If you want to see samples of my comics work, head on over to CapsuleZone! If you want to see my graphic design portfolio, just go to Reno Maniquis Graphic Works! Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Newsarama review for Sequential Suicide 2008 TPB: Slop...

Writer(s): A heap of ‘em
Artist(s): A mass of ‘em
From: 803 Studios
Review By: Jeff

I’m not a fan of anthologies. I find them to be as aggravatingly similar to buying music on CD: you get one or two tracks of brilliance, and then thirteen more of space-filling caterwauling. They are the epitome of Forrest’s box of chocolates analogy (anthologies, not the CDs) and even though I’ve been burned over and over again, I still pick them up after a quick breeze through. I want to believe not only that it’s possible to put out a quality tome of shorts surrounding a central theme and told from multiple perspectives, but that one can create such a creature that doesn’t require a doctorate in metaphysics or existentialism in order to understand (Flight for example).

That’s how I came to Slop. Created by 803 Studios to showcase writers and artists that the rest of the comic book community would choose to ignore, the premise for this anthology (which I believe is their second outing) is Remus Filch, pig-farmer by day, serial killer of prostitutes by night. Connect the dots and you can quickly suss out how Remus’s blue-ribbon winning sows get their High-Pro glow. Lest you think this is ridiculous (or even derivative of Gerald Grice from Watchmen infamy), allow me to introduce you to Robert Pickton, the Canadian real-life inspiration for Remus who might be responsible for sixty or more murders. Having followed several serial-killer cases and Pickton’s in particular, I had to read this book.

And what a gem it is.

There are fourteen stories here, each one with a different artist and writer team (one is even penned by Newsarama’s own Steven Ekstrom) trying to get into the head of a truly evil and unhinged individual and scratch the surface of what makes him tick so terrifyingly out of time with the world around him. Well, most of them, anyway: Mr. Ekstrom’s “Breakfast” takes a more law-enforcement-centric approach; “In A Pig’s Eye” by Anthony Hightower posits the possibility that the pigs might be aware that they are accessories to the crime; “The Dancer” by Steven Prouse takes a Korean horror movie inflection to examine the results of a Fourth of July pig roast; and “Hunger” by Patrick Tkaczynski is really so far off the reservation that it’s almost into another genre (terrific, I need to state, but an odd inclusion to this book).

Having taken Andy Schmidt’s “Writing For Comics” introductory course (www.ComicsExperience.com) I can appreciate the difficulty in trying to tell a story within the confines of five to eight pages. Surprisingly, the majority of this lot perform admirably, telling tales of creepiness that echo of the good old days from EC and Warren Comics. For sure, “Sacrament” by Travis Legge is the most shuddersome of the lot. The violence and gore is mostly confined off-panel, which I feel is better storytelling and the only time weakness really appears is in some conclusions, when the stories feel as if they have been guillotined into truncation so as to fit the allotted space. I would have liked a few more pages on some of them of the offerings, just as I would have liked a couple more stories told from the law enforcement’s point of view as they hunt and try to catch this psychopath.

Where this anthology really shines, though, is in its artwork. I have never heard of these artists, but why they don’t currently have regular work is as mystifying to me as why the world drinks Coke Zero. Reno Maniquis (team-mate of the aforementioned Mr. Tkaczynski), why aren’t you drawing New Avengers? And Daniele Serra, I’ll take your art over Ben Templesmith’s any day of the week. Making the book in black and white may have been a publishing choice in order to reign in costs, but as a horror book it is imperative. There is such diversity amongst the artists that it’s a smorgasbord of visual delight, much more solid than any anthology I have read in the past several years.

That a book this entertaining hails from a small publisher is impressive. It far outshines similar fare from its bigger peers and has a quality to it that every small publisher should take notes from. For fans of horror, crime, and the odd, this book is certainly a must have.

Woo-hoo! Thanks for the special mention, Newsarama! Now, if only I can get Marvel Comics to look at this book...

Although, I do drink Coke Zero. But I prefer Pepsi Max. :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The "T" IN TITANS...

