Archive for November, 2011

Reminder: Komikon 2011 is Tomorrow

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 18 - 2011

Lest anyone forget, the annual Philippine Comic/Komiks Convention, or Komikon, will be held tomorrow, Saturday, from 10AM to 7PM at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig (across Pioneer Supermarket).  Don’t miss out on the cornucopia of indie comic offerings, not to mention what may be your only chance to get a physical copy of High Society. I’ll be at the Flipside Digital Content booth with less than a hundred copies of High Society ready to sell, and I might have to leave at around 5PM so that’s your window of opportunity.  My partner in crime, the amazing Hannah Buena, will be at the con as well, but–being as in demand as she is–she’ll be flitting from booth to booth, so your best time to get your copies signed by Hannah will be sometime after lunch, maybe around 3PM.

Beneath the cut is a map of the venue–Flipside is at E-31 to E-32, so that’s where I’ll be. Looking forward to seeing everyone there! (And here’s a map to the Bayanihan Center if you need directions.) And, of course, there will be many other komiks at the con, most of which are only available during conventions. Macoy has a partial list and Flipgeeks has some previews as does the 100 Araw ng Komiks Facebook community.

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PSF6 Review: Carpaccio (or, Repentance as a Meat Recipe) by Arlynn Despi

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 17 - 2011

This post is a part of our story-by-story review of Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 6. You can see the introductory post, and our disclaimers here. Bold font is Mia Tijam, everything else is Paolo Chikiamco.

—Ugly title.

I’m probably not the ideal reader for this story, given that my appreciation for the fine art of cooking is limited to my enthusiastic consumption of its more fattening products.

—-Haha dude, the unisex battle with the gut (and the thunder thighs and the flabby arms) is like the law of gravity especially when you hit the 30’s.

[Pao: Bah, I knew I should have pigged out more in 2008…]

Hahahaha! Man you just crack me up!

Nevertheless, I have to say that this being the first story I’ve ever read from Despi, I’m looking forward to reading more from her. She’s skilled at slipping the appropriate details into a descriptive sentence, to make a setting more concrete.

Yeah, it did make me initially hungry then it made me feel like I was watching a dragging cooking show because of these details. And because of the latter, the story lost its gruesome effect, that macabre effect in delicious cannibalism. C’mon, I wanted it to make feel “Yuuuuuuuuck…Sarap!” Just the way every time I watch Hannibal Lecter eating brain makes me want to eat Isaw or Ox Brain or Sisig.

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High Society News: Giveaway, Komikon, iTunes, Reviews

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 15 - 2011

Bonus Art from "High Society" artist Hannah Buena


Some news on the High Society front: first off, the comic is part of the Kindle Komix Krazy giveaway of Flipreads. You can click the link for more detailed  instructions, but basically all you need to do is send in a picture of yourself using a Kindle or a Kindle App, write a bit about your love of local comics, and you’ll get High Society on the Kindle for free. If you’d rather pay for your copy–and hey, I certainly wouldn’t turn that down–High Society is also currently going for a reduced price of $0.99 (US price) for a limited time.

Edit: If you’re reading this before November 18, Tina is also giving out a free Kindle copy of High Society to someone who comments on her review of the comic.

If you’d rather get your copies from the iTunes store,you can get your copy here. As I also mentioned yesterday, you can also get an ePub or PDF copy from Flipreads, the new Philippine digital bookstore, here.

Of course, there are also readers who’d prefer a physical copy of High Society (whether instead of or in addition to the digital one), and if so, do pass by the Flipside table at this Saturday’s (November 19) annual Komikon, at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig. We’ll be selling a limited number of photocopied versions of High Society, and Hannah and I should both be at the table at some point (probably not for the whole day) for anyone who wants signed copies. And hey, you know what? If you bring your digital copy of High Society on your ereading device (Kindle, iDevice, Android, Laptop, etc.) I’ll sell you the physical copy at a discounted price.

For prospective readers still on the fence about whether or not High Society is for them, you can check out reviews from some of the country’s most popular komiks review sites: Flipgeeks has comments from Norby Ela and Earl Maghirang; Mark Rosario, on the other hand, reviews High Society at Planet Markus.

Edit: We’ve also begun to receive reviews from intrepid book bloggers, such as Tina over at One More Page, one of the few readers who’ve seen both the old and new versions of “High Society”–lucky for us, she liked both versions.

Launch:, Philippine Digital Bookstore

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 14 - 2011

Flipside Digital, my publisher for “High Society“, has just launched what I think is the first dedicated digital bookstore in the country. You can now buy a copy of “High Society” in ePUB format or screen-optimized PDF e-book format at, as well as other Flipside Digital titles from the likes of Manix Abrera, Tweet Sering, Carljoe Javier, Ian Rosales Casocot, and Charlson Ong. Here’s the press release from the event:

Filipinos can now have easier access to eBooks through the online eBookstore, Likewise, authors and publishers can now distribute their eBooks more widely and securely through the same website, which was launched on November 11 2011 from 4-7PM at the Celebrity Sports Club Grand Ballroom. is owned and developed by Flipside Publishing Services, a sister company of Flipside Digital Content. Flipside Digital Content, previously just a conversion house catering to four of the top six international publishers, is responsible for publishing and co-publishing more than 70 Filipino and Asian eBooks on Amazon, Apple iBookstore, and Barnes and Noble just in its first six months of operation. Most of these international eBookstores, however, are not available to the local populace. Filipinos can only buy from Amazon, albeit with an added cost of $2 per book.

