Supermaker: Andrew Drilon Interview

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 17 - 2011

Andrew Drilon (“Pericos Tao“) is one of the most respected komiks creators in the country today. His latest mini-comic, “Supermaker” has garnered praise from creators such as Chris Roberson and Jeff Lemire. He talks about the inspiration for the comic here, but I still wanted to know more. I asked the always busy Andrew if he’d be willing to answer a few questions about “Supermaker” and he graciously agreed:


So… I take it you come from the “characters have a life of their own” school of thought?

 

Sometimes. Well, really, they’re all fictional constructs, but my feeling is that the act of creation is really a conversation with oneself, so some of the creator’s internal logic bleeds into the characters. You can play around with archetypes or create well-rounded personalities, but with each line/panel/image you set down, you’re building rules for them which have to be followed (or subverted with good reason). 

So yeah, I feel that once that “rule set” is established, you can extend it forwards and backwards with your imagination, giving the impression of a life outside the actual story, which allows for things like sequels and fan fiction. However I do like the thought that they exist somewhere in the second dimension, living lives outside our purview. It’s a romantic idea that I tend to obsess over.

You mentioned in your journal entry that “Supermaker” was originally a longer work, but you decided to make it shorter. How long was it, originally? What sort of cuts did you make?

It was originally designed to run in monthly 8-page installments for three years. The first “season” would have been a year, clocking in at around 96 pages, with the whole thing running to almost 300 pages. I had a ton of ideas for it–the overall stylistic theme being rampant references to (and reflections on) all the superhero comics I grew up reading—all anchored in this “real” cartoonist’s story. I wanted to do a “Supreme” or “End League”-style work, which usually starts out being derivative of other stories but evolves into own thing. I love Barth and Borges and Burroughs, and I think there are lots of ways to do metafiction comics that we haven’t seen before. In the end, though, I decided to just cut out the body and leave the heart of it–that sentiment expressed in those 8 pages, which I think is the most important aspect of the story.

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Alternative Alamat: Table of Contents

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 13 - 2011

It gives me great pleasure to finally be able to announce the table of contents of our first commercial anthology “Alternative Alamat: Stories Inspired by Philippine Mythology”. It’s been a long road, but I’ve enjoyed every step of the way. The book will be digital-only for now, and will be published in cooperation with Flipside Digital before the end of the year. I’ll be releasing more information about the anthology in the coming weeks.

“Ana’s Little Pawnshop on Makiling St.” by Eliza Victoria

“Harinuo’s Love Song” by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz

“The Last Full Show” by Budjette Tan

“The Alipin’s Tale” by Raymond G. Falgui

“Keeper of My Sky” by Timothy James Dimacali

“Conquering Makiling” by Mo Francisco

“The Sorceress Queen” by Raissa Rivera Falgui

“Beneath The Acacia” by Celestine Trinidad

“Offerings to Aman Sinaya” by Andrei Tupaz

“Balat, Buwan, Ngalan” by David Hontiveros

“A Door Opens:  The Beginning of the Fall of the Ispancialo-in-Hinirang” by Dean Alfar

Appendix A: A Few Notable Philippine Deities

Appendix B: Interview with Professor Herminia Meñez Coben

Appendix C: Interview with Professor Fernando N. Zialcita

Appendix D: On Researching Philippine Mythology

Cover and interior artwork by Mervin Malonzo

Book Launch: Elmer, Second Edition

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 12 - 2011

Convention-going komiks fans have known about Gerry Alanguilan’s Elmer for years,  but now it’s set to reach a wider audience through a second edition published by National Book Store itself. The second edition will be launched this Saturday, October 15, 2011 at Bestsellers, 4th Floor Robinson’s Galleria, Ortigas at 5pm.

According to Gerry: “This edition will be virtually the same as the previous Komikero Publishing edition, although it would have a new afterword, a sample of the script, and drawings previously available in the Elmer Limited Edition Box Sets. Because of my agreement with my publishers abroad, this edition will only be made available here in the Philippines.”

If you don’t have a copy of Elmer–or, heck, even if you do–this would be a perfect time to pick up what is, to date, probably the most critically renowned Philippine graphic novel. It’s won the 2011 Prix Asie-ACBD  Award, been included in a list of essential reading by the Association of Critics and Journalists Love, and been nominated for best comic book of the year award by two French festivals, and the “Best Graphic Album-New” in the Eisner Awards.

Trese 4 Launch Videos

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 11 - 2011

So last Saturday’s book launch of Trese volume 4, “Last Seen After Midnight” was a smashing success. Not every Trese fan could be there of course, which is why I’m uploading the question and answer portion of the event. After all, how else is the world going to know the rift running through the middle of Trese fandom: should Alexandra ever get a romantic interest? Budjette and Kajo also address fan influence on the storylines, a Zsazsa Zaturnnah crossover (make it happen!) and when book 5 will be coming out.

Trese 4 Pre-Launch Interview: Kajo Baldisimo (with Sneak Preview)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 6 - 2011

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?

