Wednesday, September 24, 2008

She's a Skrull?

I'm back, but briefly just for now, while I am still recovering from the cycle of work-related travel (but not, sadly, travel-related work, which would be the kind of traveling that might bring me to the places our peripatetic President and her entourage find themselves in.)

And that gives me just the right reason to explain what that spread -- from Marvel's Secret Invasion #5 -- is doing here. Look closely at that collage of real-life and comic book characters. Strange company she keeps, but what do you think is she doing sandwiched by John McCain and Doctor Doom? And what does it mean that she stands only a bit higher than where we find Kim Jong-Il -- the Little Leader just above the Dear Leader.

(I've been wanting to post this for the last few months -- but reality kept getting in the way. Happily, a few blogs took note of it but, unhappily, no one in mainstream Philippine media.)

Leinil Yu, the Pinoy Marvel artist of the book who has done an awesome job on a range of characters from Wolverine to the Fantastic Four -- sampled here -- has said (scroll down that link to the Comments section, until Leinil appears) that "there's (n)othing politically tainted about GMA being there. It’s just a nod to fellow pinoys." But in the same breath, he adds that "people see what they want to see:)." Right. And what I wanted to see, going forward from this was some interest in the Philippines in at least two things (1) supporting and supplementing the work of Filipino artists in North America's comic book industry, by reviving the Filipino comic book industry -- yes, resurrect Zuma! Anak ni Zuma! and sige na nga, even the many mediocre comic strips that come out in the Inquirer -- see Newsarama's excellent coverage of just that here and (2) a reference to pop culture in general in Philippine political debate, that -- like Leinil Yu's subtle and shaded image-dropping of Gloria Arroyo --re-introduces approaches to political change that isn't the usual demonize-Gloria-and-blame-her-for-everything-including-spoiled milk-in China approach that, sadly, lets plunderers like the Marcoses and Estrada appear like petty thieves by comparison.