Free Comic Book Day 2013 Promotions/Events

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 3 - 2013

Tomorrow, May 4, is the first Saturday of May — which means that it’s Free Comic Book Day! There are two big events in Metro Manila to celebrate, one from Fully Booked/ Comic Odyssey and the other from National Book Store / Castle Geek / Neutral Grounds / Comic x Hub . The great Gerry Alanguilan has a good overview of both events, and the unique Philippine FCBD komik that will be given at each of the events.

Also ongoing is the FCBD promotion of Flipreads, featuring a mixture of new forever-free digital comics (such as the Mythspace Sampler) and digital comics that will only be free for a limited time. Check out the entire selection here.

Mythspace in the Philippine Star

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 22 - 2013

Last Saturday’s edition of the Philippine Star featured three new comics from the Summer Komikon, and the Mythspace series was one of the stories chosen (alongside ‘Sixty Sixty’ by Russell Molina and Ian Sta. Maria, and ‘Dark Colony: Book 1’ by Budjette Tan, Bow Guerrero, and JB ‘Taps’ Tapia).

Here’s what the Star had to say about Mythspace:

“Writer Paolo Chikiamco isn’t happy with creating one or two characters in his space opera mixed with Filipino folklore. He has set out to build a universe with Mythspace comics. His ambition to soar has churned out four one-shot books for the Komikon. Each book focusing on a different part of his universe and written with a specific genre in mind. It is illuminating to see this kind of work out there as Mythspacedoesn’t just expand its own universe but the literary scene as well.”

Huzzah!

Mythspace Summer Komikon Reading Guide

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 10 - 2013

The Summer Komikon is this Saturday, April 13, once again at the Bayanihan Center. The Mythspace Team will have four new stories (and limited copies of Mythspace #0) available at the event, so it seemed like an opportune time to provide a reader’s guide for our new offerings. But first off, here’s where we’ll be on Saturday:

 

We’ll have four Mythspace stories out on Saturday, as well as Pilandokomiks (a book illustrated  by “Mythspace: An Unfurling of Wings” artist Borg Sinaban) as well as some second hand graphic novels. Here’s a breakdown of the Mythspace titles so you can decide which is right for you (with the answer hopefully being: All of Them):

Title:  Mythspace: Black Mark

Artist:  Paul Quiroga

Writer: Paolo Chikiamco

Genre: Science Fiction / Action / Mecha

Price: 60 pesos.

Synopsis: What if the creatures from Philippine folklore — the tikbalangs, nuno, kapre — were inspired by sightings of actual alien races? That’s the question that fuels the Mythspace stories.

In “Black Mark”, readers gain insight into the fractious society of the crafty Nuno, where political zealots (who tint their skins to signify their party loyalties) have the government in a persistent state of gridlock. Yet, legend has it that there is a faction that transcends politics: the legendary Black, a task force that is authorized to go to extreme measures to safeguard Nuno society. Helmless Mang, a pariah on his home planet, is about to find out that the Black are very real — and both more powerful and more terrible than that the stories would have you believe…

Reading Notes: Stand-alone story, but provides insight into the Nuno, the race of Qu in Lift-off. Nunos also play roles in Humanity and Devourers of Light.

Folklore Notes: I combined the Nuno and Dwende from folklore to form the Nuno race — the idea of different Nuno types being distinguished by skin color comes from stories about the dwende. The Bungis were one-eyed giants in our folklore.

Title:  Mythspace: Humanity

Artist: Cristina Rose Chua

Writer: Paolo Chikiamco

Genre: Science Fiction / Drama

Price: 60 pesos.

Synopsis: What if the creatures from Philippine folklore — the tikbalangs, nuno, kapre — were inspired by sightings of actual alien races? That’s the question that fuels the Mythspace stories.

