Hero Tomorrow Comics 2021
Created, Written, Coloured, Lettered & Layouts by Ted Sikora
Illustrated & Layouts by Butch Mapa
Ink Assists by Chris Arieswendha
Flats by Anthony Cuizon
The year is 1969. Ramsey is an aspiring comic book artist who is trying to find inspiration for his femme fatale. When he meets wild dancer, Regina, at a street fair he invites her into the woods for a character photoshoot where she begins to break on through to the other side.
What I really like about this book is that it feels a lot like Apama. By this I mean the way that Ted writes that book, the way it comes across to the reader. There’s this serious side to it that is wrapped up in this darker humour that somehow balances it out beautifully. There is the whole kitsch factor as well and here it’s a budding comic book artist, life imitating art and all that jazz, who brings home an odd prop to help him bring his vision to life. That he has a girlfriend who appears normal, see sane and uninvolved in comics, is kind of shocking as well though if she finds out what he does this issue then well he probably wouldn’t have her much longer.
I love the way that this is being told. How the story & plot development we see through the sequence of events unfolding as well as how the reader learns information is presented extremely well. The character development we see is tied into how the story goes because its hard for Ramsey to explain his vision to his girlfriend who doesn’t appear to try very hard to understand him so it has this interesting dynamic between the two of them. When Regina enters the picture things take a decidedly different turn. The pacing here is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story, the characters and where this is all headed it’s easy to get caught up in it all.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story emerge and grow as they seem to take on lives of their own. How they will tie-in together is something I cannot wait to see. I do like how we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow and how all of this manages to constantly move the story forward.
I am a fan of the interiors here. The linework we see is great and how the varying weights are being utilised to create the detail work that we see is really rather superb. Whether it is the initial way we see the tattoos being applied or how we see Regina dance to the location where the pictures were to be taken the detail work is stupendous. This applies to the backgrounds as well and how they work within the composition of the panels as they enhance the moments as well bring us depth perception, a sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope of the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkable eye for storytelling. I do like the colour work we see as well. While the cover alone is magnificent how we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is beautifully rendered. The moments the 60’s style we see shines through it’s utterly glorious and overall just the way we see the colour throughout is stupendous.
I love what we see here and the creativity and imagination that is seen throughout the book keeps this so incredibly interesting. The writing is sharp, intelligent and full of this wonderful dark humour that just brings a smile to the face. That along with the interiors here make this one of those books that is just fun pure and simple. This is a reminder that comics are fun and can be entertaining and interesting while not being dark and angsty.