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Friday, August 20, 2010

Visprint at Metro Comic Con

Come to the Visprint booth at the Metro Comic Con (Aug 21 & 22, MegaTradeHall) and get these preview books:

Story by Budjette Tan
Art by Kajo Baldisimo
22-pages, P50

Story by Budjette Tan
Art by Mark Torres
8-page, P20

Story by David Hontiveros
Art by Ace Enriquez
32-pages, P50

Buy all three TRESE books and get Trese:Cadena de Amor & Songs of the Lewenri for free.

Buy all three of David Hontiveros' Penumbra books and get Bathala Apokalypsis for free.

"Cadena de Amor" preview pages

(click on the pages to enlarge)




Monday, August 09, 2010

American-made Aswang

an excerpt from Psywar Terror Tactics by Jon Elliston

Many early U.S. psywar operations were conceived by a famous clandestine commander, Air Force Brigadier General Edward G. Lansdale (1909-1987). A firm believer in the efficacy of "psychological operations" (or PSYOP, for short -- the military's term for propaganda), Lansdale was a pioneering psywarrior.

Lansdale believed that the key asset of the psychological combatant is a thorough understanding of the target audience's beliefs and values. The mores and myths that shape a society's culture, he argued, must be exploited if a psywar campaign is to be effective. Lansdale applied his strategy ruthlessly in the Philippines, where he served as the CIA's chief operative during the early 1950s counterinsurgency campaign against the country's [Hukbalahap] Huk rebels.

"To the superstitious, the Huk battleground was a haunted place filled with ghosts and eerie creatures," Lansdale later wrote. One of his favorite psywar stunts "played upon the popular dread of asuang, or vampire" to drive the guerrillas from Huk-held territory:

"A combat psywar squad was brought in. It planted stories among town residents of an asuang living on the hill where the Huks were based. Two nights later, after giving the stories time to make their way up to the hill camp, the psywar squad set up an ambush along the trail used by the Huks. When a Huk patrol came along the trail, the ambushers silently snatched the last man of the patrol, their move unseen in the dark night. They punctured his neck with two holes, vampire-fashion, held the body up by the heels, drained it of blood, and put the corpse back on the trail. When the Huks returned to look for the missing man and found their bloodless comrade, every member of the patrol believed that the asuang had got him and that one of them would be next if they remained on that hill. When daylight came, the whole Huk squadron moved out of the vicinity."

What if that so-called psywar stunt was not a hoax?

What if the CIA, along with the Philippine military, used real aswang to fight the Huks?

Or what if the CIA brought in vampires from Europe as part of their psy-ops team?

Sounds like a case for Anton Trese and Lolo Trese!


The History of the Anting-Anting

An excerpt from the Dennis Villegas' essay:
and you shall be as gods: 
the culture of the anting-anting

Before the coming of the Spaniards, the early Filipinos were already known to keep amulets, talismans, charms, and various other objects to protect them from harm, the elements, and the evil spirits. Crocodile tooth, gems, odd-shaped stones, and even fossilized remains of animals were the earliest known examples of anting-anting used by the early Filipinos.

The anting anting has many other names in the Tagalog lexicon: bertud, agimat, gamit, talisman, mutya, or galing. It also comes in many forms. It can be a medallion, a small book, a piece of paper, a tattoo, a crocodile tooth, a meteorite, a vest or scarf inscribed with oraciones, and many others. No one is quite sure how the word anting-anting came to be. According to Lorna Montilla, anting-anting may have evolved from the Latin word “anti,” and thus means “anti-anti” or “against-against.” Indeed if the present belief in the popular use of anting-anting is to be considered, Montilla may be correct, since the anting-anting is mostly used to protect its wearer against harm and illness. But there are also some who put forward the theory that the term is actually derived from the Javanese word “anting-anting” which means ear pendants. Anting-anting may also have been derived from the Bahasa Melayu word “anting” that means “dangling” or “swinging.”



Thursday, August 05, 2010

Trese for tweens

Tweets I got from Apol Lejano-Massebieau, who lives all the way in France

naku, finished trese na. i loovvveeee it. truly. and now my 11-yr-old stepdaughter has got her hands on it and is on to her...second reading of the books.

she says, "this is the best thing i've read ever." although she does pronounce it "trey-see." :D heehee, aba eh better than twilight and harry potter daw!

yes, all three she has read twice. she loves to read eh, mana sa akin :)

i'll ask her to write you fan mail. and wants her own...... copies of "trey-see." must ask one of my friends to hunt up copies for me! btw, are you doing more if it?

