Komik Review: Askals by Dodo Dayao and Bong Leal

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 26 - 2010

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).

EDIT: Budjette Tan kindly pointed out to me links to a few sample pages of Askals here and here.

PICCA Fest 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 22 - 2010

The 2010 Philippine International Cartoons, Comics, and Animation festival, affectionately known as the PICCA Fest, opened today at SM City North EDSA. You may have already heard of the festival because the organizers have visited your school, or because of the other pre-events they did to promote the event, but today marks the start of the festival proper, with an exhibit at the Block (2nd floor) and a tradeshow at the SM Annex (4th floor). (Since SM North is huge and it’s easy to get lost, a reminder:  the Block and the Annex are on opposite sides of SM North.)

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Tomorrow there will be a Cosplay parade, while industry talks will be going on at Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines, with UP also having a book launch while Ateneo hosts screenings of animated films from here, Japan, and Canada. Note, however that the talks are only open to PICCA Members. You can see the full day-to-day schedule here.

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I took a few pictures of the exhibit and the opening ceremonies, as well as the tradeshow.

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The indie komiks booths are grouped together for the most part — except that if you’re looking for Hazel Manzano, as of this morning her booth was at the front, next to the PICCA Secretariat. Others indie creators whose works I saw available at the trade show were Lady Storykeeper, Macoy Tang, Gio Paredes, Sacred Mountain Publications, Scratch Comics, Atomic Underground, Kai Castillo, Lyndon Gregorio and the Komikon crew. (Apologies if I missed anyone.) If you’re in the area, do stop by and support our indie komiks creators (note that while October 25 is a holiday, I think the tradeshow only lasts until Sunday).

[More pictures after the cut and at the Flickr page.]

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Video: Manix Abrera at UST

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 6 - 2010

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This video is another talk from the second day of from the “Literature From Shakespeare to Bob Ong: Bridging the Divide Between the Popular And the Canonical” conference, held at the UST on August 18, 2010. (The Q and A will be uploaded in another post) This time, the speaker is none other than Manix Abrera, one of the most creative and distinctive komiks creator in the field today, and the pen behind Kikomachine Komix and 12.

Parts 2 and 3 under the cut.

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Komix for Girls Survey

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 3 - 2010

Over at his Oblique Strategies website (if you go surfing the rest of the site, note that some posts are NSFW), Adam David is conducting a survey to learn more about the local female comic book reader and her relation to komiks culture. Head on over and comment if you’re a graphic novel geek of the girl kind. Here are the questions, but comment over at Adam’s post:

In the spirit of Hope Larson’s own survey on (American) girls’ comic book reading habits, I’m planning on embarking on a new komix writing thing – criticism and creative – and I wanted to ask a few questions specifically for the girls in the audience (if there are any), but if any of you girly guys want to answer the questions, I’d see it as a great kindness. Feel free to pass these questions around, as long as we get the feedback from it.

1) What comic books do you read, both local and foreign?

2) Do you enjoy reading these comic books? Why exactly do you enjoy reading them?

3) Do you read any comic books that you think are specifically targeted to girls? Which books are they? Why do/don’t you like them?

3) Who are your favourite comic book creators, both local and foreign, both male and female?

4) Why do you like them? Which of their books are your favourites, and why?

5) As a girl, would/could you say that the current system of local komix production – the books, the creators, the stores, the conventions – is friendly towards females? Why/Why not?

6) As a girl, do you want to make your own komix? Would/Could you make it specifically for girls? How would/could you go about doing that?

7) Would you like to see more local komix focussed primarily for girls?

8) What else would you like to see more of in local komix?

9) What would you like to see less of in local komix?

10) Where do you think the current local komix production is heading re: komix for girls?

Metro Comic Con 2010 Primer

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 20 - 2010

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The Metro Comic Con is taking place this weekend (August 21-22) at the Megatrade Hall 2 of SM Megamall. Here’s some information and a few links to get everyone ready for the event.

