Image from panitikan.ph

Last Saturday, not only did “Alternaitve Alamat” win in the 1st Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, but I also leaned that “Alternative Alamat“, as well as “High Society“–my steampunk comic with Hannah Buena–have been nominated for a Manila Critics Circle “Special Prize for an Ebook” for this year’s National Book Awards.

Ta-da!

The nomination has me thrilled on multiple levels – not the least of which is because I’ve been nominated twice (*shudders with glee*). It’s also great because I think this is the first time an award like this is being given, and it shows that literary institutions such as the National Book Development Board and the MCC are starting to recognize digital publishing. Not to mention the fact that two of the nominees are komiks (and congrats to our friend Adam David for the nomination for “The Long Weekend”) and I always enjoy it when komiks are given their due.  I’m also happy for my publisher/co-publisher Flipside Digital , which as you can see dominates this category quite handily–the folks at Flipside are top-notch, and it’s great that their efforts are being recognized.

The names of the winners will be revealed during the awarding ceremonies that will be held on November 17 at the National Museum, so keep your fingers crossed everyone!

2nd Filipino Readercon Link Roundup

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 21 - 2012

The 2nd Filipino Reader Conference was a blast — and not just because of Rocket Kapre’s big win. I served as the master of ceremonies last year and this year, and in almost every way, the 2012 Filipino Readercon was both bigger and better. The “bigger” part was self evident – the Filipinas Heritage Library is easily more than four times the size of the SMX conference room we had last year, and the number of participants coming and going was easily in excess of two hundred. Unlike last year, we needed to split into two “branches” of parallel panels/discussions for much of the day. In spite of the number of people, the organizers managed to also achieve their goal of allowing for more socialization during the events, both during the socials, and by providing a space outside with vendors where people could mill around and talk without disturbing the official discussions. The socialization wasn’t even limited to those who were present at the venue – Pacific Rims author Rafe Bartholomew was gracious enough to stay up late to join the discussion of his book, and the social networking team of the Filipino Readercon did an excellent job of keeping folks outside of the venue up-to-date, and we even trended nationwide on Twitter for a bit!

From the Filipino Readercon FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.175585962566534.18084.165183073606823&type=3

Of course, I’m far from the only one who had a great time, so here’s a list of links to other posts about the 2nd Filipino Reader Conference. [If you've posted about it too, just comment in the links portion and I'll add you in when I update.] Congratulations again to everyone involved, and see you next year!

 

 

The 2nd Filipino Reader Conference took place last Saturday and it was a resounding success, with more than two hundred book lovers of all sorts – writers, fans, publishers, kindle fanatics, paperback hoarders, librarians, book club members – converging at the Filipinas Heritage Libraryand celebrating the joy of a good read. For us at Rocket Kapre, it was even more memorable because “Alternative Alamat” took home the top prize in the “Short Story Anthology category in the first ever Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards. (Which was a great way to cap a day filled with more good news on the awards front – but more on that later.)

Photo c/o AA contributor Eliza Victoria http://sungazer.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/the-2nd-filipino-readers-convention/

It’s a great honor to receive the award – while I wanted to make “Alternative Alamat” accessible to non-Filipinos, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that introducing my countrymen to the beauty of the less-well known aspects of our mythology and heritage, as well as to the talents of Filipino speculative fiction writers, is one of the foremost reasons why I published the anthology in the first place. Congratulations and thanks goes to my wonderful contributors, to Mervin Malonzo for his beautiful art, to Professors Herminia Meñez Coben and Fernando N. Zialcita for sharing their time and expertise, and to the good folks at Flipside Digital who co-published the book and handled all the back end details that would’ve driven me crazy. Thanks as well to the judges for their acknowledgment, and all the readers whose votes allowed us to make the short-list.

Here’s what the judges had to say:

Alternative Alamat does for Philippine deities what Neil Gaiman’s American Gods did for the lesser-known gods of Europe, Asia and Africa. Readers will find that the gods, goddesses and supernatural beings of the Philippines are as fascinating as those of any other nation’s pantheon. By turns shocking, tragic, even malevolent—the beings featured in this collection of stories are given new shape and form in stories that traverse the past and the present of Filipino culture. If myth is said to form a nation’s collective subconscious, then Alternative Alamat gives Filipino readers a much-needed injection of myths that are truly ours, and truly deserving of more widespread attention. Because of this collection, we’ll never view Filipino mythology the same way again.

Guess it might be time to shop around for a print publisher huh?

Update: “A Bottle of Stormclouds” Availability

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 14 - 2012

Based on the latest status update from publisher Visprint, Eliza Victoria’s A BOTTLE OF STORM CLOUDS (which we’ve mentioned before) is now available in the following locations, for P220.00:

Fully Booked – The Fort, Greenhills Promenade, Gateway Mall, SM Mall of Asia, The Block North EDSA, Rockwell, Shangri-la, Greenbelt 5, Trinoma

Bibliarch – Glorietta 3 and Waltermart Pasong Tamo

Pandayan Bookshop Metro Manila branches

The books will also be in stock soon at National Book Store, Powerbooks Store and all other provincial branches.

