Wednesday, May 25, 2011

we interrupt this hiatus to pat ourselves on the back

...because clickthecity.com's resident film critic phil dy wrote a glowing review of my all four of my comics, which was posted as a note on sputnik comics' facebook page.




and so for the benefit of anyone not on facebook,  i am shamelessly reposting the whole thing here. delicadeza was never one of my strong points.




REVIEW: Komiks ni Macoy
Philbert Dy
on Friday, May 20, 2011 at 11:42pm



OPERASYON, ANG MASKOT, TAAL VOLCANO MONSTER, SCHOOL RUN

Macoy is incredible. There’s just no getting around it.

His ashcan comics are essential reading, each work exhibiting a profound understanding of the form mixed with a strikingly Filipino sensibility. His stuff is deceptively simple, the art laid out in clear black lines, his figures cartoony but economical. The stories aren’t long, but each of them is filled with little details that form a world much larger than one would expect.

But it’s really the versatility that astounds the casual reader. Macoy has three completed works under his belt, each one having a distinctively sensibility.

Operasyon uses funny animals to tell a story of police salvage operation. Rookie policeman Reyes (who happens to be a bunny) is joining his very first operation, and he’s made to face the darkness of his profession. Operasyon is practically a Filipino version of Maus, using the inherent symbolic of animal imagery to explore dark chapters in our national story. In this work, Macoy already exhibits a great skill for creative layouts, and a really great sense for symbolism and character.

Ang Maskot takes a much more personal tack, exploring the psyche of a young man in a dead end job who becomes literally stuck inside his work. The protagonist works as a mascot for a popular fast food chain, and constantly suffers the indignity of being tormented by children. And then one day, his zipper gets stuck and he can’t get out of his costume. Macoy still plays with a sense of darkness, this time in the frustration and despair of someone who isn’t happy with his lot in life. Ang Maskot thrives on youthful angst and energy, before finding poignancy and hope in the promise of a better tomorrow.

Macoy gets silly with Taal Volcano Monster vs. Evil Space Paru-Paro. In the book, it turns out that there’s a monster sleeping inside the Taal Volcano. The noise of the tourists around the area keeps the monster from getting his rest, and he goes on a rampage. Then the evil space paru-paro arrives, and a Godzilla-like battle plays out. It’s undoubtedly silly, but there’s still a lot going on in the book. From funny little digs at the Philippine Air Force to a brilliant monster alarm system, the book revels in small details of Filipino life.

The quality carries over to Macoy’s latest work, School Run. Currently in its third issue, the book tells the story of a post-zombie apocalypse Philippines, focusing on a group of kids whose school bus was waylaid by a zombie horde. It’s the little touches that make the book so special. In it, zombie hordes are treated like typhoons, given names and signal ratings, their existence both feared and simply accepted as just another thing the Filipino has to deal with.

The real appeal of his work is that they all come from a uniquely Filipino point of view. While other artists struggle to mimic foreign comic templates, Macoy’s authorial voice is distinctively Filipino, fully capturing the strange temperament of the country and its struggles and laying it all out on the page. It’s stellar, brilliant stuff, and it’s varied enough that everyone will find something to love. Right now, we are witnessing the genesis of a future legend. With these humble ashcans, Macoy is setting the template for a modern komiks movement.
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