Friday, September 25, 2009

Thor, Hercules, and Diwatas!

COVER BY: (Filipino comic book artist) Mico Suayan
WRITER: Paul Cornell
PENCILS:Anthony Flamini, Fred Van Lente, Greg Pak
COLORED BY: Frank D'Armata

For the first time ever — all of Marvel's mighty pantheons, all in one handbook! Thor and Hercules aren't the only gods in town, as the ENCYCLOPAEDIA MYTHOLOGICA spotlights everything from Aztecs to Zoroaster! Brush up on the eternal rivalry between the Green Knight and the Red Lord! Meet Anitun and the Diwatas, the gods of the Philippines! Learn the dark origin of Mikaboshi, the Shinto god of evil! Explore the mystical dimension of Otherworld! Plus: Panther Gods, Lion Gods and Snowbirds!

comic book readers talk about it at...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Preview: The First One Hundred Years of Philippine Komiks and Cartoons


“THE FIRST ONE HUNDRED Years of Philippine Komiks and Cartoons” coffee table book will be launched on Oct. 16, 2009 at 5PM at the Powerbooks, Megamall. Written by Dr. John A. Lent of Temple University and published by Yonzon Associates. Painstaking data and visual research.
Size: 10” x 11” (bigger than usual), in glorious full color, 156 pages to be exact.

Three main chapters by Lent, supplemented by other writers Doy del Mundo, Orvy Jundis, Glady Gimena, Manny Auad, Beth Chionglo, Aileen Casis, Guia Yonzon and me.

Price is only P1,500., just the price of a US graphic novel. For those who will make reservations and pay before the launch date, we will give 20 percent discount. Just get in touch with Gwiz or me.

It’s a whole 100 years gallery from Jose Rizal to the present day Pinoy artists. This book will make you proud of who we are in the comics dome! I didn’t realize too until we got into it.

Here is one version of the cover, the jacket. And some sample spreads...

(click the link below to see the preview pages)

TRESE reviewed in Globe's GO! MAG

Counting To Trese
by Luis Katigbak

Someone once described the Philippines as "the most paranormal country in the world." It’s not hard to see why: we’re warned from childhood not to step on mounds of earth for fear of disturbing mysterious dwarf-like creatures; we hear about ghostly ladies in white roaming the city; we’re famous—or perhaps that should be infamous—worldwide for our faith healers. Perhaps that’s why it feels that a comics series like Trese, by Budjette Tan and Ka-jo Baldisimo, is not only welcome, but overdue.

Of course Filipino fiction—and komiks in particular—have always mined the supernatural in general and local folklore in particular for material. Arnold Arre’s action-adventure comic book miniseries The Mythology Class even won a Manila Critics Circle National Book Award in 2000. But where the feel of The Mythology Class was epic—worlds-hanging-in-the-balance widescreen—Trese is street-level. It’s basically like a hard-boiled detective show crossed with a Pinoy version of The X-Files.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

FLASH FACT: Geoff Johns & Francis Manapul onboard new FLASH series

This was just posted on CBR: DC Comics announced today that Francis Manapul and Geoff Johns will conclude their "Adventure Comics" run with issue #6 and move on to a new ongoing Flash title.

In a recent interview, Francis mentioned that the Flash was one of his favorite characters and he'd love to get to draw that character.

Talk about a dream come true!

Read CBR's interview with Fil-Canadian comic book artist Francis Manapul at:

Listen to the COMIC GEEK SPEAK episode with Francis Manapul:

DC SPOTLIGHT on Francis Manapul (San Diego Comic Con 2009)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

TRESE in the Manila Times

Sometime in October to November of 2005, the first issue of the comic title Trese was released as photocopied sheets with a staple through the middle Four years later, the first two batches of Trese stories are being sold as books titled: Murder on Balete Drive and Unreported Murders—you can find them in the Graphic Novel section of Fully Booked, as well as in the Philippine Fiction Section of Powerbooks and National Bookstore You can also find them at your friendly neighborhood comic bookstores.

Trese is Alexandra Trese, who along with her sidekicks known as The Kambal, investigates crimes with a supernatural bent Every time the police encounter something unusual and otherworldly at the scene of a crime—they call on her and out she comes with her trademark bob, V-shaped bangs and dark trenchcoat ready with the wherewithal to get to the bottom of it.

Yet here’s something very real about Trese—the characters, cases, streets and capture a Manila that’s gritty, strange, mysterious and oddly familiar to many of us.

There’s the story of the young Tikbalang colt with a penchant for drag racing, a village where everything seems perfect—except for the rather strange price you pay for electricity, there’s the story of a love that literally burns and the one about the dwende who can make you famous movie star And there’s my favorite—a little tribute to another comic book character created by one Mars Ravelo.

I caught up with writer Budjette Tan who had just emailed the script for issue to his artist partner Kajo Baldisimo and asked him, where did you get those notions about the power of mermaid bones?

Tan explains: “I first became aware of the mystical properties of salt when I read Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum I later read about salt can be used in protection spells and binding spells.

When I got the idea of someone murdering the White Lady of Balete Drive, I thought that the murderer would probably trap or bind her using salt.

Then I thought, salt is expected thing to use in such a spell I needed it to be more powerful—it needed to be saltier Maybe the murderer used sea salt? Or something from the sea? Something rare? Something from a mermaid? A mermaid! Mermaid bones would definitely be very salty and contain powerful mystical properties Well, it made sense to me.”

I asked, do you think it’s harder to come across urban legends now than say, 25 years ago?

Tan opines: “It does seem that way When we were kids, we seemed to hear more urban legends: like the White Lady of Balete Drive, the Snake under the Mall, the guy with the AIDS-infected-syringe stalking the malls, the manananggal seen during election time Maybe we had more urban legends because we didn’t have quick ways of verifying such news.

I remember getting a text from my mom, asking me if the news she got via text was true Someone spread around that at 11pm that night, a deadly radiation wave was going to hit the earth and will spread around via mobile phone signals I googled that so-called news alert and found out it was a text-hoax that started all the way from Malaysia three years ago.

Maybe the next generation’s urban legends will be technology based It just needs to be more believable, but at the same time, unverifiable.”

In an often crazy and absurd city like Manila, with 11 million souls pounding its grimy streets, I’m pretty sure within the endless stretches of tightly packed buildings, behind secret passageways and unmarked doors, a slew of strange things are going on Alexandra Trese is going to have her hands full for a long time.


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