Happy World Book and Copyright Day! Copyright is important for creators — for economic reasons, creative reasons, and moral reasons. I’ve been putting some thoughts together on Wattpad about it — because that’s where the sharks seem to be circling — and on April 26, Adam David is running a free forum on the subject of copyright, covering both the current reality of how publishers and authors deal with these rights, and to prescribe how, ideally and equitably, these rights should be dealt with. Whether you end up agreeing with all the views presented at the forum or not — you can bet there will be advocacy mixed with practicalities — you’re sure to come out of this forum better prepared to either fight for your rights, or sell them at a premium.
It’s Summer Komikon tomorrow! We’ll be there as usual, but now under the Studio Salimbal banner. You can find us at table B54, seen above.
We’ll be selling all the first wave of Mythspace comics, for PHP50 each. No new stories this convention, but we do have something new — our Mini Design Works artbook! The regular version is also PHP50, and the Extra Large version ( you can see the size difference above), pre-signed by all members of Team Mythspace (a rarity, since we’re almost never at the table at the same time!) is PHP200. Only 109 copies of the Extra Large version were made, so snap them up quick!
Aside from the comics, we’ll have prints galore available! The prints are cheaper if you buy more than one:
Large (A3) Prints: 120 PHP
Medium (A4) Prints: 80 PHP
Long (2/3 an A4) Print: 60PHP
Small (Postcard) Prints: 30 PHP
=Promo Price – buy any 2 or more prints, whatever the size=
Large (A3) Prints: 100 PHP
Medium (A4) Prints: 60 PHP
Long (2/3 an A4) Print: 40PHP
Small (Postcard) Prints: 20 PHP
Buy more, get a discount! Don’t let your prints be lonely — and, come on, just look at these things eh? How can you stop at one?
Last but not least: ultra-cute Mythspace: Unfurling of Wings stickers from Borg Sinaban! Full body stickers are PHP40, heads are PHP20.
See you all tomorrow! Need help getting there? Head here.
Disclaimers: I’m friends with the editors of Abangan, and Mythspace (my comic, which will be published by Visprint, publisher of Abangan) was one of the komiks solicited by them for the anthology that didn’t make the cut. This review was made possible by a PSF copy provided by the editors.
“Greetings young reader/ target demographic!” says the host of “Spooky Tales of the Here and Now”, a mock television show in comics form, one of the selections included in “Abangan: The Best Philippine Komiks 2014.” The self-awareness is part of the humor of the piece, but the line also brings to mind a question that lingered as I read through the anthology: who is the audience for Abangan?
That kind of question may seem more suitable for a marketing pitch than a review of a creative work, but an anthology is a special sort of beast, particularly one that claims no inherent thematic unity — quite the opposite in fact. In the introduction to the book, the editors state that “[o]ur main goal was to exhibit the range of creative work being done in the field of komiks in terms of genre, style, and medium – we attempted to feature as many genres and as many different styles as we could” and to a large part they have succeeded in that goal, with the admitted caveat that most of the komiks the Editors were exposed to were those available either online or in Metro Manila. An anthology which has both an excerpt from “The Filipino Heroes League” (Paolo Fabregas) and “Blue Dusk” (Mica Agregado) covers a wide spectrum indeed.
Given the stated goal of the editors above, it’s hard to argue with the selections made for the comic. There are two selections illustrated by Rob Cham, but the total page count of those two combined is less than the average of the other selections. Bong Redila’s captioned illustrations may not be considered comics under some definitions of the term, but they do qualify as comics under others, and most readers won’t care about the technicalities, not when the standard of craftsmanship is so high. It’s a standard that is upheld consistently throughout the book, and while there are certain styles and creators represented that I don’t “get”, I’ve heard enough good things about them to know that there are other readers who hold them in high esteem. Abangan reflects not only the wide variety of komiks in the industry, but, through these, the wide variety of readers as well.
