Tuesday, March 26, 2019


For those of you who frequent the Iguana, you may be aware that the sudden start of the Saga of My Brokedown Foot caused me to be absent from last year's NovKon Day 2...
So I've come to think of the upcoming Summer Kon (on April 13, Saturday, at the Bayanihan Center, Unilab Compound, on Pioneer Street, in Pasig) as "The 2018 NovKon Day 2 That Never Happened."

As such, all the discount and freebie promos from NovKon still apply.
If you weren't aware of them before, or if you need a refresher course, here's the link to the original announcement (which, in turn, has more links; hurray!).

So all of that still holds for Summer Kon, as does my location: I will again be situated at the Visprint booth, so look for me there.

And as far as the new release goes, swap this in instead...

DAKILA: Kapalaran
Issue 2 (of 3)
David Hontiveros / Romnick Magbanua

Your name is Brandon Ramirez and you’ve been a geek your whole life: comics, movies, RPGs, cosplay.

And now you’re officially the world’s first superhero, as evidenced by the cape, the mask, the totally ripped physique, and those crazy-awesome powers.

Higher agencies seem to have conspired to steer you right into that skintight outfit.

We have only one question: How’s that working out for you?

SEE! Dakila in training!
WITNESS! One of his most trusted allies lie right to his face!
FIND OUT! What's up with his MIA mom!
DELIGHT! In the spectacle of the Devil doing k(SPOILER)e!

All that and more, in 38 pages of sweet superhero spandex goodness!

Dakila. 18 years old. Cosmic champion.
All of a sudden, acne and getting a driver’s license are so not a big deal anymore.

So there you go.
Save the date: April 13, Saturday.

Hope to see all you mighty fine folk at Summer Kon!

you can’t drink just six,


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Candidate #16

Season 1 Episode 6
(March 2019)

Somethin' terrible happens to a woman and it just lives in you.
“In her. Starts on the inside, then it becomes her skin and she wears it till she dies, and that’s that.”

Jimmi Simpson stars in and executive produces the latest “episode” of Into the Dark, an entry co-written and directed by another familiar TV face, James Roday (of Psych).
Aside from saying this is timely, topical horror though, there isn’t much more that can be said without revealing too much, so I guess I should just leave it at this:
Treehouse is a notable example of a genre narrative that says Something, and if only for that, this gets the ¡Q horror! seal of approval.
If you’ve enjoyed at least one of the past Into the Dark entries, or if you’re a fan of either Simpson or Roday, then you should check this one out.

“… Y’all are lucky. Wasn’t always this easy for women to lean on each other.
“There was a time when it wasn’t about choosing to be heard, because you had no voice. How can you use something you were never given?”

Parting Shot: And once again, in lieu of an actual one sheet, I had to go with a screenshot from the trailer…

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


So, yes, The 'Verse is now one of mervstore's new partners...

At the moment, 12 'Verse issues are part of the selections for mervstore's H Club Box 5. (Check out the link for details.)

The 12 issues currently available through mervstore are (in alphabetical order):

DAKILA: Lumilim
Issues 1 & 2
David Hontiveros / Elmer Cantada

Your name is Brandon Ramirez and you’ve been a geek your whole life: comics, movies, RPGs, cosplay.

And now you’re officially the world’s first superhero, as evidenced by the cape, the mask, the totally ripped physique, and those crazy-awesome powers.

Higher agencies seem to have conspired to steer you right into that skintight outfit.

We have only one question: How’s that working out for you?

It’s been almost 3 months since 18-year old Brandon Ramirez first became Dakila.
And right now, he just wants to cosplay.
But a day at ManilaCon with his barkada turns super weird (and super dangerous!) when creepy urban legend Mr. Alikabok--actually one of Mangilala’s many guises (dude’s a cosplayer too! Who knew?)--shows up with some, err… “friends,” to spoil everybody’s geekery.
Boooo! Hissssss!

Dakila. 18 years old. Cosmic champion.
All of a sudden, acne and getting a driver’s license are so not a big deal anymore.

DAKILA: Makadaot
Issue 2
David Hontiveros / Carl Corilla

Dakila has to face rains that are gradually sapping his strength to find a missing child.
AND his kitten!
But a bunch of saitans are about to make things a LOT more complicated...

