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!”
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM:
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.
ABOUT BASE ENTERTAINMENT:
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.
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For updates, previews, and details on upcoming titles from ABLAZE, visit http://ablazepublishing.com/ and look for TRESE this Sept!
Keep on the lookout here at the Fully Booked blog for more news on the U.S. Edition of TRESE and other book news!