Monday, November 30, 2009

Secret Pinoy Warrior

Barbargsa - Blood of the Honorable

Comic books are presently very popular as PSYOP media. In the Philippines, U.S. Army PSYOP officers have distributed 600,000 copies of the 10-part series, “Barbargsa - Blood of the Honorable.” There are versions in English and in the local dialect. It features “Ameer,” a practitioner of Kuntao, a local form of martial arts. He dons a mask and vows to protect the downtrodden and innocent victims of terrorists. The Philippines military are also portrayed in a positive and heroic light while the villains are called terrorists or bandits. The creators accurately illustrate the Sulu region, and use character names, clothing and mannerisms that reflect the culture of the Tausug ethnic group. It took about 2,000 hours to create the 10 comic books.

The project was the brainchild of Maj. Edward Lopacienski, military information support team commander for the joint special operations task force Philippines mission, and the non-commissioned officer in charge, Master Sgt. Russell Snyder. The pair outlined the basic idea in January 2006. The plot follows the battle between good and evil. It depicts real events, specifically the Sulu Co-Op bombing in March 2006, which killed five and injured 40 and the Basilan hostage crisis when members of the Abu Sayyaf Group took school children and used them as human shields.

Army Enlists Comic Books, iPods in Insurgent Fight

Comic Book Hero Spreads Counterterrorism Message

Friday, November 27, 2009

USA Today interviews Whilce Portacio

Whilce Portacio chats about
'Image United' and Fortress

By John Geddes, USA TODAY

Comic series Image United debuts today in comic-book shops across the USA. The collaborative nature of the series marks an exciting experiment in the way comics can be made, while also serving as a reunion for the original founders of Image Comics.

In an ongoing series of creator interviews with USA TODAY, United partner Whilce Portacio took a few moments to discuss the new series and the genesis of his new character, Fortress.

Q. Can you speak a bit about how you developed the character of Fortress and explain a bit about the role he'll play in Image United?

A. Well, he's going to save everyone's butts! (laughs) Actually, that's not far from true. I'm a deliberate creator. I come from the sci-fi world and I devour sci-fi books.

With Fortress, I thought back to my days as a teenager when I would ask myself, "What if I was a superhero?" My answer to that question back in the day is something completely different than how today's teens would respond. For teens today, the sky's the limit. Teenagers are a part of everything in society. They have so much power today. I thought, let's take a kid from this generation and give them real power — power to right all wrongs in the world. Kids think they know everything, anyway. Well, what if they had the power to act on their perceived knowledge?

In United, Fortress goes through a "be careful what you wish for" revelation. My whole theme is about consequences. You're presented with a scenario and you have to make a decision. With Fortress, there are two parts to his powers. First, he's in this special suit and quickly comes to the understanding that there is no nap time; he now has a full-time hero job that he can't get out of. The second part of his powers … I can't reveal yet.


Friday, November 20, 2009

SPOT.PH interviews the Underpass crew

Underpass: They want to scare you
By Laurice Penamante, October 27, 2009

They want to scare you.

Creeping down into a world inhabited by murderers, demons, ghosts and other members of local lore, Underpass mixes the familiar with something new, says Budjette Tan.

“We have always heard about the haunted house at the end of the street…we’ve all heard of manananggals and kapres,” says Tan, “so it’s a question of how [to] tell these stories in a new way, in a different way, and place [them] in a familiar setting, not anymore in the province, not anymore in a house where a manananggal [would] come and break through the roof.”

Underpass brings together some of the most noted names in the Philippine comics scene: Gerry Alanguilan (Wasted, Elmer), Kajo Baldisimo (Trese), National Book awardee David Hontiveros (Dhampyr), Oliver Pulumbarit (Dhampyr), Ian Sta. Maria (Skyworld) and Budjette Tan (Trese). The anthology was launched Sunday at the 5th Philippine Annual Komiks Convention (KOMIKON). asked each of the writers to talk about their respective stories and talk about their worst fears:

Gerry Alanguilan, on his story, The Sim: “Let’s just say that one day I picked up a sim [card from] the floor of a tricycle and I [wondered] what I would see if I put that sim in a cellphone, and this is how the story came out. I don’t want to say that my story is based on true-to-life experience, but [just let me] say that I am here, alive, to tell you the story.”

