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After Lambana: A Graphic Novel: Myth and Magic in Manila

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Immerse yourself in a fantasy world of Filipino myth, magic, and supernatural suspense! Lambana—the realm of supernatural fairies known as Diwata—has fallen, and the Magic Prohibition Act has been enacted. To add to his troubles, there’s something wrong with Conrad’s heart and only magic can prolong his life. He teams up with Ignacio, a well-connected friend who promises to Immerse yourself in a fantasy world of Filipino myth, magic, and supernatural suspense! Lambana—the realm of supernatural fairies known as Diwata—has fallen, and the Magic Prohibition Act has been enacted. To add to his troubles, there’s something wrong with Conrad’s heart and only magic can prolong his life. He teams up with Ignacio, a well-connected friend who promises to hook him up with the Diwata and their magical treatments—a quest that’s not only risky but highly illegal! On the shadowy, noir-tinged streets of Manila, multiple realities co-exist and intertwine as the two friends seek a cure for the magical malady. Slinky sirens and roaming wraith-like spirits populate a parallel world ruled by corruption and greed, which Conrad must enter to find the cure he seeks. He has little idea of the creatures he will encounter and the truths to be revealed along the way. Will Lambana spill its secrets and provide the healing balm Conrad needs? Or will he perish in the process? Fans of Neil Gaiman, Emil Ferris and Charles Burns will love this new graphic novel!


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Immerse yourself in a fantasy world of Filipino myth, magic, and supernatural suspense! Lambana—the realm of supernatural fairies known as Diwata—has fallen, and the Magic Prohibition Act has been enacted. To add to his troubles, there’s something wrong with Conrad’s heart and only magic can prolong his life. He teams up with Ignacio, a well-connected friend who promises to Immerse yourself in a fantasy world of Filipino myth, magic, and supernatural suspense! Lambana—the realm of supernatural fairies known as Diwata—has fallen, and the Magic Prohibition Act has been enacted. To add to his troubles, there’s something wrong with Conrad’s heart and only magic can prolong his life. He teams up with Ignacio, a well-connected friend who promises to hook him up with the Diwata and their magical treatments—a quest that’s not only risky but highly illegal! On the shadowy, noir-tinged streets of Manila, multiple realities co-exist and intertwine as the two friends seek a cure for the magical malady. Slinky sirens and roaming wraith-like spirits populate a parallel world ruled by corruption and greed, which Conrad must enter to find the cure he seeks. He has little idea of the creatures he will encounter and the truths to be revealed along the way. Will Lambana spill its secrets and provide the healing balm Conrad needs? Or will he perish in the process? Fans of Neil Gaiman, Emil Ferris and Charles Burns will love this new graphic novel!

30 review for After Lambana: A Graphic Novel: Myth and Magic in Manila

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    This book is hard to pin down, and you get the feeling reading it, that that's on purpose. It's a nice slice of urban fantasy, playing around with magic and magical creatures in a large city, and doorways to other realities. That might sound twee, but it's everything but. I couldn't get much of a grasp on the story, shifting about as much as the world itself is shifting. The art follows: some panels are beautiful, others look kind of.. off, so sketchy it looks unfinished. That said, the colourist This book is hard to pin down, and you get the feeling reading it, that that's on purpose. It's a nice slice of urban fantasy, playing around with magic and magical creatures in a large city, and doorways to other realities. That might sound twee, but it's everything but. I couldn't get much of a grasp on the story, shifting about as much as the world itself is shifting. The art follows: some panels are beautiful, others look kind of.. off, so sketchy it looks unfinished. That said, the colourist has done an excellent job, beautifully creating mood. I get the feeling this is a book for a very specific audience, and they'll love it. (Thanks to Tuttle Publishing for providing me with an ARC through Edelweiss)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jedi JC Daquis

