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Sunday, July 12, 2020

TRESE Vol1 Published by ABLAZE


Original TRESE Netflix anime series in the works with Jay Oliva attached as Director & Exec Producer.  

JUNE 11, PORTLAND, OR – ABLAZE announced today that they will be bringing “TRESE” by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo to English readers worldwide in series of graphic novels, starting with TRESE Vol 1: Murder on Balete Drive this September, with future volumes in the series to follow.

When the sun sets in the city of Manila, don’t you dare make a wrong turn and end up in that dimly-lit side of the metro, where blood-sucking aswang run the most-wanted kidnapping rings, where gigantic kapre are the kingpins of crime, and magical engkantos slip through the cracks and steal your most precious possessions. When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese. 
TRESE Vol 1: Murder on Balete Drive will feature all new, redrawn artwork throughout, and include a substantial bonus section with behind-the-scenes sketches, info and details on the making of the book and further insight into the world of TRESE, as told by its creators Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo.

Writer Budjette Tan: “When we started TRESE back in 2005, we did it for fun, because we wanted to tell stories about Philippine myth and folklore through the lens of a detective story. We photocopied 30 copies and sold it for less than a dollar. Most of copies ended up with friends. Thankfully, more people wanted to read our stories. So, we are extremely excited to have partnered up with ABLAZE and now have a chance to share with the world the wonders and mysteries of Philippine mythology to a new set of readers.”

Artist Kajo Baldisimo: “With TRESE, we would like to contribute to the trillions of stories shared all over the world. Other talented Filipino artists and writers will be sharing their stories too as we slowly find more readers across the globe curious for tales set in the various seven thousand islands of The Philippines.” 

In November 2018, Netflix announced they will produce an original anime series for TRESE, set in a Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans, and detective Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld composed of malevolent supernatural beings.  Jay Oliva (Wonder Woman, The Legend of Korra) will serve as Executive Producer and Director for the series, and Shanty Harmayn and Tanya Yuson at BASE Entertainment, a studio based in Jakarta and Singapore, are attached as Executive Producers.    

Jay Oliva, Director/Executive Producer TRESE Anime series: “TRESE brings to life the stories/ folklores from my childhood. These stories both fascinated and scared the hell out of me as a kid but also sparked my imagination of the place where my ancestors were from. TRESE is a rare insight into Filipino folklore where the juxtaposition of old-world superstition and myths and police procedural are balanced craftily amongst the backdrop of modern Manila. Kajo and Budjette have truly created something special with TRESE.”

Tanya Yuson, Executive Producer TRESE the Anime Series, Chief Creative Development, BASE Entertainment: “When we first came across TRESE by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo about 10 years ago now, we knew it was special. The stories and the artwork completely immerse you in this unique world that was both familiar and new to those of us who had grown up hearing the stories of Aswang and Manananggal, but also accessible for the others who didn’t. All of us working on the series are fans and are excited that a wider audience will be able to discover and enjoy the books.” 

TRESE is also a three-time winner of the Philippine National Book Award for Best Graphic Literature of the Year (2009, 2011, 2012).  

Here’s what some creators are saying about the series: 

I feel like you and all the smart Filipino writers and artists out there are doing something really brave and powerful, making a whole new wave of Filipino art and story. Well done!” – Neil Gaiman

“It is the book I would love to write myself... they capture the true atmosphere of the Manila I know and love. – Whilce Portacio

“Budjette and Kajo's TRESE is a gem.  It excites the little child in me which used to believe in the wonders of Filipino folklore, and my adult self who enjoys intelligently written and drawn tales.” – Leinil Yu

“TRESE continues to impress and surprise.” – Gerry Alanguilan, creator of the award-winning graphic novel Elmer

TRESE Vol 1: Murder on Balete Drive will be solicited in the July 2020 issue of Diamond Previews catalog for Sept 2020 shipping items, as a 136 pg $16.99 B&W trade paperback.  It will also be available in the book market channel via Diamond Book Distributors, and digitally via Comixology.      
ABLAZE Co-Founder & VP Creative/Biz Dev Rich Young: “This has been in the works for some time, so I am thrilled that we are now able to announce it, and help Budjette and Kajo get TRESE out there to the larger audience it greatly deserves.  And, I can’t wait for the anime…I know it’s going to be amazing!”   

For updates, previews, and details on upcoming titles from ABLAZE, visit and look for TRESE this September 2020.

Budjette Tan grew up in a haunted house and was told to go to sleep early because there were aswang flying outside their bedroom window. It’s not surprising that these stories would later inspire him to write TRESE. He is also the writer and co-creator of the award-winning comic book “The Dark Colony Book 1: Mikey Recio and the Secret of the Demon Dungeon”. He currently works in the LEGO Agency in Denmark as one of the creative leads for the toy company’s global communication campaigns.

