Thursday, January 28, 2010
you know that scene in rocky 2 where rocky's swimming all these laps and apollo creed says to adrien, "he's using muscles he never thought he had"? apol sta. maria's ang alamat ng panget & many other does the same thing, only to your brain.
specifically, that part of your brain that processes weird.
the panget reading experience is equal parts laughing, recoiling in horror, and scratching your head in utter confusion. often you find yourself doing all three things at once. i loved it. one of the best comics of 2009, as far as i'm concerned.
of course, the best parts of the book aren't fit to be posted on this blog. sta. maria finds that "absurd" button and mashes down on it so hard and so often it's not even funny (but it almost always is). i was blown away by the sheer manic inventiveness of his situations and characters, and the ruthless, morbid eye he casts on the human race--source of all stupidity.
part of why alamat ng panget succeeds--why it amounts to more than just another jokebook that looks like it was drawn by a demented six-year-old--is that it doesn't simply attempt to crack a bunch of jokes. at times the book reads like a journal of surreal explorations into a nonsense world that we've locked out of our own consciousness, a place we've decided we're too respectable to frequent anymore, a kind of oz or wonderland. and it's great to have people like apol sta. maria who still dare to visit those places to remind us, in all their obscene glory, how wonderful those places can be.
ang alamat ng panget & many other
by apol sta. maria
black & white
available at sputnik comics
more samples here