David Hontiveros on Judas Kiss: “It was originally a short story which was written for an anthology that never got published, so when Budjette came up with the idea for Underpass we decided we’d adapt it into comic book form. And it incidentally got me to collaborate for the third time with Oliver [Pulumbarti]. So there’s a ghost, there are murders, and there is a twist.”

“It’s so scary that Oliver had to take a step back before finally drawing the pages,” says Budjette Tan.

David Hontiveros: “[It’s Ian Sta. Maria’s character, but] I wanted to lay down the foundations of the…idea of hell in this world, the idea of condemnation, of souls being punished.”

“It’s a departure from the usual Trese sory that Kajo [and I] have been doing…It’s all about an upcoming starlet who discovers she’s pregnant and her manager tells her you need to get an abortion. And they go to a very special clinic where they discover a different side of showbiz.” In a way, Underpass might make readers confront their worst fears. What is your worst fear?

Ian Sta. Maria: Takot ako sa babae. Alam mo yon, takot ako sa babae.

Oliver Pulumbarit: Worst fear would be, maybe the popularity of stupid politicians. And unflushed toilets.

Budjette Tan: Greatest fear would really be deadlines which we don’t get to beat. Thankfully I have not experienced a supernatural occurrence and I’m happy to just write about it and not experience it.

David Hontiveros: My greatest fear…having to answer questions like that. [Laughs] I’ve been into horror since I was a little kid so I don’t really think I have one, a lot but not a singular one.

Gerry Alanguilan: Yung aking personal fear is yung fear na, fear of the unknown really, di ko alam kasi minsan diba may tatawag sayo di mo alam kung ano yun, nakakatakot diba kung may tumatawag sayo ng hating-gabi, naku pano yun ano kaya kung may magbabalita sakin ng…siguro phones din, laking takot ko sa telepono.

Budjette Tan: What do you mean phones? Why are you afraid of phones?

Gerry Alanguilan: Kasi marami na akong experience na may tatawag sa phone tapos bad news eh. So t’wing magriring ang phone biglang, “Wheh!” lalo na pag gabing-gabi.

Kajo Baldisimo: Worst fear ko public speaking.

Underpass, P175, is available wherever Summit Media magazines are sold.

FHM interview : Budjette Tan

Q&A with comic writer Budjette Tan
October 18, 2009

How did you start as a comic book writer?
I started writing when I was a kid because I loved reading comics. I felt like I wanted to write my own, and write my own heroes. As a kid, I did a comic called Cosmic Man, who was like a Batman in space. He had a cosmic ship, a cosmic belt, and a cosmic ray gun.

As I got older, I realized I couldn’t draw, so I just ended up writing more. I started to meet better artists in college, and we decided to collaborate with each other. It was in college when finally we decided that we should do a real series, and seriously make a comic book.

I was graduating from college then, and for my grad gift what I asked was for my parents to send me to the San Diego Comicon. That was in '94. And I thought, if I'm going to go there, I wanted to be able to show stuff to editors. Because before the wonderful age of the Internet, I'd type up stories and mail it to them, and I would receive rejection letters. I’ve been rejected by Marvel and DC, and stuff like that. I was like “Wow, the editors recognize that I exist, but they rejected me.”

So reading about how people submit, it’s better if you submit a complete story. it’s easier for editors to look at finished comic book pages than a script. So I told my barkada, “let’s release our own book.” So we put together a book called Comics 101. It was an anthology as well, because it was the quickest thing we could put together. It was me, Bow Guerrero, Mark Gatela, JB "Taps" Tapia, my brother Brandie, Gerry Alanguilan, and Arnold Arre. I brought that book over to San Diego. And we got rejected more.

