Komikon 2010 Photodump

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 13 - 2010

Maybe it was the size of the venue, or the tiny ingress/egress points, or the fact that so many people were standing still as the waited in line to meet Manix Abrera, but this year’s Komikon felt positively packed. I’ll save my impressions and reviews for future articles, but for now, here are a few photos from the event:

komikon 2010

Mervin Malonzo, of Tabi Po and the Quarterly Bathroom Companion, wearing one of the limited edition t-shirts sporting his art/designs.


This line of people from the airconditioning units to the left all the way past the right edge of the photograph is but a small sampling of Manix Abrera’s (Kikomachine Komix) loyal fanbase.

komikon 2010

A panel with some of the Sulyap contributors.

komikon 2010

It’s always easy to spot Gio Paredes‘ (Kalayaan) table.

komikon 2010

Quite a few people were too excited to wait until they got home before reading their purchases.

Read the rest of this entry »

Black Folklore: Andrew Drilon on Dagim and Black Clouds

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 12 - 2010

Project Raincloud–consisting of a movie, a graphic novel, and a website–is one of the most ambitious Filipino creative projects I’ve seen in recent years, and the film, “Dagim”, has just been released as part of this year’s Cinema One Originals for screening at the Shangri-La Cineplex 4. (You can check the schedule here.) Speculative fiction author and komiks creator extraordinaire Andrew Drilon has been a part of the projection almost since its inception, and will be the pen behind the graphic novel component, called “Black Clouds”. He took a moment out of his busy schedule to answer a few of my questions.

Can you tell us a bit about Project Raincloud, and the extent of your involvement in it?

Project Raincloud is a tri-media project comprised of a film, a graphic novel and a website, all working toward a single concept. It involves a lot of local folklore and re-examining it from a modern perspective, exploring what it might say about us. When I first got involved in this project, I basically sat down with the writer/director of Dagim, Joaquin Valdez; the curator of the website, Misha Lecaros; and Mark Dantes, one of our project coordinators, to hash out the concept, the framing story, the characters and the themes we wanted to explore. Part of this involved outlining a whole world–almost an alternate universe–that might exist between the cracks of the one we know.

The project has been an amazing multimedia exercise.  My involvement in Dagim only goes so far as the story level—I mean, I attended the shoots and helped out with the legwork a bit, but the film is really the work of Joaquin and the wonderful cast and crew he’s assembled. They’ve taken full advantage of the medium, playing to the strengths of cinema and breathing life into the world. On my end, I’m doing the graphic novel and trying to push the limits of what comics can do. Our stories parallel, but the different mediums enable different approaches, so Dagim is taking a very beautiful, haunting, hi-res perspective of the story, while Black Clouds explores it from multiple angles and a sprawling overhead view. They each stand alone, but play off of each other in interesting, complimentary ways.

Meanwhile, Misha Lecaros is curating the website, Project Raincloud, which sits in the middle of the film and the graphic novel, tabulating the whole creative experiment and offering its own robust behind-the-scenes perspective. There’s this fantastic meta-narrative condensing above it all once you’ve digested each side. Everything’s rolling out in phases, and synchronizes in the end, so I think it’ll be a worthwhile experience.

Dagim, the movie which is the first “leg” of your project tripod. Can you tell us a bit more about it, and why it may appeal to genre fans?

Dagim is a quintessential Filipino horror film, tackling a genre specific to our country—“the aswang movie”. There are loads of predecessors to this kind of film, from Peque Gallaga’s ouvre of movies (“Sa Piling ng Aswang”, “Hiwaga sa Balete Drive”, “Tiyanak”) all the way to “Shake, Rattle and Roll”. What’s interesting about Dagim is how it turns the genre on its end, looking at it sideways and dealing with the horror obliquely. There’s a lot of implication in the movie, a lot of narrative going on in the shadows and spaces, which I’m certain will be clear to sharp viewers. And it’s a beautiful-looking film. I haven’t seen a local movie that’s pushed its visual aesthetic this far. The colors are mesmerizing.

The ground level of the story is about two boys who’ve lost their father. They decide to journey up a mountain and end up meeting a very unusual tribe of people. And as these things go, they discover scary things that happen in the dark… blood spilled, conversions, existential hunger, death and dreams. It’s like an elevator experience, in a way; as the altitude changes, perception shifts. A lot of elements layer upward as the film progresses. I’ll stop myself before I get into spoiler territory, but I think genre fans may want to see this, if only to experience the familiar in a strange new light.

