Chained Links: 11 February 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 11 - 2010

Writing (and Writer) News:

  • Dominique Cimafranca shares his presentation on Online Literature for the Tabaoan Writers Conference (yes, he does mentions us ^_^). The conference is ongoing at the moment, so do check Dom’s blog for coverage (he has Day 0 and Day 1 impressions up on his site.)
  • Speaking of writers getting together, Ian Rosales Casocot has posted a call for submission of manuscripts to the 49th Silliman University National Writers Workshop.
  • Ruin and Resolve contributor Catherine Batac Walder tells us she’s got a story out in this week’s Philippine Graphic. It’s entitled “Hey Soldier”. Congrats Catherine!
  • In further congratulatory news, I’ve read that (via macoy’s blog) it seems that Gio Paredes’ Kalayaan indie superhero series might see some U.S. distribution.
  • Via Yvette Tan’s, we’ve learned of Filipino Scares, a tumblr site with short (flash-length) horror stories.
  • Over at the Philippine Genre Stories blog, Kenneth Yu has a post on ongoing local writing competitions, and another on a workshop for online writing from Luis Katigbak (the first is on the 15th).
  • Kenneth also informs us that the launch of Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. V will take place on April 24, 2010, 3 p.m. at the UView Theatre of Fully Booked at Bonifacio Global City.



  • For those looking for a twist on typical Valentine’s fare, science writer and curator of the upcoming Mind Museum (and friend of the site) Ms. Maria Isabel Garcia dropped us a line to let us know of When Love Falls an evening of love and science on February 12, where psycho-analyst Dr. Agnes Bueno will discuss love gone awry. You can see the poster here.
  • I think we’ve mentioned it before, but let me remind everyone that KomiksTrip, the first UPLB comics convention, is taking place on February 13.
  • Speaking of comics, the Renaissance Project, a comics/komiks event for the benefit of Filipino artists who have fallen on hard times, seems to be pushing through on February 20 21 at the SM Megamall Megatrade hall.


  • Some reviews of interest over at Metakritiko (which I’ll be leaving soon, unfortunately. Although I’m sure you’ll all be pleased with the new man at the helm ^_^). I take on Lola by J. Torres and Elbert Or  (it’s also been reviewed by Ruel de Vera)
  • Also on Metakritiko, Fidelis Tan reviews Underpass. You can actually read her favorite story of the lot (by the Trese pair of Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo here or here). Also on the channel, Mighty Rasing reviews Legion and Marrianne Ubalde praises Kapitan Sino.

New Trese Graphic Novella at Rogue

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 7 - 2009


For all you Trese fans out there, a new novella entitled Masquerade (or Case File # 1031) has been uploaded to Rogue magazine, with a story by Trese scribe Budjette Tan and art by Mark Torres. It’s nice to see Trese stories appearing in different formats, and it does seem to allow for the possibility of more frequent releases of related content even when co-creator Kajo Baldisimo is busy/unavailable.

FHM Interviews Budjette Tan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 20 - 2009

Budjette Tan has an interview up on FHM, which deals with his writing in general, as well as Underpass. You can find it here (somewhat NSFW of course, unless your boss will really believe you were at a Men’s mag site for the articles) or on Budjette’s blog here.


[Picture of Budjette sourced from the abovementioned FHM interview.]

Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award for 2009

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 20 - 2009

The UP Institute of Creative Writing and the Madrigal-Gonzalez family have just announced the nominees for the Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award for 2009, and we’re pleased to see recognition to the first Trese graphic novel (by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo), Murder on Balete Drive…  albeit the announcement/post up on seems to imply that it was not an easy decision (or at the very least whatever committee decided this knew that it might be taking some heat):

This year’s selection mirrors the changing landscape of Philippine literature as it includes the bestselling graphic novel Trese, a collaboration between Tan and Baldisimo—a possibly controversial inclusion among purist circles.


Also up for the award is Spec Fic author (well, more like “Boundaries? What boundaries?” author) Adam David’s “The El Bimbo Variations.” From Adam’s twitter feed, it also appears that this is also the first time a self-published book has been nominated. Changing landscape of Philippine literature indeed…


Congrats to Budjette, Kajo and Adam, as well as all the other nominees. You can see the full list here.