But that trip made me learn stuff about what editors are looking for, and how small you are when you’re standing in the middle of everyone else trying to pitch their stuff. When I got back, that was around the time when we formed our own group, Alamat comics, partly thanks to the prodding of Whilce Portacio, who at that time drew the X-Men comics.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
My first comic book stories were really picking up from an attempt to do my version of the works of my idols, I guess. I had a comic book before, which I did with Bow Guerrero, called the Flying Phantom. It was our attempt to do something like Indiana Jones mixed with something pulpy and pulp-type superheroes. Then I came up with a comic book called Batch 72 with Arnold Arre, which was kind of our attempt to relive college. When we were writing this, it was at the tail end of college. I was like “I don’t want college to end.” I felt like I was pouring that stuff into the page.

Writing horror, which is what I am doing now, has always been there but maybe I never really recognized it. Once, I wrote a story called “Payaso,” which was about a clown who had superpowers and went around running after child abusers.

It’s partly inspired by stuff we’ve seen from Stephen King and his works, and how something harmless or funny seems to have a dark side to it. I think that was brewing somewhere in the back. Me and my friends loved reading Stephen King. Likewise, Neil Gaiman is a major major influence as far as horror and fantasy is concerned.

As far as superpowered soap opera drama is concerned, I think I channeled that through Batch 72. They may have superpowers but the most important thing in their life was getting their band into a gig or making a girl fall in love with them.

Frank Miller is an influence too, in terms of crime noir. Warren Ellis is a big influence, as well as Alan Moore of Watchmen fame. These are guys that have taken what has been normal comic book staple, or even the whole medium itself, and have shown you what else can be done with it. As far as TV shows are concerned, X-Files comes into play. CSI played a big influence as far as Trese was concerned, because they were the ones who started this trend of the police procedural.

Like all artists, there must be times when you’re feeling drained. What do you do to get the creative juices flowing again?
One tip that I got from Neil Gaiman is that he likes to work on several things at the same time. So when he is stuck with something, there is something else for him to work on. I’ve tried that and it has worked sometimes.

One thing that’s certain is that waiting for inspiration to hit you is a myth. I mean, if inspiration does hit you, it’s a wonderful feeling to have, the story just gushes out. But if you keep waiting for that, sometimes it takes too long.

What worked a lot for me and Kajo was we gave ourselves deadlines, not that we respected the deadlines, but it was something that we kept in mind. So that when the deadline has passed, it gave you more sense of urgency to finish that stuff. Having a regular goal helps.

I also never stop thinking of the next stories I want to write. I have a notebook full of little plotlines, sometimes dialogue, which I don’t really know goes to what story, and it just sounded good. And it’s nice to go back to those notes if I’m stuck and pick up stuff from those.

Tell us something about Underpass.
Underpass is an anthology of four stories of dark fantasy set in an urban Filipino setting. Pinoys have always had a great love for horror, as you can see with the number of Shake, Rattle and Roll films we’ve had.

There always seems to be a Tagalog horror anthology show on TV, whether it be the Regal Shockers, the Magandang Gabi Bayan Halloween specials, or Kakabakaba. Pinoys can’t seem to get enough of getting scared. If you go to the bookstore, there’s already a whole section for ghost stories. It is the great unknown that Pinoys love to probe, and poke and see what it is in the dark.

In Underpass, we wanted to do a modern spin to Pinoy horror. It’s not anymore your typical White Lady standing in the corner; it’s really something else. We show horror found in a cellphone sim. We show horror in a pedestrian underpass. It’s not anymore the haunted house at the end of the street, which people really aren’t afraid of anymore because they’ve seen it a thousand times.

Underpass features the work of a great bunch of comic book creators. Gerry Alanguilan is the one telling the sim story. We’ve got David Hontiveros, and Oliver Pulumbarit. David is an award-winning prose writer. He won a Palanca for one of his sci-fi stories, and is also one of the founding members of Alamat. The last time David and Oliver collaborated, it was for a vampire story, and it’s very nice to put them together again, and this time they put up a very different type of ghost story.

Katumbas stars a character created by Ian Sta. Maria. Again, Ian was one of those guys that had been with Alamat for the longest time. Katumbas stars a character called Kadasig who became an immortal warrior because during Pre-Hispanic times, his village was going to be attacked by Aswang, so he made a deal with Ibu, the goddess of death to spare the village and in return, he becomes Ibu’s eternal servant. Lastly, there’s The Clinic, which is written by me and Kajo Baldisimo. In it, we show a starlet who gets pregnant, and is prodded by her manager to get an abortion to save her career. She is brought to a place called Venus Clinic, where she discovers again the darker flip side of the city.

