao and Bong Leal. Here’s an excerpt:
What makes Askals more than the sum of its parts for me is that it achieves a sense of time and place that is absent from many other works. The problem with some stories (komiks and prose) is that they never seem to feel like they’re occurring in a real place, even if they are set in an actual location, such as Manila; they give off the sense that they were fabricated on a nameless soundstage, with two dimensional backdrops and cardboard cut-out people. Askals is grounded in its chosen setting–Quiapo, circa the late nineties/early 2000s…
Safe to say, I liked this one very much. And it always feels great to have a new komik to recommend with little reservation. While I take it Leal is based abroad at the moment, I hope to see more from these creators soon.
Oh, and yes, it has a central speculative element (it’s not obvious from the cover).