Call for Submissions: High Chair Poetry Comics Issue

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 21 - 2013

This one’s been making the rounds, and may be of interest to poets, artists, or the lucky ones who happen to be both at the same time:

High Chair 18 will be a special issue on poetry comics. We are inviting writers and artists to submit poems, essays, and reviews for possible inclusion in the eighteenth issue of High Chair’s online poetry journal (www.highchair.com.ph), which will be released in May this year.

We are interested in individual submissions and collaborations that explore and rethink the interplay (and limits thereof) between text and image resulting in poems, works that employ graphics as a constituent of poetry and exploit the affinities of poetry and comics’ in their attention to and use of space, ellipses, segmentation, juxtaposition, braiding, etc., as opposed merely to illustrated poems and visual or concrete poetry.

We welcome submissions in Filipino and English. Please visit the site to get a more comprehensive idea as regards the work we do and the poetry and essays we publish. The deadline for submission is on April 30, 2013.

High Chair is a non-profit independent press based in the Philippines. Its first online issue went live in 2002 and has, over the years, published more than 30 chapbooks and full-length collections in English and Filipino.

Please email your submissions or enquiries to highchair@gmail.com (subject heading: High Chair Issue 18). Feel free to circulate this call for submissions to other interested parties. Thank you.

Christian Tablazon and Mike David
Guest Editors

Mythspace Komikon 2012 Aftermath

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 30 - 2012

What you see above is the last copy of Mythspace: Liftoff #0 at Komikon 2012, minutes before it too was purchased. Yes, we sold out of our print run, and while that is a mixed blessing usually, we didn’t play it safe with the print run, so sales really did exceed reasonable expectations — we sold almost double what High Society did, and HS was already considered a success for a Komikon indie. Thank you to everyone who bought a copy or spread the word!

A few post Komikon notes and links:

Again, thank you everyone for your support, and the team is now hard at work to ensure we have the complete anthology ready by 2013. I’ll keep updating you on the progress of Mythspace here and on the Facebook page.

Mythspace Mondays: Advance Reviews

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 22 - 2012

For the three Mondays of October before the Komikon, I’ll be talking about my newest comic book project, “Mythspace: Liftoff”. The #0 issue will be available at the Komikon on Oct.27. The first Mysthspace Monday was a look into the concept behind Mythspace, the second was about the way we re-imagined folklore creatures as aliens, and today we feature some advance reviews.

Last week I began to send out digital review copies of Mythspace: Liftoff #0 to bloggers/critics/reviewers, and a few have been kind enough to post their impressions of our zero issue online. So today I’ll let other people do the talking… it should be patently obvious by now that I love what our team has been doing, but does that translate to the impartial reader?

Short answer: YES. (So far!)

 

The most recent is from none other than Noel Pascual, the co-creator of the wonderful Crime Fighting Call Center Agents comic. Here’s an excerpt from his review, the full text of which is here:

Koi Carreon’s art is amazing. As I was browsing through the pages the first time, it’s the character design that really stood out. There’s quite a bit of a manga influence in there but the human characters— from the lead character to the secondary characters (especially the secondary characters!)— all look quite Pinoy. In a story dealing with Pinoy myths, that goes a long way when it comes to adding to the overall effectiveness of the piece.

The plotting really works, going from flashback to present day without confusing the reader. The scenes picked enhance the drama of the story without crossing into melodrama. The rebellious teen who is our lead also doesn’t come close to crossing the line into being an unsympathetic character. Chikiamco also manages to provide his life history without sounding like it’s being done for the sake of dumping info onto the reader. In Liftoff as well as in the other stories, we get a sense that this is a fully realized world, with one element resonating with the next.

The first one is from EK over at Jumper Cable:

“Collectively the comics are all presented on a professional level rarely seen outside of the Sacred Mountain, Komikero, Gunship Revolution, and Point Zero groups. Some of the best inking and detail work among the recent komiks releases are here — and I’ve just seen partial results. The typesetting for the dialogue balloons are grammar-corrected and nearly faultless. The paneling is also professional, at par with the best of the Western comics.

On the script level, the two presented stories are as unique from each other as adobo and sinigang, even if they are made by the same cook. Be assured that there is much variety expected among the six presented stories, that it would not be boring even if they were all from the same writer. Both given stories are paced without a glitch, with a clear understanding of writing in general and the comic medium in particular. The author’s hand in the development process is also visible. There is almost no useless panel, and it is clear that the illustrators understand what to illustrate and how.”

The second is from Francis at Hawkersmag.com:

“Just enough information is given about the main character, Ambrosio, leaving a lot of room for speculation and anticipation of what’s to come.

Although I tend to stray a bit away from angst-ridden teenagers, reasons for Ambrosio’s anger are justified, and it would be interesting to see how his character has changed now that his whole worldview has turned itself over.

There is scarce dialogue, which makes for very efficient story-telling. Chikiamco’s dialogue does what it is intended to do: move the plot forward and reveal character. It doesn’t get in the way of the action and suspense that spills throughout the pages, and that’s a very good thing when it comes to pacing.”