Read the rest of this entry »

Komikon 2010 is This Saturday

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 10 - 2010

In case any of you needed reminding, the 6th annual Philippine komiks convention, or KOMIKON, will be taking place this Saturday, November 13, from 10 in the morning to 7 in the evening. Keep in mind that this year’s event is a one day only affair, and will be held at Starmall Trade Hall, 2nd Level, Starmall EDSA (not at SM Megamall as in previous years, or at UP–that’s the Summer Komikon). The Komikon website has directions to Starmall (note that you can get to Starmall from Shangrila EDSA by passing through the MRT station), as well as the day’s schedule of events, and a floorplan.

Of course, the main attraction of komikon are the komiks that will be available at the event, many of which are only sold during conventions. Macoy Tang and Gerry Alanguilan both have posts which list new komiks that will be sold at the convention, and you cal also view previews of some of the komiks (old and new) at Flipgeeks.

PICCA Fest 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 22 - 2010

The 2010 Philippine International Cartoons, Comics, and Animation festival, affectionately known as the PICCA Fest, opened today at SM City North EDSA. You may have already heard of the festival because the organizers have visited your school, or because of the other pre-events they did to promote the event, but today marks the start of the festival proper, with an exhibit at the Block (2nd floor) and a tradeshow at the SM Annex (4th floor). (Since SM North is huge and it’s easy to get lost, a reminder:  the Block and the Annex are on opposite sides of SM North.)


Tomorrow there will be a Cosplay parade, while industry talks will be going on at Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines, with UP also having a book launch while Ateneo hosts screenings of animated films from here, Japan, and Canada. Note, however that the talks are only open to PICCA Members. You can see the full day-to-day schedule here.


I took a few pictures of the exhibit and the opening ceremonies, as well as the tradeshow.

The indie komiks booths are grouped together for the most part — except that if you’re looking for Hazel Manzano, as of this morning her booth was at the front, next to the PICCA Secretariat. Others indie creators whose works I saw available at the trade show were Lady Storykeeper, Macoy Tang, Gio Paredes, Sacred Mountain Publications, Scratch Comics, Atomic Underground, Kai Castillo, Lyndon Gregorio and the Komikon crew. (Apologies if I missed anyone.) If you’re in the area, do stop by and support our indie komiks creators (note that while October 25 is a holiday, I think the tradeshow only lasts until Sunday).

[More pictures after the cut and at the Flickr page.]

Read the rest of this entry »

RRT: Favorite First Lines in Speculative Fiction

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 9 - 2010


One year ago, 9/9/09, Rocket Kapre officially launched. In celebration of our first year anniversary, here’s a new installment of one of our most popular features: the Rocket Round Table. For this batch, the question – to coincide with the anniversary – is: “What is your favorite first line in speculative fiction?” Prose and graphic novels/comics were fair game (movies and television were not), as were local and foreign works – I only asked that the respondents include any first lines from Filipino-made spec fic that stood out for them. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

Thanks to all those who took time to participate in the round table, and for all those who have supported Rocket Kapre in its first year. Here’s to many more to come!

[Warning: Some language may not be safe for work, or children, or adults who like to pretend they're as innocent as children.]

ELBERT OR Comic book creator, university lecturer, graphic designer, freelance writer, entrepreneur (he’s part of Brain Food, which gives speech and writing workshops) Elbert is a jack of all trades and master of… well, lots. He currently runs Global Art and the Komiksabado Comics Workshop.

Happy first year, RK! How time flies!
I owe much of my interest in current Philippine SF to Dean Alfar’s “Kite of Stars,” and its first line/ paragraph which grabbed firm hold of me and has still not let me go:

The night when she thought she would finally be a star, Maria Isabella du’l Cielo struggled to calm the trembling of her hands, reached over to cut the tether that tied her to the ground, and thought of that morning many years before when she’d first caught a glimpse of Lorenzo du Vicenzio ei Salvadore: tall, thick-browed and handsome, his eyes closed, oblivious to the cacophony of the accident waiting to occur around him.

I wish I could say though that memory allowed me to remember each word, but I admit only to committing the first eleven words. But the blame lies solely on me and my poor memory.

Here’s to the next ten years for Rocket Kapre!

