Gerry Alanguilan. The title is reminiscent of a new wave staple but that's how far the statement goes. Like most of his indies from way back, Umlauts is presented in a photocopied mini-comic format and in this particular case contains 2 short stories. First is 'Mitch and Mischa' written by Gerry and illustrated by Marivi Hilos-Nepomuceno who contributed drawings for 'Wasted' and is an accomplished komiks artist herself having worked for GASI for a period of time. 'Mitch and Mischa' is a well thought out slice-of-life story about letting go,told in a very unconventional way. The play of emotions is very subtle in this tale and yet it evokes a certain bitter sweetness not quite seen in romance or drama komiks. Indeed it is something that's worthy of being made into a TV special or short film.
The second story is 'July 16', a story from Gerry's 2-issue 'Dead Hearts Stories' from 1996. I had the original book but have lost it since from a friend who borrowed and never returned it, but I must say that through the years 'July 16' remains as one of the most touching stories Gerry has ever created. Set in the back drop of the July 16,1990 earthquake (hence the title), it is the tale of love gained and lost amidst the disaster. A true worthy follow-up or perhaps more appropriately, an aftermath of 'Wasted'.
Umlauts and Atom bombs is worth getting, by virtue of 'July 16' alone seeing light after more than a decade. Here's hoping for another serving of Umlauts in the near future.