Written by Gerry Alanguilan
Art by Arlanzandro C. Esmeña
I loved Elmer, Gerry Alanguilan's very political graphic novel about sentient chickens who have to find ways to fit in with society, and so was intrigued when I saw that Slave Labor Graphics was releasing a new graphic novel, Where Bold Stars Go to Die.
This slim book is quite different from Alanguilan's prior work, touching on themes of desire and obsession. Our main character is a young man who falls in love with a bold star (the Filipino version of a soft-core movie star) who he sees in an old movie. He tries to learn more about her, but has little luck. One night he visits her in a dream (that kind of borrows some ideas from Bill Willingham's Fables), and that sends him on a road of absolute obsession.
Alanguilan's writing is itself pretty bold here, not shying away from the masturbatory practices of his hero. The guy's friends can tell what's up with him, especially as he becomes ever more bedraggled and spent.
The art is by Alanguilan's close friend, the late Arlanzandro C. Esmeña, a trained architect who only ever completed this one comic before his death. His women are lovely, but his landscapes even more so.
The book is supplemented with a string of pin-up pictures, mostly drawn by Filipino comics artists. This, and Elmer, are both books that are worth checking out.