    I always hold a high regard for Mervin Malonzo's work ever since Tabi Po. His art work in Tabi Po, Ang Subersibo and now After Lambana are always high in quality, and IMHO one of the best contemporary local Filipino comic artists. His art can be best described as immersive, where readers are being brought in to the story itself, be it the Spanish era of Tabi Po and Ang Subersibo or the phosphorescent city nightlife in After Lambana. This is my first time reading a work written by Eliza Victoria. I always hold a high regard for Mervin Malonzo's work ever since Tabi Po. His art work in Tabi Po, Ang Subersibo and now After Lambana are always high in quality, and IMHO one of the best contemporary local Filipino comic artists. His art can be best described as immersive, where readers are being brought in to the story itself, be it the Spanish era of Tabi Po and Ang Subersibo or the phosphorescent city nightlife in After Lambana. This is my first time reading a work written by Eliza Victoria. I'm really impressed how she seamlessly interspersed traditional folklore in the modern setting, sprinkling the world with diwata (fairies) dust, magic, and fairy wings. I just wished that there is more exposition about what has really happened between the diwata and the humans. The end part I think was a bit rushed (considering that the first two acts were perfectly paced) that I ended reading it with some thoughts in my mind left unexplained. Eliza Victoria definitely has to write a sequel! The clever use of color contrast makes After Lambana a unique visual treat. The story may not be After Lambana's strongest weapon, but just being there with Ignacio and Conrad as the truth unfolds is very satisfying. The tone of the story is definitely reminiscent of Murakami's After Dark, added with tiny bits of plot elements from Harry Potter, X-men and Gaiman's Sandman. After Lambana is a definite must-read by all those who are seeking for high-quality Filipino comics.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nicolo

    After finishing this book, I went to the afterword, which I am wont to after enjoying a satisfying volume. The afterword is written by the artist, Mervin Malonzo, who has made it a point to include an afterword and bonus conceptual sketches to help the reader cool down after an engaging read. In this case, this reader needed the after to decompress after visiting four realms of different hues and tones of a 24 hour story done in 196 pages. In the afterword, the artist revealed that writer Eliza V After finishing this book, I went to the afterword, which I am wont to after enjoying a satisfying volume. The afterword is written by the artist, Mervin Malonzo, who has made it a point to include an afterword and bonus conceptual sketches to help the reader cool down after an engaging read. In this case, this reader needed the after to decompress after visiting four realms of different hues and tones of a 24 hour story done in 196 pages. In the afterword, the artist revealed that writer Eliza Victoria approached him to collaborate on her first graphic novel. This is also a first for Malonzo; his first complete story in a single volume. Readers of his work would now that his opus, Tabi Po, is an ongoing series. The story revolves around the Conrad and his magical heart ailment; told in the backdrop of the fall of the magical realm Lambana and the oppression of its survivors by mundane human society. With the use of magic outlawed, its survivors are essentially refugees and they live the niches of the human world, hiding their origins lest they be incarcerated for being what they are. The writer has crafted a multilayered world with its own history and politics play an important role this sttory. The artist experiments with different color palettes and integrated it into his storytelling. Malonzo is a relative newcomer, with the likes of Tan and Baldisimo, Manix Abrera and Arre dominating the Philippine comics scene in the last couple of years. With Tabi Po and After Lambana, the artist is showing the world that he is capable of beautiful artwork and engaging storytelling at the same time. This is my bet for every local graphic novel award for works released in 2016. It is that good.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Neil (or bleed)

    The pages of my copy is falling apart so 3 stars. Just kidding. Aesthetically pleasing and somehow, immersive, After Lambana gives us an almost quiet story yet screaming with intensity and dread. It is a modern tale between the diwatas, sirenas, and humans that gives a familiar and surreal vibe while reading the book. I don't have any idea where the story is going at first but it is fine, really, since I like being surprised. But I'm mildy disappointed when I've connected the dots and learned wha The pages of my copy is falling apart so 3 stars. Just kidding. Aesthetically pleasing and somehow, immersive, After Lambana gives us an almost quiet story yet screaming with intensity and dread. It is a modern tale between the diwatas, sirenas, and humans that gives a familiar and surreal vibe while reading the book. I don't have any idea where the story is going at first but it is fine, really, since I like being surprised. But I'm mildy disappointed when I've connected the dots and learned what this book is all about. It lacks of narrative, in my opinion, and the substantial background story of what really happens between the humans and the diwatas, between the sirenas and the diwatas. Overall, the story is exquisite in form and in show and tell. It has a magic on its own that engage the reader in the realm of Philippine myth and the mundane and confusing city of the modern world.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    After Lambana feels rather like "After Dark" meets "Neverwhere." Two almost-strangers meet and spend a night pursuing an elusive cure, the search for which leads both to discover certain truths about their pasts. Overall, the book's project--a surreal, one-night fantasy mystery--is a solid one, that dares something different in both its story and its art. The experiment finds limited success. Narrative focus is weak, but while the conclusion is less than satisfying, the story is well-paced and in After Lambana feels rather like "After Dark" meets "Neverwhere." Two almost-strangers meet and spend a night pursuing an elusive cure, the search for which leads both to discover certain truths about their pasts. Overall, the book's project--a surreal, one-night fantasy mystery--is a solid one, that dares something different in both its story and its art. The experiment finds limited success. Narrative focus is weak, but while the conclusion is less than satisfying, the story is well-paced and interesting enough while it lasts. Grammatical lapses, however, prove a recurring distraction. The hazy narrative finds its visual counterpart in slipshod art, whose supposedly definitive colors fail to elevate its infirm line art.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chesca (thecrownedpages)