DAKILA: Makadaot
Issue 3
David Hontiveros / Carl Corilla

Where we see exactly what Grundle... errrr, Kasuko’s “sweet itsusiak deal” was all about...
DAKILA: Metronom
Issues 2 & 3
David Hontiveros / Romnick Magbanua

There’s been an angel murder, and an attempted angel murder.
Who’s on the case?
Gil Grissom? Mac Taylor? Or (Heaven help us!) Horatio Caine?
Dakila’s on the case!

Issues 1 to 4
David Hontiveros / Romnick Magbanua

While just trying to do the right thing, Dakila runs afoul of the Yokusuru crime family, the same bunch of drilo Kadasig also happens to be looking into.
High flying, fist to jaw, tsinelas to face action follows!

DAKILA / MASKARADO: Silver Like Dust
David Hontiveros / Reno Maniquis

Two kick-ass heroes.
One awesome team-up.

Dakila finds himself in another dimension, in another Philippines, where he meets “Manila’s Masked Marvel,” Maskarado.
Together, the heroes face an enemy driven by madness and greed.
An enemy who hungers for all the power in the world.
Including theirs.

KADASIG Volume One: "The Skeleton at the Feast"
Issue 2
David Hontiveros / Rafael Gumboc

Kadasig has served the Lady Ibu for centuries.

He was human, once. But today, he is a living, breathing kutummu, his skin now merely the scabbard for the seemingly infinite array of weapons he draws from inside himself, weapons he shapes from his own flesh and bone, to best serve the Lady in the only way he truly knows how.

He is the Lady’s kallaapu; her knight, her enforcer.
He is her beet tilli; her arsenal.
He is her kak daami; her bloodstained weapon.

And she is about to use him to finally lay her enemies low…

Kadasig's memories of his violent past are disturbed in the wake of an aswang attack on the heir to the enkanto throne...

All the 'Verse issues available on mervstore are complete narratives.
They're either stand-alone one-and-dones (like either of the Makadaot issues), or two-parters (Lumilim 1 & 2) or story arcs (Balat) that are finished, so no need to worry about waiting for the wrap-up.

I'm currently not privy to mervstore's timetable, but the 'Verse issues (as well as all the other titles from mervstore's other new partners) will eventually be made available under regular circumstances as well.
We'll update you when that happens.

There are also other plans afoot, like getting other 'Verse issues, like the "Maskarado (Red)" cover of Silver Like Dust 

onto mervstore (currently, only the "Dakila (Blue)" cover is available), as well as some other titles, and other sneaky (initially exclusive to mervstore) schemes.
Updates when those come closer to reality.

For now, check out mervstore and H Club Box 5.
You won't just be showing your support for Filipino komix in general, you'll also be showing your support for all the mighty fine artists who've collaborated with me.
AND you'll be showing your support for mervstore, who are busy carving out new avenues for greater visibility and availability of Filipino comic books...

you can’t drink just six,


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Sidebar (1)

A number of titles that don't really register as “horror” (and thus would be out of place on the main ¡Q horror! rundown), but titles that should nonetheless be of interest…

(August 2017)

Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (familiar to these parts from ¡Q horror! 2011 Auxiliary title Amer, and L’Étrange Couleur des Larmes de ton Corps, from the main ¡Q horror! 2014 rundown) are back with Laissez bronzer les Cadavres (Let the Corpses Tan).
Think of it as a fragmentary, modern day French language spaghetti western, adapted from the novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette and Jean-Pierre Bastid.

Stylized genre-fueled cinema at its wildest…

(July 2018)

Andy Mitton, co-director/-writer of ¡Q horror! 2011 title Yellowbrickroad, goes solo on The Witch in the Window.
Reuniting with Yellowbrickroad’s Alex Draper, Mitton brings us a film that, while having the threads of a horror film running through it, ultimately resolves into an emotionally resonant, hauntingly poignant tapestry that really isn’t a horror movie at all.

