Monday, July 30, 2007

Sequen


A friend left this on my desk one fine evening. From a cursory glance, Sequen appears to be in the vein of Fantasi, complete with articles and comics.

I'll get to it when I finally have some things sorted out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Eden Factor

You know I went to several book stands, and since I can't get the second issue yet I'll just go ahead with the first. This is another KLP comic book out there trying to blaze a trail for the modern Malaysian comic scene. I admit I bought this issue totally because I'm a fan of Kromosom, and just like back in the 90's when I was shallow enough to buy YoungBlood, I'm somewhat disappointed.

The plot involves a team of four, young cyborg women and their mannish makcik, known as The Pack. Together they're a part of the rebellion against the diabolical mechanations of the Megatech Corporation... IN THE FUTURE. We have all the standard superspy team components here:

Alya: Leader, gun expert with a tendency for self narration. Like Deadpool, only not funny.
Jade: Mostly silent, resident martial arts expert with a droll sense of humor.
Nell: Bossy explosives expert.
Alex: (not on the cover) Computer & communications wizard. Baby of the group. Cosplayer.

In this premier issue, the girls go on a vague mission. I don't know what exactly they're trying to do other than the bit where they're going to retrieve some information. The writer seems to care more about Alya's ramblings about her team mates than actually letting the art do that. Honestly, economy with your words is key in comics. Leave the self-insertion and huge text boxes to deviantart manga dweebs.

The art is uneven throughout, most of Kromosom's usual stunning polish is dimmed by bad inking. Lots of action and sniping guards. Other than that, Eden looks to serve you a standard action fare. Just like Fetus in Fetu, it has an overall promising story line (I simplified it in here for review purposes). Hopefully Lulu's writing improves along with the artwork next issue.

Good: Lots of action, snappy dialog. Nubile women in tight bodysuits.

Bad: Rushed intro and art. Huge narration boxes that don't actually help the plot.

Overall: Okay action title with a lukewarm start. I'll be watching.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Sadhu

I picked this up today along with some other titles.


I got to say the story is going pretty well and told at a much more even pace than most action titles. I liked the art so far even though the action is bland in some panels. I don't care for the crappy banner ruining the cover there and I don't know if I want to see Nicholas Cage in another superhero role. Face it, Ghostrider sucked huge donkey balls. Uh, where was I?

The story revolves around James Jensen, a British officer in India. While charged in suppressing the natives like a proper imperial soldier, he began to have an awesome streak of 'Bad Day Syndrome'. All this villainy comes in the form of the malevolent, mustachioed menace of colonel Timothy Townsend, his superior officer.

Delightful bastard isn't he? When James refused an order to execute a native soldier, the colonel decides to have James beaten to a pulp while he kills the man's wife. Such classic movie villainy!

Our tragic hero then escapes and meets Dada, who decides that James is indeed someone he's been looking for...
Like I said, the art in this comic is pretty good. So what do I think? Good enough to keep reading? Let's see:

Good: Nice art with an attempt to "logically" explain magical superpowers that the Sadhu wields. Some very cool moments mostly involving Dada being cool.

Bad: Some action scenes are quite bland or downright unexciting. This may be due to my recent binge of Marvel books.

Overall: Interesting so far, and is much cheaper than a KLP comic. I'll keep it in my pull list.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hi

I guess I'm back in full capacity. I apologize for the looooong gap between March and July, including the gap at The Fortress Lab. I also apologize for the angry tone I have taken with some people who didn't really deserve it.

I had to climb up a deep well. A deep red well.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Review : Fetus in Fetu

Yeah, yeah I've been gone for a while. I didn't feel like saying anything then. Anyway, let's start with something new. This comic has been out for some time but I have yet to see a review. So I thought, " Why don't I buy one and give a crappy review of it myself?"

Let's start with the bombastically named Fetus in Fetu. As you guessed, it's about a fetus thing killing people with the police hot on his trail! Let's see, issue #1's got a shiny KLP cover with quality printing and has that charming sludge-from-the-drain color scheme the we of the Quake generation have come to love! The characters on the cover look bored with each other and the use of a photo backdrop annoys me greatly. Then there's the title! The text is barely readable and that photoshop effect really ruins it.

The story starts out fine enough, some guy gets killed by something that walks on the ceiling. An old detective is on the scene as he mumbles his way in a whimsy. He also talks to himself a lot. I realize this is a way for the writer to give as much information about the character per book, but come on! Look here:

Was that really necessary? You could have told his background story in smaller bits, decompress it through several issues! The only character who can pull off long text like this was classic Starman. I can't say anything about the rest of the cast since there's still very little development but hey, it's still the first issue!

