Preview – Trese: Night Gallery / Trese: Book of Murders

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 21 - 2013

Hey, Trese fans! We’ve mentioned the upcoming Night Gallery exhibit and Book of Murders collected edition before, but here are some preview pages and details, straight from Budjette Tan:

This Halloween season, the Crucible Gallery becomes a gateway to Manila’s supernatural underworld as they present TRESE NIGHT GALLERY, the first one-man show of Kajo Baldisimo, artist of the award-winning graphic novel “Trese”.

The exhibit will feature thirteen limited-edition digital prints featuring a modern take on creatures from Philippine folklore and myth, as well as original art depicting the cast of characters of “Trese”.
Dare to venture into the TRESE NIGHT GALLERY from October 22 to November 3, 2013 at the Crucible Gallery, 4th F, SM Megamall, Ortigas.
Meet the creators of “Trese”, writer Budjette Tan and artist Kajo Baldisimo, when they attend the official opening of TRESE NIGHT GALLERY on October 26 at 5pm.
On that same night, they will launch TRESE: BOOK OF MURDERS, a 360-page, 6.7” x 10.23”, hardcover collector’s edition compiling the first 13 Trese stories with digitally-updated artwork and new short stories with a cover price of P950.00.
The autograph signing session will start at 6pm.

Trese Night Gallery and Book of Murders Launch

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 15 - 2013

Budjette Tan dropped a bombshell over the weekend with two announcements: first,  a one-man art show from Trese co-creator Kajo Baldisimo, at the Crucible Gallery (SM Megamall, Level 4), running from from October 22 until November 3. The exhibit, Kajo’s first one-man show, will feature 13 limited-edition digital prints, featuring the creatures and characters from the award-winning graphic novel Trese,  as well as the original artwork from the recently released illustrated shorty story collection, Stories from the Diabolical.

The second announcement is that, on the official launch of the exhibit on October 26, Budjette and Kajo will also launch a new collection of the first three Trese volumes, called the Book of Murders, with digitally updated art. Looks like Trese fans have a lot to look forward to, even before the new volume arrives.

Komiks on Your Sneakers

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 18 - 2013

Komiks and fashion tie-ups seem to be a thing these days — but this new Converse event will feature Kajo and Bow actually, personally, sketching on your shoes! Of course, then you need to frame your shoes and buy another pair…

From the official FB page of the event: “Filipino comic book artists Kajo Baldisimo and Bow Guerrero, of Trese and The Dark Colony Book I : Mikey Recio & the Secret of the Demon Dungeon fame will be at the Converse Philippines flagship store in the new Glorietta, this Saturday.

Get a chance to have your Converse shoes customized with one-of-a-kind designs by the artists, or also customize them yourself with studs in the “Punk Your Chucks” section.

Be one of the first four people to buy a pair of Chucks at the event and instantly get your brand spankin’ new Chucks punked (two for Trese, and two for Dark Colony) on the spot.

If you brought your own authentic Chucks (or whatever Converse sneaker you have) you can join the raffle to win a chance to get them punked. Four will be drawn (two for Trese, and two for Dark Colony). Just show your authentic Converse product at registration to be able to join.

We’ll also be giving away some Converse GCs.

If you don’t win the raffle, we still provide you with awesome materials for you to Punk Your Chucks at the customization area.”

Manila Noir Book Launch This Saturday

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 3 - 2013

Specfic isn’t the only genre (*gasp*) that the country could use more of. Crime fiction is even less represented here — but that could change with the advent of books like the upcoming Manila Noir. An anthology of stories curated b y Jessica Hagedorn, the book’s been available for a while but officially launches this Saturday. Spec fic fans also have reasons to rejoice, because, in a departure from other books in the Noir series, there is a spec fic story included in Manila Noir — and it’s a new Trese comic, from Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo.

