Buhay Indie: The Life of Filipino Indie Komiks Creators

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 6 - 2012

Buhay Indie” is a new blog that ill be featuring journal posts from different Filipino komiks creators, with the aim of giving the reader insight into their lives and artistic process. The first entry is by Dr. Carlo Jose San Juan, creator of Callous. Here’s the description of the blog from the very first post:

This is a journal about our life as comic creators and the stories behind the production of independent comic titles we enjoy reading.  Making comics is never easy. Most of us manage our time, balancing everything to make one issue in time for an event. More often than not, we encounter a lot of problems while making the pages, and it takes extra effort to get the job done.  And we each have our own stories to tell.  Each entry will be made by a different comic creator, featuring their comic projects and updates about their comic production… in a form of a diary.  The contributors for this blog are the members of Indie Comic Manila, a Facebook group composed of independent comic illustrators and writers from different comic circles. It’s also the same group behind the 100 Araw ng Komiks campaign.  It’s tough being an indie creator. But we love making comics, so we do it anyway…  Now we’re sharing our stories with you.

High Society: Book Page and Reviews

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 10 - 2012

While it’s not a Rocket Kapre release, “High Society“, my steampunk comic book with Hannah Buena, is getting a book page on the site, to give me a central hub to post purchasing information (now that it’s available from four different online retailers), as well as reviews. One notable review has come from Frida Fantastic, over at Adarna SF. Here’s an excerpt:

The comic does a good job of immersing the reader in the setting while still keeping it accessible for readers who aren’t familiar with the Philippines. I love details like the use of Filipino sound effects (e.g “bog!” instead of “wham!”).

xxx

Buena’s art is expressive and dynamic, with a subtle manga influence that makes everything extra adorable. It has a bit of of a sketchy feel because some of the pencils are visible, but it I think it’s aesthetically pleasing.

It’s also relevant to mention that “On Wooden Wings”, my short story in Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 6 that is set in the same world as “High Society” (and which will become the first part of the “Wooden War” series) was the subject of an in-depth review/analysis by Jha over at Silver Goggles. It’s very interesting to read impressions of that alternative history from a reader who is not Filipino but who is a fellow Southeast Asian.

High Society

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 9 - 2012

Take your first step into a world of automata, magic, and alternative history! The year is 1764, and, for the first time in nearly two centuries, the Spanish forces have been repelled from the great walled city of Manila. While the Spaniards are quick to lay the blame at the feet of the invading British and their clockwork machines, the secret to the success of the Filipinos may lie closer to home, with an ally that is both ancient and new, mythical and mechanical. “High Society” is a stand-alone steampunk comic book in the “Wooden War” series.

Supermaker: Andrew Drilon Interview

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 17 - 2011

Andrew Drilon (“Pericos Tao“) is one of the most respected komiks creators in the country today. His latest mini-comic, “Supermaker” has garnered praise from creators such as Chris Roberson and Jeff Lemire. He talks about the inspiration for the comic here, but I still wanted to know more. I asked the always busy Andrew if he’d be willing to answer a few questions about “Supermaker” and he graciously agreed:


So… I take it you come from the “characters have a life of their own” school of thought?

 

Sometimes. Well, really, they’re all fictional constructs, but my feeling is that the act of creation is really a conversation with oneself, so some of the creator’s internal logic bleeds into the characters. You can play around with archetypes or create well-rounded personalities, but with each line/panel/image you set down, you’re building rules for them which have to be followed (or subverted with good reason). 

So yeah, I feel that once that “rule set” is established, you can extend it forwards and backwards with your imagination, giving the impression of a life outside the actual story, which allows for things like sequels and fan fiction. However I do like the thought that they exist somewhere in the second dimension, living lives outside our purview. It’s a romantic idea that I tend to obsess over.

You mentioned in your journal entry that “Supermaker” was originally a longer work, but you decided to make it shorter. How long was it, originally? What sort of cuts did you make?

