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4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  975 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
Elmer is a window into a world where chickens have suddenly acquired the intelligence and consciousness of humans, where they can now consider themselves a race no different than browns, black, or whites. Recognizing themselves to be sentient, the inexplicably evolved chickens push to attain rights for themselves as the newest members of the human race.
Originally self-publ
Paperback, 144 pages
Published November 23rd 2010 by SLG Publishing (first published November 2009)
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Kate It is difficult to say whether this graphic novel would be appropriate for a specific thirteen year old as I assume you have someone in mind with this…moreIt is difficult to say whether this graphic novel would be appropriate for a specific thirteen year old as I assume you have someone in mind with this question. Could a thirteen year old read this and comprehend it's concepts? Yes. It's not a difficult read. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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K.D. Absolutely
Sep 01, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: Jzhun
Shelves: sci-fi, dystopian
Elmer: A Comic Book is so fascinating. It is about chickens leveling up to humans so we cannot kill, cook and eat them anymore. Think Planet of the Apes. But instead of apes, you have chickens. They are mixed with human beings: queuing with us for the same job interview, dreaming of having sex with our women, etc. Practically doing the same stuffs that we do everyday. When they get angry with us, they can pluck our eyes out, hang us until we are dead, burn our buses with us inside or even think ...more
Nicolo Yu
I’ve waited for more than two years to get my hands on a copy of Gerry Alanguilan’s Elmer. More than two years since I’ve read a critic raved that this is the great Filipino novel, only with chickens. I’ve gotten my hands on a second Philippine edition. Suffice to say, I was not disappointed.

Just like how Elmer’s chickens spontaneously developed sentience and speech, is how the Philippine comic scene birthed great comics these past few years. Elmer, along with Trese by Budjette Tan and KaJo Bald
Jul 23, 2011 zxvasdf rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this book from the library and put it off so long, going as far as to accidentally lose it in the passenger foot well of my car, thus incurring that volume with incurable water damage. I returned it to the library unread and received an email not long after, charging me for the damage. I paid the fee and became the owner of Elmer by Gerry Alanguilan. Well, at this point I was determined to get my money's worth.

And, boy, did I. Think about it. How long have we been eating chicken? For
Jul 11, 2012 Raina rated it really liked it
Read this with either Chew and Out of the Deep Woods
Maus and Grandville or Blacksad.

It was not surprising to read that Alanguilan is a professional inker. His drawings are intensely precise - textured and built with millions of tiny little lines. Beautiful in their exactness. I suspect it was intentional that here, the chickens are drawn more beautifully than the homo sapiens are.

But I get ahead of myself. This is the story of what happened when chickens gained souls. When chickens started be
This was kind of amazing.

This book was like Ig nobel prize winners; it made me laugh, and then think. The concept of chickens suddenly becoming an intelligent species sounds absurd, but through it Gerry Alanguilan was able to craft such a fascinating world with such a tragic history.

Who knew a story about chickens could incite so much emotion and thought in me?
Aug 07, 2012 Tin rated it really liked it
I first heard about this particular comic book via Trisha's (Lesbians with Books) comments on one of my Filipino Friday meme posts. Incidentally when I visited NBS, this book was right on the table located on the store front. I thought I might as well. And I was definitely intrigued by the idea of Planet of the Apes, Chicken Version.

I considered the world presented by Planet of the Apes as plausible because for one apes closely resemble humans. But the chickens? first, I found the whol
Joe Young
Feb 01, 2011 Joe Young rated it it was amazing
Gerry Alanguilan - writer & artist

Elmer is a difficult book to accurately describe. The premise is disarmingly simple, verging on pithy: What would happen if all the chickens in the world became sentient? What follows this premise is a surprisingly touching, extremely thoughtful and complex graphic novel.

Jake Gallo is a young rooster, trying to make his way in a world which already includes chickens among those considered sentient, rational beings. Jake is frustrated and consumed with anger
Mar 11, 2011 Mza rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
... veers from hyperextended allegory on racial prejudice to domestic melodrama -- pretty corny throughout, especially the chicken feed scenes ...! Anyhow, the corniness is cut nicely with non-aggressive weirdness -- I wanted to say "unself-conscious weirdness", but who can ever say for sure? I liked the opening sequence best: POV shot of some Filipino dude m-bating to the Internet; his eyes drift ceiling-ward as he's about to come, a single feather floating aimlessly in the air ...