2nd Filipino Readercon: Program and Pre-Registration

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 13 - 2012

Last week was a bit… distracting, for those of us here in Manila, but I’d like to remind everyone that United We Read, the second Filipino ReaderCon, (an event for all Filipino readers, book bloggers, book club members, publishers and educators who have a passion for books and reading) will be taking place this Saturday, at the Filipinas Heritage Library, from 8-6PM. I’ll be there to facilitate one of the panels, and likely to be your master of ceremonies as well. You can pre-register at this page. Still undecided? Here’s the event program for you to check out (click to see full sized):

And here’s a press release:

READERS UNITE FOR THE 2ND FILIPINO READER CONVENTION

Reading advocates, in partnership with the Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL) and National Book Development Board (NBDB), bring you United We Read: the 2nd Filipino Reader Conference on 18 August 2012, Saturday, 8:00am at the Filipinas Heritage Library, Makati City.

Organized by readers for readers, the convention aims to bring together Filipino readers and book lovers, book bloggers, book clubs, authors, publishers, and educators who are passionate about books and reading, promoting interaction between local readers, writers, and publishers.

United We Read will feature panel discussions on Reading Everwhere: Scanning the Reading Environment, book blogging ethics, publishers’ perspectives on readers, school reading programs that work, and authors as readers. Speakers for the one-day event include publishing industry veterans such as Maru de Castro (Pandora’s Books), Feliz Perez (Mt. Cloud Bookshop), Zarah Gagatiga (Philippine Board on Books for Young People), Nida Ramirez (Visprint), Aleks Tan (OMF Literature), and Gwen Galvez (Anvil Publishing). Book bloggers Kai Agito (Amaterasu Reads), Blooey Singson (Bookmarked!), and Jaime Salazar (Random Salt) round up the morning sessions.

In the afternoon, authors Manix Abrera, Mina V. Esguerra, Jun Balde, Budjette Tan, Bebang Siy, and Dean Alfar will be on hand for discussion, followed by book discussions that will be hosted by local book clubs Flips Flipping Pages, The Mysterious Reading Society, De La Salle Literature Circle, and The Filipino Goodreads Group.

The conference will also host the awarding of the 1st Filipino Reader’s Choice Awards. An initiative of the Filipino Book Bloggers (http://filipinobookbloggers.wordpress.com), the awards seeks to engage the Filipino reading public in honouring their favourite Philippine-published titles. Book nominees eligible for the award are titles which were published locally from January 2010 until December 2011.

Scholastic Philippines, Lampara Books, McDonald’s Philippines, Flipreads, Anvil Publishing, Inc, Hachette Philippines, Amici Philippines, OMF Literature, Inc, and Adarna House are proud sponsors of this event.

Everyone is invited to join. Registration fee is P150.00, inclusive of snacks and a certificate of attendance. For more details, visit the Filipino Readercon website at http://filipinoreadercon.wordpress.com or the Filipinas Heritage Library website (http://www.filipinaslibrary.org.ph). You can also call the Filipinas Heritage Library at 892-1801 (look for Verne), send an SMS to 0917-5612413, or email unitedweread@filipinaslibrary.org.ph

 Sponsors of the 2nd Filipino Readercon:

Co-Presentors

Sponsors

Fantastika Filipinas: Dean Alfar at DLSU

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 2 - 2012

The Literature Circle of De La Salle University will be holding an event called Fantastika Filipinas: A Talk on Philippine Speculative Fiction by one of the leading Filipino writers of the genre, multiple Palanca winner and Philippine Speculative Fiction 8 co-editor (and Alternative Alamat contributor) Dean Alfar. The event will be held tomorrow, on the 3rd of August, Friday, from 2:00-3:30 pm at Yuchengo 507.

Fundraising: Philippine Reps for the Global Graphic Novel Conference

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 31 - 2012

The 1st Global Conference: The Graphic Novel aims to “examine, explore and critically engage with issues in and around the production, creation and reading of all forms of comics and graphic novels.” The organizers have invited a team of Filipino professors from the University of the Philippines to talk about komiks at this global conference, but since it takes place in the United Kingdom, our representatives have turned to the public to raise the needed funds. Here’s an excerpt from the post of komiks aficionado and specfic author Carljoe Javier:

The session will be called A League of our Own: Cultural Appropriations in Contemporary Philippine Comics. Leading the panel is one of the pioneers of teaching and studying comic books in the Philippine academe, Prof. Emil Flores, PhD. (and a komiks creator himself). His paper is  “Up in the Sky, Feet on the Ground: Cultural Identity in Filipino Superhero Komiks.” Micaela Chua is a Summa cum Laude grad, Erasmus scholar, and is currently working on her MA thesis on comics. Her paper is “Enabling Mythologies: Specificity and Myth-making in TRESE” And there’s me, Carl Javier (you can also throw a Prof. in front of my name, though I am still not accustomed to it). I’ve written a few books on geekiness and I’ll be presenting a paper called “Filipino humor and the Filipinization of Foreign Tropes in Macoy’s ‘Taal Volcano Monster vs. Evil Space Paru-Paro’.”