Check out Apol's sites at and

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Bathala Apokalypsis begins

What if there were only one superhuman in the whole world?

What if the world was about to end as predicted in the Book of Revelations?

What can one superman do to hold back the hand of the Almighty?

read the first chapter at

Story by David Hontiveros
Art by Ace Enriquez
Based on an idea by Gerry Alanguilan
Costume designed by Kajo Baldisimo & Ace Enriquez

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Secret Secret Origin of the Kambal

When I was kid, I remember watching TV late one night and got all excited when the announcer said, "Coming up next... THE AVENGERS!" So, I fought sleep expecting to see Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and the rest of the mighty team.

And then I saw this...

A guy with an umbrella?

And a sexy karate-chopping girl in a catsuit?!

They're the Avengers?!

I kept watching anyway, hoping that Captain American or Iron Man will suddenly come to their rescue. But it seemed like Mrs. Peel and Mr. Steed were capable to fighting off their weird foes. And I kept tuning in, week after week, trying to make sense of this dynamic duo and their strange adventures.

What does THE AVENGERS have to do with THE KAMBAL?
Keep reading! :-)

In 1998, Marvel Knights was launched and I thought I could directly pitch a story to Joe Quesada.

Since I was a big X-phile at the time, I thought it would be neat to have the Shroud fight the paranormal and supernatural creatures of the Marvel Universe.

I made his base of operations THE NIGHT SHIFT, the hottest night club in Los Angeles. From there he would keep in touch with his contacts in the criminal underworld and the supernatural underworld.

I gave him two bodyguards: The Brothers Grimm. They were magicians with deadly tricks-- deadly enough to give Iron Man a hard time.

But I wasn't too cool with the idea of them running around in their circus outfits along side with the Shroud. They needed to look... cooler!

Back then, I was also a big fan of Jim Lee's WILDCATS and loved the tandem of Grifter and Zealot.

So, I thought, I could do my own riff of Grifter and Zealot and replaced the Brother Grimm's magic tricks with guns and swords. I gave one brother all the guns and he could all sorts of tricks with it and I made the other brother the swordsman.

But I still wanted to get them out of the circus costumes and that's when I went back to the Avengers. I liked Mr. Steed's fashion sense and thought the Brothers Grimm would look very gentlemanly-like in pinstripe suits. So, that's I wrote in the pitch.

Needless to say, that pitch was rejected and it sat in some forgotten folder in my computer.

Cut to: 2005 and I got that, now legendary, text from Kajo where he said, "Let's do a comic book! Let's do a monthly comic book!" I opened up my COMICS SCRIPTS folder and took a look at what I had lying around and saw the two drafts I had for the Anton Trese story and also saw the pitch I had for the the Shroud (but I didn't think about it at the time.)

So, I sent Kajo the "test page" when Anton was fighting an aswang-mama-san.

I got the page one hour later and as I stared at it, excited at the thought that this could work, I thought of all the characters that inspired Anton Trese were all male and that Keanu's Constantine just showed in the theaters, we needed to make our character different.

WHAT IF TRESE WERE A WOMAN!, I texted Kajo and he loved the idea immediately.

And she would be armed with a magical sword... ummm... a dagger! No! A kriss!

And since she'd be focused on solving mysteries, she would hate wasting her time fighting off aswang and the like, so she's need a bodyguard...a hitman! How about two hitmen ... who wear masks (to hide the fact that they're aswang themselves) and they'd really cool if they were suits (to show they mean business) and one of them would be the hot-headed guy with the guys and the level-headed dude with the swords (but Trese is already armed with a sword)... so.... so, let's just make both of her bodyguards carry guns! With masks! And they're twins! And we'll call them... the Kambal!

And Trese's base of operations would be a nightclub in Malate and it would called... the Night Shift? Nope. No, Marvel might sue us. It'll be a place where creatures of the underworld can mingle with humans and Trese can keep tabs on all her contacts and it would be called... The Diabolical!

So, that's how you make a comic book, kids! Get some parts from a 1960s British TV show, mix it with a Wildstorm comic book and a rejected pitch for Marvel and you can have you very own comic book! Try this at home!