Archive for October, 2009

Komikon 2009 in Pictures

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 19 - 2009


Another year, another (non-summer) Komikon. It was great fun, as always, and holding it at the Megatrade Hall at SM Megamall made it easier to circulate from booth to booth, despite the fact that there were probably more people at yesterday’s event than at the Summer Komikon at UP.
The throngs of fans waiting for a ticket


I’m happy I finally had a reason to introduce myself to Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo (Trese), as well as Mervin Ignacio and Ian Sta. Maria (Skyworld) (Here’s an old review of Trese 1 and Skyworld 1 over at Komiks…). There were a lot of other Filipino creators present–both as participants at the con, and as fans–but as most of them were swamped with customers and admirers (or, as was the case with Gerry Alanguilan, frequently at center stage), I wasn’t able to meet as many as I would have liked; after all, it seemed kind of boorish to engage artists in fannish Q&As when they could be making sales–in other words, we need more panels guys!


Art Auction for the benefit of Typhoon Victims

However, I was–finally–able to meet Dado de Guzman (the fantastic young artist who designed the logo and banners for Rocket Kapre) as well as his fellow artist Maya, both of whom are part of the Artspice art group.

Picture 092

Sadly I wasn’t able to watch the Komikon awards, nor the Q&A with Budjette and Kajo (if anyone was able to attend and had any impressions–hints as to Book 4 maybe–please let us know in the comments). I was able to nab most of the komiks on my list however, so coupled with the time spent in an atmosphere of creativity and appreciation, it was a day well spent. The next big con is the Mangaholix  M3Con right? See you guys there ^_^

More Komikon pictures after the cut, but here are a few links to other posts on Komikon 2009, by fans and creators. If you know of any I’ve missed, or have posted one yourself which I did not include here, please let me know in the comments:

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Reminder: Komikon 2009 is today

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 18 - 2009

Here’s a list of some new books that will be available at the Komikon:

  • ELMER COLLECTED EDITION by Gerry Alanguilan
  • WHERE BOLD STARS GO TO DIE Written by Gerry Alanguilan, Illustrated by Arlanzandro C. Esmeña
  • UNDERPASS featuring Sim by Gerry Alanguilan, Judas Kiss by David Hontiveros, Budjette Tan and Oliver Pulumbarit,
    Katumbas by David Hontiveros and Ian Sta. Maria, The Clinic by Budjette Tan and Ka-jo Baldisimo.
    Published by Yonzon Associates
  • Francisco V. Coching’s EL INDIO
  • KOMIKERO COMICS #3 Created and Published by the Komikero Artists Group
  • TRESE 3 Mass Murders by Budjette Tan and Ka-jo Baldisimo
  • Manix Abrera’s “12?
  • Lyndon Gregorio’s “Go Beerkada Rise of the Jhologs”
  • Bayan Knights issue 3

Here are the indie participants at the indie tiangge for this year:

1. Leaf
2. RH Quilantang
3. Meganon Comics
4. Macoy
5. Gio Paredes
6. Josel Nicolas
7. I-North
8. Mel Casipit
10. Silent Sanctum
11. Greepo Comic Group
12. Decaf
13. Atomic Underground
14. C-Shock Team
15. Revel Production
16. Kid Corva
17. Makurai
18. Milkusheki Monday
19. Kickbackers
20. Abono Comics
21. Lady Storykeeper
22. Bien del Rosario
23. Obvious Productions
24. Kame-Kame

See you later everyone! A copy of the schedule is after the break.

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Farthest Shore: 2 Weeks After

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 16 - 2009

The Farthest Shore (Cover)

No, no, this is not some zombie-sequel–it’s been two weeks since the release of the Farthest Shore, and with the anthology being mentioned over at the Agony Column (thanks to Bibliophile Stalker, as always, fore the heads up) I thought it might be a good time to compile some linkage.

