Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Recently it was Chuck Austen, now it’s Igor Kordey who’s been getting the flak from comics fans. I first encountered Kordey’s work in New X-Men, and I admit that his art was the main reason why I dropped the book temporarily. Though I loved Grant Morrisson’s take on the merry mutants, his in-your-face flair wasn’t enough to help me swallow Kordey’s art style.

Admittedly, his work gave Cable that dark, brooding feel, similar to how Jim Lee managed to add grit to the first few issues of Deathblow by channeling Frank Miller. But it seems that I’m not alone in my opinion about Kordey when he filled in for New X-Men and, thereafter, Extreme X-Men. New controversy has been brewing about his sour relationship with Marvel Comics, too.

I have no strong opinions about the matter since I haven’t read the details, but I’m just curious to find out what kind of drug Marvel was taking when they signed Kordey in to interpret what’s supposed to be a pop book. It’s not like the US or Europe is scant in pop comics artists. Match the story/theme/atmosphere with an appropriate artist. I mean, by itself his art won’t be part of my top ten list, but if his work blends in well with the story he’s interpreting, it’s all good.

Because that’s what comics is about. Story and art. The marriage of the two. And as far as Kordey is concerned, I think he was there at the right time, but in the wrong place. So give the man a break, and a Vertigo book for that matter.

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I haven’t been looking at comics seriously these past few months. Apart from the fact that they’re still outrageously expensive, I’ve been taking in the habit of being more careful with my expenses. Living independently entails a lot of sacrifices, and you could say I’ve been more discerning when it comes how I spend money.

Take last night, for instance, when I decided to take the bus on the way home. The “air-continuous” type, where the only coolness you’ll ever get comes from the sweet soot-laced air of Edsa. That’s four bucks. I can’t remember the last time I’ve ridden those blocky roadsters. It oddly felt like coming back home. (Come to think of it, I miss those days in college when I’d hang from the rear end of a jeepney from La Salle to Rotonda.)

I’ve been scrimping on the food budget, too, though not too much. I still visit the nearby Starbucks, and the guilty pleasure of Piadina Centrale is still there. But maybe I’ll hold off the Chili’s or the Café Mediterranean’s for a while. No big loss.

In fact, this cutting down doesn’t feel like much of a big deal. At least not yet. An imagined scenario would be me sitting in a corner and feeling sorry for myself, regretting a lot of the comforts of home and settling. But it’s only been less than two months since I moved into the new place. It’s been great so far.

Installing financial management software into my computer was one of the best decisions I’ve made recently. Part of the evening ritual would be registering each and every expense, to the last centavo if ever I remember to jot it down. Just looking at the balances after every session gets me agitated. The key here is personal brainwashing: by initially encoding a low beginning balance, I’m conditioning myself into believing I have less than I actually have. Hey, whatever works…

So comics will have to wait for a while, unless it’s like a major find that I can’t ignore. I’m still waiting for the Arrowsmith (Kurt Busiek/Carlos Pacheco) trade and the fist volume of The Ring of The Nibelung (P. Craig Russell). Also, my shifty moods have thus far prevented me from finishing the other trades I’ve received or procured last year, so it’s not like there’s a drought in that department.

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