Image from en.dcdatabaseproject.com

Jade was watching TEEN TITANS on TV this morning, and she asked me "Why do the Titans live in a T?"

I said "Because Titans start with the letter T, right?" To which she immediately replied "We should live in a P because we're people!" :)

Friday, March 28, 2008


Cover colors by Brian Miller and HiFi Design.

Go to www.twentytosix.com for more info on how to purchase this comic book. or, if you live in the USA, it's free for download at wowio.com. Click on the icon below to go directly to the book's wowio page...

Can't wait to get my comp copy! :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This won't be available until August, but you can pre-order it now from Amazon.com! I'm really excited about this book, since this is the most "mainstream" of the comics projects I have done for the US market to date. So, please buy it! :)

Graphic Classics Volume 6: Ambrose Bierce - 2nd Edition
by Ambrose Bierce, Mort Castle, Rod Lott, Antonella Caputo, Steven Cerio, Stanley Shaw, Carlo Vergara, Reno Maniquis, Mark A. Nelson, Annie Owens, Michael Slack, Dan Burr, Milton Knight, Roger Langridge, Dan O'Neill, Shary Flenniken, Johnny Ryan, Florence Cestac, Mark Dancey

Graphic Classics: Ambrose Bierce is revised, with 70 new pages, including new comics adaptations of "Moxon's Master", "The Damned Thing" and "The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter". Returning from the first edition are "The Stranger" and four other tales, plus a collection of 20 short fables illustrated by Dan O'Neill, Shary Flenniken, Florence Cestac, Johnny Ryan and more great artists. With a stunning cover illustration by Steven Cerio.

Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Eureka Productions; 2 edition (August 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0978791959
ISBN-13: 978-0978791957
Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 0.5 inches

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

You know that TV ad that says "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" that conveys the message that Mac is better?

Well, yeah, maybe, but certainly not in my case.

Don't get me wrong. I have been a loyal Mac user for more than a decade, but being a Mac OWNER is the pits. Kuki bought a 17" iMac G5 for me about two years ago. It was working fine until last October then a vertical line started appearing on the screen. I inquired about it at my local dealer and they said the LCD needed replacing, but the parts needed were unavailable.

Fast forward to today, and my whole screen is shot (I'm typing this at the office). Since it's an iMac, it's just in one piece, not like a PC which has a separate monitor and CPU. Well, guess what? It seems the parts are still unavailable, and it's looking bleak that Apple's going to start production on it again. Which just sucks big-time. I was forced to buy an external monitor, but to my surprise the cable I need isn't readily available here in the Philippines. It's been two weeks now and I have to wait for the cable to arrive from God-knows-where. So essentially, I haven't been able to use my computer for close to two weeks, since last week was Holy Week and the computer shop couldn't process my order.

To be fair, the local Mac dealers have been a great help, but Apple itself irritates me. I've since then learned that a lot of people have had the same problems with the same mac model, but Apple seems to be keeping mum about the whole issue. There was one guy online who had the same problem and had his Mac replaced (kids, if you're purchasing a Mac, it's advisable to purchase the extended 3-year warranty called AppleCare, although it's a bit on the expensive side, too). What happened to his new Mac? The screen started to have vertical lines, too. Meaning that THAT particular iMac model really had problems.

So, Mr. Steve Jobs, shouldn't we all get a refund or have our Macs replaced since you sold us defective products in the first place?

Yeah, like that'll happen.

So, kiddies, if you want to buy a Mac, get AppleCare, and don't buy the 17" iMac G5.

Me, I'm considering buying a PC for my personal use. At least the parts I need are available EVERYWHERE.

Crap... This thing just pisses me off.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Here's the first page of the short story I did with author Patrick Tkaczynski for the anthology Sequential Suicide: Slop...

If you want to know more, there's an interview with editor Steven Prouse right here.

I'll try to get ahold of some copies and hopefully I'll be selling some of it here in the Philippines in the near future. :)

Oh, and check out the new link I added to the links list on the right. It's a blog site called Video 48. They've got cool scans of vintage Philippine movies. I was especially surprised to learn that Victor Wood once played Batman! If you're a movie buff, I suggest you check it out. It's awesome!