In “Humanity”, the descendants of humans abductees (taken from Earth centuries ago) labor as slave-miners in the asteroid fields of the materialistic Kataw. Danny and Marta are two young miners, thrust into dire straits when a stroke of good fortune leads to a calculating betrayal. When salvation comes in the form of the legendary Dalakitnon — Free Humans — both of them must decide for themselves what they would give up, to be free.

Reading Notes: A stand-alone story, this expands on the plight of humanity in the galaxy, which is touched upon in Lift-off. Also gives you a glimpse of the culture of the Kataw, and why they have the reputation that they do (as seen a bit in Devourers of Light and Black Mark).

Folklore Notes: The Dalakitnon are one of the “elves” mentioned in our folklore. Kataw is another name for Sirena.

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Words and Pictures at Play: An Interview with Elbert Or

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 8 - 2013
Writer/artist/creator Elbert Or is one of the special guests at this Saturday’s Summer Komikon 2013. where he will be launching his first Bakemono High compilation. I’ve known Elbert for a while, and he’s one of the most creative and driven people in Philippine comics, and he graciously agreed to sit down and talk about Bakemono High, his creative process, and comics for younger readers. He also gives us an exclusive: a colored version of a 2 page Bakemono High story that appears in black and white in the compilation.
Q: Thanks for your time Elbert! For those readers who don’t know your work, can you tell us a bit about your work in comics? You’ve certainly amassed quite a body of work through the years.
Sure thing! Let’s see…if I had to put together a bullet list of highlights, it’ll maybe be something like this:
  • Four years in college spent creating and peddling photocopied comics, at a time when there weren’t a lot of venues and opportunities to sell them. I also ran a comics org in Ateneo for a couple years.
  • Convinced my comics literature professor Jamie Bautista to try his hand at making his own comics. He ended up forming Nautilus Comics with me as the first employee, and over the course of a couple years released National Book Award-winning anthologies Siglo: FreedomSiglo: Passion, and the popular teen series Cast. I also contributed to various anthologies.
  • Conducted comics workshops across the country in an attempt to provide aspiring creators with opportunities that weren’t available to me when I was starting out, and eventually opened a comics creation elective in Ateneo.
  • Worked with various publishers like Anvil Publishing, Tahanan Books, Psicom Publishing, Milflores Publishing to try and open the doors for comics.
  • Worked with foreign publishers, from Chuang Yi in Singapore to Archaia Press and Oni Press in the U.S. The most prominent of these is the YALSA-winning Lola: A Ghost Story, which I illustrated for J. Torres.
  • Through all these, I created material across a range of genres too, from superhero stories (Jet Titanium, Super Space Ranger), to adventure stories for young girls (The Many Adventures of Stephanie Smee) to shonen manga-style stories (Card Battler Teks) to this one, Bakemono High.
Q: You’ll be at the Summer Komikon with a compilation of you Bakemono High comic. Again, for those unfamiliar with is K-Zone run, can you tell us what Bakemono High is all about?
Bakemono High is set in a school for monsters, and mostly follows three friends — Max, a vampire who’s a stickler for rules; Chuck, a werewolf who likes adventure almost as much as he likes food; and Amy, a mummy who’s a boy named sort of like a girl and is deathly afraid of everything!
Q: You’ve mentioned that there’s a lot of never-before-seen content in this compilation — around 30%. What can old readers look forward to in these new strips?
I don’t know if that’s a lot, but yeah, there’s some strips there that haven’t been published. If anything though, the biggest thing is that the cover says “book one,” which for me is an inherent promise that there will be a book two. And if all goes well, that’ll be out as soon as October. With 100% new content!

Q: So it’s true then — you’ll be continuing the series in the future?