* * *

CATHERINE BATAC WALDERCatherine is based in England and works as a research group administrator at the Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London. From 2005 to 2007, she moved across Norway, Finland and Portugal for a European MPhil. scholarship. Her fiction appears in Big Pulp, Demons of the New Year, Philippines Graphic, Ruin and Resolve Anthology, Expanded Horizons, and Philippines Free Press. She blogs at http://deckshoes.wordpress.com/

Just when the idea occurred to her that she was being murdered she could not tell.” – The Small Assassin, comics adaptation of a tale by Ray Bradbury

At some time near dawn, on March 25, 1913, there came a loud knocking at the front door of the Uyterhoevens’ home in the Dayton View section of Dayton, Ohio.” – The Chess Garden by Brooks Hansen

At first glance, the picture looked like any other in a family album of that time, the sepia shade and tone, the formal poses, the men in solemn Sunday suits and the women, severely coiffed, in long skirts and billowing blouses.” – Fade by Robert Cormier

““I can do this,” I told my squirrel.” - Speed Dating and Spirit Guides by Rod M. Santos

In the tiny lifeboat, she and the alien fuck endlessly, relentlessly.” – Spar by Kij Johnson

My name is Kathy H. I’m thirty-one years old, and I’ve been a carer now for over eleven years.” – Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

* * *

G.M. CORONELA Marketing Management graduate of De La Salle University in 1985, he is a first-time author with no literary background to speak of other than a genuine love of reading and a passion for writing. Coming across back issues of Writer’s Digest a few years ago started his writing career. Some previous personal encounters with the paranormal convinced him to pursue the horror genre. He believes that stories to tell and experiences to share are best put in written words. He is the author of Tragic Theater.

The night wind howls like a wounded dying animal.” (Trese Murder on Balete Drive) — This is a very compelling first line and it engages the reader’s interest in the story.

* * *

DON JAUCIAN - Don regularly reviews books for several publications, both print and on-line. He is the resident bitch of the film blog Pelikula Tumblr. His book dump is http://chinoisdead.livejournal.com

The Ascension of Our Lady Boy – Mia Tijam (PDF of Expanded Horizons #14, which includes the story.)

Let us begin with my earliest memory as a lady: Daddy had complained to Iyay who was my yaya(and his yaya before and his mama’s yaya before that) that I was lacking something strong in my bones and in my hips.

Tijam’s Lady Boy is hands down one of my favorite spec fic stories. It effectively combined Philippine culture, gay-isms and the whole ‘triumph of the heart’ thing. I like how the first line promises a wonderful story, equal parts whimsical and endearing, like Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros and it really delivers.

Visitors – Luis Katigbak

When they first arrived, they transformed themselves into everything we ever secretly wanted to be.

Stories of ‘encounters’ are never amusing. They mostly run as dubious paranoiac rants but in a few words, Katigbak manages to brush off the fluff usually associated with this tripe. ‘Visitors’ is beautiful, a different approach into the Wonderful World of Alien Mysteries; humanized and hopeful.

Brigada – Joey Nacino

When the news came, Captain Fernando Tabora of the Philippine Navy was meeting with the two-man salvage team at the top of Manila Hotel.

I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories and Manila Hotel underwater is just too awesome to ignore. Just like the head of Statue of Liberty chopped off in Cloverfield!

Flicker – Ian Rosales Casocot

Something had apparently come to live, or stir, in the house down the road, that old mansion on the corner before one turned left down Mango Street, which led toward the coconut groves that bordered the farthest end of the village.

Suburban horror stories always fascinate me and Casocot’s ‘Flicker’ definitely sustains the tension from the first sentence to the last. It is eerie, ominous and it’s refreshing to see a horror story devoid of hysterics and cheap scare tactics.

[More after the cut]

* * *

Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Manix Abrera at UST

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 6 - 2010


This video is another talk from the second day of from the “Literature From Shakespeare to Bob Ong: Bridging the Divide Between the Popular And the Canonical” conference, held at the UST on August 18, 2010. (The Q and A will be uploaded in another post) This time, the speaker is none other than Manix Abrera, one of the most creative and distinctive komiks creator in the field today, and the pen behind Kikomachine Komix and 12.

Parts 2 and 3 under the cut.

Read the rest of this entry »

Komix for Girls Survey

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 3 - 2010

Over at his Oblique Strategies website (if you go surfing the rest of the site, note that some posts are NSFW), Adam David is conducting a survey to learn more about the local female comic book reader and her relation to komiks culture. Head on over and comment if you’re a graphic novel geek of the girl kind. Here are the questions, but comment over at Adam’s post:

In the spirit of Hope Larson’s own survey on (American) girls’ comic book reading habits, I’m planning on embarking on a new komix writing thing – criticism and creative – and I wanted to ask a few questions specifically for the girls in the audience (if there are any), but if any of you girly guys want to answer the questions, I’d see it as a great kindness. Feel free to pass these questions around, as long as we get the feedback from it.

