Saturday, June 18, 2005


Siglo: Passion, the dream project edited by Vin and myself, seems to be back on track after a terrible delay (dealing with over 30 creative people, mostly over email, is just asking for complications - haha). 90% of the project is complete, with full illustrated stories in full color from some of the best Filpino authors, artists and comic book creators (who killed themselves to submit their work on schedule).

With some tweaking, reshuffling, reworking and commissioning of new work (from Palanca poet Angelo Suarez and Cast creator Jaime Bautista, we're aiming to hopefully release the book by September, in time for the Book Fair. We're looking into a co-publishing deal, but by hook or by crook, it will be out.

I'm also going to edit and produce an anthology of Philippine Speculative Fiction. I'm targeting a December-January release date and will soon begin the process of soliciting submissions. I'm looking for a mix of published and unpublished authors and will post details soon. I've intimated as such to a number of authors I'm personally in touch with, but will get the ball formally rolling by next week with some invitations. I feel very strongly about this project and will finance it myself under the Kestrel imprint (which means more long hours at work, but hey, if I bump into a big publisher who's willing to listen to my pitch, then good). Finance and distribution are always major issues, but they haven't truly stopped me yet.

Letting the year pass by without producing work is unthinkable. With this pair of anthologies, one for comics and one for prose, I hope to help give creatives in our country a voice, a venue for expression - and equally hope that some will listen to what all these crazysmart people have to say.

In our little creative dinner/videoke group, planning and production is also in motion, for both prose and comics:

Andrew Drilon has re-released copies of his early comics work, Germinator and Subwhere, and looks to releasing a truly funky comic book later this year.

Jason Banico is prepping for the publisher's release of his two horror short story collections aimed at young readers, later this month or the following month.

Two-time National Book Awardee Vin Simbulan is putting together an anthology fantasy short stories. Hopefully, his antho and mine will hit the shelves at the same time late this year.

Marco Dimaano, still recovering from the recent release of the creator-studded K.I.A., is already under pressure from us to produce a new Angel Ace issue (cracks the whip).

Nikki Alfar has several stories in production for Mango Jam! from Mango Comics, plus contributions to various anthos in and out of the group.

Elbert Or and Jaime Bautista are relentlessly producing their teen soap opera/high school series Cast from Nautilus Comics. El also has a few surprises up in store for readers during the rest of the year.

National Book Awardee Carlo Vergara's Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah has gone international, winning readers abroad. There is, of course, talk of a sequel.

And Arnold Arre will be releasing a collected edition of his National Book Award-winning Mythology Class. Lastikman, his collaboration with Gerry Alanguilan for Mango Comics, continues to entertain comic book lovers.

So the seeming quiet is just really everyone at work. And that's just us. It is exciting to think about the work everyone else is coming up with.


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