It’s quiet and deliberately paced, and to say anything more would tip potential viewers off, so I’ll need to leave it at that.
If you watched and appreciated Yellowbrickroad, then you really should check this one out, if only to see what Mitton is capable of without Jesse Holland’s collaboration.
(I really should get around to watching 2016’s We Go On, as well as their contribution to Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear, “Listen”…)

(March 2019)

Brought to us by Deadpool’s Tim Miller (credited as Creator, one of the Exec Producers, and director of one of the segments) and David Fincher (one of the other co-Exec Producers), Love, Death & Robots is adult animation by way of Netflix.
It’s 18 short films, largely (but not exclusively) science fiction, largely (but not exclusively) computer animated.

Of particular note from my perspective:

“The Witness” – written and directed by Alberto Mielgo;

“Good Hunting” – directed by Oliver Thomas, based on the short story by Ken Liu, adapted script by Philip Gelatt*;

“Fish Night” – directed by Damien Nenow, based on the short story by Joe R. Lansdale, adapted script by Philip Gelatt; [I’ve always loved this one, which opens the By Bizarre Hands collection]

“Zima Blue” – directed by Robert Valley, based on the short story by Alastair Reynolds, adapted script by Philip Gelatt; [this is the segment that got me sniffling…]

“Ice Age” – directed by Miller, based on the short story by Michael Swanwick, adapted script by Philip Gelatt; [Mary Elizabeth Winstead! Yay!]

and two of the segments adapted from John Scalzi short stories:

“Three Robots” and “Alternate Histories” – both directed by Victor Maldonado and Alfredo Torres, based on “Three Robots Experience Objects Left Behind From the Era of Humans for the First Time” and “Missives from Possible Futures #1: Alternate History Search Results,” adapted scripts by Philip Gelatt

Maldonado and Torres also co-directed the third segment based on a Scalzi short story (“When the Yogurt Took Over”), also surreally fun and funny, though I prefer the segments I noted above.
Lansdale’s “The Dump” is also adapted here, as is Reynolds’ “Beyond the Aquila Rift.”
(I’ve also always loved Reynolds’ “Digital to Analogue” from the In Dreams anthology. Edited by Paul J. McAuley and Kim Newman, In Dreams was billed as “A Celebration of the 7-Inch Single in All-Original SF and Horror Fiction.”)**

In case you want to check out some of the source material of Love, Death & Robots, some of the original short stories can be found online, like Lansdale's “Fish Night,” Scalzi’s “Missives from Possible Futures #1: Alternate History Search Results” and “When the Yogurt Took Over: A Short Story,” as well as Liu’s “Good Hunting.”

* Gelatt is no stranger to these parts, from ¡Q horror! 2012 Candidate The Bleeding House and ¡Q horror! 2018 title, They Remain.
If my count’s correct, Gelatt adapted 15 of the 16 segments based on other writers’ work.

** Incidentally, the 70th anniversary of the 7-inch single was March 15, the same day Netflix unleashed Love, Death & Robots.

(Laissez bronzer les Cadavres OS courtesy of screenanarchy.com; Let the Corpses Tan, The Witch in the Window, and Love, Death & Robots OS’ courtesy of impawards.com.)

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Candidate #15

(September 2017)

You never know how rich life is until you’ve lost it.”

Seth A. Smith’s sophomore feature, The Crescent, is a sedate and gradual descent into the deep trenches of oblique horror, as Beth (Danika Vandersteen, in her feature debut) retreats to her mother’s seaside home in Shoal Harbor, to hopefully heal from a deeply felt personal tragedy.

But while the going is generally measured and slow, sound and the atonal score--likewise composed by Smith--effectively build a sense of creeping unease and disquiet, fortifying the work with the kind of atmosphere that you really don’t find in your regular mainstream Hollywood horror.

For those of you who’ve grown tired of the Sturm und Drang jump scares-on-a-schedule state of contemporary widescreen horror, then The Crescent may just be right up your alley.

“It’s too late for you. The water won’t take you back.”

Parting Shot: I am so looking forward to Smith’s follow-up feature, Tin Can, for which he consulted with Brandon Cronenberg on the screenplay (co-written by Smith with Darcy Spidle, who penned The Crescent’s script).

(The Crescent OS and banner courtesy of facebook.com.)