Thanks to both EK and Francis! We’d love for you all to come by the Rocket Kapre booth this coming Saturday and see for yourselves what Mythspace is all about. If you post your reviews online, let us know and we’ll link to them here on the site.

See you all on Saturday!

Mythspace Monday: The Aliens of Mythspace

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 15 - 2012

For the next three Mondays of October, I’ll be talking about my newest comic book project, “Mythspace: Liftoff”. The #0 issue will be available at the Komikon on Oct.27.

The first Mysthspace Monday was a look into the concept behind Mythspace, and today we go a little into the world building.

I wanted to take some time here to talk about how we re-imagined some of the classic Philippine folklore monsters for the science fiction setting of Mythspace.It also gives me the opportunity to show off some art from Team Mythspace — not that I ever need much of an excuse to do that.

A Kapre and a Human. Art by Koi Carreon.

The Kapre:

“He is as tall as the tree beside which he stands…

His skin is rough, dark, and hairy…

He appears under a new moon and a soft shower.

He smokes a big cigar that doesn’t grow shorter.”

- “The Creatures of Midnight” by Maximo D. Ramos

In Mythspace, the Kapre are the ultimate commandos, equipped with stealth technology and the ability to safely inhale toxins, which helps them minimize the smoke emissions of their projectile weapons. The Kapres are few in number after their home planet was destroyed, but it is known that there is a sizeable contingent on Earth, watching humanity as it sleeps.

Nuno Concept Art by Paul Quiroga

The Nuno:

“The Tagalogs call him matanda sa punso and nuno.

Matanda sa punso means ‘old man of the anthill.’

Nuno means ‘grandfather’ or ‘old man’…

His shirt and pants are red, and he wears a salakot…”

- “The Creatures of Midnight” by Maximo D. Ramos

The Mythspace Nuno stem from a combination of the traits of the traditional Nuno and the Dwende. The Nuno are divided not along racial lines, but along political lines, with factions permanently tinting their skins to symbolize their affiliations. The most important object for a Nuno is his or her “Helm”, which symbolizes that they are worthy of piloting a personal mobile suit, usually called a Bungis.

Early Bungis design, with Nuno pilot to scale, by Paul Quiroga

The Bungis:

“The lives deep in a dark forest.

He looks like a big man but with one eye.

A long tusk sticks out of each side of his mouth.

His name means he is always smirking.”

- “The Creatures of Midnight” by Maximo D. Ramos

It’s easy to see why the Bungis-class mecha of the Nuno were mistaken for one-eyed giants by our ancestors. While coming in a variety of designs, most feature a prominent glass cockpit for the Nuno occupant, and from a distance it does appear to be a gigantic eye. Most humans who found themselves close enough to a Bungis to verify their first impressions did not live to disseminate that information.

Young Tan’gal heroine, early design, by Borg Sinaban

A fully mature “Sixth”, from “An Unfurling of Wings”. Art by Borg Sinaban.

The Tan’gal:

“She is called manananggal by the Tagalogs.

Her name means that she can drop off part of her body.

Her name comes from the Malay word tanggal, ‘to drop off’…

She flies with her arms which she turns into wings.”

- “The Creatures of Midnight” by Maximo D. Ramos

Mythspace’s version of the “manananggal” combines the characteristics of the different self-segmenters in our folklore (the part of the woman-monster which grows wings and flies varies–in some reports, for instance, it’s just the head and spine) into a single entity characterized by an incredible healing factor and a mysterious symbiotic relationship with winged creatures that live within them. The Tan’gal go through distinct phases of maturity, and there is a great difference between a Tan’gal in his or her second decade, and one in his or her fifth.

 

Cover Reveal: Mythspace: Liftoff #0

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 11 - 2012

I couldn’t wait until the next Mythspace Monday, so here’s the cover for Mythspace: Liftoff #0 by the inestimable Koi Carreon. It’s still subject to change, but at the moment, I wouldn’t change a thing. We revealed it last night for those who are part of the official Mythspace Facebook page, so come join us there if you’d like more news about Mythspace, as well as exclusive art.

Mythspace Monday: What is Mythspace?

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 8 - 2012

“You are wise to doubt the tales of your youth…
… but all myths, all monsters, are founded on truth.”

For the next three Mondays of October, I’ll be talking about my newest comic book project, “Mythspace: Liftoff”. The #0 issue will be available at the Komikon on Oct.27.

Back in 2009, when I was first thinking up a name for the blog/imprint, I wanted to have a name that would contain elements of both science fiction and fantasy, while also drawing upon my Filipino heritage. That’s how “Rocket Kapre” was born, and while it started out as just a name, the image that the joining of those two words summoned up within me was so novel, so fun, that the seed of a story was planted inside me. I’d seen our folklore monsters used in modern urban settings, and re-imagined pasts, but I’d never seen them used in a straight up science fiction setting.

Sample page from Borg Sinaban

The more I thought about the idea of “Tikbalangs in Spaaaace”, the more I liked it. I’d read somewhere before that the idea of aliens had, in some ways, taken the place of the monsters from folklore in modern day narratives, and the thought of these monsters, in turn, “usurping” the position of aliens in science fiction, appealed to my sense of reverse colonization.