Parang yes.

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.

Or not.

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.

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All of the pieces for the third set of stories at PGS Online, co-edited by Kenneth Yu and Dean Alfar, have been uploaded to the site. If you haven’t read them yet, here they are (click on the image to go to the story):

Trese 4 Pre-Launch Interview: Budjette Tan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 4 - 2011

The much anticipated fourth book in the Trese series (which is popular enough to merit a Wikipedia entry) will be launched this Saturday, October 8, 5pm, at the NBS Best Sellers branch at Robinson’s Galleria. The book is entitled “Last Seen After Midnight”. I caught up with series writer Budjette Tan to ask him about the newest installment of Alexandra Trese’s ongoing adventures.

In many ways, Trese: Mass Murders (the previous volume) felt like an ending to a chapter of Alexandra’s life. Do you view volume 4 as something of a fresh start?

At one time, there was actually a possibility that the stories in Book 4 might have been part of Book 3 to begin with.

I never really envisioned Book 3 to be such a sprawling story arc. I really tried to tell the story of the Great Balete Tree in 20 –pages and was trying to tell the “secret origin” of the Kambal in the usual 20-pages as well. But as I kept writing that story, it just didn’t allow itself to be contained in 20-pages. So, it ended up becoming 113 pages long!

Book 4 is once again a collection of stand-alone stories. I like doing these types of stories. They feel more like a short jog, as compared on the long marathon that was Book 3.

We’ve actually started on Book 5. Looking at where that is planned to go, I think Book 5 will come closer to a “fresh start” for Trese. Or maybe it’ll take her down new path,s is more like it. We hope to finish Book 5 before the Summer Komikon of 2012.

So we’re seeing a return to the episodic cases then. How many pages will this volume be?

This volume will have four new cases. Each case is a stand-alone story. The stories range from 20 to 22 pages. We’ve actually released three of these cases in the past Komikons because we wanted to always have something new for the readers, just to show them that we are working on the new book. It also pressured us to finish each case for whatever was the upcoming Komikon of the quarter.

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RK Recommends: “Child of Fire” by Harry Connolly

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 26 - 2011

I’m contributing monthly book reviews over at Fantasy Faction, a fast-growing hub for fantasy fans that updates daily with writing tips, interviews, and reviews. My first assignment is Harry Connolly’s highly enjoyable first novel in his Twenty Palaces series, “Child of Fire.” You can read the review here. Let’s have an excerpt shall we?

“Child of Fire” is the first novel in Harry Connolly’s “Twenty Palaces” urban fantasy–well, perhaps urban horror would be a more appropriate term–series (three books long so far), featuring ex-convict Ray Lilly and the precarious situations he finds himself in due to his association with the Twenty Palaces Society. The Society is a group of mages who are less like benevolent protectors of humanity, and more like an autonomous black-ops crew. The Society eliminates magical threats, and damn any collateral damage to innocents or allies or poor ol’ Ray.

The thing that surprises me the most about “Child of Fire” is that, on paper, it should not be the type of book I enjoy.

I’m not a big fan of horror in general, and Lovecraftian horror in particular, that subgenre of horror which deals with the insignificance of humanity in the face of unknowable cosmic entities. There are a lot of well-written Lovecraftian tales out there, but I’m simply not the target audience, given my taste for stories that focus on human agency, on people and their choices. (That and I’m a scaredy-cat.) However, while “Child of Fire” borrows liberally from aspects of Lovecraftian horror, with creatures and scenes which I found to be viscerally disturbing, it also allows the actions of human beings to matter, and allows them to push back against the darkness.

Go here for the full review, but if you haven’t read the novel yet, I urge you to check it out. It’s only US$0.99 on the Kindle.

2011 Komikon Awards: Open for Voting

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 15 - 2011

The voting period for the 2011 Komikon Awards, which has been rolling out nominations for the past few weeks, has officially begun and will last for one month, terminating on October 15, 2011.

You can click here for instruction on how to register/vote, and go here for the actual casting of your virtual ballots. Here are the links to the categories and their respective nominees:

BEST FILIPINO INTERNATIONAL ARTIST

BEST COMIC: Graphic Novel /Anthology

BEST COMIC: Series

BEST COMIC: Comic Strip Compilation

BEST COMIC CREATOR

BEST COVER

BEST CARTOONIST

GRASSROOT AWARD

BEST WEBCOMIC

KOMIKS CHARACTER

BEST COMICS SCENE

Visprint WIT 2011

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 12 - 2011

The indefatigable Charles Tan has uploaded audio recordings from the recently concluded 1st Annual Visprint Readers’ Day event entitled “WIT” or “Writers in Talks”, including presentations by speculative fiction writers such as Budjette Tan, Karl de Mesa, Paolo Fabregas, Karen Francisco and Carlo Vergara. There’s a lot of material here aimed at creating your own works of fiction/komiks, so aspiring writers and creators, take note.

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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.

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