I do wish that there had been introductions to the pieces, something to contextualize their inclusion. This is particularly true with regard to the excerpts, as some invariably fail to accurately represent their source material: the main cast of FHL is absent from its excerpt, for instance, and the “Sixty-Six” excerpt leaves out the super-power element entirely. Additional commentary would also help explain apparent oddities, such as the “Dead Balagtas” strips being in English rather than Filipino. (It turns out they were translated in preparation for a possible international edition of Abangan, but I learned this because I asked one of the editors directly, which is not going to be an option for most.)
In a way, the selections constitute a sort of mini-Komikon: it’s easy to imagine yourself weaving through the throng at the Bayanihan Center, and passing these stories as you move from one table to another. As long as you enjoy stories, the Komikon is worth the trip — comics newbies with an open mind are sure to find something that will draw them in, and chances are that even ardent fans will find something new and splendid (“Para Fierra” was that for me, and the web-only “Dead Balagtas” may be that for many). The same smorgasbord virtues are present in the Abangan anthology, particularly because the anthology also includes some previously unpublished work.
Of course, also like a visit to Komikon, the entry fee covers both work you’ll enjoy, and work you won’t. It’s the rare reader for whom all the selections in the anthology will have the same appeal. Just as Komikon is worth visiting, I can tell you that Abangan is worth reading. But whether Abangan’s merits make it worth purchasing the book, will depend entirely on what sort of reader you are — hence, why a discussion of Abangan’s audience is relevant.
If you’re new to komiks, and interested in the medium, then I wholeheartedly recommend buying a copy of Abangan. The sheer variety of komiks available, as well as the relative rarity of most komiks, can make it a difficult field to navigate. In Abangan, you have a curated, high quality, ready-made, starters kit.
If you’re a komiks reader who only buys a particular genre of komiks, or those of a particular creator, but would like to expand your horizons, I once again recommend that you buy a copy of Abangan. The reasons are much the same as those for new readers, since beyond your comics comfort zone, you are a new reader.
If you’re the avid komiks reader, the type who already has copies of most of these stories in their original forms, then it simply becomes a matter of two things: disposable income, and production quality. The first is pretty self-explanatory. As for the second… In the introduction, the editors say that one of the reasons to buy the book is that “it looks great on display on your shelves,” and while that may seem to be a bit of a throw-away line, it’s in fact one of the reasons this project is important.
Self-publishing is still the norm in the industry, and that means that efforts are made to keep printing costs as low as possible. The result is that most comics are photocopied, slim, ashcan issues that do not lend themselves to shelving or display or permanent ownership. Yet the ephemeral quality of the physical komiks is often at odds with the quality of their contents, and it’s important for the professionalization of the industry that more komiks are published in forms that do these stories justice.
Good komiks deserve respect, and a place on our shelves. Abangan understands that, and endeavors to make its readers understand as well.
Budjette Tan recently posted on Facebook about the status of Book 6:
News about TRESE Book 6! I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is YOU WON’T ABLE TO GET YOUR HANDS ON BOOK 6 at Summer Komikon. The good news is YOU’LL BE TO READ BOOK 6 NOW!
Starting today, we will be uploading preview pages of TRESE: HIGH TIDE AT MIDNIGHT on the Trese blog EVERY WEEK!
TRESE Book 6 will not be ready by Summer Komikon. It will be done when it gets done
So, consider the Trese blog as the “progress bar” of how we’re doing with finish the story.
Thank you very much for waiting and all the encouragement for us to complete this new Trese tale.
Here’s some preview art to help the disappointment go down easier:
To celebrate the Studio Salimbal launch, we’d like to talk about comics. Philippine comics, to be exact. Studio members — this includes Team Mythspace, Mervin Malonzo (Tabi Po), Noel Pascual (Crime Fighting Call Center Agents) and Elbert Or (Bakemono High, and editor of the forthcoming Abangan anthology) — will be joined by other local comic creators for an informal, free-wheeling discussion about the craft, business, and future of comics in the Philippines.
Nothing will be sold at the event, but there will be artists giving free sketches, and the event itself is free. So if you’re a creator who wants to talk shop, an aspiring creator who wants to learn the craft — or if you’re a komiks aficionado, or a comics fan interested in the local scene, or even someone who simply wants to learn about comics in general and the men and women behind them, please do come by. There’s never been a better time to talk about Philippine comics.