Talecraft Character Building Workshop: A Report

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 9 - 2009

For those of you, like myself, who were unable to attend the recent Character Building Workshop sponsored by Talecraft, author Erica Gonzales (who you might know from her Jumper Cable stories from the Digest of Philippine Genre Stories and Philippine Speculative Fiction IV) has graciously agreed to give us the low down on last Saturday’s event:

The Talecraft Character Workshop was held last November 7, 2009, at Powerbooks Greenbelt from 1-5 pm. Sponsored by Talecraft creator Ria Lu, it was graced by guest speakers Budjette Tan (best known for the “Trese” comic series), and Taga-Ilog (creator of the “Pasig” series in Culture Crash).

Budjette Tan spoke first and gave an example of a great character he admired as a child: Wolverine. The mysterious background and the antihero personality appealed to him, as well as to friends and classmates he met over the years. He discussed character development through various methods: making characters real; making characters do what you dream of doing yourself; and taking cues from conversations and personalities in real life.  Mr. Tan then used personal examples of his own adventures in character development: how Alexandra Trese is an amalgamation of heroes, how the Kambal were unconsciously derived from himself and his brother. [Ed. Note: Which makes me wonder which one Budjette takes after...]

Taga-Ilog also took this route in his own talk. He openly admitted that his routes to character development have not been conservative, but they worked for him nonetheless. He described his method in this way:  Environment, situation, and millieu came to him first, followed by the need for characters in the setting. He then talked about the common, time-tested character archetypes, giving examples from his childhood (which fortunately were also part of the childhood of many in the audience, who knew his references to Sailor Moon, Avatar, He-Man, and YuYu Hakusho / Ghost Fighter). He also gave examples of how element types can be used as a start for characterizations, and how twists in the archetypes can be utilized.
For this writer, at least, the examples were a great treat. Characterization comes from various inspirations and influences, and rarely in an organized manner. It was a wonderful thing being assured by those examples, that it’s perfectly alright to go about the process in your own way. It is a matter of knowing what to look for in a character, and using it when the right character comes.

Riu Lu gave the more nuts-and-bolts character development factors (physical features, base archetype, motives, etc.) and cited common mistakes in character-making, through a workshop. The participants were grouped together and given a set of Talecraft archetype cards and character
profile sheets. Using other methods or the provided card, participants are told to create characters that will form a team. Each group throws ideas and concepts, helping each member with their characters, making for interesting conversation and even more interesting characters.

It was a simple and informal workshop, yet meaningful and well-organized. It was a great way to spend an afternoon, meeting new creators and learning from more seasoned ones. I have hope that at least some of those wacky characters will find homes in stories and comics.

Many thanks to Erica for the guest post, and to Talecraft for what was apparently a very useful (and timely, what with NaNoWriMo) workshop.

Talecraft Character Building Workshop

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 7 - 2009

Just saw this now, but for anyone in the Greenbelt area later this after this afternoon, there’s a Talecraft Character Building Workshop today with Budjette Tan (Trese) and Taga-Ilog (Pasig).

Komix 7107: Issue 1

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 6 - 2009

Komiks creators Budjette Tan, Kajo Baldisimo (Trese), Ian Sta Maria, Mervin Ignacio (Skyworld), and Paolo Fabregas (Filipino Heroes League) have put up a new blog called Komix 7107, a site where they will be posting their creations (samples, old projects, and new experiments) for free online. Three works are currently up in their first online anthology:

The complete first issue of SKYWORLD.


The complete story of THE LAST DATU, a project that Budjette and Kajo worked on before Trese

I’m glad to see komiks creators using (or continuing to use, as with the Trese gang) the web to gain greater exposure for their work. It’s also good to see the Last Datu more widely available. Best of luck to the creators and here’s hoping we can see more of their work online in the days to come.

Trese: The Devil’s Playground

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 31 - 2009


I can think of few better ways to celebrate Halloween than kicking back with a new Trese story–and that’s just what co-creator Budjette Tan has to offer us today, assisted by the photographs of Melvin Arciaga. Trese: The Devil’s Playground is a four page photocomic (fumetti) featuring, amongst other things, Trese’s youngest fan (or, well, the Kambal’s youngest fan as Budjette puts it).

Enjoy the comic and stay dry everyone!

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:

Read the rest of this entry »

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.



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.