It was originally designed to run in monthly 8-page installments for three years. The first “season” would have been a year, clocking in at around 96 pages, with the whole thing running to almost 300 pages. I had a ton of ideas for it–the overall stylistic theme being rampant references to (and reflections on) all the superhero comics I grew up reading—all anchored in this “real” cartoonist’s story. I wanted to do a “Supreme” or “End League”-style work, which usually starts out being derivative of other stories but evolves into own thing. I love Barth and Borges and Burroughs, and I think there are lots of ways to do metafiction comics that we haven’t seen before. In the end, though, I decided to just cut out the body and leave the heart of it–that sentiment expressed in those 8 pages, which I think is the most important aspect of the story.

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Book Launch: Elmer, Second Edition

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 12 - 2011

Convention-going komiks fans have known about Gerry Alanguilan’s Elmer for years,  but now it’s set to reach a wider audience through a second edition published by National Book Store itself. The second edition will be launched this Saturday, October 15, 2011 at Bestsellers, 4th Floor Robinson’s Galleria, Ortigas at 5pm.

According to Gerry: “This edition will be virtually the same as the previous Komikero Publishing edition, although it would have a new afterword, a sample of the script, and drawings previously available in the Elmer Limited Edition Box Sets. Because of my agreement with my publishers abroad, this edition will only be made available here in the Philippines.”

If you don’t have a copy of Elmer–or, heck, even if you do–this would be a perfect time to pick up what is, to date, probably the most critically renowned Philippine graphic novel. It’s won the 2011 Prix Asie-ACBD  Award, been included in a list of essential reading by the Association of Critics and Journalists Love, and been nominated for best comic book of the year award by two French festivals, and the “Best Graphic Album-New” in the Eisner Awards.

Trese 4 Launch Videos

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 11 - 2011

So last Saturday’s book launch of Trese volume 4, “Last Seen After Midnight” was a smashing success. Not every Trese fan could be there of course, which is why I’m uploading the question and answer portion of the event. After all, how else is the world going to know the rift running through the middle of Trese fandom: should Alexandra ever get a romantic interest? Budjette and Kajo also address fan influence on the storylines, a Zsazsa Zaturnnah crossover (make it happen!) and when book 5 will be coming out.

Trese 4 Pre-Launch Interview: Kajo Baldisimo (with Sneak Preview)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 6 - 2011

I hope everyone is excited for the Trese 4 book launch this coming Saturday, 5pm, at the National Book Store Bestsellers at Robinson’s Galleria. The book is entitled “Last Seen After Midnight”. I’ve already spoken with writer Budjette Tan–now artist and co-creator Kajo Baldisimo answers my questions about Trese. As an added bonus, we have exclusive preview pages from “Wanted: Bedspacer”, one of the new cases in Trese 4. In these pages, Trese explains to a doctor the difference between two creatures of Philippine folklore. Click on the pages for a larger version.

Do you view volume 4, “Last Seen After Midnight” as the start of a new tone for the series?

Parang yes.

The first trilogy tells the story of a hero who is still quite reluctant to accept that role. The next few volumes will show what happens when she starts facing that destiny head on.

Or not.

How different was it working on this volume, as opposed to the previous ones? Was it easier or harder to complete? I can imagine that as the anticipation increases for each new installment, the pressure on you two must also be growing…

Budj was done with the scripts years ago. As for me, I had a harder time completing this book because my focus constantly zigzaged from ‘just having fun’ to ‘living up to expectations’. The book got finished when I flushed ‘expectations’ down the toilet.

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Trese 4 Pre-Launch Interview: Budjette Tan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 4 - 2011

The much anticipated fourth book in the Trese series (which is popular enough to merit a Wikipedia entry) will be launched this Saturday, October 8, 5pm, at the NBS Best Sellers branch at Robinson’s Galleria. The book is entitled “Last Seen After Midnight”. I caught up with series writer Budjette Tan to ask him about the newest installment of Alexandra Trese’s ongoing adventures.