Details of the launch are below:

What: Manila Noir Book Launch with special guest Jessica Hagedorn

When: July 6, 2013, 4 pm

Where: National Book Store, Glorietta 1

New York-based Filipino writer Jessica Hagedorn will visit Manila for the launch of the book Manila Noir on July 6, 4 pm, at the National Book Store flagship in Glorietta 1. Plus! Meet and greet Filipino contributors such as Angelo Lacuesta, Budjette Tan, F.H. Batacan, Jose Dalisay, Jr., Kajo Baldisimo, Lourd De Veyra, R. Zamora Linmark and Rosario Cruz-Lucero.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Brand-new stories by: Lourd De Veyra, Gina Apostol, Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, F.H. Batacan, Jose Dalisay Jr., Eric Gamalinda, Jessica Hagedorn, Angelo Lacuesta, R. Zamora Linmark, Rosario Cruz-Lucero, Sabina Murray, Jonas Vitman, Marianne Villanueva, and Lysley Tenorio.

Manila provides the ideal, torrid setting for an Akashic Noir series volume. It’s where the rich rub shoulders with the poor, where five-star hotels coexist with informal settlements, where religious zeal coexists with superstition, and where politics is often synonymous with celebrity and corruption.

ABOUT JESSICA HAGEDORN

Jessica Hagedorn is the author of Dream Jungle, The Gangster Of Love, which was nominated for the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and Dogeaters, which was nominated for a National Book Award. Her works include Danger And Beauty, a collection of poetry and prose, musical play Most Wanted, a collaboration with composer Mark Bennett and director Michael Greif at La Jolla Playhouse, Fe In The Desert and Stairway To Heaven for Campo Santo in San Francisco, the stage adaptation of Dogeaters, and the screenplay for Fresh Kill, a feature film directed by Shu Lea Cheang. She wrote the scripts for the experimental animated series The Pink Palace, which was created for the first season of the Oxygen Network.

 

 

SF Signal’s “Outside the Frame” reviews Trese

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 20 - 2013

, who writes the Outside the Frame column for major SF site SF Signal has reviewed the Trese series by  Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo and found a lot to love. Specifically, she mentions five things, and says that “Those of you who are just hearing about Trese for the first time have been missing out on something amazing.”

It’s a great opportunity for more people to be introduced to Trese, but even long-time fans will enjoy the review. Go check it out!

Trese 4 Wins National Book Award

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 22 - 2012

Congratulations to Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo (and Visprint) for their most recent National Book Awards win! Here’s a Press Release from the team, followed by the text of the introduction to the volume from Ruel de Vera. (Also, don’t forget that Budjette and Kajo will be at Alabang Town Center on November 24!)

Trese Book 4: Last Seen After Midnight, written by Budjette Tan, illustrated by Kajo Baldisimo was awarded Best Graphic Literature for 2011 at the National Book Awards.

The award was received by Tan, Baldisimo and their publisher Nida Ramirez of Visprint, Inc.

This is the second time that National Book Development Board and the Manila Critics Circle have recognized and awarded the works of Tan and Baldisimo. Last 2010, Trese Book 3 won the same award.

Trese follows the adventures of paranormal investigator Alexandra Trese. She is the main consultant of the police whenever they encounter crime involving supernatural creatures. In Trese Book 4, she is called to solve the murder of a manananggal, stop a plant elemental from committing a massacre, investigate a case involving a bangungnot, and reveal the secret of the country’s champion prize-fighter.

Ruel de Vera of the Manila Critic Circles, wrote in his introduction for Trese 4: “With each case, Budjette and Kajo raise their levels of artistry to new heights without ever resorting to gimmickry, relying instead on an expertise in the unexpected twist and self-awareness, a feat that transcends the tropical islands Trese originates from. From a cult hit, Trese has now become a true mainstream success—which it deserves—and the next step should be widespread international recognition—which it deserves as well.”

In the past two years, Trese has received much praise from here and abroad.

“Trese continues to impress and surprise, daring to go where no Filipino comic book dare to go,” said Gerry Alanguilan, creator of the award-winning graphic novel Elmer.