The plot: FIF is a detective story laced with supernatural elements. Yes, of course there's some sort of psycho-monster running around with a knife! It's on the cover! The gritty artwork done by Ajif and Sup lends to Roy's script well though somewhat bland in many panels. Instead of details, much of the characters and background looked too dark with muted colors.

Good: Promising murder mystery plot and interestingly odd art.

Bad: Art is too bland most of the time. Colors are too watery. Too much internal and very stilted dialog.

Overall: I feel the story has promise and I hope it starts to pick up in later issues. Hopefully they'll cut down on the long internal dialog stuff and more action.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pesta Buku

Sorry for the long silence. I'll be a bit busier than usual now since I have to take over the inking for the 5th issue for our upcoming Satria Alam comic on top of my other projects. If everything goes smoothly you'll be seeing our crew and our first comic book out at the International Book Fair this year. Here's the location:

Pesta Buku AntaraBangsa Malaysia 2007.
(Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair 2007)
26 April - 6 May 2007
Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) Kuala Lumpur.

If you need more information, just visit this site.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday, February 2, 2007

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Discomfort

One thing usually lead to another, that's why precedents are so important. I'm not exactly a political blogger, but I'm sure most Malaysian bloggers and their readers have at least heard the NST vs Jeff Ooi and Rocky controversy.

Nothing like this has ever been done before and it seems the NST wants to set another Malaysian World Record for all the wrong reasons. My concern is if this comes to pass and NST somehow wins, then what's to stop more of these censorship bully tactics from spilling to other types of media? More importantly, what will it do to the already stiflingly controlled creative landscape in this country? Will there be blanket bans and news blackouts?

What do I know? I haven't bought a single newspaper for years. I'm just a guy who designs stuff.

See more here at Kickdefella or this article in the Centre for Independent Journalism.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oooh! Shiny!

Ubuntu Studio
"Coming this April" it says. Let's see how this one develops.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

TypeTypeType

I just thought this should be spread around :

The Free Font Manifesto

Me? I really like the Gentium and Vera Sans fonts!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Watch what you download

If you've been following this new blog for a while, you'll notice that I've started to add links to clip art and fonts. I would like to say that when you download these files you should be aware that each may have different licenses and how much freedom is given to you as a user.

So always read the accompanying legal document that comes with your download. Especially if you're planning to create a product like books, magazines or even software for commercial purposes. Got it?

Good.


Now let me introduce to the side, the Open Clipart Library and it's twin sister the Open Font Library. Yes! Now you too can furnish that last minute documentation with a little more style that what your lecturer/manager is used to! If you like someone's work, tell them and if you can contribute, please do so.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Writer's Space One

Let's see... you have this idea for a story and you need to get it down fast. There's the pencil and notebook you have at your desk or you can try these:

OpenOffice has been making the rounds so far as one of the contenders to the office suite crown. It has all the familiar components of MSOffice. There is more than enough power in the package for your average home user and good enough for a small office environment. The OO Writer is it's best component and even has good community backing in Malaysia. In fact, PTS has joined in by providing a Malay dictionary component, which is now automatically included within the download. Mind you, OpenOffice is a hefty download (around 93mb) for the bandwidth poor. But there is another alternative:

Abiword is a blazingly fast word processor with strong support and constant updates. The program is only a 5mb download and perfect for any novelist and script writer alike.

Now let's get you a tool for organizing your project time line. Yes, I believe that unless you actually set a deadline for yourself, you wouldn't even get to starting! GanttProject is one alternative application to organize your projects. Try it out and see if you like it.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Using Celebrities

In his regular column in CBR, Erik Larsen weighs in on using celebrities to help promoting comics. Question is though, are local publishers & creators willing to approach them with the right promotional strategy? Perhaps its time Malaysian comics expand their promos into a broader spectrum other than print. The drug of choice today is still the idiot box, possibly now and forever. The sensation of visual and audio fed directly to my brain while my body vegetates on a couch is high on the list of civilized modern pleasures.

Personally, I feel that television will still be king, followed by the internet followed by magazines. Newspapers and radio is pretty much dead anyway and who actually eyeballs the promo at the back of your comic?

What do you think?

A Moment of Clarity goes to print!

A Moment of Clarity
This colorful all-ages comic by John Bintz was made using some elbow grease, GIMP, Inkscape and put together in Scribus. The comic is light-hearted and may not be the thing for the jaded and cynical among us. The love and dedication however shines through the story and characters. It's one the best examples how comics can be made on shoestring budgets. Take a look for yourself, just reading about it here isn't going to make it any clearer.