    Although After Lambana's vibrant world was superbly built, I feel like Conrad and Ignacio's story scratched only its surface. The ending felt a bit rushed or lacking. Although After Lambana's vibrant world was superbly built, I feel like Conrad and Ignacio's story scratched only its surface. The ending felt a bit rushed or lacking.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Neil (or bleed)

    Hindi na nalalagas ang pages ng new edition from Tuttle so I'm giving it now 4.5 stars! Charot. Love is lovelier the second time around for this book. I think I was fully enlightened this time about the story. Parang na-gets ko na lahat. Even the subtle ones. Really liked it! Hindi na nalalagas ang pages ng new edition from Tuttle so I'm giving it now 4.5 stars! Charot. Love is lovelier the second time around for this book. I think I was fully enlightened this time about the story. Parang na-gets ko na lahat. Even the subtle ones. Really liked it!

  8. 5 out of 5

    O

    Interesting concept + lovely artwork. I feel like the story should've been expanded more because it felt...a bit lacking in the end. I also had issues with some of the grammar errors, but what annoyed me the most was the font for the diwata language. It's unreadable in some parts, which is a big no-no for me in a graphic novel. I wish they had focused more on the plot content than visual effects (like said font becoming unreadable during a time of conflict because the artist put layer upon layer Interesting concept + lovely artwork. I feel like the story should've been expanded more because it felt...a bit lacking in the end. I also had issues with some of the grammar errors, but what annoyed me the most was the font for the diwata language. It's unreadable in some parts, which is a big no-no for me in a graphic novel. I wish they had focused more on the plot content than visual effects (like said font becoming unreadable during a time of conflict because the artist put layer upon layer of text).

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rafael

    I need more books from this world!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    This urban fantasy takes place in a Manila where magic exists and mythological creatures live. The story follows two young men as they travel around the city. The two seem to be new and casual friends. One is an ordinary human (Conrad) though with a terminal illness that seems not of this world, and the other is an expat from the magic realm (Ignacio) who’s going to great efforts to help Conrad. The hook is the question of why this casual acquaintance seems so important to the too-cool-for-schoo This urban fantasy takes place in a Manila where magic exists and mythological creatures live. The story follows two young men as they travel around the city. The two seem to be new and casual friends. One is an ordinary human (Conrad) though with a terminal illness that seems not of this world, and the other is an expat from the magic realm (Ignacio) who’s going to great efforts to help Conrad. The hook is the question of why this casual acquaintance seems so important to the too-cool-for-school Ignacio. Conrad seems to be along for the ride as a distraction in his last hours, but Ignacio has an objective – benighted as it may be. The story unfolds to reveal what’s really happening and to offer backstory. I love works that incorporate mythology and folklore, and think it’s a wise move for writers of speculative fiction because there’s such a rich and engaging field of stories and characters / creatures – all ripe for the picking. This is particularly true of a mythology, such as that of the Philippines, that isn’t widely known and, thus, offers a whole slate of creatures and alternate worlds with which most readers aren’t familiar. In this book, Filipino mythology is most prominently seen via the “Sirena,” which bear some resemblance to Greek Sirens – except being in the form of mermaids (though able to walk on legs under certain conditions.) I think more could have been done with Filipino Mythology, though there are a few other magic elements in the book that may or may not have mythological origins. In found this to be a compelling story, and the art was colorful, while still capturing a little noir feel for late night Manila. If you’re interested in speculative fiction graphic novels, this one is worth investigating.