Now, Flipside is making eBooks more accessible especially for Filipinos through Readers can download eBooks onto their Apple or Android devices. They can even download it onto their PCs or Macs. Whereas before, Filipinos could only buy eBooks legitimately if they had credit cards, but with Flipreads, they may use other payment gateways such as CashSense and, in the near future, Globe GCash, and Smart Money. Flipreads also serves as a secure distribution platform for Filipino publishers, authors, and other
content providers. Therefore, publishers can now sell their eBooks securely through

Authors can also opt to independently publish their titles through the site. Other institutions and entities can also distribute their digital materials safely through Flipreads. eBooks distributed through Flipreads can be made secure through the use of Adobe Content Server’s DRM. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management and is the means by which eBooks are protected from casual piracy. Alternatively, authors and publishers may choose to distribute their eBooks for free through the Flipreads site.Flipreads also hopes to provide a venue to publishers and authors to bring previously out-of-print titles back into circulation. Since everything is online, these titles will also be available to an international market.

For more information, email or call +632-5709255 or +63917-6206244

Bert Lopez at Komikon

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 12 - 2011

Gerry Alanguilan has a post about the plight of comic artist Bert Lopez, who was recently featured on “Wish Ko Lang”. Head over there to read the details and watch the videos, but suffice it to say that it would be good to pass by Mr. Lopez’s table at the Komikon this coming Saturday, November 19.


PSF6 Review: “Ashland” by Elyss Punsalan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 10 - 2011

This post is a part of our story-by-story review of Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 6. You can see the introductory post, and our disclaimers here. Bold font is Mia Tijam, everything else is Paolo Chikiamco.

This is probably my favorite story in this volume of PSF6. “Ashland” is the story of a widow who is assigned to monitor an area where a strange type of ash falls, an ash that consumes sound. We’re never quite sure if this is a place on Earth or beyond it, but that just heightens the feeling of isolation that is essential to the story.

Really? I thought it was about ash. I’m kidding! I’m kidding! This is a good example of a story that is anchored on setting.

What I like the most about “Ashland” is how well the core concept of the story pulls all the other aspects of the story together. One of the things that distinguishes the best fiction from real life is the ability to create a sort of unity to events, a commonality of theme: as you might guess from the synopsis, most of “Ashland” revolves around sound, both its presence and its absence.

—- Aaaaw Counsel you’re getting poetic right there— the absence that is a presence and vice versa—- But yeah, I like the attempt of this story on deconstructing “sound”.

[Pao: Just goes to show how far I usually am from "poetic" if my using that kind of juxtaposition merits an "Aaaaw" ^_^]

— Hahahaha!

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Call for Artists: David Hontiveros Project

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 7 - 2011

David Hontiveros has won a Palanca award and been nominated for a National Book Award His work spans both prose (his Penumbra novellas) and comics (Bathala: Apokalypsis), and he’s looking for an artist to collaborate with on a new project. If you’re interested, or know someone who might be, check here for further information.

PSF6 Review: “Alternative Histories” by Ian Rosales Casocot

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 3 - 2011

This post is a part of our story-by-story review of Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 6. You can see the introductory post, and our disclaimers here. Bold font is Mia Tijam, everything else is Paolo Chikiamco.

—Title’s obvious.

If you’ve ever witnessed our #RP612 Twitter fiction events, you know that Twitter-length alternative history stories are right in my ballpark.

So that’s what it’s called? Twitter fiction? Twition? Twitfic? Twific? And if it’s good do you say “Tweet!” And when it’s bad twitter fiction— what do you call it? Finger fart? Twit? Twat? Just asking.

The key to really short stories, from what I’ve seen, is to be able to construct them in a way that they read as something immediate, as opposed to something academic. Jotting down a one sentence summary of a story idea is not the same as crafting a piece of microfiction.

— It’s the whole application of 140 max characters as the constraint. In Media Res at its core. Question is was this constraint maximized?

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Kevin Libranda Talks Novus Karma and Aporia

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 2 - 2011

You may recognize Kevin Libranda’s art style from his work on Aporia for Mangaholix. This year, he launched Novus Karma, a manga-style story set in Manila, which is published at caught up with him via email to talk about past, present, and future projects.

Hello Kevin! How would you describe Novus Karma to a prospective reader? Do you believe it will appeal to fans of your work on Aporia?

Hi! How would I describe NK…I guess it’s sort of like a mix of the TV series Heroes and the anime Ah! My Goddess. I feel that it has a deeper backstory since it’s sci-fi/fantasy. It can be a bit confusing at first, but I promise that the plot, when compared with that of my other stories, will only get better and better–especially the climax and ending. That’s all I can say. :)

Now as for the fans of Aporia, I’m not sure if they’ll like NK. Aporia is purely a fantasy/adventure, and my target audience for it are Filipino children 13 years old and below. If I can talk about Aporia for a moment, while it’s true that there’s a huge amount of characters introduced over just 7 chapters, I believe that Pinoy fans can still appreciate and understand it, given that the characters and setting are based on Filipino folklore/mythology (except for the Aegis, which I’ve taken from Greek mythology). NK was made for a more mature audience: its theme is darker, plus there’s a touch of gore and a little nudity. XD

How did the comic end up with

After leaving my old job, I immediately started looking for a new one. It took me a couple of months though, so while waiting and basically bumming around, I used my free time to conceptualize NK. That was when I met a fellow DA artist who was working for I read his work and I got interested, so I decided to apply at, too. They asked for the usual requirements: sample pages, character designs… Lucky for me, they liked the general story of NK, so I got accepted.

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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.