1) What comic books do you read, both local and foreign?

2) Do you enjoy reading these comic books? Why exactly do you enjoy reading them?

3) Do you read any comic books that you think are specifically targeted to girls? Which books are they? Why do/don’t you like them?

3) Who are your favourite comic book creators, both local and foreign, both male and female?

4) Why do you like them? Which of their books are your favourites, and why?

5) As a girl, would/could you say that the current system of local komix production – the books, the creators, the stores, the conventions – is friendly towards females? Why/Why not?

6) As a girl, do you want to make your own komix? Would/Could you make it specifically for girls? How would/could you go about doing that?

7) Would you like to see more local komix focussed primarily for girls?

8) What else would you like to see more of in local komix?

9) What would you like to see less of in local komix?

10) Where do you think the current local komix production is heading re: komix for girls?

Metro Comic Con 2010 Photos

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 24 - 2010

The 2nd annual Metro Comic Con was held last weekend at the SM Megamall, and by most accounts it seems to have improved on its predecessor, the smaller venue leading to a better organized layout, with the komiks creators front and center, as they should be.

Flickr is giving me some issues trying to share individual images, so have a slideshow instead!

Metro Comic Con 2010 Primer

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 20 - 2010


The Metro Comic Con is taking place this weekend (August 21-22) at the Megatrade Hall 2 of SM Megamall. Here’s some information and a few links to get everyone ready for the event.

  • Schedule of Activities – Saturday seems to have most of the panels (Game Developers, Kartunistas, Veterans) plus the Lifetime Achievement Awards, while the other contests/announcements of winners are on Sunday, along with the voice acting panel. Cosplay is encouraged for both days, but the cosplay contest is on Sunday.
  • Guest Artists - There’s also a breakdown of which artists will be available for sketches and signing here.

As far as what komiks will be available/groups will be present at the convention, here’s a partial list, with links.





1. Carlo Jose San Juan MD (Callous)
2. Freely Abrigo (Kulas; Kapitan Tog – here’s my review of issue 1)
3. Gio Paredes (Kalayaan)
4. Lady Storykeeper (Realm of Dreams; Dragon Kid – here’s my review of issue 1)
5. Meganon Comics (MAKTAN 1521)
6. Omeng Estanislao (Lipad)
7. Silent Sanctum Manga
8. Atomic Underground
9. Jerrico Barrios (Estrella)
10. Scratch Comics (Zombies in Manila – here’s my review of Issues 1 and 2)
11. Studio KAKOMIKS (Here’s my review of Supervillains, one of their offerings.)
12. Carlo Valenzuela
13. Kai Castillo (Patintero)
14. Greepo Comics Group (Curfew) (Here’s a feature on Gerald “Majic” Asbucan by Macoy Tang)
15. Ghetto Libretto Group
16. CORE Studios (No Parking Comics, Magiting – Raipo reviews both of these at his blog)
17. Decaf Club (Butter Sweet)
18. Kickbackers Group (Prageh Manga Anthology)
19. iNorth (Here’s my review of issues 1-3 of Samurai Scribe, one of the works of the group.)
20. Hazel Manzano (Callwork; Dra. Yap – Raipio has a review of the latter on his blog.)
21. Yo Bo! Komiks
22. MadGear Project
23. Wan Mananita (Ang Morion, Unos Mundos)
24. Rhoseller Quilantang (Goodbye Rubbit, Manila Man)
25. Project Chimera

Mervin Malonzo (Tabi Po) and DJ Legaspi (Baro Investigations) will also be roaming the Metro Comic Con giving away these stickers (in pink) to help promote the Quarterly Bathroom Companion Comics Compendium.

Philippine Horror Panel: Coronel, Hontiveros, Tan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 19 - 2010

Here’s the Horror Panel (featuring Budjette Tan (Trese), David Hontiveros (Penumbra novellas, Pelicula), Bart (G. M.) Coronel (Tragic Theater)) from the “Literature From Shakespeare to Bob Ong: Bridging the Divide Between the Popular And the Canonical” conference, held at the UST on August 18, 2010. (The Q and A will be uploaded in another post)

The first question, which I didn’t capture on video, is “What are you most afraid of?”

Part 2 and 3 under the cut.

Read the rest of this entry »



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.