Comic Book Review: Lipad

Story and art by Rommel “Omeng” Estanislao

“Dito ako sa aking mundo. Ako ay lilipad…”

Every kid wonders what it’s like to fly. Every kid grows up and begins to wonder what it means to fly. Lipad‘s genius lies in it being able to ask both questions in a simple, endearing and haunting way.

Lipad is about a boy who continues to dream of flying despite its seeming impossibility . “Hindi kasi sila naniniwala na kaya kong lumipad.” But in the pursuit of his dream, the boy encounters the “real world” in the person of an unwitting hunter.

Drawn in what is characterized as Filipino style, Lipad speaks from a time when life was so much simpler. The clean and detailed art lends an air of innocence and simplicity to the story. It brings back memories of when dreams were real possibilities and imagination was a free ticket to a perfect world, a personal utopia.

Lipad doesn’t just tell the story of a boy who dreams of flying. With a little bit of imagination, it can become a very personal story or a comment on society, all told with the ease of the absence of judgment only a child can possess.

Comic Book Review: Trese 1 Murder on Balete Drive

Story by Budjette Tan0 cover

Art by Kajo Baldisimo

For a first issue, Murder on Balete Drive is very effective because it draws you into the world of Alexandra Trese.

The cases, although appearing to be random, are actually quite focused. They are written and sequenced in such a way that you get to know Alexandra Trese and the life she leads very naturally, gradually.You at first meet this scrawny looking girl and later learn that she is one tough cookie who has supernatural connections, can take your eye out with her kriss and can keep them incantos in line.

Little by little, you learn who Alexandra Trese really is while you get carried away with the action within each case. Each one is grounded in solid folklore and the modern twists keep everything interesting. Try having a fire demon on your mobile’s speed dial why don’t you.

Then there’s the art. Trese is a good example of black and white done right. The art builds up on the setting of the seedy underbelly of the underworld. It perfectly complements the feel of the story. It is muted, withdrawn but very strong and distinct.

I read this one night when I couldn’t fall asleep. I was hoping to get drowsy somewhere in the middle of the book. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed everything about it. Overall, the only thing I don’t like about this series is that I only have the first book.

One word can sum up my reading of Trese: Murder on Balete Drive. Unexpected.