  11. 4 out of 5

    mad mags

    (Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss.) Set in Manila and unfolding over the course of a single night, AFTER LAMBANA tells the story of two near-strangers, Ignacio and Conrad, who come together in search of a cure for a magical disease. In this fantasy world - based on Filipino myth - diwata (nature spirits or faeries) and humans once existed side by side. But after the fall of the diwata's realm (Lambana), its door was forever closed to earth, and humans passed t (Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss.) Set in Manila and unfolding over the course of a single night, AFTER LAMBANA tells the story of two near-strangers, Ignacio and Conrad, who come together in search of a cure for a magical disease. In this fantasy world - based on Filipino myth - diwata (nature spirits or faeries) and humans once existed side by side. But after the fall of the diwata's realm (Lambana), its door was forever closed to earth, and humans passed the Magic Prohibition Act to strip all remaining diwata of their power. Around the same time, mysterious diseases began plaguing humans. People like Conrad became afflicted with the disease rose, a flower that would bud on one's internal organs and blossom into sure death if allowed to take root. Ironically, only the diwata's magic can offer any sort of relief. As Igancio and Conrad prowl through back alleys, illicit market stalls, and cloaked basements, they also discover more about themselves, each other, and the many conspiracies that link them irrevocably. AFTER LAMBANA is an enjoyable - if sometimes confusing - read. The cross/double-cross, super-secret spy stuff kind of lost me at the end, but the journey is nothing if not enchanting and aesthetically pleasing. The story has a dark noir vibe that contrasts nicely with the art's bright, vibrant colors.

  12. 4 out of 5

    kb

    Art is striking & haunting, world building is wow, can we have more of this mermaids & fairies, Filipino style?? Did take me a little while to understand plot (lol slowpoke × some blurry Diwata texts), but gripping. Quick but intense. Recommended to fantasy readers. (A couple of reader friends have also commented that this deserves a Netflix adaptation or something similar!) Here are all the books I read in 2019! :) Art is striking & haunting, world building is wow, can we have more of this mermaids & fairies, Filipino style?? Did take me a little while to understand plot (lol slowpoke × some blurry Diwata texts), but gripping. Quick but intense. Recommended to fantasy readers. (A couple of reader friends have also commented that this deserves a Netflix adaptation or something similar!) Here are all the books I read in 2019! :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vim

    When there's a magical disease spreading in the neighborhood, who you gonna call? Who indeed, in a world where magic has been banned and the ones who practice and are of magic are persecuted? Lambana has fallen and the magical folk who could once freely cross between our world and theirs are stuck here. And it seems that only they could help the ailing Conrad, aided by the mysterious Ignacio, be free of the blooming (literally) disease that has invaded heart. In this one-night adventure, we foll When there's a magical disease spreading in the neighborhood, who you gonna call? Who indeed, in a world where magic has been banned and the ones who practice and are of magic are persecuted? Lambana has fallen and the magical folk who could once freely cross between our world and theirs are stuck here. And it seems that only they could help the ailing Conrad, aided by the mysterious Ignacio, be free of the blooming (literally) disease that has invaded heart. In this one-night adventure, we follow the two as they navigate the city landscape we know so well and its side that is hidden from our knowledge. Apart from the supernatural disease and Conrad's quest for a cure, we also get a glimpse of the complex socio-political dynamics between the two worlds, which is a vast and interesting subject to explore. Victoria's ability to smoothly weave the mythical into the modern fibers of society is amazing, as always, and thins the divide between the what is real and what is not.   The novel's art by Malonzo brings the story to life and in itself tells the tale with brilliant contrasts and framing. The immersive art style pulls the reader into the very world Conrad and Ignacio walks. I encountered a few setbacks along the way. First, font used for the diwata language made reading harder I had to squint to understand the words as the edges of the letters were a bit blurry. Second and last, the story, while very interesting may not be the strongest point of the novel, with some important expositions rushed towards the end. Being a sucker for mythology, and especially thirsty for anything with Filipino mythology, I walked right into the beauty that After Lambana is. Eliza Victoria's storytelling has always captivated me and this tale of hers was no exemption. Mervin Malonzo's art is mesmerizing in its bold and bright colors, weaving magical glow into each panel, dragging the reader into trippy scenes with a flip of the page. The story felt a little bit crammed. Still, the rest of the story is well-paced and Victoria's narrative, paired with Malonzo's art style, makes After Lambana the page-turner that it is. Whether you're an old fan of a) Eliza Victoria, b) Mervin Malonzo, c) Filipino Mythology, or a newcomer on all or some of these three, you'll find yourself enjoying After Lambana. 

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dexter

    Following the events that brought about the realm of Lambana sealing shut and the Magic Prohibition Law enacted, a strange phenomenon surfaces. Humans became bearers of a life and its eventual blooming brings death in its wake. Conrad finds his heart in trouble and the only way to be saved is to put his life in the hands of his friend, Ignacio, and search for a cure in magic despite it being outlawed. We follow the two navigate places familiar and unknown and in their quest, Lambana’s secrets un Following the events that brought about the realm of Lambana sealing shut and the Magic Prohibition Law enacted, a strange phenomenon surfaces. Humans became bearers of a life and its eventual blooming brings death in its wake. Conrad finds his heart in trouble and the only way to be saved is to put his life in the hands of his friend, Ignacio, and search for a cure in magic despite it being outlawed. We follow the two navigate places familiar and unknown and in their quest, Lambana’s secrets unfold. A sucker for mythology, I appreciated that Eliza Victoria drew inspiration from Philippine lore brimming with fantastical legends and distinct whimsy which could be plucked, woven, and transmuted into fresh and exciting tales. After Lambana’s brawn is no doubt Mervin Malonzo’s grungy, wabi-sabi, and luminous art style. It is buff and proud. His enthralling interpretation of this narrative has a very soothing effect especially in the clever use of color contrast to set mood and distinguish timeliness. Full review at: https://dexteroustotalus.wordpress.co...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Ciriacruz

    OMG, I just finished this book, and what an experience. Everything happens in one night. We follow two men as they seek a cure for a magical malady in Manila, a city peopled by humans and persecuted diwata (human-like otherworldly beings), encountering eldritch phenomena along the way, such as roaming spirits or shadows. Secrets, guilt, and regrets accompany their journey. Eventually, a form of resolution is reached. I feel that the tone of the ending is ambivalent and kinda haunting. Greed and OMG, I just finished this book, and what an experience. Everything happens in one night. We follow two men as they seek a cure for a magical malady in Manila, a city peopled by humans and persecuted diwata (human-like otherworldly beings), encountering eldritch phenomena along the way, such as roaming spirits or shadows. Secrets, guilt, and regrets accompany their journey. Eventually, a form of resolution is reached. I feel that the tone of the ending is ambivalent and kinda haunting. Greed and corruption continue to weigh heavily on magical and non-magical life. The world did not change but the world did change for someone. .. Where the story goes after this, I am so willing to find out. The art is beautiful and emotional, perfectly capturing the nuances of these two characters' journey.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Trish (readtmc)

    ***1/2 rounded up Thanks to @tuttlepublishing for this free copy of After Lambana. It took me awhile to get accustomed to the world-building and, at first, because of the art style, found it difficult to distinguish between the two main male characters. The second half really picked up and the abrupt ending left me wanting more story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    The artwork and colors were gorgeous, but damn if I didn't have a time figuring out what was going on. Just when I thought I had a hold on the story, it would throw me another curveball. It probably had a lot to do with my ignorance of the mythology and culture that informs the story. The artwork and colors were gorgeous, but damn if I didn't have a time figuring out what was going on. Just when I thought I had a hold on the story, it would throw me another curveball. It probably had a lot to do with my ignorance of the mythology and culture that informs the story.

