24 February 2012

More Local Flavor

Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila
Carlo Vergara

I first encountered Zsazsa Zaturnnah years ago, in the first compilation titled Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah: Collected Edition. It's a graphic novel for mature readers that I adored. I had so much fun reading it. So much fun indeed that when the comicbook was translated to a musical [Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal], my friends and I wasted no time booking seats and laughing our hearts out. I even had my copy signed by the author who was in the audience when we watched, years back.

To say that I waited patiently for the sequel is an understatement. But when I had my hands on the copy, a much-waited for copy, it underwhelmed me. What's that movie where the characters asked why there isn't just plain “whelmed” or something? Am I even making sense?

I have to say that the reasons it underwhelmed me is simple: the story is not complete. I expected the sequel to be complete, as if my brain didn't process the first of three parts note at the front cover. I wanted the second and third parts already. Now, I have to wait again.

That being said, it's a good start and I can't wait to read the rest of the story if and when the second and third parts come out.

The collected edition ended with Ada and Dodong leaving for the metro. And the story picks up from there: the long drive to Manila and the two starting a new life together. We get a glimpse of Ada's past, of how his former lover milked him for money hence his doubts into entering a relationship with Dodong. Of course there's the return of that magical stone that turns him, a gay beautician, into a luscious, female superhero. And then we meet other characters: Gwyneth, the Manila-based friend and perennial gay beauty contests candidate, the tv network owners cashing in on the new superhero in town, and that Zsazsa Zaturnnah is not the only superhero in the metro, among other things.

I miss Didi, though. Ada's bestfriend in the first story. Didi brought comic relief with fantastic timing. This sequel is serious and darker, even the cartoony Kuka Manster isn't smiling (so unlike the giant frog in the first outing).

On a side note, I read a a couple of Filipino graphic novels last year and both of them are in the superhero genre. I like it that writers are imagining superheroes to fit our third world needs. Given the teaser last page for this sequel, I am looking forward to meeting the other superheroes and whether or not Ada, I mean Zsazsa Zaturnnah, can fit in. Plus, there's a looming love triangle. Ay!


  1. i was a bit underwhelmed too. i'm excited yes, but it's so bitin! though i find it surprising that bloggers gave rave reviews with the first book. i would say there is a lot to look forward to and it's a good start, but i would not say it's great yet.

  2. Yes, it's not great yet. It has promise but it's really dark. I keep hoping the guys from Paolo Fabregas's Filipino Justice League will make an appearance. Hahaha. Still, I miss Didi!

  3. Glad to hear that, Care! Have a great weekend!

  4. I have an envelope addressed to you; now just need to write you the letter! Happy April!

  5. Thanks, Care :) I just opened my blog tonight, sorry it took so long to publish this.

  6. Hey! stop working so hard and read a book for fun and tell us about it! We miss you. Well, I miss you and I'm sure others do, too.


  7. I miss you and the rest of my bookblogging friends, Care! Soon, I hope :)



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