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Monday, January 10, 2011

Gerry Alanguilan's Wasted

Gerry Alanguilan is one of the Philippine's great comic book contributors, having worked on books such as Superman: Birthright with another Filipino artist, Leinil Francis Yu; X-Men and many more. He also created and published his own comic books like Elmer and Timawa under his Komikero Publication. But probably his greatest and most underrated achievement thus far is the creation of one of his early works - Wasted.

Originally published in 1998 by Alamat Comics, Gerry decided to share his marvelous work to everybody by posting it on his online comic site, and how priveleged we all are to have a chance to read such a marvelous work of art and literature. Best part of it is - it is FREE! (Read the whole 8-issue Wasted saga here. )

The story revolves around the mishaps of a musician named Eric who finds himself  a victim of random unjustice: first when his dad died, and then when his long-time girlfriend broke up with him and went to move on with another man. His personal life is crumbling, and is slowly becoming deranged because of such great emotional stress. Now searching for his own kind of twisted justice, Eric goes on a rampage, like a walking time-bomb ready to explode on anybody who unfortunately crosses his path.
Anger, bitterness, and resentment fill the pages with extreme violence that you would only see in titles such as The Punisher. But don't let that fool you - humor has its moments too, though the writer didn't intend it to be that way. (Speaking of the Punisher, I thought the protagonist was like him in a sense with all his trigger-happy and insane attitude.) Alanguilan makes use of simple illustrations within his panels, great storytelling and characterization just makes it all work.  Simplicity truly brings out the best in any form of art and it shows here.

That is not to say that the art is perfect, because there is no such thing. Some dialogues are poorly written and drawn (which made it really funny sometimes), but that doesn't change the impact that this book has. And even though the character is not overly sympathetic, Gerry still manages to capture the reader's attention with haunting words and illustrations that would sure to stay with anyone.

Written and drawn by Gerry Alanguilan himself, this is probably is most personal work: as he said himself, the story was based on his similar experience and instead of going into a drunken stupor back then, decided to grab a pen and paper and turn something this destructive into something creative, allowing him to get back his life and interest into comics. And as they say - the rest is history.

Wasted is emotion come to life through ink and paper. It is an absolutely stunning  workpiece embedded with such strong emotions which will definitely touch you, depicting one of the greatest human tragedies of them all. A definite must read. Do yourself a favor right now and click on the link above, and walk with Gerry as he tells you a story - his story - through the pages.

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