Thursday, September 13, 2007

TRESE 7: Embrace of the Unwanted

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO READ THE COMPLETE ISSUE

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TRESE 7: EMBRACE OF THE UNWANTED
At the lowest basement of the MagnaMall, the mangled body of a woman is found. The trail of blood brings Alexandra Trese face-to-face with what was once thought to be an urban legend. When all is finally revealed, midnight madness at the mall will never be the same.

Story by Budjette Tan
Art by Kajo Baldisimo

Click here to read TRESE Case#8: The Association Dues of Livewell Village:
http://tresekomix.blogspot.com/2010/10/trese-association-dues-of-livewell.html

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOU CAN BUY "TRESE"

32 comments:

raine pimentel said...

First comment! YAy. I LOOOVED IT. The art just keeps getting better and better!

tobie said...

As always, I am speechless and absolutely envious.
Great issue guys!

Rizaldy M. Manrique said...

Galing! Thanks for sharing this online:)

jamiebautista@gmail.com said...

A review. (and MAJOR SPOILERS if you haven't read the issue. Skip this review if you haven't.)





*spoiler space*





THE GOOD:

Using the old "Robinson's snake" urban legend and showing how the serpent in question would eventually age was brilliant and imaginatively done! A very unexpected and refreshing take on it and the character shines with his quirkiness. Then taking such an original concept and making it a red herring? Genius.

The idea of the real culprit coming from one of the medical clinics that many malls have is also very clever.

The art is amazingly expressive while being appropriately moody and spooky. The high contrast and use of shadows ala Frank Miller really fits the crime noir/horror fusion-genre of this series very well. The fact that the malls have the specificity of the actual malls they are based on is gravy on this black, worm-ridden, rotting yet strangely appetizing piece of visual steak.

THE BAD:

"Trick or Treat"? " "Open Sesame"? Seriously...the Kambal should NEVER be allowed to speak again. NEVER. And they put on their masks when they are suddenly attacked by a horde of tiyanaks? Why?

"Pare, here come a gajillion monster babies! Put on your paper mask thing!"

"But I'm about to shoot th..."

"Shoot later! Put on your maaassk!!! Paa-rree! We have to look cooool!"

Two guys who ALWAYS wear freaky drama masks and never talk? Intimidating and cool. Two guys who give lame one-liners and only put on their masks when fighting monsters for no good tactical reason? Dorky.

------

It's starting to bug me how Alex keeps namedropping her relatives (or how people namedrop them for her). It's like she isn't cool enough on her own. She's just related to cool. If I were her, I'd resent it like hell. She seems to relish it, and it seems to diminish her a bit.

Plus, I think Trese's a bit of a sloppy detective (or just like many actual Filipino police detectives). You'd think by now, after all the experiences of her family and all the namedropping, she'd be able to tell what a tiyanak bite or modus operandi would look like. Instead, she wrongly accuses a rich man's snake son (who, also, gives her the actual clues). Notice that Trese also doesn't get any of the clues herself. It's her friends or suspects who find them. She isn't really a good detective, she's just well connected.

------

The clue about the doctor's sister was unnecessary, and actually detrimental to the logic of the characterization. Take out that whole backstory and just have Trese discover the fact about the sulfuric acid. It's enough. She already found the doctor due to the dog man's sniffing her out. The sulfuric acid implied the abortions. That was enough.

Having the doctor's sister die because of her bungling up an abortion makes no sense given what the doctor has been doing. If I had accidentally killed my sister by bungling up her abortion, the LAST thing I'd do is say to myself, "Gee, I screwed that up. Maybe I should do MORE abortions to, you know, practice." I'd think accidentally killing your sister while doing her abortion would have you cursing Roe vs. Wade to high heavens, and not performing, apparently, hundreds more abortions. It doesn't make sense as a motivation. It just seems like a tacked on backstory to make the doctor seem tragic. Instead, it made her look stupid.

---------

The horde of tiyanaks, while visually cool and made for a nice fight scene, also caused a lot of problems for the logic of the story.

For one, we have to believe that after months of those tiyanaks there, their numbers growing every week, no one else has ever been attacked in that basement? Or that no mother has ever parked in the basement (after all, it was a simple basement parking after a typical midnight showing, not some abandoned one where the couple just happened to pass through). At first, I thought maybe the tiyanak only attacked their mothers, but then why did it attack Trese? And I guess the doctor was safe at the end, unless she also aborted her own baby and by some chance of fate it was the only one not killed in the clean up.

Also, the doctor apparently parks at that basement too. So all this time, they never attacked her? Only when there was one missed tiyanak? Why did it pick that time do attack her (other than to make a tragic plot twist)?

Really, if the story had kept it to one tiyanak, it would've made more sense.

-----------

And why didn't the dog guy smell all the tiyanaks there? He could smell one, smell it's gender and where it had been. He could smell the two bodies that had been taken away hours earlier. But he couldn't smell hundreds of stinking tiyanak? Pretty selective yet defective nose he's got there.

