The Mighty Literary Scene

Here’s a talk I gave this Saturday at an event organized by the DLSU Writer’s Guild. They asked me to talk about what’s going on in publishing right now and where the young writer fits in. I thought it’d be best to try and be a little inspirational (so forgive some of the corniness) and I also worked in a line from Serenity, just because it’s cool and something to live by. Read more of this post

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Updating The Kobayashi Maru of Love

It’s been a shade over a year since I released the first edition of The Kobayashi Maru of Love, and with the help of online buzz, a limited print run, and a lot of shameless self-promotion, the book has generated something of a following. The following has been lucky enough to then generate some interest which inspires the upcoming fourth edition. And since it’s all a game, and one of the most influential things of my college life was Magic: The Gathering, and I came up playing its Fourth Edition (lightning bolt, what’s up!) I’ve been brainstorming with Adam David for the new design of the book, and I’m generally thinking that I would want to go with something that plays on this: Of course Adam could always surprise me and do something totally different and even more amazing than what I’ve been thinking of. That’s happened a lot of times before. In any case, this card illustration really gets to me. I imagine you’re a mage casting a spell, and you think you’re awesome, like, I’m gonna strike you down with a Lightning Bolt, or I just cast three Dark Rituals and now I’ve got so much mana I’ve gonna cast a massive Drain Life on you, and then there’s this dude. Check out his face. It’s like this mixture of surprise and disappointment and fear and apprehension and confusion, and he just doesn’t know what’s happened. Counterspell, bitch. Which was not coincidentally one of the spells I hated most when I was dedicating myself to Black magic, and also not coincidentally, one of the spells (and variations of it thereon) that I incorporated heavily and immensely enjoyed using (seriously, you could get this look on people’s faces) once I started to work in Blue magic and started playing Permission and Control decks.

Right, so, after that lengthy MTG interlude, back to our regular programming, which is that going into its fourth edition, this feels an appropriate image because that’s exactly how one feels, I think, as a relationship falls apart around oneself. I’ve been thinking a lot about revisions and fixing up the book, not so much to change it, but to add more material to make it feel like it would be worth buying a new edition.

In attempts to generate new content, I’ve already gotten Dodo Dayao, a writer who I think is awesome, and who has shown some real love for the book, to write a new introduction to accompany the original intro written by Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta. My good friend Anna Sanchez-Ishikawa is preparing a Student’s Guide, so that teachers who want to use this book in class can refer to the guide questions and tips in teaching it. I’ve signed up Don Jaucian for an interview, which we’ll add as bonus materials to the book. And I am going to be writing at least one new essay, as well as a new epilogue for this edition.

Along with my attempts to write a new book, I’m very excited to get to work on this and come out with a new edition, which will hopefully reach a bigger set of readers and also, hopefully, make a lot of people laugh and cheer people up, and make them feel a connection to the world and other people, through literature.

Metroserye: Now Available (Updated)

While I was working at the UST Publishing House I got to be a part of a lot of books that really got me excited. The whole time I was there I was learning a lot and I was handling a lot of aspects of it. One of those things that I got to do was to try and initiate projects or find projects and try to get them published with USTPH. One of these projects is the really quirky, fun Metroserye.

Edited by Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta, Art by Manix Abrera, and design by Sam Macaisa, the series sets out to be a “roadmap of new Philippine writing” sort of. Well, that’s how it sounds to me anyway. It’s a series that covers multiple genres, first issue featuring poetry, the second will be fiction, and I don’t know who and what else Mookie’s got up her sleeves.  Read more of this post

Kubori 4 coming soon

In the last year or so I’ve had the luck to meet and hang out with Mike David, creator of the wildly popular, extremely raunchy and over the top Kubori Kikiam. David is a very cool dude and I suppose my experience with his comics is common for many people: I can’t help but laughing out loud. Sometimes I even remember panels, punchlines, or sight gags when I’m out on the street and my mind is wandering and I giggle to myself.

So it came as a very pleasant and flattering surprise that a couple of weeks or so ago, I got a text from David asking me to writer a blurb for the new Kubori Kikiam book, The Melancholy of Edward Cordero. Not surprisingly, it was funny as hell, as usual.

The book’s coming out soon, it’ll be available at the upcoming Komikon, and then Sputnik, Bookay-Ukay, and Comic Odyssey. Needless to say this is a great read and loads of fun. here’s a sample page: