This week my colleague Kenny has been scouring the international world of comics to bring us this relatively unknown gem for his Did You Miss Me? piece:
Did You Miss Me? Well this is one you almost certainly did, as up until now it hasn’t actually been available in the UK. Elmer is the creation of Filipino comics artist Gerry Alanguilan who has worked as a penciller on many strips in his native land and as an inker on many comics projects for Marvel and other US based publishers over pencillers such as Whilce Portacio. The man is a damned fine artist. Now he is also a publisher and the first effort from his company Komikero Publishing is the comic Elmer.
Elmer is a beautifully drawn and tightly scripted family drama set in a world where the advantaged and disadvantaged live in a state of mutual distrust, for the most part. Neither believing fully that the actions of the past were totally reprehensible on one side or that the new enlightenment of the present with its promise of equality and equal opportunity is truly real on the other. Think any nation deeply divided by race or religion and I’m sure you get the picture. The difference here is that whilst one race is man the other is chickens. Yes CHICKENS! And they talk and interact on all levels with the human population.
Ok it’s a thinly veiled allegory for many such situations happening all over the world today, but it manages to actually pull you into the story by the characterisation of the Chickens. By the end of the book you actually care what happens next, to the characters and to the plot. In fact you might just think twice next time you are shopping in Sainsbury’s.
The stand out of the book is the art which is very tight for the most part, occasionally reminding me of past Filipino greats like Nestor Redondo. While the subject matter leans much more to Indy comics the art has all the style and finish fans would expect of mainstream comics work, so it should pretty much appeal to a wide cross-section of readers. Especially chicken lovers :-).
We’ve imported a load of the comic – which isn’t distributed through normal channels – and it will be in our shops by this Thursday; it’s available to order online now. It’s normally a $2.95 cover price but we are going to tempt you to try something a little bit different – available in store at £1.40 and online delivered to you for £1.65 (inclusive of postage because we really want you to read this). We’ll be doing an interview with Gerry next month when we look at comics around the world.