We hope Underpass will excite people again. If you love horror and mysteries, you should come down with us to the underpass.

Have you ever experienced supernatural things first hand?
We have lived in haunted houses, but I’ve never experienced the horror personally. Once, my mom and dad saw a floating head in the garden. At the back of our house, we normally see bats, so it’s normal to see something whiz by.

But one particular Sunday, something flew past the garden, which was lit with spotlights, but then the thing suddenly stopped, and it started to hover. And they realized it was a head with wings.
Our dog started to growl and as the dog started to rush to the garden, my mom said it suddenly stopped, it bowed down, and it started to whimper. So my mom and dad just rushed to leave.

When my mom told the house help about it the next day, the kusinera said: “Ma’am may sasabihin po ako sa inyo may nakita po akong ulong gumugulong sa likod ng kusina.” So it turns out, my parents weren’t just seeing things.

So they called the mangtatawas. The ritual the mangtatawas did was he had a basin of water, a candle, and the candle wax was allowed to fall onto the water. The wax took shape into the face of somebody. The mangtatawas said, “May dwende kayo dito” and he instructed us to bring food to the foot of the tree where the dwende lived, at 3 or 4 PM everyday.

But the thing didn’t stop, so we called up Tony Perez, who then sent his spirit questors to our home. We did a spirit quest near the garden, and from there they were able to figure out that there were two clans, the white and the brown dwende. Supposedly, the flying head was actually a shape-shifting dwende. The two clans were trying to lay claim over the middle of the house. The questors asked: “Kumusta po ang business nyo?” We told them that sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. They said that when the business was doing good, the white dwende were winning, and when it’s doing bad, the brown ones were winning.

Personally, I’ve never really seen or heard those supernatural occurrences first hand. And I’m thankful for that.

So you like writing horror stories, but you don’t really want to be a part of those horror stories yourself.
Yeah. It’s there in the page, don’t come near me.

Ever had a comic book to movie adaptation offer?
Trese has had an offer or two, but we’ve been holding them off because we wanted to finish book three. So maybe now it’s a good time to start talking to those guys again.

We’ve told people we made Trese episodic, so it might be good to adapt it to TV. The thing I’m worried about though is the production quality of our TV shows. A producer asked me once: “Wala bang love interest si Trese? Baka pwede naman natin siya bigyan ng boyfriend.” I told them I’d think about it. (Laughs)

Would you really compromise?
As long as it doesn’t involve giving our characters a talking cat or dog just because it’s cute, sure.

After Underpass, what’s next for you?
We’re hoping Underpass does really really well that readers will ask for more. Definitely, there’s more to the dark side of Manila and the Philippines to explore. So more of Underpass, we hope. And definitely more of Trese.

I would love to do a superhero book, given the chance to try again because I’ve been a big fan of the Avengers and the Justice League since I was little. It’s something I never really got to do. I’ve never been able to write specifically about guys in tight outfits hitting each other. It would be great to do a superhero comic book in the future.

If you could be any comic book superhero, who would you be?
Bruce Wayne, for his money and his great looks. (Laughs) But my high school answer would have been Martian Manhunter from the Justice League because he can turn invisible, read minds, change shape, is invulnerable, has laser vision, and heat vision. So he’s like Superman and Professor X combined. From Marvel, Wolverine is another favorite character, because he gets to say the stuff you can’t. He can get into trouble, and it doesn’t really matter because he can heal quickly. From any other book, Sandman comes to mind, but I don’t exactly want to be him, or someone from the Dreaming.

You can be Desire.
No! (laughs) I look more like Despair. So yeah, no. (Laughs)

How about a supervillain?
Good question, I’ve never though of that. I’m not too sure if I want to be Magneto or Doctor Doom because they’re like full of themselves. They really think that “I know the answer to life, and I will rule you…” That sort of thing.