Jul 13, 2012 jess rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2012
It's a book about chickens, and did you know I am obsessed with chickens? So... pretty much there is no way for me to not love this book and I was relieved that it fulfilled my expectations for both chicken content and an interesting story. I wanted to get tattoos of several panels (chickens watching the sunset, for example). I even had a dream that I took this book to a tattoo parlor and got a chicken tattoo.

This is the story of the day the chickens of the world developed souls / consciousness
Sep 29, 2010 DC rated it it was amazing
Note: It's recommended for mature readers only due to depictions of violence, sex (hmm?), and complicated adult ideas about the world.

"It's the Great Filipino Novel, with chickens." - Adam David, Philippine Free Press

This is exactly what I thought of this comicbook when I had finished it. When I first started and read the first page, I honestly didn't quite know what to make of it... Reading, however, past page one, I was surprised, shocked, spell-bound by the premise of... well, chickens.

The st
Jedi JC Daquis
Jun 13, 2012 Jedi JC Daquis rated it liked it
The only Filipino graphic novel nominated in the Eisner Awards for best new graphic album, Elmer indeed deserves international recognition. Created by Gerry Alanguilan, Elmer is a story about chickens who have mysteriously gained human intelligence and consciousness. It follows their chilling tale of survival for acceptance in this world and their struggle to co-exist with the human race and to live with equal rights. Elmer is worth buying and is a good read.
Feb 10, 2011 Apokripos rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Apokripos by: Gerry Alanguilan himself!
I'm lucky enough that I got this one signed by Mr. Gerry Alanguilan and the three individual komiks before they were collected.
Diana Welsch
May 31, 2011 Diana Welsch rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
My boyfriend reads a lot of superhero comics, which he insists are good but which sound crappy. He also has a thing for chickens, which is obvious in the amount of chicken knicknacks he has. One day, he showed me this graphic novel he bought at the comic book store. "Look at this," he said. "A comic about what would happen if chickens gained human intelligence and speech." "Cool." I said, secretly thinking it sounded lame. Later on, he brought this silly book to my house and told me I should rea ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 02, 2013 Tays rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-best-so-far
So for starters, let's begin by saying that this book is about chickens. Now that's out of the way, let's end it with a note that this book may or may have not made me shed a tear.

Gerry Alanguilan, both the writer and artist for this book did an awesome job at this. Brilliant storytelling on his part and the black and white drawings nailed it. It's charming, heartbreaking, and wittingly funny all at once. The plot mostly revolved around chickens, literally. How they're trying to go through a li
Dec 16, 2011 Judie rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Take a complicated protagonist who discovered a series of events that affected who and where he is now; a rich history of conflict, discrimination, and violence, traces of which he still carries on at present. Regardless of universal laws and worldwide acceptance, it is still very hard to fully embrace the idea that we are all equal. I think this is the struggle that most of us can relate with. Of course, these were all present in this work and to add flavor to it --- think of the cha ...more
Feb 25, 2013 Victoria rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book
February 3, 1979. A bright light in the sky. And the world changed.

Chickens man. Chickens. They're everywhere. What happens if they become sentient beings? With self-consciousness and cognition? Would you be able to see them as equals?

The art in this book is completely black & white - which is a blessing. The amount of red that would be needed to convey the slaughter of chickens would be too much. It was an interesting idea that became a well executed graphic novel.
Mirvan  Ereon
Apr 09, 2012 Mirvan Ereon rated it it was amazing
This book is truly a masterpiece and very unforgettable. The sapient chickens here are the representations of racial difference, the oppressed, the poor and other minorities that deserve equality in this very cruel world. I love the way the story was written. It was very serious and no nonsense and it made me want to make my own graphic novel too. it is graphic novel that has a statement and not just created to give enjoyment as well. A must read for all people.
Guia G.
Sep 21, 2016 Guia G. rated it really liked it
Very impactful and socially relatable, especially with what's happening to the world now.
Justin Lau
Nov 26, 2016 Justin Lau rated it liked it
What would happen if chickens, endowed with human speech, intelligence and consciousness, became the newest members of the human race? A surprisingly moving and thought-provoking tale (albeit the implausible premise) that provides powerful social commentary.
Oct 09, 2016 Zim rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2013 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gerry Alanguilan is a Filipino comic book artist and writer who’s well known as an inker for both Marvel and DC, but his indie cred extends all the way back to his first comic. That work includes Johnny Balbona, “Wasted”, “Timawa”, “Humanis Rex” and “Where Bold Stars Go To Die“. Through his own company, Komikero Publishing, Alanguilan put out four issues of Elmer between 2006 and 2008, collecting them into a single volume in 2009. That book was republished by Slave Labor Graphics, and a French t ...more
Sep 24, 2016 Jeff rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jeff by: Seth T.
If you liked Duncan the Wonder Dog and you can get thru the first handful of pages of this one (ie, to the punchline that you already know is coming but is inexplicably and intentionally presented as if it were a surprise), then i think you'll eventually come to like this book quite a bit, too.

