School Run #2-4 and Dekada

Yay, more komiks reviewed.

School Run #2 by Macoy TangSchool Run #3 by Macoy TangSchool Run #4 by Macoy Tang
School Run #2-4
by Macoy Tang

Go to my review of #1

Macoy's story of cute munchkins meeting flesh eating zombies escalates the gore and violence, and adds more twists and near-escapes. After having their school bus overrun by an unexpectedly large zombie horde, a handful of students race against time while navigating the treacherous urban terrain in order to make it to safe ground. Along the way they bear witness the best and worse of human nature. And more is revealed about the zombie plague.

The story moves at an economically fast clip, with plenty of emphasis on nonstop action and the zombie fighting. If I have one complaint, it's that the individual minis are so slight that there's not enough time to connect with the main characters or the world they inhabit. Hopefully the pace slows down a bit, but so far this is been an amusing, if at this point an all too quick ride.

Dekada by Lyndon Gregorio
by Lyndon Gregorio

The popular Beerkada comic strip has been running in the Philippine Star since 1998, and this particular book compilation marked its tenth anniversary when it first came out. The cartoon's target demographic is mirrored by its young adult cast, and is meant to identify with their travails as they confront the usual growing-up experiences of college, dating, relationships, finding a job, or finding a life mate. And it's rendered in a streamlined, blocky style that many newspaper cartoons are drawn in these days.

The strip's main weakness is that the cast is often reduced to hooks used to hang its topical humor on, which contrary to the politically-charged cover, primarily addresses pop culture trends affecting Filipino youth that happen to interest creator Lyndon Gregorio.* They're mostly structured as three panel gags, with some extra material is thrown in to attract collectors. The gags themselves vary from occasionally insightful to plain forgettable (the majority of them leaning towards the latter), with a large number already becoming dated after only a few years removed from their original context. When read in large chunks instead of its original format of daily installments, they appear more chaotic than informative. And the usually oblivious behavior of its characters makes them come across less as distinct individuals than as a collection of annoying quirks.
* It also contrasts with a well-known novel with a very similar title.