WARNING : MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS, OR SPOIL YOUR APPETITE.ALSO, I HAVE BEEN WATCHING TOO MANY ZERO PUNCTUATION VIDEOS RECENTLY
Availability: Various shops/newsstands in West Malaysia, availability elsewhere currently unknown
Imagine if Urban Comics and Jom had slept together one lonely night... their lovechild would've been Komikoo. The feel is mostly the same as these two (now dead) mags. On the other hand, it doesn't come with the crap articles that's a norm of all other publications. Most of its pages are comics. When was the last time your read a comic magazine that's actually filled with comics? (err... bar Kreko). Like Jom #0, this introductory issue is filled with one-shots. But it didn't come with freebies (Jom threw in a free issue of Remaja, how kind).
Well, anyway, let's start the Bang-4-Bucks-o-MeterTM and examine the stuff in the mag. Maximum score per item is 50 sen. Since this magazine has contributions from a lot of my good buddies, I hafta beforehand ...
NO FRIEND-FRIEND MODE TURN ON
Right, on with the show.
Various short humour comics
The first page is an adijin humour comic. Adijin. Doing humour comics. Say what?!?
Ahaha, from the caption above you can already feel this mag is not gonna be the standard fare, nosirree. There are also a couple more comics by various artists, but none are as funny.
Score : 20 sen
Hikayat Sebuah Mitos
Writer: Nalan Muarkef
Look ma, no dialogues.
A vampire story. Twist with the hunted being the good guy in actuality. Been there, done that. The past year, I can't say I was really big with the Aedes's works (despite me voting for him for a position in Pekomik). But the fact that it's full of olde-Malay styled characters, and the nice art makes it a good read. Well maybe cause I'm a vamp-fiction slut. ;P
Score : 40 sen
Hey, that chick is a parody of that dude in Mystery Man, right?
A play on the current Malaysian Space program, it's fun, humourous and has a tragic ending. It's not Adijin at his best, but entertaing nonetheless.
Score: 35 sen
Kloneworld (v1.0 and v2.0)
Artist/Writer: Baba Chuah
Back in the heydays, I was always a fan of Baba Chuah. He always draws these stories that are delightful to read. Right here we see him attempting to do a Moebius, full of abstractism. However, at the end of the day, you still get something out of it... Moebius's work that is. I don't understand what's being said in this one at all. Points for art... although they border dangerously on repitition. :(
Writer: Fairul Nizam
If you blinked, you would've missed the fanservice. Did the KDN fall asleep here?
A tale about road rage, working hard for the family and a father's love. Classical themes in a Malaysian drama. Interesting art by Fy, with a right balance of detail.
When you find a murderer... murder him.
I have a disliking with the whitespace usage in this comic;it's hard to read. But there's one thing that disturbs me the most: in one page it's implied that this comic takes place in Malaysia. Then, the comic goes off showing blatant acts of violence and vigilantism. Which is incredibly unMalaysian. The moral lesson you're supposed to get is to look before you leap, but, I dunno, the delivery is too surreal.
This guy looks suspiciously like Guy, only less scruffy.
[Wow, when you said it wasn't of high quality... you weren't kidding. O_O ]
[Oh okay, this is a comic by one of the people that I admire... I gotta be even less friend-friend-ier than the others. Some posters are already talking about favouritism at the Pergh forum, so I gotta claim there's no such thing going on here. Really.]
Another tale of revenge, another tale about clones. I don't know if it's bad luck that Eisu's premiering comics keep having elements that are already present in the same issue. This comic is drawn using his current Marry Me style, which is... er... clean? The lack of detailing going into comic is noticible in contrast with all the other comics in the magazine. Not that I'm against simplification; if there's less detail on the characters, then at least add on in the backgrounds... which are quite barren-looking in the few panels they are present in.
Things feel quite rushed; it wasn't until i scrutinised later did I figure out that the sword was taken from the fat bastard... why wasn't the hilt bloody? The one shot where you had a good view of it (see screencap above), you still don't have a good idea how it looks like. Every other shot features the sword cropped. Laziness on the artsist's part, or just plain coincidence, I don't know.
Also in the screencap above, the impact of the kick seems to be wrong; if it was a forward swing, the feet should be pointed outward. If it was a backheel, the victim's head should be swerved in the opposite direction. If it was a direct kick, the victim should've been aligned with the leg. Well, minor quibbles, but coming from a master of action comics, that shouldn't have been a problem.
Near the ending, when the guy climbs the stairs.... what the heck is wrong with those stairs? I mean...
... looks wrong. What's registering in my brains when I look at it is something like:
Kinda like getting one of the stars in Mario64, King Bob-omb's Castle. Why they made stairs like that in the future, is a mystery.
The ending sux. I guess it's supposed to be witty, but somehow I just can't connect it to the rest of the story. It might have worked if the scary silhoutte of the villain in the first page had a vague silhoutte of the wretched contraption. In the end, this comic is the weakest in the magazine. Even the rushed comic Eisu did for the 24 Hours Comic challenge was way better.
