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Monday, April 14, 2014

RODSKI PATOTSKI is a Good, Fun Comic

If I could describe Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby, Gerry Alanguilan and Arnold Arre's two-fisted team-up of a comic in one word, it would be the word fun. There's a lot of positive energy flowing out of this book, from Gerry's writing to Arnold's art, and it leaves you with smiling from the moment your eyes hit the first page until you reach the last one.


Born under extraordinary circumstances, Roddelyn "Rodski" Rosario is a child unlike any other. Able to speak complex sentences by her first month and understand Physics and Calculus by age three, Rodski is soon found by the Philippine military and trained to become their best scientific asset. Now in her early 20s, Rodski still has genius-level intellect...and still as child-like as ever. But soon she will have to choose between her brain and her heart...with the fate of the world at stake!

One would think Gerry Alanguilan doesn't do these kinds of 'fun' comics, being the guy behind the deeply personal Wasted and the tragic Where Bold Stars Go to Die. Yet here he was, writing Rodski Patotski with the sort of child-like wonder his bubbly heroine was capable of.

Gerry juggles a lot of genres in this book, and he does so effortlessly. Rodski is not just a sci-fi heroine, she's also caught up in a blossoming love story (and awfully kilig-y if I do say so myself!). Then it shifts to action-comedy mode, and you find yourself giggling at sight gags that's undoubtedly Pinoy in taste and holding on for dear life as it races to an explosive climax. But for me, the shining moments didn't come from the exploding bombs or the flashy gadgets, but from Rodski's relationship with her parents. I feel for Mommy and Daddy Rosario, two simple folk blessed with a genius for a daughter, never really understanding Rodski's way of thinking (or anything scientific for that matter) but having plenty of love to give anyway. It's that sort of tug-at-the-heartstrings storytelling that makes Rodski Patotski not your usual comic book.

I wouldn't be surprised if this gets optioned for a movie, my country being what it is. Knock on wood, of course.

Material like this in the hands of any less-capable artist and the whole thing could explode in our faces. But thankfully, Gerry found a match in Arnold Arre. This is arguably Arnold's best work; his line art is sharper here, tighter, and every page is lovingly colored and rendered. Arnold's mastery of emotion and expression works hand-in-hand with Gerry's imaginative storytelling, and his art will get you laughing at funny bits and gnashing your teeth in suspenseful ones.

This delightful done-in-one proves that the Gerry Alanguilan-Arnold Arre team-up yields solid gold comic books. Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby is the type of feel-good entertainment you don't see in comics these days, and is a worthy addition to any comic book fan's library.

Rodski Patotski is Php450 and will be available in all Comic Odyssey branches soon.

And if you're a Whovian, be sure to spot Gerry's Doctor Who homage in this book. :)

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