Kajo Baldisimo is a fan and avid reader of Filipino komiks from the 80s and 90s. He is a storyboard artist by day and comic book creator by night working on TRESE and his self-published bi-weekly zine called WKWKMDNK. After living in Manila for forty years, he is now permanently residing in Davao City, south of the Philippines, where he, together with his wife and son, are beginning to establish an animal shelter. 

BASE ENTERTAINMENT is a Studio with outposts in Singapore and Indonesia. Founded by partners, Aoura Lovenson Chandra, Shanty Harmayn, Ben Soebiakto and Tanya Yuson, BASE is focused on working with top creative talent to bring forward stories from Asia to the world. BASE’s slate of projects includes film as well as series for various platforms. Most recently, Joko Anwar’s film IMPETIGORE from Indonesia, which had its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and a remake of the Korean crime series Tunnel for the Indonesian market. TRESE, based on the Award-winning Philippine graphic novel is its first Anime series for Netflix.

ABLAZE is a new publishing company releasing a variety of titles—in different formats, genres, and age ranges—original material, crowdfunded titles, reprints, art books, including international titles from Europe, Asia (manga, manhwa), and more.  

The mantra of ABLAZE is quality first, with the goals of giving creators a platform, bringing new voices into the conversation, serving as diverse an audience as possible, and growing the company’s publishing schedule sustainably over time. 
ABLAZE Website:
COMIC SHOP LOCATOR SERVICE: 1-888-comicbook, or visit
Get in touch with ABLAZE: 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM (Batman/Wolverine/Trese)

Back in 2012, I needed to write a "warm up" story before diving into the next TRESE case. I wrote this fanfic story and told Kajo it was something we can do for fun. Batman and Wolverine are two of our favorite characters and we don't know if we'll ever get the chance to official do a story with these two guys. So, instead of waiting, we decided to make one for our own enjoyment.

I think the original script was just 10 or so pages, but Kajo added more of fight scenes and added the epilogue page, which I really love!

But because some many other things happened, Kajo was only able to finish all of the pages last year.

Yup, this is one of those things that just took seven years to make, but I think it was worth the wait.

Hope you guys like it as well!

Sunday, September 08, 2019

TRESE Book 7 launch at MIBF 2019

TRESE: SHADOW WITNESS (Book7) will be available at #MIBF2019 (Sept 11 to 15, 2019), SMX

Cover price: P225 (Get a 10% discount when you buy it at the Visprint booth at MIBF)

After MIBF, it will be available on Visprint's online stores at Shopee and Lazada

And then it should be in the following stores a couple of weeks after MIBF:
Mt Cloud
Fully Booked
Comic Odyssey
National Bookstore

#VisprintxMIBF FREE TICKETS are ready! Just download, print (colored or B/W), and present at the gate. Each sheet has 4 tickets and is good for sharing 
Layout is on letter-size. Print on any regular paper 👍🏻

Foreword by Ian Sta. Maria
Introduction by Mervin Ignacio

TRESE Book 7 contains three new cases and one reprinted case.

THIRTEEN STATIONS was first printed in the MANILA NOIR anthology and it’s about how all the stations of the MRT are suddenly haunted by ghosts of murder victims – expect for the 13th station which seems to be not visited by the ghosts. 

THE EXORCISM OF LINDA BLASCO introduces Father Matthias Trese, one of Alexandra’s brothers. Fr. Trese is an exorcist and has been invited to help a little girl that’s been possessed by a demon; but he realizes his prayers and methods are not helping the girl, which is when he discovers the terrible secret of the Blasco family. 

TABLE FOR THREE is about a pop-up restaurant that only opens its doors during Valentine’s Day. It’s owned by an aswang-chef who uses very unique people to make his one-of-a-kind dishes. Trese needs to find this place before the kidnap victims are served for dinner. 

THE MADRID GIG introduces Jimmy Trese, the youngest Trese brother and he’s an “art collector”. Well, actually he’s a master thief and he’s on a quest to find magical artifacts from around the world. This particular heist brings him to Madrid, where he’s trying to steal an artifact from that has been erased from historical records. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


Hi everyone! This week, we will begin shipping out your orders. Because Kajo is an army-of-one vs the hundreds of packages, he will be sending it out in weekly batches. (How we wish there was a way to magically deliver all these copies directly to your doorstep.)

So, after the first batch gets sent out, some of you will receive email with the tracking number of your package, as well as the PDF of the issue. 

In case you don’t get an email this week, then your order might be part of next week’s batch. 

We will try our best to send out the orders on a weekly basis and give you updates.

It took us awhile to figure out how to properly ship it to you. Kajo wanted to make sure the comic books (and artwork, for those who got Package E) will arrive to you in good condition. 

Once again, thank you so much for your support, for believing in our story, and for being so patient. 


p.s. After all the Indiegogo orders have been delivered, we’ll check how many copies we have left and we’ll figure out when/where to make it available for the other readers who didn’t get to order it. 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

NETFLIX to adapt TRESE into anime series

You know that feeling when you’ve won a pitch and after all the screaming and jumping and high-fiving and fistbumping you go back to your desk and you realize the amount of work that needs to be done? That’s how the past 48 hours have felt like. And on top of all of that, things have been more busy than usual at the office. (Makes me wonder if Santa’s elves are this busy as we come closer to the holiday season.)