I’d choose The Kingpin I think, because he was so powerful he’d just order villains around, and he was fat too. So I said, hey I could be this guy, I don’t have to learn karate, and I can just sit around and just order people around. He’s shrewd. He’s cunning, and the last thing he would do is get his hands dirty. He has everything set up around him.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Adrian Alphona's SWEET BIZARRE

Adrian Alphona is a Fil-Canadian comic book artist best known for his work on Marvel Comics' Runaways, which he co-created with writer Brian K. Vaughan.

And it seems like he's finally setting up his own website / gallery

Adrian's photo from :

Sunday, November 08, 2009

TRESE in Karavan

KARAVAN is literary magazine published in Sweden. One of their writers thought of doing a shirt review about Trese and here it is:

Many thanks to Anna Gustafsson Chen, who originally reviewed TRESE in her blog:

a literary magazine that travels between cultures

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Volume 1 of KOMIX 7107

Welcome to Volume 1 of KOMIX 7107!

This online comic book anthology features...

The complete first issue of SKYWORLD.


The complete story of THE LAST DATU, a project that me and Kajo worked on before Trese

We have a lot of stories to tell.

Give them a read.

Tell us what you think.

Come back for more!

KOMIX 7107 is a launch pad
We hope that the stories we tell in this site will take flight; that the creators of these stories be inspired to keep writing and drawing and that their works find new readers out there. We hope to tell, not just 1,001 stories, but to tell 7,107 tales. And just in case we do reach that seemingly impossible number, we’d like to tell 7,107 more.

KOMIX 7107 is a laboratory
This is also the placed where we’ll also try out new stories ideas and maybe even try out new ways and techniques of telling stories.

KOMIX 7101 is a library
And we’ll also archive comic book stories that we did in the past; stories that are now out of print, but still deserve to be found by a new audience. We’d also like to link up with other online comic book stories out there. So, if you are a comic book creator with works found online, please leave us a note below.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Roy Allan Martinez FVZA art

Filipino comic book artist ROY ALLAN MARTINEZ returns to the comic book scene as the artist of FVZA: the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency.

David Hine, writer of FVZA, talks about how it's like to work with Roy and his artwork:

DAVID HINE : Roy is a terrifically talented storyteller. I’ve worked with him before at Marvel, on the Son of M series. I discovered that he has a particular interest in horror and zombies above all. You could almost say he empathizes with them. Roy’s drawing skills are fantastic and once Kinsun Loh and Jerry Choo have added their digital paints the result is heightened realism that a lot of people assume is photo based. In fact it’s purely down to Roy’s knowledge of the human figure and observation. His pencils are an absolute delight and I couldn’t be more pleased with the finishes that Kinsun has done. A lot of digital artist rely on the software without having the genuine drawing skills, but Kinsun and his studio are terrific artists in their own right.

I don’t have a lot of first-hand contact with the artists. Roy is in the Philippines and Kinsun in Malaysia. My scripts are very detailed so Roy has most of the information he needs. I see layouts from him and give my feedback before he goes to full pencils. I also give notes on the colors, but really these guys know exactly what they’re doing and don’t need too much guidance.




Monday, November 02, 2009

Lan Medina reboots DEATHLOK

More preview art and interviews at:

Deathlok Returns
Marvel’s favorite cyborg reboots in an all-new Marvel Knights limited series from Charlie Huston and Lan Medina

War Finds Deathlok
A frequent source of convention questions, Marvel has finally found a creative team for its war-torn cyborg.

Harvey Tolibao draws PSYLOCKE

Psylocke has returned to the X-Men! Following the defeat of Madelyne Pryor and her Sisterhood, Psylocke travels to Japan to re-inter her former body in its proper resting place. But when a swarm of Hand ninjas attack Psylocke and do the unspeakable under orders from Matsu’o—the assassin originally responsible for transplanting Psylocke’s mind into the body of an Asian ninja—Psylocke determines that Matsu’o is one loose end that can no longer be left unresolved. It’s a tale of carnage and revenge, brought to you by superstars Chris Yost (X-FORCE) and Harvey Tolibao (AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE)!

Will be available on November 4

More preview art at:

See more of Harvey's art at:

Pinoy artist wins ZUDA contest

PLUCK by Gabe White and John Amor got the highest number of votes in the recent ZUDA COMICS contest. Congratulations!

Read the Pluck at:

See more of John's art at:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin