Book: Zombinoy #5

"Zombinoy #5"

Just like the biblical apocalypse, nothing can stop the zombie end-of-the-world event. Everyone will be equal: rich and poor, genius and uneducated, handsome and ugly–Lakers and Miami fans.

Okay, so it doesn’t actually say that at the back of Zombinoy‘s latest issue. But it was long and it was in Filipino, so I translated it and shortened it. Yes, the part about the Lakers and the Miami fans really were there.

Now. About the latest issue.

I don’t like it.

After the stellar fourth issue of Zombinoy, the writers of the comics seems to have lost interest in the world they created. And I wouldn’t have gotten this idea if it weren’t for the note at the back of the issue where they say that they’re wrapping up the story in the next issue.

I’m saying issue a lot. Then again, I have a lot of issues with this installment.

Number one; the characters. We have, by now, established a connection with leads Clara and Paolo. They barely appear here. And most of their panels are accompanied with lyrics to a song. Paolo’s brother gets relegated to a fool’s mission of getting survivors off a ferry and to safety. I think. But they just get swarmed and shot at. And let’s not even go to the mostly absent president.

Number two; the lack of content. I was pleased when I first saw the thick issue. And then I realized that it was thick because it had a lot of panels for action. Mindless action. Action that don’t really propel the story forward. And then I was miffed.

Number three; the lack of direction. We get teased with a cure. We get teased with a conspiracy. Neither one goes anywhere. We get really cheap thrills instead.

So what are we supposed to do with Zombinoy? It’s ending in the next issue. But with a penultimate issue like this, would we even want to know where the creators plan to take this disaster?

Well, I have until May to figure out my answer.

In the meantime, check out the photos I took from last November 16’s Komikon at the newly made Facebook fan page for Taking a Break!

Book: Zombinoy #4

"Zombinoy #4"

Zombie apocalyptic, big-time, end-of-the-world scenario of biblical proportions. Pinoy style.

And so we begin the second “season” of Zombinoy, where the first issue alone has more happening than the whole of the first season combined. Well, that’s not completely true, but it sure does feel like it.

I think the problem with the first three issues was that the people behind Zombinoy wanted to create the world first, to introduce the characters and the zombie plague at the same time. I don’t know why, but I think it may be because they wanted readers to connect to the characters first. Having read Issue #4, I don’t think they had to.

Issue #4 has us facing the problem of zombies in our land, with the Americans very gung-ho about helping us because of nefarious reasons. Prior to this, we had a lot of government drama that tiptoed around this issue. I think #4 had the better execution, as you’re seeing things in action while discovering that things are not what they seem.

The characters feel more real too, even though “screen time” is more spread out. At first, I attributed it to the fact that I’ve read the first three issues. I already know these characters. But that’s not exactly true. Zombinoy, while a brilliant idea, wasn’t completely remarkable nor was it unforgettable. The characters in this issue really lived and breathe, that despite not knowing who they were before, you already have a sense of who they are as a person.

The writing’s brilliant, actually. It shows just how much writer Geonard Yleana had grown from the time he wrote the first three issues to now.

I’m still not a fan of the art though. This is more personal preference though, as I’m not exactly an artist. It’s just that–the glossiness of the drawings and the shadings doesn’t fit with the world they’re trying to build. The Philippines is going to hell, and it’s presented in the cleanest way possible.

It’s a little jarring.

But it’s not something you can’t get over. Especially with a story as strong as the one presented here in the fourth issue. And if Yleana continues to grow, I can’t wait to see what he (and the rest of the Zombinoy team) has in store for us next issue.

Book: Zombinoy, Season 1

"Zombinoy: Season 1"

I love zombies. Which is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, that I would pick up the Zombinoy title. I didn’t even look at the synopsis, I just saw the title and the cover–and I bought the first issue.

I didn’t think there was anything to write about Zombinoy back in May though. At the time, while I saw the potential in the title, I didn’t really think it had enough to merit an actual discussion. It defined the premise, and it presented its take: the world goes to hell but we still have human drama to make everything colorful. It was a selling point, but not the whole story.

Fast forward to a few months later, and the people behind Zombinoy releases the two other issues that would complete their first “season.” And while I’m still not completely sold, I am intrigued as to where they’re planning to take the story.

What is Zombinoy? It’s your typical zombie apocalypse, complete with a healthy cast full of drama, set in the Philippine setting.

We have a number of main characters who have yet to show any distinguishable traits, and a villain that’s supposedly scarier than zombies–bureaucrats.

So far, the only thing redeemable about the title is a character that starts out annoying and becomes a bit of a comic relief by the time the third issue rolls around.

Our main couple, Paulo and Clara, are so far one-dimensional and their respective families have been defined more by the roles they play and not the characteristics they possess. Well, there was that one scene with Ryan, Paulo’s brother, which was supposed to be a deviation of his stereotype. Except his stereotype wasn’t well-defined to begin with.

And then there are the other characters, the ones who are supposed to make things interesting. They don’t. One group of survivors seem to have been able to commandeer a ship, save dozens of the impoverished, and set up a semblance of a political structure in the same span of time it takes Paulo and Clara to go up and down the North Luzon expressway. Then there’s the villains.

I don’t know if the writer/s of Zombinoy is planning a twist that would put all twists to shame, but from the picture being painted in the three issues released so far, the villains are pretty clear cut. Black and white. And boring. So very boring.

Of course, I didn’t really expect much from the title when I picked it up. The one thing important to me at the time was that it was about zombies, and that it was set in the Philippines. It delivered on both accounts. Now, if it’s not too much to ask from the writer/s, I want the next “season” to surprise.

Now, let’s see what other people have written about the title:
Jumper Cable
Daily Blurbs