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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Indie Spotlight: Silver Star by Freya Dy

Silver Star by Freya Dy

Silver Star
Acquired on: Winter Komikon 2013 (November 16, 2013) 

Selling price: Php 50.00
Written by: Freya Dy

Illustrated by: Freya Dy
Cover: Colored, printed on bond paper

Illustrations: Black and white except for title pages
Type: Compilation comic. Used to be sold as three separate chapters.

Characters: Recurring. Also appeared in other titles of the same author/group.
Published under: Filipino Utilized Manga Magazine 3 (FUM Magazine) - Indie

Silver Star is a story about Freya, an intern nurse who has the ability to see stars around a happy person because of a star-shaped mood necklace she bought from another nurse. She ends up staying over at Kinang Daycare when she fails to catch the bus ride home. There she meets Dent, a 7-year old kid who suffers Receptive Language Disorder. He wears a bandage around his head because his father had hit him one time that he got drunk and the latter was sent to jail because of it. His mother would often leave Dent in the daycare whenever she goes to visit her husband in jail.

Freya took special interest in Dent because of all the children in the Daycare, only Dent didn't show "stars".
She made several attempts to try to connect with Dent and make him smile, but all her efforts seem to be in vain. She regains hope when a single star appears around Dent when she started talking to him about his drawings. Dent also learns to trust Freya by allowing her to help him drink the medicine he hates.

When the time for Freya's departure came, she decides to give her necklace to Dent, thus passing the "star-seeing" ability to him. Dent laughs for the first time when he sees the stars shining around Freya. She leaves with a smile on her face, hoping that Dent will remain as happy as he is now.

Neko Mimi's Pawspective

Title page for Chapter 2. Photo is blurred due
to the photographer's lack of steady hands.
  • Art (4 paws)The manga art style was perfect in portraying a sweet and light story like Silver Star. But of all three chapters, my favorite was Chapter 2. Every detail, from Freya's clothes to the stars themselves were hand drawn, and if my deduction is right, hand colored as well. The chapter's title page showed the author's talent with colors even when using colored pencil.

    It's a bit disappointing that the whole comic was printed in black and white, as the beauty of the whole comic would have shone out if it was done in full color. Some details, like the action lines in the background, were hardly visible in the black and white format.

    I would also like to commend her good use of panels and the consistency of her artwork despite the fact that Chapter 2 was not digitally cleaned up like the other two chapters. IMHO, she has a lot of potential as a manga artist and should continue to keep drawing to perfect her talent.

  • Story (4 paws)
    It was love at first read. Silver Star is a one-shot divided into three chapters. Based on the art style, I
    One of the pages in Chapter 2.
    You can clearly see the hand-drawn details
    in her clothes and in the speech bubbles.
    believe that each chapter was released at a different time, like perhaps two different Komikon events prior to Winter Komikon 2013. But despite the time gap between chapters, the author was able to smoothly transition the story from one chapter to the other, making it easy to pick up where the previous chapter left off.

    Each character was well portrayed in a way that I can easily identify the personality of one character from the other. I especially love the idea of the mood ring jewelry having some sort of magic that allows people to "see" emotions and the part at the ending that hints that there are others like Freya as well.

    Though the story is easy to read and understand, there were some parts that were confusing for me at first especially at Chapter 1. Because she had left the explanation of Freya's power at the very end of the chapter, from the first page up to the last page of Chapter 1, I really thought that the author just loved using the star screentone. :P I guess I should follow Dent's advise and be more observant? Hehehe...

    Another observation I had for Chapter 1 was that the ending felt conclusive. Had I bought this in individual chapters, I might have thought that the story ended there. On the other hand, I like how the author did a recap before continuing the story in Chapter 3 because it gave the new readers an idea what went on with the previous chapters even if they have not read it before. I think the author should continue to utilize the recap in her future one-shot works. 

  • Price (5 paws)
    Komikon has actually given a new meaning to "What can you buy with your 50 pesos?" (a parody to the famous Cornetto tagline). Almost all of the komiks, especially the indies, sell for above 50 pesos, most of which were not worth the price that I paid for in terms of quality and quantity of pages. One of the main reasons I picked up Silver Star was the price. At that time, I have Php 100 remaining comic budget that I thought of spending on two indie komiks for review. One of those komiks I picked up was Silver Stars, and I have to say I do not regret it. With about 20 pages of beautiful art and unique story, it was definitely a sweet deal.

    I'd be willing to pay a bit higher if it was in full color. And if it were compiled together with the other stories (that the author mentioned in the Introduction). But if you ask me if I'll buy her komiks again? The answer is a definite YES.

I can see that the author has a talent in writing and drawing for this kind of genre as the story and art blended well together.   For me, the author, Freya Dy, is one indie komiks rising star to watch out for. I do hope she continues to write and draw as I look forward to reading more of her komiks in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your nice blog review of my fellow mangaka (Freya Dy) at FUM magazine and for supporting Indie Komiks!