A bit unlike Duncan, this book is only ostensibly about the rights of non-human animals because this one is really about treating humans with dignity and fairness and care.

As i alluded to in my first sente
Nov 22, 2011 Jam rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, weird
Elmer is a story with an interesting premise. There's a parallel world like Earth, but where chickens have suddenly undergone a change and become sentient. The book goes through all the themes I've come to expect, genocide, discrimination, race-centered or chicken-centered insularity, a society devolving into chaos. However, the book does end on a welcome note as the chickens receive worldwide recognition and unassailable rights far faster than the recognition whites in the US ever gave their Ne ...more
Jun 23, 2012 Romain rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog
Gerry Alanguilan est philippin, ce n'est pas si courant que des bandes dessinées de ce continent parviennent jusqu'à nous. C'est certainement un gage de qualité mais nous y reviendrons.

Son idée paraît complètement invraisemblable, complètement saugrenue. Il a tout simplement imaginé qu'un beau jour des années 70, les poulets prennent subitement conscience. Ils sont désormais doués de raison et ne vont donc pas tarder à se rendre compte de leur condition d'existence et du traitement qui leur est
Armando Cruz
Review as seen in my blog: Film Police

"It's because I'm a chicken, isn't it? You are all racist," so the chicken flocks.

I got my hands on Gerry Alanguilan's trade paperback comic book compilation Elmer on my first-time visit to the annual Komikon (Filipino comic convention) last month. Three years of passing up, telling myself chickens could wait, "asuangs" and "tikbalangs" could not, I had picked it up on the shelf. I conclude: I was the racist after all. And I'm not proud of it. Elmer is a bri
Nicca Estrella
Oct 27, 2012 Nicca Estrella rated it it was amazing
Shelves: local
Elmer is a graphic novel having an interesting premise, wherein chickens are considered to be leveled by humans. The protagonist,Jake Gallo,is having difficulty of finding a job that'll accept him as a chicken. He is full of anger and rage for humans because of their selfishness and racist behavior. Jake has been a good son and a brother in his family. He has a brother named Freddie who he considered gay.Since his brother is a popular chicken actor,changing it's name into "Francis" as a screen n ...more
Bryan Reyes
Nov 15, 2014 Bryan Reyes rated it really liked it
This is one interesting book! It's given that Gerry Alanguilan's drawing skills is superb—even the smallest detail is full of texture and depth. No wonder Gerry's one of the Philippine's leading comic artist.

Elmer's setting (not the story) is kinda localized and yet it garnered an international following and even received an award from Europe! This book about chickens is world-class!

Just on the first few pages, you'll see why Gerry is an awesome guy. He was able to put emotions in a chicken's ey
Awesome graphic novel. Wrote a review of this for my course requirements three years ago. I'd say it's a wondrous piece with a significantly political tone which alludes to discrimination in modern society via a Planet-of-the-Apes, rather Planet-of-the-Chickens, sort of world where poultry once commonly killed for food now possess sentience. It's an alternate history that discusses human rights through a quirky lens, but it is uncompromising nonetheless in presenting ideas with an unwavering and ...more
May 17, 2013 Jj rated it it was amazing
I have so many mixed emotions about this book. When I first started reading Elmer, I thought this is going to be one of those funny, but not funny comics about chickens. Then the more and more I read, it wasn't about that at all.
It's about the lives of chicken in the early or late seventies and how they were ate and, abused. And their struggle to become part of the human race. It became a little depressing for me.
I took this book into three different metaphor. It could be taken and remembrance
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GERRY ALANGUILAN is a licensed architect and is a member of the San Pablo Chapter of the United Architects of the Philippines. He is also a board member of the Philippine International Cartoons, Comics, and Animation (PICCA), as well as member of the Asia-Pacific Animation and Cartoon Association. He gave up a career in architecture and started working as a professional comic book creator in 1992, ...more
More about Gerry Alanguilan...

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“I packed my stuff, left my cactus BILLY with the neighbors, and got a taxi to the bus station.” 1 likes
“Aw, dad... this isn't another one of those "oh, you're LUCKY you didn't have to peck dry corn and uncooked rice off the dirt!" kind of thing is it?” 1 likes
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