Friday Focus: A Treasury of Stories

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 16 - 2009

When I was a child, I loved reading myths and legends from all over the world: Greek, Roman, Chinese, African, Norse, you name it… The exceptions were, you guessed it, myths and legends from my own country. The sad fact of the matter was that none of the folklore presented to me in school appealed to sensibilities already ignited by my early exposure to fantasy fiction–where were the grand battles, the horrific monsters, the contending divinities?

Of course when I grew older, I discovered that our myths and legends were more varied and interesting than I’d surmised from the sanitized, committee-approved versions of the old tales that were fed to school children. However, actually finding these stories, or at least those not studied in schools, can be difficult given that most of these tales form part of our oral, not written, tradition. Fortunately, there do exist quality compendiums of stories that shine a spotlight on lesser known tales, and the “Treasury of Stories” from Anvil Publishing is both one of the broadest in scope, and one of the most accessible to an English speaking audience. (I also note from the Anvil website that there is a textbook edition–if so, I envy those students.)


The collection, first published in 1997, was put together by E. Arsenio Manuel and Gilda Cordero-Fernando, and illustrated by Carlos Valino Jr. It contains thirty-three myths, legends and folktales from all across the Philippines, distributed amongst three broad categories: The Mythological Age, The Heroic Age, and Folk Tales from All Ages. With the exception of a few of the animal stories such as “The Monkey and the Tortoise”, all of the stories were new to me, even if some of the characters, like Bantugan and (ugh) Juan Tamad, were not; prospective readers leery of buying yet another version of “Si Malakas at Maganda” need not worry. The stories range from light-hearted romance (“Kimod and the Swan Maiden”) to an apocalyptic battle with enough bloodshed and heroics to satisfy a fan of Frank Miller’s “300” (“The Ascension Into Heaven”). Given the age of these narratives however, even the stories that focus on the relationship of a husband and wife are rife with morbid fates and cruel punishments; think Grimm’s Fairy Tales—the original versions.

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Filipinos in the Honorable Mentions List of the Year’s Best Horror

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 16 - 2009

As seen on the PGS Blog. Congratulations everyone!

Wonderful (and belated) news!

Three PGS contributors get Honorable Mentions for Best Horror Of The Year from esteemed editor Ellen Datlow. She put up her list last October 3, 2009, and I only saw it now (my thanks to Elyss Punsalan for pointing it out).

The three PGS contributors are:

Elyss Punsalan for “Thirty-Two” from Story Philippines, Volume 2.

Yvette Tan for “Seek Ye Whore” from the July issue of Rogue.

Apol Lejano-Massebieau for “Psychic Family” from Philippine Genre Stories 4.

Congratulations to you all! Thank you very much, Ms. Datlow!

My thanks too to The Bibliophile Stalker for sending PGS and other local fiction publications abroad!

Trese 3 Get!

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 15 - 2009

Guess what landed on my doorstep this morning?

Visprint has an announcement up for those who pre-ordered during the bookfair (and a contact email for any delays) but my copy was waiting when I returned home at aroun 11:30 a.m. today.

It comes with a signed sketch and signatures in the book itself from creators Budjette and Kajo. Fans will also be happy to note it clocks in at a hefty 140 pages of all-new content–almost as much as the first two volumes combined.

For those who missed out on the pre-order, Trese 3: Mass Murders will also be available at this year’s Komikon at Megamall this Sunday, October 18. Congrats to Budjette, Kajo, and all those involved! I’ll be re-reading the first two volumes before plunging into the new volume, and I should have a review ready soon.

Ideas Alive: Videos now available

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 15 - 2009

Just a screencap, not an embeded video-links are below ^_^

In case, like me, you missed the Ideas Alive talk last Saturday, J. Vincent over at Read Now has uploaded videos of the event over at youtube: you can watch Budjette Tan’s (Trese) presentation here and here, and Jomike Tejido’s (Foldabots) here and here.