Confirmed Writers/Artists: Elbert Or, Noel Pascual, Mervin Malonzo, Tintin Pantoja, Paolo Chikiamco, Butch Mapa, Koi Carreon, Borg Sinaban, Paul Quiroga, Cristina Chua, Mico Dimagiba, Jules Gregorio.
There’s a lot of talent out there.
Within the Philippines and without, there is a glut of wonderful artists, incredible writers. If you’re a comics fan, you almost have too many choices, both paid and free, in terms of genres and formats and creators (not to mention the other media battling for your attention).
I’m not complaining, mind you — as a reader, as a fan, this is a golden age. As a creator, seeing so many good stories is a welcome challenge.
|But it must be said: To reach readers in this golden age, it’s not enough to simply be good — you have to stand out.
It can be a daunting task for one person –
– less so, for fourteen.
Say hello to Studio Salimbal:
* John Amor (Urban Animal) http://johnamorartist.com/
* Koi Carreon (Mythspace: Lift Off) http://
* Paolo Chikiamco (Mythspace) http://www.rocketkapre.com/
* Cristina Rose Chua (Mythspace: Humanity) http://ceearrchua.tumblr.com/
* Mico Dimagiba (Mythspace: Uncommon Ground) http://libpoint.blogspot.com/
* Jules Gregorio (Mythspace: Devourers of Light) http://
* Mervin Malonzo (Tabi Po) http://www.mervinmalonzo.com/
* Butch Mapa (Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm Knights) http://
* Elbert Or (Bakemono High) http://elbertor.com/
* Tintin Pantoja (Who is AC?) http://tinpantoja.tumblr.com/
* Noel Pascual (Crime Fighting Call Cente Agents) http://
* Paul Quiroga (Mythspace: Black Mark) http://
* Borg Sinaban (Mythspace: Unfurling of Wings) http://borgsinaban.tumblr.com/
* Budjette Tan (Trese) http://
Our goals are simple: to create comics, and to create a community. To do so creatively, coherently, consistently.
We will be in stores. We will be at conventions. But we’ll also be online in a big way, with most of our stories being serialized as webcomics, because that allows us to give readers something new easily, consistently, and constantly.
How constant? By 2015, we believe we will have enough comics that we’ll be able to publish a new page every weekday for the entire year.
Our site at salimbalcomics.com — designed by the multi-talented Mervin Malonzo — will be launching this April, but our Facebook Page and Twitter are up. We’ll be running Mythspace: Lift Off as our lone weekly comic to start, followed by another Mythspace story later in the year. We’ll be using this year to test the waters, to form a community, to get used to working as a team. But behind the scenes, we’re already working on next year’s stories, and it’s a buffer we’ll be looking to maintain moving forward.
The goal is simple — not easy. But that’s why we’re doing this together — and why we would love to have you all along for the ride.
The Salimbal, after all, is a magical ship from Philippine folktales that allows people to travel to a better future. In our case, we’re hoping that our own tales will help create a better future for Philippine comics.
A new writers’ workshop catering specifically to YA novelists will be starting up this year. Since the YA genre has been a great home for specfic, I’d say that’s plenty relevant to us here at RK:
The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) formally launches the KABANATA Young Adult Writers’ Workshop with a call for fellowship applications. Slated to begin in October 2014 in Quezon City, KABANATA aims to provide a venue and support system to writers who share in PBBY’s commitment to the promotion of a culture of reading among Filipino youth by providing this growing population with books that recognize their culture, aspirations, and sense of maturity.
For a period of at least six months, fellows accepted to KABANATA will meet monthly for learning sessions with industry experts, and progress discussions with their co-fellows. Upon novel completion, PBBY will help fellows with publication by inviting publishers to bid on the finished works. With this, KABANATA hopes to produce chapter books and young adult novels that will set the bar for similar endeavors to aspire to, and be the growth spurt of what will hopefully become a thriving, diverse, and quality Filipino literature inventory for kids and teens.