  18. 4 out of 5

    elsewhere

    I bought "After Lambana" by Eliza Victoria and Mervin Malonzo as a birthday present for myself. When I saw the first page of this book (the page "covering" the heart), I was already in awe. In addition to that, the first line was "You know how you can tell a person was killed by a Sirena?" - ah! As a result, I immediately read this after purchasing. I had been reading some works of Eliza Victoria recently: 1. A Bottle of Storm Clouds (Short Stories) - 4.75 / 5 stars 2. Dwellers - 3.25 / 5 stars I ha I bought "After Lambana" by Eliza Victoria and Mervin Malonzo as a birthday present for myself. When I saw the first page of this book (the page "covering" the heart), I was already in awe. In addition to that, the first line was "You know how you can tell a person was killed by a Sirena?" - ah! As a result, I immediately read this after purchasing. I had been reading some works of Eliza Victoria recently: 1. A Bottle of Storm Clouds (Short Stories) - 4.75 / 5 stars 2. Dwellers - 3.25 / 5 stars I had been thinking that perhaps I liked her short stories better as compared to her longer ones. Overall, the story of After Lambana was just okay. I liked the ideas, as always - merging the human world and the diwata's world, politics, sirena, and the sickness. However, I had been thinking that the book was trying to cover so many things that it had a hard time developing an actual story. The beginning was amazing, the middle and the latter part, however, were underwhelming. As a result, my actual rating for the story was 2.75/5 stars. As for the illustrations, Mervin Malonzo's illustrations were one of the best illustrations that I've ever seen. He used vibrant and beautiful colors that made his illustrations more alive. It was everything - stunning! I would definitely purchase more works of Mervin Malonzo! My actual rating for the illustrations was 5/5 stars. Ratings | Summary: 1. Story: 2.75/5 stars 2. Art: 5/5 stars 3. Overall: 3.75/5 stars

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    A collab between Eliza Victoria and Mervin Malonzo? Yes, please! This graphic novel merges the best of both worlds: Eliza's narrative and Mervin's haunting art. It was a 3-years-in-the-making project, but it was worth the wait. I loved the storytelling in both prose and visual form. Eliza's narrative caught my attention that I found myself flipping page after page to find out how the story unfolds. Mervin's gritty and eclectic visuals made the story come alive. I especially loved the color schem A collab between Eliza Victoria and Mervin Malonzo? Yes, please! This graphic novel merges the best of both worlds: Eliza's narrative and Mervin's haunting art. It was a 3-years-in-the-making project, but it was worth the wait. I loved the storytelling in both prose and visual form. Eliza's narrative caught my attention that I found myself flipping page after page to find out how the story unfolds. Mervin's gritty and eclectic visuals made the story come alive. I especially loved the color scheme to indicate specific places and events, and the way his art stood out on its own. The only reason why I didn't make this review a full 5 stars was because I wasn't quite sure if I wanted a novel version of After Lambana, or a longer version of the graphic novel (both perhaps?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chapy Fadullon

    The narrative's a bit hazy and the ending's a little underwhelming. However, the world conjured up by the author was really interesting -- one wherein humans and diwatas coexist in the modern world. The author's world had huge potential and would've really benefitted from being a bit longer or having a companion piece; something that'd provide the author's human-diwata-modern-world with more background. Although, I'd understand if the author intended it to exist as a one-shot so that the univers The narrative's a bit hazy and the ending's a little underwhelming. However, the world conjured up by the author was really interesting -- one wherein humans and diwatas coexist in the modern world. The author's world had huge potential and would've really benefitted from being a bit longer or having a companion piece; something that'd provide the author's human-diwata-modern-world with more background. Although, I'd understand if the author intended it to exist as a one-shot so that the universe she created and the story itself wouldn't be diluted hahah. Visually, this work was really nice hahah. Overall, it was a pretty good read (get it? because it's in Goodreads hahah) and showcases the potential of contemporary-fantasy stories that involve Filipino Mythology. :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    D

    A collaboration between Eliza Victoria and Mervyn Malonzo? Please count me in! And it doesn't disappoint. Mervyn Malonzo's own works are usually set in the past and it's quite a treat to see him draw contemporary scenes (can we say even futuristic ones?) for After Lambana. My only problem is I wish this was longer because I would have liked to see more of the story. The pacing is good for the most part, but I feel like the reveal is somewhat rushed. Definitely something to read again and savour, A collaboration between Eliza Victoria and Mervyn Malonzo? Please count me in! And it doesn't disappoint. Mervyn Malonzo's own works are usually set in the past and it's quite a treat to see him draw contemporary scenes (can we say even futuristic ones?) for After Lambana. My only problem is I wish this was longer because I would have liked to see more of the story. The pacing is good for the most part, but I feel like the reveal is somewhat rushed. Definitely something to read again and savour, though. And see what details I missed the first time.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fran

    Three stars for the plot. Five stars for the illustrations.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie Peria

    Brings to mind the fairy-related stories from Sandman. Excellent read, highly recommended. Would love to see more stories from this universe.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Milli Rain

