Mervin Malonzo's TABI PO

Philippine Lower Mythology is never complete without the fabled class of monsters that look to humans as their primary diet---the Aswang. As Filipinos, we know them intimately as main representative of evil (along with Maligno, Manananggal, Mangkukulam, Kapre, Tikbalang etc.) special thanks to our parents and grandparents (or yaya for some) in trying to teach us to stick with rules of the house or else, the Aswang will eat us alive. But contrary to popular belief, Aswang is not a local version of Vampire. Aswang belonged to a different man-eating monster class or species. Unlike Vampires who drink human blood to live, Aswangs devour everything to satisfy their hunger. They can also change their human physical form into an animal like a wild boar, a lizard, bat, or a raven to hide from their enemies. I know this 'coz I grew up in a province called Aklan where every Aswang tale is a staple story in the dining table.

Anyway, enough of this mythology background.

Considering the trend in the horror fiction genre today and the past and recent success of Philippine Lower Mythology in the field of comics, what makes this one different and distinct is the main character himself Elias. He's an Aswang. He is the enemy, the Anti Hero.

We commend the author Mervin Malonzo for his "loose" and "easy" penciling and the "light" mixture of colors rendered digitally that gave life to the whole Tabi Po story. The colored images are raw, reminding us readers to focus more on the story. Thankfully, we readers don't need to differentiate blood from shadows like we used to in a black n white comics. The web comic was launched under Flipside Komix during summer last year, originally narrated in Filipino and also translated in English by Adam David available online for free. We can only say good luck to Mervin and we hope to see more of Elias' story soon.

all images © Mervin Malonzo and Flipside Komix

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Philippine Mythology, Mature Reading
Rating: 4 Balete Trees out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your comments here!