In many ways, Trese: Mass Murders (the previous volume) felt like an ending to a chapter of Alexandra’s life. Do you view volume 4 as something of a fresh start?

At one time, there was actually a possibility that the stories in Book 4 might have been part of Book 3 to begin with.

I never really envisioned Book 3 to be such a sprawling story arc. I really tried to tell the story of the Great Balete Tree in 20 –pages and was trying to tell the “secret origin” of the Kambal in the usual 20-pages as well. But as I kept writing that story, it just didn’t allow itself to be contained in 20-pages. So, it ended up becoming 113 pages long!

Book 4 is once again a collection of stand-alone stories. I like doing these types of stories. They feel more like a short jog, as compared on the long marathon that was Book 3.

We’ve actually started on Book 5. Looking at where that is planned to go, I think Book 5 will come closer to a “fresh start” for Trese. Or maybe it’ll take her down new path,s is more like it. We hope to finish Book 5 before the Summer Komikon of 2012.

So we’re seeing a return to the episodic cases then. How many pages will this volume be?

This volume will have four new cases. Each case is a stand-alone story. The stories range from 20 to 22 pages. We’ve actually released three of these cases in the past Komikons because we wanted to always have something new for the readers, just to show them that we are working on the new book. It also pressured us to finish each case for whatever was the upcoming Komikon of the quarter.

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Komikon Awards 2011 Nominees (Batch One)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 31 - 2011

The Komikon organizers have announced the nominees in four of the categories for the 2011 Komikon Awards (Best Comic series, Best Comic Strip Compilation, Best Graphic Novel, Best Filipino International Artist). Voting is not yet open, but feel free to go over to the Komikon website to see if your favorites have made the cut.

2011 Nominees for Best Comic Series

Ang Astiging Boy Ipis

(Paul Michael Ignacio, Gilbert Monsanto, etc., Sacred Mountain Prod.)

Bayan Knights

(Gilbert Monsanto, etc., Sacred Mountain Prod.)

Foldabots

(Jomike Tejido, KZone Philippines, Summit Media)

Love is in the Bag

(Ace Vitangcol & Jed Siroy, Studio Studio)

The New Adventures of Erek Shawn

(Digital Art Chefs, FHM Philippines, Summit Media)

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Week 2: Sandaang Araw ng Komiks (100 Days of Komiks)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 2 - 2011


 

The Sandaang Araw ng Komiks (100 Days of Komiks) event entered its second month yesterday, and the focus has shifted from personal creations (i.e. creators plugging their own works) to celebrating the works of other creators. Here are the guidelines for August, as per Joanah Tinio Calingo:

For the month of August, all posts will be about:

a)       Komiks artists and authors (other than your self).  Whether they’re still active or not.  It can be in a form of trivia, or  interviews (not necessarily done by you), or link to their sites.  Posters are encouraged to promote komiks artsts outside their own group (pero pwede pa rin na kagrupo kung artist posts lang)

b)       Other existing komiks.  If you have reviews, or recommendations, now is the time to post it.  It can also be in a form of links to an image of the cover or the pages. Titles for recommendations and reviews, should of course, be still available  in the shops or cons, or online (or else where where people can get them, like kindle).  Also, recommendations should be for titles outside your own comic group.

c)   The post can also be a fan art of any local komiks character (this can also be a form of recommendation for existing titles).

The goal for August is to introduce komiks artists (veterans and newbies, mainstream and indie) and their works to other people, and to your circle (since everybody in your circle already knows that you are making komiks).

This is also a chance to know other artists, their works and their contributions.  And also, to introduce the new gen artists to komiks readers.  It’s also a heads-up if you’re going to local komiks events.  At least alam niyo na kung sino sila.

Format –> 100 Araw ng Komiks: (post/link/etc.)

[Logo c/o Rommel Estanislao ]

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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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