    This graphic novel is both wonderful and gritty, in the best way. The story follows Conrad who is sick with something wrong with his heart. Only magic can help save him so, he teams up with Ignacio, a well-connected friend who promises to hook him up with the Diwata and their magical treatments. This journey is risky, illegal and dark. I had a great time reading about Filipino magic and myth and especially loved the urban, dystopian setting that came out in the back streets of Manila. The art st This graphic novel is both wonderful and gritty, in the best way. The story follows Conrad who is sick with something wrong with his heart. Only magic can help save him so, he teams up with Ignacio, a well-connected friend who promises to hook him up with the Diwata and their magical treatments. This journey is risky, illegal and dark. I had a great time reading about Filipino magic and myth and especially loved the urban, dystopian setting that came out in the back streets of Manila. The art style and colours used were so complimentary and evocative of the setting which really successfully conveyed the specific mood the story was going for. There were some moments that brought out the Junji Ito stan in me, and I really appreciated some of the darker images in this book. I did at times get a little confused and had to go back a few pages to read it again, so I feel there may be a little issue with the pacing or not-so-seamlessness of the story, however, overall this graphic novel was an absolute joy to read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lacus

    The graphics is beautiful. The art really gives more depth and character to the story. The story follows Conrad and his quest to find a cure for his illness. The illness in itself is magical, and it is the 'heart' of the story. Through Conrad's adventure, we learned about the diwatas and how it is connected to Conrad and the illness that plagues the mortal world. The story felt a little bit rushed and some details are crammed. Maybe because they are trying to fit the story in one book. However, th The graphics is beautiful. The art really gives more depth and character to the story. The story follows Conrad and his quest to find a cure for his illness. The illness in itself is magical, and it is the 'heart' of the story. Through Conrad's adventure, we learned about the diwatas and how it is connected to Conrad and the illness that plagues the mortal world. The story felt a little bit rushed and some details are crammed. Maybe because they are trying to fit the story in one book. However, this is one of the good local graphic novel out there. Overall ratings: 1. Storytelling: 3/5 2. Graphic: 4/5

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bear

    The grammar is awkward as are many parts of the plot. I wonder if it might’ve been a much stronger (graphic) novel if it was written in Filipino. I suspect the awkwardness of the grammar might be due to some dialogue being naturally said in Filipino but not quite right when said in English. That said, I really enjoyed it and felt that it should have been a couple dozen pages longer to really flesh out the plot a bit more.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christian

    I was not able to fully grasp the plot on the first reading but you'll eventually get it after a few more tries (it's a graphic novel and it's short). What really made this book so endearing are the art (stunning!) and the concept (diwatas and humans co-existing in a noir-ish Manila). Had a great time. I was not able to fully grasp the plot on the first reading but you'll eventually get it after a few more tries (it's a graphic novel and it's short). What really made this book so endearing are the art (stunning!) and the concept (diwatas and humans co-existing in a noir-ish Manila). Had a great time.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rose Villaraza

    I had high hopes for this one. While I am truly astounded by Mervin Malonzo's skill and artistry manifested in every panel, I found the narrative quite disjointed and lacking. Maybe it's just my poor ass brain, but I didn't quite feel sated by the story. Nevertheless, as this is my foray into Eliza Victoria's works, my keen interest to read her other works remains unfazed. I had high hopes for this one. While I am truly astounded by Mervin Malonzo's skill and artistry manifested in every panel, I found the narrative quite disjointed and lacking. Maybe it's just my poor ass brain, but I didn't quite feel sated by the story. Nevertheless, as this is my foray into Eliza Victoria's works, my keen interest to read her other works remains unfazed.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Akda

    Eliza Victoria's stories never ceases to leave me wanting more. The illustration by Marvin Malonzo fits perfectly and reminds me of my komik reading days. Poignant, expressive, but colorful in the right places. Eliza Victoria's stories never ceases to leave me wanting more. The illustration by Marvin Malonzo fits perfectly and reminds me of my komik reading days. Poignant, expressive, but colorful in the right places.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Juju

    I want more of the plot. It's definitely lacking. It's like "Ay, yun na yun?" I wish we get to have more. Nevertheless, I love the visuals. I don't know much about graphics but I love it especially when Mr. Malonzo explained the color design ❤️. I want more of the plot. It's definitely lacking. It's like "Ay, yun na yun?" I wish we get to have more. Nevertheless, I love the visuals. I don't know much about graphics but I love it especially when Mr. Malonzo explained the color design ❤️.

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