Yes, I’ve known about this bit of news for some time but could not say a word about it. (I did leave some clues via emojis in some of my posts in the past.) We are extremely excited to have Jay Oliva as our director and executive producer. He directed the DC animated movies Justice League Dark, Batman: Bad Blood, The Dark Knight Returns and the list goes on He was also a storyboard artist on Man of Steel, Wonder Woman, and Thor: Ragnarok. We can’t wait to see how he’ll bring Trese to life. Of course, all of this is happening thanks to our producers Tanya Yuson and Shanty Harmayn of BASE Entertainment. 

And thanks to the Netflix announcement, we also reached and surpassed our Indiegogo goal! Thanks to the news sites and our friends who posted about the Netflix/Trese announcement and then gave the link to our Indiegogo campaign.

Of course, while of this was happening, me, Kajo, Tanya and Shanty were in three different countries and we couldn’t really do a lot of the screaming and jumping and high-fiving and fistbumping. And now we sit back down and look at the work that’s in front of us. 

Before we dive into all this work, I just want to say a quick thank you to EVERYONE … to EVERY! SINGLE! ONE! OF! YOU!... who posted about it, shared TRESE art / their book collection / TRESE memes, sent their congratulation, sent their speculations, sent their disbelief and asked me if it was “fake news” – because at first glance it does feel like the sort of news you’d see on an regular basis. But yes, the seemingly impossible was made possible by Tanya and Shanty. 

And just to give you another quick update, Kajo is still working on the new/updated pages of the TRESE GLOBAL EDITION, but we’re already planning on our next steps for Book 7. Somehow, by some miracle or magic spell, Kajo will be able to work on both books at the same time. 

Meanwhile, you can all go back to the bar at The Diabolical. Have a few drinks while waiting. Tell Hank I sent you.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Where can I order / buy TRESE comics?

If you're based in the Philippines, you can now order these TRESE titles from Visprint's Shopee site.

If you're based abroad, you can order directly from our publisher at:

Monday, November 05, 2018

Who is the White Lady of Balete Drive?

 (Variant Cover from our TRESE Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
Learn more about it at: )

It seems like every generation (and some cultures) have their version of the Lady in White – that ghostly figure that haunts certain crossroads (as well as your usual haunted house).

In Manila, one of the most popular urban legends is the White Lady of Balete Drive. Balete trees line either sides of this long road. According to folklore, these trees attract elementals and spirits. 

The story of the White Lady of Balete Drive has many variations, depending on who’s telling it. Since the 1950s, people have talked about a lady in white that would be seen hitchhiking on that road. If a driver does stop and let her in, she would direct them to a particular house and would vanish soon after arriving . Somehow, the driver later discovers that the lady did live in that house but supposedly died many years ago. 

In other stories, the driver would not stop for the lady in white, but when he glances at his rear view mirror, he’ll suddenly the see the pale passenger in his backseat. This would supposedly cause the driver to panic and get into an accident. 

Another story I read mentioned that the White Lady is supposed a diwata, an fairy-creature that dwells in balete trees, and is the protector of that land. 

And the other stranger that usual origin story I heard was that the White Lady was a C.I.A. experiment designed to distract the public from more important political things that was happening in the country at that time. (Although, now that I think about it, it might be more interesting to think about the possibility that the C.I.A. developed a way to use ghosts as spies in other countries.) 

Growing up with all these different stories about the White Lady of Balete Drive made me want to write my “secret origin” of this infamous phantom lady, which is what made me write this TRESE story. 

A trivia about the title of this story is that “13thStreet” actually does not intersect with Balete Drive. Although it’s in the same neighborhood, Balete Drive intersects with streets 3rdthrough 11thand 13thStreet is found on a parallel street. I just though the title would not have been so cool if the crime happened on the corner of “11thStreet”. 

There is another supernatural story connected to 13thStreet – supposed if you walk down that street during the day, you won’t be able to find House #13, but if you go there at 3am, you’ll be surprised to find the 13thHouse on a lot which wasn’t there in the morning. 

There have also been stories about mailmen and delivery men who had the misfortune to bring a package to that house. The owner of the house would supposedly invite them in and by some weird coincidence, the food being served on the table would be their favorite dish. If they took one bite of food, they would somehow be compelled to never leave the house. And when people tried to look for missing delivery men, their log book would say that they went to the 13thHouse on 13thStreet, which, of course, would not exist if anyone tried to visit that place. 

These are the stories that helped inspire the writing and creation of this particular TRESE occult case. What’s your unforgettable White Lady or haunted house story?

(The artwork above is the Variant Cover from our TRESE Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Learn more about it at: )