The trio are exploring several fundraising avenues. First is Komiks Rox, a benefit concert that will also feature cosplay (rules pictured above) and an art auction (with pieces such as the Kikomachine Komix poster seen below).This is taking place on Friday, August 3, 7PM at the Route 196 bar.

For those who would rather send money directly, you can send donations via Paypal through Ana Micaela Chua [micaelachua{at}gmail{dot}com] or through BPI – the account is in the name of Carljoe Javier, acct# 9599 0397 56.

Sale: Alternative Alamat and High Society for $0.99

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 26 - 2012

To celebrate “Alternative Alamat” and “High Society” being nominated in the 1st Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards (cast your ballot now!) we’re having a sale! Until the end of the month, both “Alternative Alamat” and “High Society” are being discounted to $.0.99 or the peso equivalent. It’ll take some time for the reduction to be reflected in all distributors, but both books have been discounted on Amazon as of now.

So if you’ve liked the books and want to give them to others, or if you’re wondering if “Alternative Alamat” and “High Society” deserve your votes for the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, now’s the time to buy!

1st Komikon Indieket and Kwentillion Booth

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 9 - 2012

This Saturday, July 14, will be the 1st Komikon Grand Independent Komiks Market (or “Indieket”, as its close friends call it), a “mini-event” that is a boon for those who wish there were more than two opportunities (Summer and Oct/Nov Komikons) to buy indie komiks releases. It’s also partly a way for creators to “qualify” for slots in the always full October Komikon, so if you’d like to be sure that your favorite indie creators get guaranteed slots, now would be the time to buy, buy, BUY! There will also be talks by industry experts such as Gerry Alanguilan, Taga-ilog, and Prof. Emil Flores.

Members of the Kwentillion team will also be there, as Summit Media is a sponsor of the event – Budjette Tan and I, as well as a few issue #1 contributors, will be dropping  by the Summit Media booths next to the stage at different parts of the day. We also have some time on stage at 2:30PM, and we’re still figuring out if we’d like to do a raffle or some sort of talk, but that’d be the best time to catch most of us there at the event.

July is shaping up to be jam-packed with events. Don’t forget Alyson Noël’s signing on the 20th, and the 1st Kwentillion Young Adult Reader Carnival on the 21st!

Gunship Revolution is an art and design group currently making waves in the country and abroad, with some of the top local talent in the field today. They’ve been running a series of workshops–dubbed Creation Live!–for the benefit of aspiring creators, and their latest one, Sellswords, will veer away from art tips and into the murky-yet-rewarding world of freelancing. I asked Gunship’s Marthy Angue to give us a little preview of what he’s got in store for Sellswords, and he graciously agreed to write a guest post on the topic for Rocketkapre.

FREELANCING: THE UNEXPECTED UPSIDES OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY
By M. Arguelles Angue of Gunship Revolution

The smart thing, of course, would be to not quit your regular job. Steady work means steady pay and most companies do provide some semblance of insurance in case your boss decides to toss you off the building after being caught playing Angry Birds on company time once too often. That’s the kind of good, clear-minded sense that gives parents confidence that their children aren’t throwing their lives away. Conversely, walking out of your nine-to-fiver (or its night-shift equivalent) to pursue freelancing is pretty much the most spot-on illustration possible for that old bromide “out of the frying pan, into the fire.” Stomping off, especially in this economy, is like breaking free from a bag of Jalapeno-flavored Cheetos and realizing after that glorious split-second of liberty– “oh snap, I’m gonna get eaten out here.”

Then again, it could also be noticed that history is seldom made by people doing “the smart thing”. “The smart thing” was never to go past the horizon on your moldy, rat-infested ship nor was it ever attempting to fly using a pair of highly-flammable wings propelled through the air by explosions. “Adventure” has always been taking the worst bits of the human experience and insisting that there was something in the journey that made it all worth it. The rogue little cheeto could have escaped to go on a Pixar-esque adventure or it could have been eaten but either fate, one might be led to believe, would be preferable to staying inside the bag. In the same way, Freelancing is made more bearable when it is seen as an adventure. The problems don’t stop being problems but you may find that some harrowing experiences are worth the trouble after all. To note a few:

1.) Freelancing is a Voyage of Self Discovery

You’re no longer an employee. Heck, you’re not even self-employed (you have clients, after all.) You are now both a product and a service primed up to be sold for the highest bidder. When you’re trying to come up with ways of promoting yourself, you are pretty much indulging on one of the fundamental themes of human existence: “Who Am I?” You can either make this a matter of leveraging your education or your work experience and making a four-page CV out of it for your email blast. Or you can promote yourself as being more than a list of statistics and a glossy 2×2. Whichever rocks your boat, as they say.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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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