VERDICT:

While a highly original and refreshing story concept with amazing art, this is one of the weaker Trese issues with a plot that might have worked if not for some huge holes in logic due to a surrender to the temptations of cool but illogical action sequences and forced tragic back stories.

mojacko said...

Antaray ng review! hehehe. but i must say the artwork is breathtaking! wow! and i love the use of the urban legends like robina's twin and then using tyanaks with a wink to peque gallaga and 'sister' lore reyes! hahaha!

Jac said...

I wanna cosplay one of the chinese bodyguard chicks XD

Budjette said...

First of all, thanks to all six of you who took the time to say what you liked (AND DIDN'T LIKE) about the latest episode of TRESE :)

Isha! I think I heard your SQUEEEEEL all the way from Canada. hahaha

Jac, I had plans for the Kambal to tango with Mr.G's bodyguards, but ran out of pages. Maybe next time.

Zaldy! Thanks for the plug! See you at the next Komikon? :)

Tobie! I still can't top your DILIMAN epic. hehehe

Mr.MOJAKO, glad you still liked the story :)

And JAMIE!!! What did I need to do to get a reaction from you??? I needed to write crap before I could some mail from you. (hehehe)

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your very detailed critique of #7. I love it!

I hope #8 will boost Alexandra's credibility as an investigator.

But there will be more name-dropping. I just think we live in a country where, sometimes, what's important is: WHO you know and not always WHAT you know. :) You know, what I mean?

And about the masks of the KAMBAL... oh well, you'll just have to wait and see.

As for the rest of it, yeah, true, I could've tightened the writing more. So, thanks again, for pointing out the flaws.

Hope you guys will still be excited to read Trese's next case.

When? Ummm... COMING SOON!!! :)

--budjette

hai said...

Hey,

Great storytelling as usual! I kinda agree with that thing about the kambals saying the darnest things and the mask. But that's just me so don't worry about it.

Excellent work in keeping the mystery as well. I didn't really expect that it would turn out to be a tyanak. You're an awesome writer and I'd love to work with you some time.

I'm not too sure of the art in this though. I kinda like and dislike it. I realy like the rawness of a traditional hand drawn comic compared to a completely digital one. But kajo's work is getting better and better in each issue. I hope you two continue to make beatiful screaming for a long time.

So I give this 4 iguanas.

Cheers!
HAI!

Bom said...

Hi! I just finished reading the whole Trese series (from 1 to 7, 1 comic per day..hehe)^^ I really like how the familiar is given a twist, like that robinson urban legend thingy. And about the kambal speaking corny one-liners..I dunno, I find it okay, it gives them this 'believeable / realistic' dimension aside from them being astig..(god am I making sense) I'll be awaiting the next issues.^^

frankiejay said...

I've been looking forward to the next installment of Trese and was quite relieved and excited to see Embrace. Relieved because I kept on visiting the site but wasn't able to see anything new for a long time and I thought nothing was forthcoming. Excited because I am already addicted to the series. I hope to see the next issue quite soon. Kudos!

Budjette said...

hey frankiejay!

thanks for dropping-by and glad that you liked Trese's latest case.

we'll try our best to update the site soon :)

come back in a month and maybe we'll have somethingt to annouce by then.

--budjette

angely pamila said...

hello budjette!
i'm chi from davao and i just discovered trese after finding this blog. i find it really great! i love everything about it! my only problem is i can't find copies of it here in davao. i've looked in all bookshops,comics shops, and could not find a single copy which is such a shame. trese should get distributed here. i'm thinking about making requests to nbs,filbar's and bookshop to sell comics including trese. but first, i'd like to have my own copies of trese. how do i contact alamat comics so i can order some copies?

Budjette said...

Hi Chi!

Wow! Seems like you searched for TRESE in every bookstore in Davao. So sorry that it's not yet available over there. TRESE is available in some shops over here in Manila. We hope to give you some good news by early next year if TRESE will finally reach you guys over there.

You can email us at:
trese_komix (@) yahoo.com

... and we'll see if we've got a relative flying down there who can deliver you a couple of copies.

If you're got friends in Manila, maybe they can get you a complete set at:
COMICS ODYSSEY
3rd Floor Extension Mall
Robinson's Galleria, Ortigas
(near Red Ribbon)

DRUID's KEEP
3rd Floor, Gateway Mall
Magallanes, South Super Highway

Thank you very much!

--budjette

ST said...

Love the story, the art & the overall atmosphere of your work!
Is there any way I can get a copy in Toronto?
Maligayang Pasko!

Budjette said...

Hello ST :)

Really glad that you liked what you've read so far. We've got great plans for TRESE in the coming year and part of it might be way you guys can order it online. (Keeping fingers crossed and holding on to our anting-anting!)

We hope to give you an update about this around March or April.

Happy Holidays!!!

--budjette

kittysiopao said...

I first got introduced to Trese (fist issue) in my Comparative Literature 171 class (Popular Literature) and I have to say the art work is getting better. Jaime pointed out some of the more salient quirks of issue 7 (like cheesy one-liners by the Kambal and Alex not being a great detective). But in my opinion, the comic only reflects the campy, illogical side to Philippine mysticism and folklore. Things shouldn't all be perfect and stuff otherwise life would be as boring as watching paint dry.

