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.
Over Twitter I asked if Kwentillion is accepting contributions or submissions. At the moment, they are more concerned in getting the word out that there is such a magazine and gaining a following, so that Summit will take them in for the long haul.
If you love comics, love to read or just want something new to entertain your time, pick up a copy at your nearest bookstore. At P150, I think the price is reasonable. In this issue, you’ll read not just about Chester, but see works by Filipino artists you should keep track of. There’s a story by Andrew Drilon, an interview with Kikomachine creator Manix Abrera as well as comics by Trese duo Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. A pleasant surprise is High Society by Paolo Chikiamo and Hannah Buena. Hannah is someone I met through DeviantArt, and I’ve followed her work over the years.
According to most of the write-ups about Kwentillion, it is geared towards young adult fiction. I’m already way past age where I qualify as a “young adult”, but I’ve always been a fan of YA fiction as often it features stories and themes are more mature and entertaining than most contemporary fiction I’ve read. This in itself was enough motivation for me to pick up a copy, and so far I am not disappointed.
Kwentillion presents stories of mythology, science fiction and fantasy that we all know and love but with a twist: It’s all set in the Philippines. The location, the scenario, the people, the myths and the cultures are all ours. It provides a pretty interesting read from the usual reads you can get in our bookstores. It’s something that has long been missing from our literature.
I’ve high hopes for Kwentillion. Here’s to more issues and to the future of Philippine comics and literature.