Monday, December 14, 2009

first look: lapu-lapu by francisco coching

the Great Komiks Comeback sure has its work cut out for it.

case in point: i asked the saleslady at national bookstore for the new lapu-lapu graphic novel republished by atlas, and she led me to an obscure corner of the textbook section, where coching's masterwork sat beside the elementary school newsprint editions of ibong adarna, florante at laura, etc.

makes sense, yeah? graphic classics in filipino. but placing lapu-lapu in that section may well prove a death sentence, because no one browses those shelves. school curriculi keep balagtas in print, but coching is not similarly blessed by academia. so please, please someone ask national bookstore to display this book where it belongs, in the comics section, beside pugad baboy, kikomachine, underpass and other graphic novels!

sigh. pictures:

as you can see, atlas' lapu-lapu (6.2"x8.75") is significantly smaller than vibal's el indio (7.75"x11"). the smaller size means it's cheaper (a great deal at P120 compared to el indio's hefty P600 tag), but it also takes a definite hit to readability. i'll be needing my reading glasses for this.

editorial preface.

internal page. click to zoom in and you'll see a faint horizontal line across lapu-lapu's neck. my copy has a lot of similar printing errors. i also suspect that the aspect ratio was narrowed a little to force-fit the pages onto their small format; the characters' faces look wonky at times.

nice move, datu! i wonder if moe learned this from him.

back cover featuring coching's other titles.

i haven't read through the book yet but i'll post a review when i can. my first impression though is it's a really good product (EDIT: except for the purple cover). good price point for experimentation by first-time readers, print quality doesn't suck (the binding took a bit of punishment while i was scanning those internal pages)... good deal all around. it's a shame that such a significant book has so far flown beneath everyone's radar. i pray that national bookstore displays it properly, and that atlas gives it the marketing support it deserves.

check out the comments section on this post by gerry alanguilan for more info.

francisco coching
edited by terry bagalso
116 pages
black and white


Jayson said...

Thanks for spreading the good word, Sir Mcoy.

The Atlas Circulation Department is doing all it can to persuade some NBS branches to display Lapu-lapu Compiled Edition in the Filipiana/ Graphic Novels Section.

We at Atlas is more than pleased to see that you've enjoyed our product.

Rest assured, we will be improving the printing quality of our next releases.

Thank you!

-Jayson from Atlas-

dj said...

i'll look for a copy after work.

mcoy said...

@jayson, glad to hear it! some media noise wouldn't hurt either...

@dj, good on ya, mate

Miko said...

I read about this on Gerry's site yesterday. Thanks for preview pages. I'll get one over the weekends as well, night-shift really sucks :p

By the way,will Atlas be reprinting the titles on the back cover? Forgive my ignorance but I hope they're all good (or better) than El Indio :D

mcoy said...

i dunno either, miko.

but randy valiente says in his blog that atlas' next coching reprint will be "talipandas".

Rafael Kayanan said...

Will the book be available to order online for overseas shipping? This is a treasure that many people have been awaiting for decades.

dj said...

i have been to 3 National Bookstores already. none of 'em have the book. granted their not the big branch type stores.

sir macoy where did you get your copy?

f.m. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
macoy said...

i know the NBS website ships internationally, but i'm not sure whether lapu-lapu qualifies for it. you could try sending them an email.

sa ever ortigas extansion ko nabili yung akin, di rin kalakihan yung branch.

Rafael Kayanan said...

Thanks Macoy, I've emailed NBS as well since they did not have an online order form for the book.

Miko said...

Thanks, Macoy! That is great news if they already have another title in line for printing.

Still have to get a copy, been to a couple of NBS branches and they don't have it yet.

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