Leinil Yu, artist of Marvel’s Indestructible Hulk said, “Trese excites the little child in me which used to believe in the wonders of Filipino folklores, and my adult self who enjoys intelligently written and drawn tales.  Budjette and Kajo’s Trese is a gem”

Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, Executive Producer of Southland and writer/producer of CSI:New York, had this to say about the graphic novel: “The late Steve Sabol of NFL films once said, ‘Tell me a fact and I’ll remember. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But, tell me a story and it’ll live in my heart forever.’ It is a unique and admirable skill to craft a well told story set in an intriguing world, inhabited by compelling characters. Yet, every time I open a chapter of the Trese saga, I’m blown away by Budjette’s imagination and by Kajo’s imagery. They’ve created a series full of swagger, featuring one of the most dynamic heroines you’ll ever see. Trese is thrilling, engaging and epic.”

“From the first moment I got a glimpse into the world of Alexandra Trese, I was hooked,” said Shanty Harmayn, CEO at Salto Film Company, Producer of the award-wining Indonesia film “Sang Penari” (The Dancer) “It was wonderfully new and exciting, yet somehow familiar as many of the supernatural creatures and their stories were similar to the tales I grew up hearing in Indonesia. With Budjette’s masterful ability to weave a great mystery and Kajo’s beautiful graphic imagery, I look forward to visiting Trese’s world many times over.”

In 2011, after Trese 4 ended up on National Book Store’s Best Seller List, Tan received this email from Neil Gaiman, “So ridiculously proud of you! When I came out all those years ago for the first time, that was what I wanted to see happen… I feel like you and all the smart Filipino writers and artists out there are doing something really brave and powerful, making a whole new wave of Filipino art and story. Well done!”

National Book Awards was held last November 17, 2011 and was presented by The National Book Development Board and the Manila Critics Circle in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. The event was held at the Old Senate Session Hall of the National Museum of the Philippines.

TRESE Books 1 to 5 is now available book stores and comic shops nationwide. For more information, visit: www.tresecomics.com

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Budjette Tan: Trese 5 Launch Interview

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 7 - 2012

Trese 5 will be available nationwide very soon, so as has become something of a tradition for each launch, I shot a few questions out to Trese scribe Budjette Tan. I wanted to make the interview accessible to those who haven’t yet read the book, but also wanted to ask him about specific things from Book 5, so I’ve divided the interview into spoiler-free and spoiler-filled sections. I warn everyone when we hit spoiler territory, so those who go beyond the red line, do so at your own risk!

Thanks once again to Budjette for making the time.

 

SPOILER-FREE PORTION

 

The Trese 5 release seems to have taken quite a few people by surprise — was it a conscious choice not to promote the launch heavily until you were sure you’d make the Komikon?

HAHAHA! Yeah, I guess I didn’t want to jinx it. We turned over the cover to Visprint sometime early October and we were emailing pages to be proofread every time we finished a batch of them. So, we turned over the final pages to Visprint five days before the Komikon! HAHAHA! I don’t know what kind of magic spell Nida, our publisher, had to weave to make everything ready by Komikon but we are extremely happy and thankful that Visprint pulled it off. Even though I’m used to getting stuff done just minutes before the deadline, it’s always scary. I’ve already drafted the “ideal schedule” for Book 6. Let’s see if we can keep to the sched. HAHAHA!

With Trese 4 launched almost in October 2011, and Trese 5 being launched at the October Komikon, are you aiming for a new volume every October?

Yup! That’s the plan! If me and Kajo keep to our scheds and don’t get distracted by other projects then it’s possible for us to release a book once a year.

While you ventured back into the realm of episodic stories with Trese 4, this volume seems more similar to Trese 3 in that it is basically one story — only instead of being about resolving plot threads (as in Trese 3), here you’ve laid the ground work for the future. Is this book is the start of another three volume arc?

Like I mentioned in the Afterword, this story was only supposed to be a 20-page single-shot issue. But if I followed that outline, I guess I might have just ended up copying the structure of [Redacted - sharp eyed readers may spot a clue to a revelation from Trese 5 if we told you the title of the case Budj mentions here - Ed. Note].