Talasalitaan: Panabas

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 15 - 2009

If you’ll recall we mentioned last week that the kampilan was one of the larger swords in use in the pre-hispanic Philippines, but perhaps it was simply not imposing enough for your berserker (or perhaps “amok”) hero. In that case, don’t go around contriving a plot wherein your hero fashions a buster sword from solid rock: consider first, the panabas (pasabat).

The pasabat is a huge chopping weapon, with a forward curved blade–widest near the point–that could be  lovechild of a sword and an axe. Reaching a length of up to four feet, the sword’s name, according to Wikipedia, a shortening of the word “pang-tabas“, which means chopping tool. As such, its etymological origins are the root word tabas (“to chop off”) and the prefix pang (“used for”). Filipino Martial Culture tells us that the weapon was popular in the Malabang, Cotobato and Labuan areas of Mindanao, and was primarily used for executions. This is corroborated in Sandata, which goes on to state that the panabas was used by warriors who “mopped up” any survivors of the first-wave of an attack, and that the panabas symbolized the power and prestige of the chieftain (datu) in his ability to control violence.

In more recent times, the weapon also saw a lot of use in jungle warfare that occurred during World War II.

As with the kampilan, the Macao Museum of Art’s History of Steel in Eastern Asia has a few striking images of particular panabas (as well as other Filipino weapons).

“Talasalitaan” is the Tagalog word for “vocabulary.” In these posts, we’ll spotlight Filipino terms, concepts, beings and objects which one might encounter–or use–in Speculative Fiction based in or inspired by the Philippines.

Image of the pasabat from wikipedia; alibata font used in slider image is © 1998, 2006 by Victor Ganata and released under the GNU Lesser General Public License.

In Praise of Debate

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 14 - 2009

On the World SF News Blog, Lavie Tidhar has an editorial up that encourages debate in the speculative fiction field, using as a jumping-off point the recent controversy sparked by John Ottinger’s now-deleted post.  Here’s an excerpt:

The problem with Ottinger’s post was not (or not only) his argument, but his desire to halt debate. His call to “shut up!” is unfortunate, and his removing of the original post regrettable. I don’t believe in shutting up (as my long-suffering wife-to-be will tell you), and I believe open debate is essential to all literature, and that the science fiction field could only benefit from talking about such things.

I’d like to address one particular point that seems to crop up again and again in this debate. It is to do with the nature of “Story”. Here is a quote from a blogger responding to a similar discussion over on (fantasy author) Jim C. Hines’ blog:

An editor can only choose from submitted stories. You do not necessarily know the race or even gender of an author, based on name alone.

Followed by:

I don’t think stories should be set on a quota of so many stories from white, Hispanic, etcetera, but on the quality of the fiction presented, and editor/reader appeal.

Now, quality is an interesting word. In a reply to Ottinger’s original post, for instance, someone made the argument that submissions should be anonymous, therefore removing the identity of the writer from consideration and focusing only on “the story”.

Story. Quality.

I find that interesting. This approach – which I see crop quite often in this debate – confuses me. Does “Story” exist in a sort of deep-space vacuum, an entity entirely divorced from culture, background, heritage, identity? Or does Story default to a specific set of parameters – the elusive “Quality” the commentator is talking about? And what would such a default be?

Read the rest of the article here.

Writer’s Wednesday: Ideas Edition

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 14 - 2009


This week’s Writer’s Wednesday is brought to you by: the Brainfood Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Workshop. The participants were asked to come up with one story concept each for fantasy and science fiction.

Baiting the Muse (Links):

We covered (traditional) fantasy pretty well last week, so let’s cover some recent news and developments in science that lend themselves to speculation:

Aaand… let’s end there, because I know of no way to top that ^_^

Consulting the Muse (Tips):

Here are some links to articles/posts/interviews that try to answer that hoary old question: Where do you get your ideas?

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About Me

Rocket Kapre is an imprint of Eight Ray Sun Publishing Inc. (a new Philippine-based publisher), dedicated to bringing the very best of Philippine Speculative Fiction in English to a worldwide audience by means of digital distribution. More info can be found at our About section at the top of the page.