Nuno concept art from Paul Quiroga

So I did some world building on the side, while working on other projects. Fast forward to 2011, where Koi Carreon, creator of “Marco’s Delivery Service”, approached me with an offer: he had a group of talented artists who wanted to do a science fiction anthology, and they were wondering if I’d be able to help? A chorus of rocket kapres and space tikbalangs screamed “Yes!”

Teaser art from Cristina Rose Chua

That’s how Team Mythspace was born, with myself handling sole writing duties and collaborating with six of the most talented artists I know: Koi Carreon, Borg Sinaban, Jules Gregorio, Mico Dimagiba, Cristina Rose Chua, Paul Quiroga. Mythspace: Liftoff is an anthology, the first of many we hope, of stories that will explore a universe where monsters such as the Nuno, Manananggal, Kapre, and Kataw are in fact alien races with technology far more advanced than are own, each of them players in a galactic power struggle that has humans squarely in the crossfire.

Laho Warlord concept art by Jules Gregorio

While we’re planning to launch the complete anthology next year, at this month’s Komikon (Oct. 27, Bayanihan Center) we will be making Mythspace #0 available. This zero issue will have the first part of the two longest stories in the anthology– Borg’s “An Unfurling of Wings” and the titular “Liftoff” story from Koi–as well as preview pages from the other 4 stories, and excerpts from a special “diary” that we  may not have the space to include in the final anthology. So not only will you get an advance look at “Mythspace: Liftoff”, but material that will not be available anywhere else.

Preview art from Koi Carreon.

For the next few Mondays, I’ll be talking more about Mythspace. If you’d like more regular updates, please visit our Facebook page — I’ll be uploading content there more frequently as we get closer to the Komikon.

 

Kapre concept art from Mico Dimagiba.

 

 

 

A Week of Anniversaries for Comic Book Stores

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 25 - 2012

Two of Metro Manila’s finest comic book establishments will be celebrating anniversaries this week. First up is Planet X Comic Shop over at Glorietta, which will be having an anniversary sale from September 27 to September 30.

Next is ComicXHub which will be having an anniversary party on September 29, Saturday, complete with raffles and special guests. If you’re a comics fan, and have got the time, be sure to check out these events and help support local comic book stores.

Ebook Release: Tabi Po Book 2

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 21 - 2012

The second compilation of Mervin Malonzo’s “Tabi Po” aswang webcomic is now out on Flipreads. As with Book One, this is an English edition of the online comic (which is written in Filipino), with a translation by Adam David. Those of you who’ve seen the webomic, or Mervin’s cover and interior illustrations for “Alternative Alamat“  know that he’s one of the most talented Filipino comic book artists in the field today, and this is a great chance for fans to support his work, or for those who don’t speak Filipino to be introduced to his work, so go check it out.

LONTAR is a new quarterly literary journal of Southeast Asian speculative fiction in English, published and distributed by Math Paper Press in Singapore. It’s now open to unsolicited submissions — it uses an online submissions system (you can’t submit by email) and you can find that and the guidelines here. They are accepting not only fiction, but non-fiction, poetry, and comics. Of special interest to Filipinos is that the poetry editor is none other than our very own Kristing Ong Muslim.

Here’s an excerpt from their guidelines, which should give you an idea of what they’re looking for:

The editors of LONTAR are looking for quality literary writing with elements of the fantastic*, which is in some way connected with the cultures, traditions, mythologies, folk religions, and/or daily life in Southeast Asia**. While we are happy to look at works by writers outside of the region, we want to actively encourage Southeast Asian writers to submit your work.

FCBD 2012: Free Komiks and Tony de Zuñiga Sketch Drive

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 2 - 2012

Art by Rommel "Omeng" Estanislao, from http://www.comicscube.com

 

It’s time for the annual Free Comic Book Day, which this year falls on the 5th of May, this Saturday. This year is extra special, because Andrew Villar has marshaled two groups of Philippine comics creators (including my High Society collaborator Hannah Buena) for a pair of FCBD issues featuring local talent, one for Comic Odyssey, and one for ComicXHub (you can check up the lineup for each here). Comic Odyssey will also have a limited edition Electromagnetic Tentacle FCBD shirt for sale.

From http://flipgeeks.com/pinoy-komiks-dc-marvel-etc/local-komiks-creators-release-two-fcbd-comics-for-2012/

 

Other comic stores that are likely to participate are Druid’s Keep, and Planet X Comic Book Shop. Don’t forget that Fully Booked (Metro Manila branches), as is their usual practice, will celebrate FCBD on a separate day, this year May 19.

From: http://www.facebook.com/freecomicbookph

Another reason to troop down to your local comic book shop this Saturday is that both Comic Odyssey and ComicXHub will be holding sketch drives for the benefit of Filipino comics legend Tony de Zuñiga.

For further information about FCBD, here’s the official Philippine FCBD Facebook Page.

 

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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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