But when those ideas from Kajo and that idea from Yvette Tan’s story came into play, the story just ran away and became a full graphic novel.

Is this laying the ground work for another thee volume arc? I don’t know. I just make this up as I go along. HEHEHE

Has the popularity of the Kambal surprised you? They display their personalities more here than in previous volumes, and I was wondering if this was you giving the readers more of what they want.

Yup, considering how they didn’t have much speaking lines in the first two books, I’m surprised at much of a following they’ve generated. Also surprising how much Happy/Long-Haired/Basilio seems to have a bigger fanbase compared to Gloomy and even Trese herself.

I do keep in mind what readers say and post. If it’s an idea worth exploring then I try to toss it into the mix.

And this was one of those moments when the Kambal just took over and the lines just came out.

Book 5 was generally written “Marvel style”. Since we were rushing this for the Komikon, I was sending Kajo scripts which just had general descriptions of the action. So, when I finally got the pages, I had to figure out what they were saying and the Kambal just filled in the lines themselves, looking at how Kajo drew their expression or their actions, it was just easy and fun to fill in their dialogue.

With each volume, Trese’s abilities increase — or at least she shows more of them. Do you ever worry about her becoming too powerful, too competent?

Nice observation. Will keep that in mind. Thanks, Paolo!

I remember someone else making that comment based on the first three books (maybe you were the one that made the comment) that Trese is always in control of the situation and never seems to falter. So, I tried to show that she’s not always perfect in Book 4; tried to make her sweat a bit before she gets to solve the mystery. (hehehe)

But she did learn a lot while she was in the Great Balete Tree. So, I guess she’s just showing us more of the stuff she already knows. Which only means, I’ll need to give her bigger, badder challenges.

You’ve always created characters which seem to have real life analogues — as with a certain famed boxer in the last volume — and this volume ratchets that up a notch. When do you decide to create a brand new character, and when do you pull more liberally from real life personas?

I’ve never really thought about that. I guess if the story calls for it, then I’ll make a new one or base them from some real life person.

If I’m paying tribute to a character or a creation, then I’ll toss in some Easter eggs from that characters history, as a way of paying tribute to him / her.

When I originally started TRESE, it was heavily influenced by Warren Ellis’ Planetary. So, I do plan / hope to explore more of Pinoy pop culture. The funny thing about Pinoy pop culture is that we tend to blur the lines between fiction and reality. I still remember the story (supposed a true story) of how an FPJ movie was shown in Mindanao. At the end of the movie, FPJ’s character died. The audience, all of them were big fans of FPJ, got so angry that FPJ’s character got killed, pulled out their guns and shot the movie screen, taking aim at the bad guy that killed FPJ.

So, if I were to make an FPJ analog, then his story might become a mix and mash up his history as an actor, movie director, Panday, and his attempt at a political career – all because that’s how we Pinoys see him.

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Trese 5 Dual Launch

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 6 - 2012

While more than 500 lucky readers were able to pick up copies of the newest Trese volume (number 5)  at the recent October Komikon, the book will also soon be available at all National Book Store, Power Books and Bestsellers outlets with an exclusive dustcover by Kajo Baldisimo. To celebrate this, as they did last year, the Trese crew will have a book launch — but this time they will have two book launches: one in Bestsellers Galleria this Saturday, and the next for our friends in the south of the Metro, at the NBS at Alabang Town Center on November 24.

I recently interviewed Budjette Tan about Trese 5, and I’ll put that interview up tomorrow so be sure to check back. Until then, here’s that dustcover I mentioned. Shiny!