I plan on continuing the series in the future, and have actually started work on the next book. What I’m discovering is that when it was being serialized in K-Zone, I was restricted to mostly one- to two-page installments, and I wanted to be sure they were self-contained but still be meaty enough story-wise. That meant compressing a lot of material into a small amount of space. With this new format, I’m letting myself — and the stories — breathe a bit more. Bigger panels to show off the art, or even just being able to dwell on the smaller character moments instead of speeding from one plot point to the next. It’s all getting me quite excited and reinvigorated as the creator!
Q: You are both a writer and an artist. Does one role or the other come more naturally to you? Or, perhaps, are they inseparable to you?
They’re actually quite inseparable, and if you look at my notes, whether they’re for comics projects or even for my day-to-day life tasks and work meetings, they’re littered with words and pictures playing with each other. I guess that’s really just how my mind works!
Q: What comics did you read as a child?
I read a lot of Tintin, Archie, Calvin and Hobbes, Dragonball Z, and Funny Komiks! Thinking about it now, that’s actually a healthy range of comics material don’t you think? Haha! It’s like a United Nations of Comics! I want to say it’s by design, that I’m reading Eurocomics beside American comics and newspaper strips beside Japanese and Filipino comics, but really I was just consuming whatever I could get my hands on!
Q: Does anything change, in your artistic process, in creating a book aimed at children, as opposed to one aimed at a more general audience?
I think if anything I tend to think more visually when I’m writing all-ages material. Lots of moments where I would either use a specific image in my head as a starting point for the story, or “This would look cool!”
On the other hand, for some reason, I find that I think more in terms of dialogue when writing more mature stuff. It’s not something I’m really conscious about though; really this is the first time I’ve had to articulate it! Do kids and younger characters just go and do, while adults like to talk things out? Is that how I see things? I don’t know what that says about me!
Q: What advice can you give comics creators in general, and those who want to make stories for children in particular?
In general, I always tell aspiring creators to stop aspiring and start creating. If you want to be a writer, write! If you want to be an artist, draw! The only way you get better at making comics is by keeping on using them. Just like muscles!
As for specific advice…well, it almost doesn’t matter if you’re making stories for kids or for adults: you have to write something that is true to yourself. It may be true to who you are now, or it may be something that is true to the 10-year old you, but it has to be true to some version of you.
I’m not talking about facts, I’m talking perspective. Wiser men have said, “don’t talk down to kids when you’re writing for them,” and that’s true: I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, I could tell when some adults were trying to pull my leg, and telling me something that I know just isn’t true! (If you don’t finish your ampalaya, people in Africa will die from hunger!) On the other hand, I also can remember believing in things that were just outright, boldfaced lies, all because I admired or loved the people who said them! (Your school is built on a graveyard and it’s haunted by spooky ghosts!)

Q: What types of stories would you like to see more of, from the local comics industry?

I don’t know what I want to see more of, specifically, because what I really want to see is something I’ve never seen before, something fresh and exciting!

What I’m sure I want to see less of though are fantasy comics with characters wearing bahags and tikbalangs and manananggals. Surely there are more creatures of folklore than that! I realize we have a rich history and tradition of folk literature, and there will always be a place for that, but right now, I’m really just at the point where I want to see the future right here, right now.
And now, an exclusive colored comic preview of Bakemono High!

Cover for Mythspace: Lift Off (Part 2 of 3)

It’s April 1! That means that the Summer Komikon is only 12 days away (nope, not an April Fool’s). On April 13, Team Mythspace will have — barring natural calamity — four new stories to tell. Three of those stories are stand-alone tales (and make sure to check out Mythspace on Facebook for the covers of those stories, later today), but one if part 2 of the Lift Off story that was part of issue #0.

Now, here’s the thing — Mythspace was always intended to be released as a compiled volume of six stories, set in the same universe, with one story Lift Off, being the central piece, and twice as long as most of the others. We want to release Part 2 in order to get feedback, recoup funds, and provide something of a collectible for early supporters (because the final volume may look different from the ashcans we sell at the conventions — those who have Liftoff #1 and #2 will see how Koi has shifted his style.) That being said, it’s likely that part 3 of Lift Off won’t be released as a single issue (unless there’s a huge demand for it) and by next Komikon (in October or November), what we’ll be releasing is the compiled volume.

