MANILA -- The 7th Indieket or Independent Komiks Grand Market was held last Saturday at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig City with over dozens of new creators showcasing their wares across 100 titles.
I have been away – as a creator and as a fan – for the past two years so the komiks I picked up might not all be exclusive to the Indieket but here is what I liked among the bunch.
1. Captain Cliffhanger, The Unoriginals, and Manila 4016 AD (Chemical Comics)
At first glance, these four titles all look like children’s drawings and sketches. And Chemical Comics’ creative director and artist Vincent Lapuz freely admits to them. “They were my drawings as a kid and I wanted to revitalize them,” he says. And in a sea of manga and traditional Filipino style of comic book illustration, Lapuz’s work stands out.
If you are a comic book fan who purchased the work of Tom Scioli in the recent GI Joe vs Transformers series for IDW Comics, Lapuz’s work might just be right up your alley. From a Robert Crumb-esque twist of Jack Kirby art, Lapuz’s work is plain fun.
2. DI-13 #0 (Triple D Publishing)
DI or Department of Investigations Agent Trese was first published in 1947 written and created by Damy Velasquez and illustrated by Jesse F. Santos as a part of Pilipino Komiks. Now 71 years later, Velasquez’s grandson, Damy Velasquez III, and his brother, Tommy who contributes as an artist, is continuing the legacy but not as a period piece but one in a modern setting.
Issue Zero is a preview of what is to come and also includes a reprinting of some of those old strips from Pilipino Komiks. Damy had the limited black and white cover (only 13 copies were printed) and the regular issue with a colored cover.
In this preview, Agent 13 is mysteriously re-assigned when he tries to re-open a murder case setting up an intriguing first issue that will be out in 2019!
3. Queen’s Scouts
Created by Steffi Delly with background assists by David Daang. I picked this up because it felt like an old Gold Key or Dell funny animal comics. The story revolves around two agents assigned to protect the children of the president of the fictional country of Gemino from criminal cartels. The children are kidnapped however Agents Tris and Gaia manage to rescue them by issue’s end.
In the last couple of years, BOOM! Studios published the celebrated anthropomorphic sci-fi trilogy of Wild’s End from the creative team of Dan Abnett and INJ Culbard that is an incredible read (ala War of the Worlds).
And there is the Marguerite Bennett’s Animosity (from Aftershock Comics) where animals revolt against the humans.
Both foreign series have darker tones, while Queen’s Scouts is more for a young audience -- a kid’s book, if you will. Not bad.
4. Tabi Po Issue 3.5 (Haliya Publishing)
In between tomes and a television mini-series, horror-meister Mervin Malonzo comes out with this short story that tells some back story to the entire series. A must-have if you’re into this aswang story that is a game changer.
5-6. Ugh Vol.1 and April & May Forever!! (Haliya Publishing)
We featured Ugh in our komiks features since it was first published several years ago and during Indieket too. Ugh, as created by the talented Julienne Dadivas, who goes by her pen name Hulyen, is irreverent, slapstick, and humorous in the vein of Robert Crumb, ZAP comics, Rick and Morty, Beavis and Butthead, the Simpsons, and I Hate Fairyland.
Ugh Volume 1 compiles the first three issues of Ugh, while April and May Forever is like a Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion in komiks form! Set in the 1980s, the two girls who are probably lovers as well have to attend a concert by The Dawn at all costs. And they will do everything just to make it. High jinks follow. Hilarious!
7. Pasig Unbound #1 and 2 (Point Zero)
Reminds me of the world of Battle Angel Alita. Except the setting is in Pasig. This has been out for a while but what makes this different are the colored covers! Had to get them.