Komikon 2012: Trese 5 Preview

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 25 - 2012

The 2012 year-end Komikon is this Saturday, and while I hope Rocket Kapre readers have all added Mythspace to their pull lists, there are a lot of great new titles coming out, so best hit the ATMs before hitting the Bayanihan Center. One of the most eagerly anticipated releases is, of course, Trese Book 5: Midnight Tribunal, by the team of Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. Budjette was kind enough to provide us a sneak preview of the volume, where we see hapless “morgue man” (and star of Budjette’s Trese story in “Alternative Alamat” ) Spunky in a bit of a pickle, and see the Trese once again shooting down the (awesome) ideas of the Kambal. Plus, some concept art!

TRESE 5: Midnight Tribunal
ISBN: 971-05451-8-3
Creators: Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo
SRP: P150.00

“In a city where the aswang control everything that is illegal and where ancient gods seek to control everything else, enforcing the law can be a very difficult task.

When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police normally call Alexandra Trese. Lately, it seems like others have been taking that call.

Trese must confront these supernatural crime-fighters and bring order back to the city, before the underworld attempts to seek balance in its own way.”

Kwentillion is Coming

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 24 - 2012

EDIT: Just received an update from Komikon that our stage time has been moved from 300pm to 330pm. Please adjust your schedules accordingly :)

I’m proud to announce that the first issue of Kwentillion, a young-adult themed comics+fiction+features magazine (print only as of now, but digital in a few months) that I’m co-editing with Budjette Tan (Trese), will be launched this Saturday, 3:00 3:30 p.m. at the Summer Komikon, and will be available in stores soon after (we’ll hopefully have a few copies to sell at the Komikon, but that’ll only be a handful.)

This run is something of a test, and if the issue performs well, it could become a regular magazine. I’ve talked about this project a bit on Facebook and Twitter, and in a recent Buhay Indie post,but I haven’t had the time to plug it yet here on Rocket Kapre.

Kwentillion is a bi-monthly (eventually, we hope), black and white magazine (with an eight-page colored spread every issue) that features reviews and previews of young adult books, interviews with creators, and articles which tackle a wide variety of topics of interest to the YA community. For this issue, the story contents are reprints:

  • For comics, we have “The Last Datu” by Budjette Tan & Kajo Baldisimo, “Poso Maximo:A Fair Trade” by Robert Magnuson, “High Society” by myself and Hannah Buena, “Skygypsies” by TJ Dimacali and JohnRay Bumanglag;
  • For prose, we’re reprinting Andrew Drilon’s “The Secret Origin of Spin-Man”.

We have interviews with Chester Ocampo (who also did the cover – you can see a draft below), and Manix Abrera, YA book previews from YA book bloggers Chachic Fernandez and Tina Matanguihan, a discourse on the benefits of fanfiction by Anna Sanchez, and the first of what I hope will be a regular column from YA advocate and blogger Tarie Sabido. We’ve got a feature on Filipino artists to follow online, showcasing their art as part of the 8 page colored spread. We also have resources for aspiring writers and artists: “How to Draw a Tikbalang” from Trese artist Kajo Baldisimo, and a primer on Philippine Folk Magic, written by me and illustrated by our Alternative Alamat artist Mervin Malonzo.

Kwentillion, I think, could be a great boon to Filipino readers and creators. It’s important that Philippine comics be regularly and widely available, in a quality printed format. It’s important that more Philippine young adult content be created, so our young people have the option of reading about heroes/heroines who are more like them. It’s important that a publication exists that treats those popular yet oft disparaged genres – YA, science fiction/fantasy, comics – with an enthusiastic heart, a respectful attitude, and a critical eye.

I’m sure the first issue isn’t perfect – I promise you we’ll do everything we can to improve every issue, but to do that, we need this small 3,000 print run to be a smashing success. If you’re a fan of YA books or comics, an avid SFF reader or an aspiring creator, if you feel the same gnawing hunger I do when I look at the bookstore shelves and dream of what could be there… now’s the time to be heard.

Summer Komikon, Bayanihan Center, Pasig City. Saturday, May 26, 3:00 p.m. See you there.

Here's one of the work-in-progress sketches Chester (Ocampo) sent us. The official cover will be revealed on Saturday.

 

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