That being said, I want to gauge how many people would still like to buy a stand-alone copy of Lift Off Part 2, so I can estimate how many we should print, and make sure I reserve your copies. So if you’re interested in Lift Off #2, please leave a comment (with your name) here, at the Facebook page, or email me at mythspace.comic[at] g m a i l . Sorry, we haven’t decided on the price yet.

Also! If you’ve yet to read the first part of Lift Off, and would like to get a copy of Mythspace #0 (where that story can be found),  do also please leave a comment (with your name) here, at the Facebook page, or email me at mythspace.comic[at] g m a i l  — we only have limited copies though! You can see some reviews here and here.

 

Undecided? Have some art from part 2:

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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

Pinoykon Convention: This Saturday

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 25 - 2013

New komiks convention alert! The first ever Pinoykon – a convention that seems to mix komiks, toys, gaming, and cosplay — is taking place this Saturday, March 2,at Paseo De Magallanes in Makati.

From the Facebook group of the organizers:

Pinoykon is a convention that was made by artists, for artists. We will target the future generation of comicbook illustrators, storytellers and creatives alike. We will harness their full potential and inspire them to be better achievers in the worldwide market of illustration and design. We will be pushing toys as well because it inspires the next generation of artists. we will open up new doors for them, and make them aware of our artistic heritage. Cosplay has a very big fan base here in the country and we would like to introduce them to our own version of Filipino superheroes. We will give the new “Juan” his own Filipino superhero, we will make him believe that a Filipino child can dream, can make the whole world his own and fly further up in the sky. Because we believe that Filipinos are one of the most creative people in the world! And lastly, we want each and every Filipino child to have his own komiks to read and marvel the world of make-believe.

Komikon Baguio: This Saturday

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 7 - 2013

For komiks lovers up North, don’t forget that Komikon Baguio is THIS Saturday!

Komikon Baguio is the local Filipino comics convention based in Baguio, brought to you by Bag-iw Art Society and Komikon.Inc. ENTRANCE FEES: Php 50.00 (non-students) and Php 30.00 (students. NOTE: NO ID, NO DISCOUNT)

Details are beneath the cut:

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Book Launch: Kalem (Anak Bathala Book 1)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 16 - 2013

I’ve received notice that the first book of the Anak Bathala series of graphic novels will be launching this Friday night at the Fully Booked at Bonifacio High Street. Here’s the presser:

“Legends have foretold his destiny, and a bewildered journey is about to begin…
He has the power of the Gods…the heart of a man…
He is Kalem…the Anak Bathala.”

Dedicated to nurturing a society that fortifies the youth with intellectual capacity, moral integrity and global faculty, BHM Publishing, in partnership with 2P’s in a Pod, is proud to re-launch Anak Bathala’s Kalem:  the first of a five-book graphic novel  series that celebrates rich Filipino  cultural heritage  by weaving together rich elements of Philippine mythology, culture, beliefs, folklore and values  through well-executed and artistic graphic illustrations  Mr. Norman G. de los Santos, Mr.  Bernard H. Morillo, and Mr. Edsel L. Africa.

The book launch will happen  on  January 18, 2013 at Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City Fort fro m 6:00PM  onwards. Aside from  the  much-anticipated meet-and-greet and book signing, various interesting activities such as Q & A with authors, Alibata Henna Tattoo, and many others, await those who will attend the event.  Cocktails will also be served and tokens of appreciation will be given away.

Mini-Komiks Convention: Read-Lit District

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 14 - 2012

As part of Read Lit District, the 3rd Philippine International Literary Festival, a few select komiks will be sold at the 3rd floor of the Ayala Museum tomorrow, November 15, from 6-8 in the evening. The event will also serve as the launch of Crime Fighting Call Center Agents book 3. Check it out if you;re in the Makati area.

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