  • Schedule of Activities – Saturday seems to have most of the panels (Game Developers, Kartunistas, Veterans) plus the Lifetime Achievement Awards, while the other contests/announcements of winners are on Sunday, along with the voice acting panel. Cosplay is encouraged for both days, but the cosplay contest is on Sunday.
  • Guest Artists - There’s also a breakdown of which artists will be available for sketches and signing here.

As far as what komiks will be available/groups will be present at the convention, here’s a partial list, with links.

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NON-INDIE TABLES/ EXHIBITORS:

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INDIE PARTICIPANTS:

1. Carlo Jose San Juan MD (Callous)
2. Freely Abrigo (Kulas; Kapitan Tog – here’s my review of issue 1)
3. Gio Paredes (Kalayaan)
4. Lady Storykeeper (Realm of Dreams; Dragon Kid – here’s my review of issue 1)
5. Meganon Comics (MAKTAN 1521)
6. Omeng Estanislao (Lipad)
7. Silent Sanctum Manga
8. Atomic Underground
9. Jerrico Barrios (Estrella)
10. Scratch Comics (Zombies in Manila – here’s my review of Issues 1 and 2)
11. Studio KAKOMIKS (Here’s my review of Supervillains, one of their offerings.)
12. Carlo Valenzuela
13. Kai Castillo (Patintero)
14. Greepo Comics Group (Curfew) (Here’s a feature on Gerald “Majic” Asbucan by Macoy Tang)
15. Ghetto Libretto Group
16. CORE Studios (No Parking Comics, Magiting – Raipo reviews both of these at his blog)
17. Decaf Club (Butter Sweet)
18. Kickbackers Group (Prageh Manga Anthology)
19. iNorth (Here’s my review of issues 1-3 of Samurai Scribe, one of the works of the group.)
20. Hazel Manzano (Callwork; Dra. Yap – Raipio has a review of the latter on his blog.)
21. Yo Bo! Komiks
22. MadGear Project
23. Wan Mananita (Ang Morion, Unos Mundos)
24. Rhoseller Quilantang (Goodbye Rubbit, Manila Man)
25. Project Chimera

Mervin Malonzo (Tabi Po) and DJ Legaspi (Baro Investigations) will also be roaming the Metro Comic Con giving away these stickers (in pink) to help promote the Quarterly Bathroom Companion Comics Compendium.

Literature from Shakespeare to Bob Ong: Video Hub

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 19 - 2010

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Yesterday, I trooped down to UST to attend the second day of the  “Literature From Shakespeare to Bob Ong: Bridging the Divide Between the Popular And the Canonical” conference, by Visprint in collaboration with the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters: Dept. of Literature, Thomasian Writers Guild, The Literary Society and The Varsitarian. Many of the speakers were horror writers from Visprint’s stable, so it was a good opportunity to check the pulse of the genre here in the country, or at least to get the opinions of some of those at its vanguard. Komiks (in general, not horror komiks) were also represented, with Manix Abrera walking the audience through several of his strips.

I took a few videos of the talks and Question and Answer segments, and I’ll use this post as a hub as I slowly (yes I have slow a slow connection) upload the different videos. I’ll upload the talks first, and then lump the open forum segments in the last post. Siege Malvar, Alan Navarra, Nida Ramirez, and Eros Atalia were also on hand for some insightful talks, but my coverage here will focus on the komiks/spec fic content, although I’ll try to sneak in some videos of the others.

(Note that some of the links below are NSFW – many of these people specialize in horror, remember? ^_~)

Video 1: Horror Panel, featuring Budjette Tan (Trese), David Hontiveros (Penumbra novellas, Pelicula), Bart (G. M.) Coronel (Tragic Theater)

Video 2: Karl de Mesa (Damaged People, News of the Shaman)

Video 3: Manix Abrera (Kikomachine, 12)

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