5 from Below: 14 is the Magic Number
We’re now in the final installment of 5 from below, and naturally I saved the best for last for all you funny book-loving nerds out there. In this 5th and final entry into the series, I’ll be talking about something that’s not only perhaps one of the greatest titles to have been released in recent memory that you’ve never heard of, but one that proves that the comic book medium has its advantages against the written word (you know, the so-called purely literary works out there. And please, shut your ass about Moore, Gaiman, et. al. and let me finish).
They say that literature has the ability to take its readers travelling without even taking a single step, and that comes especially handy when I say that the title I’ll be talking about in this article comes from the faraway archipelago in Southeast Asia, the Philippines. Aside from having a president that has a little bit too much painkillers on any given day, you may be surprised that it actually is also a country rich in talented comic book creators, and I’m not talking about the ones that have worked for foreign publishers like Marvel and DC whom those goddamn nerds are willing to get their bums diddled by in exchange for an autograph. No, I’m talking about local independent creators who don’t give two shits about drawing Batman or Iron Man; those guys are the real heroes.
Now, among those heroes stands one superstar cartoonist that’ been going at it for more than a decade now and has brought not just the local comic book scene of the country to a different level, but has been and continues to be a crusader of comic book creation regardless of geographical boundaries. His name is Manix Abrera, and yes, you are welcome.
Specifically, I’m going to talk about his masterpiece entitled 14, although I won’t be surprised once you get hooked on his other works once you’ve gotten a taste of this. Going back to 14, it’s a graphic novel published by Visprint Enterprises. I know, it might not be easy to grab hold of a copy of this little gem overseas, but you could always search for a digital edition via Google Play Store or iTunes to save yourself the trouble of finding a physical copy. Or, you could always pester your local comic store to carry it the way you do with your little capes and tights crap. Do it.
“But I can only speak ‘Murican,” you say? Not to worry, you filthy pleb. 14 is a silent comic, so your unilingual ass won’t have any problem understanding what’s going on with each scene. Like I said, this is where comic books have the edge over the written word.
Now, 14 is an anthology-type story that’s thematically connected to one another and divided into – obviously – 14 parts. The stories feature various Philippine mythological creatures in tales of varying genres. And that is all I will say about that. I cannot stress it enough: go look for this book.