Leafed through the prequel as well as the first two issues of Nautilus Comics's Cast last Wednesday. I had the good fortune to stumble across Ramon de Veyra that evening, and, bless his heart, he told me that there was something interesting going on in the nearby Powerbooks branch. I ended up leaving the comic's launch party with the three issues in hand, my wallet a good two hundred pesos lighter.
I'll admit that I'm more of a written fiction person than I am a graphic novel person. That said, however, I pick up a few of the more interesting comics every now and then (Brian Michael Bendis's Powers has a place in my collection of odds and ends), have a few of them on my "buy" list (like Alan Moore and Len Wein's Watchmen), and go through some of the local publications (as with Cast). Given my experiences with Anino Entertainment's Anito, I'm more than happy to support any of the local endeavors as long as they're creatively sound.
Cast follows the times and tribulations of a group of high school students from two different schools (hooray for gender exclusivity) as they prepare for a massive stage performance. One character's nervous over the fact that he's one of the main characters in his first stage play, and that he's the 'new kid' in an in-crowd of accomplished stage performers. One character's recently reeling from a bad breakup. One character's got problems outside school, perhaps even outside the play itself. There are the Catholic priests and nuns who run everything with a cautious eye. There's the artiste, caricature-like director who throws the most vile insults this side of Michael Moore.
I think that a personal review of Cast at this point would be pointless. I believe that the story is still in its developing stages, and I would prefer to see how it all (ahem) plays out before I give a marked opinion on it. Fortunately for Nautilus Comics, this means that I'll most likely be picking up the next few issues as I find them.
Jaime Bautista, the writer of the series, happens to be from my high school alma mater, and I can see more than a few similarities between the comic and the 1997 stage performance that my exclusive boys' school and the exclusive girls' school across the street put on together. I've still got the program for that performance, mind you, and I got deja vu when I went through it afterwards. Back then I was too busy competing in the local Math contests to involve myself with the play, but it's not hard to imagine what Bautista was going through, and how he was able to translate his experiences into the comic.
In hindsight, I seem to have been reading a lot of comics lately. I figure that writing for a comic is a heck of a lot different than writing a short story, but maybe I can give it a try someday.
Watch this space, everyone. I'll put up a review for Cast as soon as I have one.