Applicants are asked to submit, among other requirements, a novel-in-progress represented by three chapters and a chapter outline. Novels-in-progress should be aimed towards children within the age of 9 to 16. Those interested may visit pbby.org.ph or bit.ly/kabanata to see the application guidelines, fellowship requirements, and complete workshop details. Deadline for applications is on July 31, 2014. For further inquiries, contact KABANATA via pbby.kabanata[at]gmail.com or (02) 352-6765 local 119.
The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) is a private, non-stock, non-profit organization committed to the development and promotion of children’s literature in the Philippines and is the lead agency in the annual celebration of National Children’s Book Day (NCBD), which falls on the third Tuesday of July.
While in terms of page count, the Lift Off story will be receiving the most extensive art improvements in Mythspace Volume 1, Jules Gregorio‘s “Devourers of Light” is a close second. In fact, Jules will, in effect, be changing the medium of the artwork, as he’ll be replacing his inked pieces with a greyscale watercolored version that looks fantastic. Jules is an awesome painter, and while it wasn’t feasible to do redo Devourers in color (that would have meant doing all the stories in color, which would have pushed the compilation — and, more importantly, future stories — back by many months) we wanted to showcase that talent.
Of course, for Jules’ next project, maybe we’ll do it in color from the start… but that’s for another day. For now, look forward to the improved Devourers of Light in Mythspace Volume 1, coming in late 2014 from Visprint.
I mentioned before that the upcoming Mythspace Volume 1 from Visprint will not be a straight compilation of the existing eight issues. Art touch ups will be done for most of the stories, but by far the most extensive changes will occur in Lift Off, drawn by Koi Carreon. Those who have the single issues will see that Koi’s style changes from Part 1 to Part 2, and he’s redrawing Part 1 in his new style, and also adding little details and modifications to Parts 2 and 3 (now that he has a more relaxed deadline). Above is an example of the change, both in style and in detail, featuring the first encounter between Bros the human and Jrakan the Kapre. (Or Spaaaaace Kapre, as he is lovingly known.)
To celebrate the announcement of Mythspace Volume 1 from Visprint, and the final appearance of the individual self-published issues at next month’s Summer Komikon, Team Mythspace will be running a few contests during the month of March, both as a way of thanking old readers and enticing new ones.
We’re starting two contests today, one for artists, and another for writers. We may have more in the offing later in the month, but these two require more prep-time. Also, we reserve the right to award more than one grand prize if we just can’t choose!
(1) To qualify as a winner in these contests, you’ll need to have liked the Mythspace page on Facebook or followed us on Twitter. (If you need to choose one over the other, the Facebook page is updated more frequently.) Social networks are the easiest way to reach our readers, so if you enjoy Mythspace enough to participate in these contests, we can assure you that you won’t regret adding/following us!
(2) Prizes will either be claimed at the Summer Komikon, or we’ll send them domestically via Xend. We can’t afford to ship to non-Philippine addresses, sorry!
(3) Deadline for submissions is midnight of April 7!
MYTHSPACE FAN ART CONTEST:
Pretty self-explanatory eh? Just draw your best fan art of a Mythspace character/characters/mecha/spaceship, using whatever medium you’d like, black and white, colored, heck even a sculpture if you’d like, and send it (or a link) to us/tag us on the Mythspace fanpage or Mythspace Twitter, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best fan art takes home the grand prize! You can see some older pieces of fan art at our Facebook page.
Also: Please let us know if you’re okay with us including your submission in Mythspace volume 1, in case we have a fan art section.
MYTHSPACE ESSAY CONTEST:
A discussion of something Mythspace related — a character, a moment, a theme — that you enjoyed, or made you think. This need not be a review, mind you, just a discussion. All we ask is that it be well thought-out, articulate, and at least 400 words. Just post it somewhere online — your blog, a Facebook note, a Goodreads review — nd send it (or a link) to us/tag us on the Mythspace fanpage or Mythspace Twitter, or email us at email@example.com. Best essay takes home the prizes!
Grand Prize: A physical copy of Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer, an excellent resource for world building (an extra, unused copy), and a complete set of available art prints at Summer Komikon 2014.