I hope everyone is excited for the Trese 4 book launch this coming Saturday, 5pm, at the National Book Store Bestsellers at Robinson’s Galleria. The book is entitled “Last Seen After Midnight”. I’ve already spoken with writer Budjette Tan–now artist and co-creator Kajo Baldisimo answers my questions about Trese. As an added bonus, we have exclusive preview pages from “Wanted: Bedspacer”, one of the new cases in Trese 4. In these pages, Trese explains to a doctor the difference between two creatures of Philippine folklore. Click on the pages for a larger version.
Do you view volume 4, “Last Seen After Midnight” as the start of a new tone for the series?
The first trilogy tells the story of a hero who is still quite reluctant to accept that role. The next few volumes will show what happens when she starts facing that destiny head on.
How different was it working on this volume, as opposed to the previous ones? Was it easier or harder to complete? I can imagine that as the anticipation increases for each new installment, the pressure on you two must also be growing…
Budj was done with the scripts years ago. As for me, I had a harder time completing this book because my focus constantly zigzaged from ‘just having fun’ to ‘living up to expectations’. The book got finished when I flushed ‘expectations’ down the toilet.
For new readers who haven’t read the previous Trese graphic novels, would this be a good place to start?
The beauty of Budj’s way of writing these volumes is that you can start anywhere. (But start with volume 1, para mas masaya.)
Aside from Alexandra, the Kambal, and the regular supporting cast, are we going to see any other familiar faces?
Yes. The supporting cast are there but we are also featuring a lot of newbies.
How has your approach to the characters changed throughout the years? Do you find yourselves drawing/writing them differently, because of the stories you’ve already told or other factors?
The characters are evolving, and changes are very subtle but they’re there, in terms of both characterization and rendering. Visually, I try my best to make them as consistent as I can. I don’t always succeed, but vahtevah.
And while Budj has already answered this… that’s really a shark on the cover?
Yep. The dust jacket was Budj’s idea. I tried my best to execute the idea, make it worthwhile for some readers who are excited for the book. As for the shark, I had to remove the shades and the surfboard from initial concepts to differentiate from another body-building, shorts-wearing, mean-looking, chick-catching, clothes-peddling predator (wink).
Heh. I see what you did there. What can fans expect from Trese 4?
Same old fun, spooky, eerie, weird, fun, short, fun stories that will be worth your 30 minutes and your Starbucks money.
What can fans expect from the book launch on the 8th?
They can expect to get a nice, mint copy of Trese volume 4 for only P175, and if they will allow us, a personal ‘thank you, thank you very much’ in the form of signature from Budj and I.