Anywho, I uber uber love this comic book. Can't wait for issue 8.

Budjette said...

hello mr.kittysiopao
(cute kitty avatar) hehehe

Thank you so much for the kind words. Really glad that you're enjoying going through TRESE's cases.

The other night Kajo showed me the first four pages of TRESE8. We really hope we can get the whole story in your hands (and in the hands of other readers) very soon!

--budjette

aljoriz said...

someone should share this chapter to Brian Gorrel. He'd sure love the TIM YAP reference! XD

Anino said...

Trabaho muna ako.Babalik agad ako para tapusin ito!

Anino said...

Magandang tanghali!
Natapos ko na din.
Maraming ideyang Kanluranin.

Ang lupit ng ilustrasyon!

Parang bitin yung nangyari. Walang sagot sa argumento nung duktor tungkol sa aborsyon.

Kung sabagay, maikling istorya lang naman ito.

Cracker said...

may malaking suggestion ako to make the series better and more accesible to anyone!!!:) i'll probably write a really long letter bout it.

Nethan said...

Cool, cool, cool. I've had the chance to read all seven issues and I must say it's kind of addictive. I cant wait for Trese #8. Although I think it would be great if there would be one story wherein Alex is on her own, i mean when the Kambal aren't around. It would be really great to see Alex doing all the fighting herself. Oh and one more thing, wouldn't it be nice if Alex had a weeeee bit longer hair? Think about it, it would always cover the most part of her face, adding to her mysterious side, but maybe it would be best if this was done on later issues. Talk about a major makeover. Oh and one more thing,if the tyanak were supposed to be those abandoned children that were taken care of by creatures from the underworld, who took care of those hundred tyanaks in that basement? Just a question, hehehe. Anyways more power to the Trese team and I hope to read more of this really great piece of literary artwork. THANKS A MILLION!


P.S.
Ive already been inviting my friends to read Trese, hope we can add to the growing list of Alex's fans. =)

Budjette said...

Hi Nethan!

Thanks for the considering our stories as "cool, cool, cool" :)

Hope you like Trese #8 (which will be part of TRESE: Book 2, coming out soon!).

About Trese undergoing a make-over... ummm... well... you'll have to wait and see what happens in #9. (TRESE GOES TO THE SALON!!! wow! ang gandaaaa!!!)

just kidding ;-)

About the tiyanak... well, I guess there are more things in Manila's underworld that we haven't seen.
MWHAHAHAH :)

Thanks for also promoting the book!

--budjette

Hannah said...

it was nice, yes no doubt about that. but i can't help but agree to those guys up there that alex should somehow be more independent. she just seems to depend on other people to do the work for her. doesn't seem fair for alex because the twins are the ones who beat up people all the time and they get all the excitement. doesn't alex get tired of giving out orders? but then i am just a reader and not really a reviewer. just some constructive criticism. but overall i really like trese, she just seems a little lacking on the character side.

Budjette said...

Hi Hannah,

Thanks for the feedback.

You'll just have to wait for TRESE: BOOK3 to see Alexandra in action without the Kambal :)

--budjette

Yukihiko said...

Salutations. I picked up a copy of Trese volume 1 a couple of weeks ago at National Bookstore here in Cebu and loved it. If it isn't rude to ask, have you already published the other Trese books? Or are you planning to? I would be very interested in purchasing a copy when they're available.

I've hunted around your blog also to see the other chapters and I am still very hooked on Trese. Please keep up the good work! Cheers!

-d.a.arrojado

Budjette said...

Hi Yukihiko!

Always nice to get word from readers outside of Manila and we're glad you're looking for more TRESE.

TRESE: UNREPORTED MURDERS should reach Cebu by mid-September. (If it gets there earlier, then you're in luck.)

I'll posting info about Book2 on the blog soon. So, you can probably tell National Bookstore to reserve a copy for you.

Book2 will contain cases #5 to #8.
(#8 is a brand new case which will not be uploaded on the blog)

Hope you like Book2 when it comes out :)

--budjette

Demon General Exus said...

Nice drawings. I hope to see the history of the Kambal and know how were they pledged into the service of Alexandra Trese.

Keep up the good work!

Budjette said...

Greetings DEMON GENERAL EXUS!!!

You'll get a glimpse into the history of the Kambal and the Trese family in BOOK3.

Thank you very much for picking up the book :)

--budjette

lakan magiliw said...

gusto ko lang pong sabihing salamat. pinaniwala nyo uli ako sa Pinoy Komiks. Mabuhay ang Komikerong Pinoy! Trese = Astig!!

Just Me said...

I came across your blog from another blog about urban legends (one with Alice Dixson) and all I can say is WOW. I better start reading the other Trese Stories. Keep it up :)

Budjette said...

hi JUST ME!

Glad you found your way here! Please feel free to look around the blog. You might find more interesting things in the dark :-)

--budjette

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