Aug 6, 2010

Today is my birthday--

And since I'm feeling generous, here's a wonderful, wonderful assortment of links to entertain you all!

Did you see Inception? Then feast your eyes on the original (I'm being facetious here) version, featuring a 2002 Donald Duck story by Don Rosa! Basically, the Beagle Boys steal a Gyro Gearloose invention that allows them to invade Uncle Scrooge's dream, so Donald has to go in after them, and they get taken to a lot of Scrooge's memories.

The beauty of this story is its elegance in its simplicity. You couldn't do something like this in a mainstream comic - fans would want way too much pseudoscientific explanation that makes no sense anyway. Here, it's just "We're in your dream, and if we fall, we wake up."

And the story's actually really touching. There are no fancy layouts here or anything, folks. It's just a really good story. Click here to read it in its entirety.

The first issue of Bathala: Apokalipsis is now online. From an idea by Gerry Alanguilan and a design by Kajo Baldisimo, Bathala: Apokalipsis is brought to you by David Hontiveros and Ace Enriquez. That's right, it's a local comic that's based on a really simple idea: What if Superman had to fight the Apocalypse as depicted in the Book of Revelations? I know some will say that that's the basic premise of Kingdom Come, but that was more symbolic and metaphorical. This one is more literal, and besides, who said you can't use the same idea twice? As long as the execution is different, what's the big deal?

The art is solid, with some flubs in the production quality (this country's comic industry doesn't have nearly the same budget as any in America), and the layouts are very very good. But the writing is really what stands out. I've said it before and I'll say it again: America has tapped into our best artists, and it's a shame that they're not tapping into our best writers as well.

For those who aren't Filipino, Bathala is short for Bathalang Maykapal, which is the name of the Supreme God of the Diwatas, the ancient Tagalog pantheon. Over time, it's also become the Tagalog name of the Christian God. The superhero here is clearly based on Superman, but owes some to Captain Marvel in terms of aesthetics.

You can read the entire first issue here.

Speaking of Filipino komiks, I encourage all you folks to read Trese by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. Basically, imagine someone like John Constantine or some other supernatural investigator, then make that a woman named Alexandra Trese, and have the demons be creatures from Filipino mythology. The very first scene has Trese investigating the death of a white lady, and there are Tikbalangs and Filipino gods and even a dark satire of Darna throughout the story. It's a great way for anyone unfamiliar with the myths - Filipinos and foreigners alike - to learn about these (rather awesome) stories, and those who are familiar with it would be happy about it.

If you live in the Philippines, Trese is really easy to find anywhere in bookstores, but if you live abroad, you can get them online through National Bookstore.

There are three books and the first two are the equivalent of $2.72, while the third one is $3.88.  That's under $10.00! Go check it out!

According to the Comics Journal, Filipino komiks are undergoing some preservation projects. In keeping with this, they have already come out with reprints of Francisco V. Coching's Lapu-Lapu and El Indio comics. But what gets me really excited is they're working on reprinting Alfredo Alcala's Voltar.

Pic from Gerry Alanguilan

Voltar was so good that Warren Publishing (original publisher of Vampirella) actually translated some of it and printed it in America.

EDIT: Gerry Alanguilan in the comments has alerted me that the Voltar strips published in Warren's The Rook weren't reprints of the ones in Alcala Flight Komiks; they were all new. Sorry for the wrong information - having only seen scans of both, I've never experienced the full thing, but THAT ART! LOOK AT THAT ART! Alcala was a monster!

Excited for Thor? Well, I bet this is where you expect me to link to the Thor trailer, but I won't, because it can be found anywhere on the Web. I'll do you folks one better. Did you know that the popular Mighty Thor, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for Journey Into Mystery #83 in August 1962, was not the first depiction of the Norse Thunder God in comics? No, it's not the (far more accurate if much less interesting) dunderhead in the Sandman series. It's this guy, published by Fox Feature Syndicates in 1940:

The credits say the story is by Wright Lincoln, but by all accounts, it's inaccuracte, and no one knows who the writer was, but the art is by Pierce Rice, of the Eisner-Iger Studio.

Good thing Thor isn't copyrightable! This version is now in the public domain, and I sorta kinda maybe want to see Marvel snatch him up just so we can see Thor vs. Thor and this guy can get his ass handed to him.

You can read the whole origin story of this version of Thor here. Interestingly, Don Markstein's Toonopedia summarizes something completely different. I wonder what's up.


Gerry Alanguilan said...

Thanks for featuring VOLTAR. In fact, stories that appeared in Rook Magazine, published by Warren were new and not reprints of the ones that were initially serialized on Alcala Fight Komiks in 1963. In my opinion, after seeing much of both works, the 1963 strip were far superior.

Duy Tano said...

Thanks for the corrections, Manong! I just added in an edit (not edited, 'cause that would change the text) for the correction. I've seen scans of both and on instinct, I'd tend to agree, but I think I'd still appreciate seeing both versions reprinted.

Allysons Attic said...


Great post

AND a wish that there are many many more.

Duy Tano said...

Thank you Allyson!

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