Score:20 sen, would've been 15 sen, but the grusome beheading scene alone gets 5 sen. Were the KDN people asleep again?
Insert obligatory old Anwar case joke here.
A funny tale about moving a waterbed mattress, full of absurdity. The scene with the punk girl takes the cake. Would've gotten high points. But.
My suspension of disbelief somehow stopped in the final scene when the replacement mattress was brought in. Somehow, my brain started detecting something was amiss. And then I realised it. I even looked up Wiki to double-check. The writer apparently didn't do his homework. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. =_=
Articles and rants
Magazine has an interesting interview with Ben (of ex-GempakStarz fame), mostly it's two pissed off people talking about their old company (anything like that is bound to be interesting). There's also a nice spectrum of opinions in the other artirants, within one magazine there's already some differenct stances amongst the writers. Which is cool; I hate the 1 stand approach by past magazines... (GG:everything must be Malaysian, GS:everything must be Japanese, Kreko: everything must be stolen). I found the Kak Pah column to be out-of-place with everything however.
Writer: Nazim Masnawi, Fairul Nizam, Aedes, Israq Reffandy
What a grand collection of truths!
This article is awesome. Everything you wanted to know about the comic industry in Malaysia, but were to scared to ask. Hell, did you know that previously, comic companies not only owned YOUR comic, but they also owned YOU? Well, now you know!
The only thing that bugs me is the illustration about Must-Draw-Manga-To-Sell where one heckler was suggesting the artist stop drawing bawang noses and imitate Katsushiro Otomo. As far as I know, Otomo draws heckuvalot bawang noses. Now I'm prejudically assuming Shah never does homework. ;P
Score:1 ringgit. Yes it's worth twice the maximum score.
Awesome concept, but it's failed by the next part...
Maybe I'm too spoilt with the awesome KK prints of the earlier JOM issues, but the paper doesn't seem white enough, making everything look dark. The cover I presume is supposed to spot bright angry fluorescent magenta, but instead it's a depressive dark pink.
Everything seems fine, nice layouts, and best of all... no adverts. When was the last time you read a magazine with no adverts?
OVERALL SCORE:RM3.80 / RM4.00
That's a great score. In fact, with improvements it could easily go above 100% in their next issues. Keep up the good work guys!
Komikoo is full of people who used to be doing comics fulltime, then took a break and did something else for a while, and came back. There are signs of rust aplenty. That's not all. It's also full of bitterness and sarcasm.
If there could be a proper comparision, let's say previous magazines are like Blur during Parklife. Everything's cool and hip, and people dared to say they were the best around. Then things got rotten, and we have Albarn in The Good, The Bad and The Queen, with its bleak retrospective of life an almost antithesis of Parklife. Komikoo is kinda like that. The first statement in its editorial is that it was NOT born to revolutionise. Instead, they'd be happier just to be an alternative platform for artists to get their work published. But if there's something negative to say about Komikoo, then it's the vibes you get after you finish reading it.
The entire contributor list are of otais. There's no fresh face at all. And also affects the dynamics of the magazine. Everyone is just pissed off at something. There is no feel-good comic at all in the magazine, sure you do get laughs, but none of the comics have illicited a smile from my face. My argument of why Urban Comics failed was its stubbornness in completely rejecting humour comics from its magazines, and other magazines for doing the opposite. Komikoo is in danger of having no 'Happy' comic. Just because you want to be more mature, it doesn't mean this kind of things couldn't be present. Which is why n00bs are important: they are full of innocent happiness.
On another point, it is why Kreko sells. It has a pleothora of emotions easily accessible in one product. Which can then be arguably summarised as to why manga sells, a single comic series can convey aspects of romance, action, suspense or comedy at any point, against the classical Malaysian comics with its hard-wired mission statements (must be either COMEDY or ROMANCE or ACTION or HORROR... but no combinations). The only local comic magazine that nearly reaches this level of balance was Gempak, but it had mistakenly assumed that their success was due to the stroke used, and thus are now overpopulated with manga-ism. Then the blamegame starts and manga-hatred in some quarters reach unconceivable proportions.
Please realise that kids buy that Big-Eyed-Small-Mouth stroke because the stories and art were good, and a majority of BESM fit that criteria. Now they're psychologically trained to identify ANY BESM comic as a good read, kinda the same way you assume any Maggi product is good because their instant noodles are required eating. So when comics of non-manga strokes stop selling, they assume it's the stroke's fault. Oh come on...
PLEASE REALISE THAT IT'S YOUR INCOMPETENT STORY-TELLING THAT YOU ARE LOSING READERSHIP.
I myself stopped reading most of Marvel's X-Books after the Onslaught saga (because they kept getting more and more retarded), until Joss Whedon took helm of some recent books and they were actually full of drama, suspense, romance, action and incredibly funny humour and wit. Just like manga. Without the stroke.
Do you still think it's the stroke that sells? Peh.