Halloween Special Part 2: Trese and Diabolical

Our original plans for Saturday was a trip to the Diabolical for the Trese exhibit and book launch. Joiz and I were hoping that the exhibit would look like an actual bar like in the comic, but alas, it was an art gallery. It still was impressive, as it showcased thirteen prints of Kajo Baldisimo’s work for Trese, as well as some of his original sketches framed. This was also Kajo’s first one-man exhibit.

The event also marked the launch of Trese: Book of Murders, a special collector’s edition of the first thirteen cases with digitally-updated artwook. The book is hardbound, and is a must-buy for Trese fans.

Joiz and Arc bought a copy and had it signed by Kajo and Budgette. I didn’t recognize Kajo because of his (lack of) hair, compared to his ‘do during Aklatan.

Congratulations on the book, Budgette and Kajo. Congrats Kajo for the exhibit!

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Continue reading Halloween Special Part 2: Trese and Diabolical

Kwentillion First Issue

I heard about Kwentillion through some folks I follow over Twitter and Plurk. I didn’t really pay much attention to it, because it was another comic book anthology.

On a recent trip to National Bookstore, I saw the issue and thought it looked better than I expected. The cover art was done by Chester Ocampo, someone who I had been following for a while now on DeviantArt. The magazine is published by Summit Media, so you can guarantee the quality of it.

I was surprised when I opened the magazine and found that the layout is not colored like other magazines, but monochromatic. The paper is of good quality, not glossy but not newsprint either. The magazine size is just right, quite like the Animerica Extra magazines that I used to get back in highschool.

And that is what Kwentillion sort of reminds me of: A collection of comics, articles, interviews and stories, showcasing the brilliant and creative minds of Filipino writers and artists. I have yet to finish the entire issue (I wanted to make it last for as long as I could instead of devouring it in one sitting), but I like what I’m seeing. Continue reading Kwentillion First Issue

BTT: Graphic

– Do you read graphic novels/comics? Why do/don’t you enjoy them?
– How would you describe the difference between “graphic novel” and “comic”? Is there a difference at all?
– Say you have a friend who’s never encountered graphic novels. Recommend some titles you consider landmark/”canonical”.

The term graphic novel was introduced to me in a quite different way as opposed to the regular readers of western comics, though the idea is practically the same. My introduction was through Japanese comics, as a compilation of a series of issues then released as one volume.

I learned later that some western graphic novels were like that, while most were created for specific graphic novel release.

Obviously, that meant that I do read graphic novels, however, not very often. It’s a bit expensive for my taste and there are but a few ones that I truly like (unless it’s a manga from a favorite artist).

I don’t read much of graphic novels from American artists. As I mentioned in a comment to this (this part is a follow-up), art plays a huge part for me and I am not really attracted to much of the art styles of most American and European graphic novels. I love the Japanese styles, so I tend to gravitate towards that. I did, however, and still do, read comics from Marvel and DC, or other American/European artists. Oh, and it may surprise you to know that there are plenty of graphic novels that are under a Western label, but their artists are located here in the Philippines. You’ll find a few of them at the bottom of this post.

Difference? Nowadays I really don’t bother with the semantics, though die-hards could probably give you an idea of what makes one apart from the other. Initially though, comics are mostly light and fun reading, whereas graphic novels can carry a more mature theme like an actual novel that has only words in it.

As for recommendations, I guess the first one that’ll pop off my head is the Sandman series. Next to that would be Batman Hush, then the ever popular Neil Gaiman prose with illustrations by Charles Vess, Stardust. For Japanese comics, those who like the macabre should check out Rumiko Takahashi’s Mermaid’s Saga.

A few of the Japanese comics, or manga, that I currently have. The rest are in stashed in my grandparents’ house. I also have a Batman graphic novel done by a Japanese artist, Kia Asamiya.

I know a few Filipino artists as well who make their own graphic novels and have made a name for themselves in the local as well as international scene. If you care to check them out: Gerry Alanguilan, Andrew Drilon, Wilson Tortosa, Edgar Tadeo, Carlos Vergara, Jonas Diego, to name a few. Most of them I’ve met in real life and are great people as well as awesome artists.

Edit/Postscripts:
Going around a few blogs today on this topic, I am ashamed to say that I absolutely forgot about The Adventures of Tintin! My uncle used to collect them when he was kid and since our ages aren’t too far apart, I borrowed and read them too. Hergé’s works (including that of Jo and Zette’s) are among my favorites.

A box set of Tintin at a local bookstore. If it weren’t so pricey I’d buy it.

Also, just to clarify some things, comics and graphic novels aren’t a genre, but rather a format of entertainment, if you will, like television or radio or books are. If you try reading some comics (I say comics in general, not just graphic novels), you’ll find that there’s a type of story for everyone who likes a particular genre in other media. The Japanese comic or manga industry by itself has a thousand titles ranging from occult, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, action and even game/gambling related stories. If you’d like to try your hand on some manga, you can try your local library (lucky) or check out online sources like OneManga.