Comics & Graphic Novels Movies Reviews

Lumpia Brings Everyone Together: A Review of ‘Lumpia With A Vengeance: Prelude #1’

Lumpia brings everyone together.

I repeat, LUMPIA BRINGS EVERYONE TOGETHER.

For as long as I can remember, at every social event, family gathering, holiday and/or birthday, that tasty brown thin paper-crepe-like pastry fried skin wrapper filled with either savory or sweet fillings was present and voraciously consumed by all.

However, I must add that while it was amazing, and much sought after, and beloved by all… for some Filipinos, like my younger self, the thought of Lumpia haunted my days and my nights. For me, it was the labor of having to help and assist in the preparation of Lumpia that took away from time with friends, playing basketball and other activities that I would rather be doing. It was also whenever a social event was drawing near and the endless questions were asked…

“Is your mom making Lumpia?”

OR

“Will there be Lumpia?”

OR

“Do you have Lumpia?”

Lumpia this, Lumpia that…

The word Lumpia became exhausting and would nearly drive me to the point of insanity.

However, that doesn’t even compare to when Lumpia became synonymous with Filipino male genitalia and the laughs from groups of immature classmates that made these remarks towards me and others. Because, like I said, LUMPIA BRINGS EVERYONE TOGETHER.

I still love Lumpia though. It’s the perfect snack/appetizer. I digress.

I recently was blessed with the honor of reviewing, Lumpia With A Vengeance: Prelude #1 for The Nerds of Color by Patricio Ginelsa, Director/Writer/Producer of Lumpia, Lumpia With A Vengeance, and the Lumpia With A Vengeance Prelude comic. To say I am honored would be an understatement. I wear my pinoy pride on my chest and the spirit and blood of Lapu Lapu runs through my veins. So, I must be completely honest it is hard for me to not LOVE this comic. It fills all the boxes. Let’s dig in…

THE FILMS

To start, we need to go back to 2003 and Patricio Ginelsa and company releasing the original film, Lumpia, to warm reception and Variety stating, “Taking low-budget to new heights, “Lumpia” is a youth project that got delightfully out of hand. Shot on vid(eo) in South-of-Frisco Daly City over a period of six years, genre-spoofing pic is riddled with discontinuities — the thesps keep gaining and losing height and weight — that only add to the fun. Leroid David’s deft cartoon panels frame the action and set the tone for Patricio Ginelsa’s street-level affectionate look at kid culture among Filipino immigrants. Pic should click with ethnic-minded fests, and should be shown in high-school media classes across the continent.”

WOW! When I first read that review, I was hooked. As a Filipino actor and filmmaker, I was immediately inspired and given hope that I too could make a film about my people, culture and be accepted by the mainstream. Shout out once again to Patricio and everyone involved again for such a classic FilAm film!

Next, we fast forward to 2013, the supporters of Lumpia crowdfund the follow up to the original film, Lumpia With A Vengeance!

And so… Not only do they get the money to make the film, the supporters crowdfunded the comic book prelude!

THE COMIC

Lumpia With A Vengeance Prelude #1 is a super-sized 40 page comic book one-shot produced, published, and distributed independently by Kid Heroes Productions, the same production company behind the Lumpia movies.

For the supporters and fans of the Lumpia franchise like myself, I have tell you the comic is amazing. The definition of fan service. Patricio and company know what we love about the original film and its characters and created this perfect set of stories to fill the gap between the two films. The comic book is a great compliment to set up the events in the upcoming sequel and features art by the same artists and illustrators that contributed to the actual films. Which leads me me to a major announcement through this article, the world premiere exclusive variant cover by artist Gerald Pilare. Gerald drew the majority of the illustrations in the actual movie and provided this exclusive cover for the Hawai’i International Film Festival (HIFF) and the world premiere of Lumpia With A Vengeance!

Ticket buyers to the Lumpia With A Vengeance screenings will be able to get this exclusive HIFF cover for FREE (digital)! A printed copy will also be available for sale.

Purchase tickets here: http://bit.ly/lumpiaworldpremiere.

The creative team on this comic is stupendous! Patricio, the heart of the Lumpia universe assumes the bulk of the writing chores but is joined by an amazing array of Filipino superstar talent that show a love and affinity for the characters! Highlights for me included the legendary, Whilce Portacio whom worked on Marvel Comics’ Punisher and the Uncanny X-Men; wherein he created the character, Bishop. Whilce also was one of the original founders’ of Image Comics and would create Wetworks.

Whilce Portacio & Kuya P @ SDCC 2019.

Pixar Studios’ Bobby Rubio, director of Float, is also another highlight both in and out of the comic having provided an amazing variant cover which is a nod to Frank Miller’s classic cover to Daredevil #189! Fans will want to collect all 13 different various covers that will be available!

FINAL THOUGHTS

Lumpia With A Vengeance Prelude #1 re-introducers readers to the world of Fogtown and cast of characters that we love. The comic delivers on what has occured with our cast of characters since the original film and where they stand in our current time preceding, Lumpia With A Vengeance! As a fan I couldn’t ask for anything more and I couldn’t be any happier. The spirit of the time period along with Filipino pride & culture is evident and continues to shine through. If you’re looking for a quick refresher before you see the movie, Lumpia With A Vengeance Prelude #1 is a great appetizer!

Lumpia With A Vengeance: Prelude #1
Writers:
Patricio Ginelsa, Patrick Ballesteros, Bobby Rubio, Quincy Victoria, Justin Quizon, Lawrence Iriarte and Varinder Singh.
Artists: Jeffrey Fulgencio, Leroid David, Patrick Ballesteros, Lawrence Iriarte, Jenni Jackson, Dante Fernandez, Bobby Rubio, Quincy Victoria and Gerald Pilare.
Cover Art: Jeffrey Fulgencio, Gerald Pilare, Quincy Victoria, Jenni Jackson, Lawrence Iriarte, Kristian Kabuay, Dante Fernandez, Eric Pineda, Tata Ponsi / Bayani Art, Whilce Portacio, Patrick Ballesteros and Bobby Rubio.
Creative Director: Patricio Ginelsa
Editor In Chief / Lettering: Lawrence Iriarte
Layout Design: Darriel Ginelsa
Publisher: Rey Cuerdo
Release Date: October 2020

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