Sunday, February 23, 2020

Candidate #1

(July 2019)

It's true what they say,  the rich really are different.”

Grace (Samara Weaving) is about to marry Alex (Mark O’Brien), thus becoming a part of the (Ahem!) Le Domas Family Games dynasty-slash-empire (as Alex puts it though, it’s “‘Dominion.’ We prefer ‘dominion.’”).
And while Alex’s family’s company has brought joy to the world with such game gems as (Ahem! Ahem!!) Le Bail’s Gambit, he nonetheless describes them as “horrible people.”
Regardless, Grace still wants in.
Much to her regret.

No, you don’t f*ck Mr. Le Bail. Mr. Le Bail f*cks you.”

Ready or Not is a wildly entertaining ride from Radio Silence, specifically, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who’ve graced previous ¡Q horror! rundowns with their contributions to V/H/S and Southbound.
And while their first ¡Q horror! feature Candidate is primarily a comedy (don’t let that one sheet fool you), it does feature horror elements in its narrative, and there’s sufficient gore and repulsion on display to warrant a mention here.

With Adam Brody (as Alex’s older brother Daniel), Andie MacDowell (as family matriarch Becky), and Orphan Black’s Kristian Bruun (as another married-into-the-family, Fitch Bradley) in the cast, Ready or Not is a blackly amusing entry in “The Crazy Sh!t Rich People Do” subgenre.

“F*cking rich people.”

(Ready or Not OS courtesy of

Tuesday, November 26, 2019



Grand Pontiff Elberith here again with yet another announcement, which also happens to be one of those "good news, bad news" situations you mortals seem to delight/despair in...

Good news (and once more, this is pre-written promotional drivel, so gird your loins)...

Join us for the launch of the TRESE LITE POSTCARD book!
December 13 at Secret HQ, Poblacion, Makati
1 to 6pm

TRESE LITE Postcard Book 1
Art by Kajo Baldisimo
Stories by Budjette Tan
A collection of artwork by Kajo Baldisimo featuring the cast of TRESE. Each card depicts a “light day” – those in between moments when they are not fighting aswang or investigating some crime. Each card comes with a short story – in the form of a letter from one of the characters – giving us a glimpse of Trese during her most personal moments, during her younger days and during those summers of many years past.

Aside from TRESE LITE POSTCARD BOOK, Secret HQ will also be selling TRESE books 1 to 7 and TRESE DEVIATIONS: Iunctura.

So for those of you who were unable to purchase Trese Deviations: Iunctura at the Komikon Grande 2019 due to the "2 days' worth of stocks selling out in 4 hours and 43 minutes" situation we all found ourselves in on Day 1, this is your chance...

And now, the bad news...
I must break your tender hearts, mortals, and tell you that I, the Mighty, Great, and Terrible Duke Elberith, will not be your host for this little soirée.
So manage your expectations accordingly and try to enjoy the festivities, even without my magnetic, one-of-a-kind presence.

And, as always, please keep me in mind for any of your hosting or notary public needs.

Unlike the organizers of this event, you must never forget… Grand Pontiff Elberith, at your service… for a price…


Monday, November 25, 2019



I am Grand Pontiff Elberith--or the Mighty, Great, and Terrible Duke Elberith, if you prefer--and I’ve been told that some of you mortals are asking about the reading order of the titular comics of that superheroic hooligan who disrupted the Tiangge festivities.

Though I daresay I don’t quite see the appeal of reading illustrated stories of that impudent ruffian, this is a paying gig for me, so…

And these are the DAKILA issues currently available to order online here, at the Indie Komiks Market section of

You’ll note that the Kapalaran story arc--which is the most ideal jumping on point for new readers--is not currently available on though.

Regardless, any of the other choices are as good as the other, and they’re all complete stories, whether one-and-dones, or two-parters, or entire story arcs.

So feel free to order any (or all) of them, in whichever order you choose.

You humans are all about Free Will, after all…

And if you must know something about the issues, then I hope you survive this pre-written promotional drivel prepared by some random, underpaid Word Monkey, I suspect...

The 12 'Verse 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...

So there you are.
You even got an extra KADASIG issue description for your troubles...

Let's see...
Anything else?


Though I do not appear in it (and the narrative is all the poorer for that tragic oversight), you might be interested in the Dakila / Kadasig: Balat 4-part crossover, which chronicles the event that I mention in my Tiangge spiel, involving poor Gaap… (who, as it turns out, owes so many demons so much money… such a sad state of affairs!)

There are also more legions of infernal spirits here, as well as Dakila’s first brush with the “powering up via possession” phenomenon…

Now, whilst you go about your day, perhaps by reading more of Dakila’s adventures, please keep me in mind for any of your hosting or notary public needs.

Don’t forget… Grand Pontiff Elberith, at your service… for a price…


Sunday, November 24, 2019


Before I enter my post-Kon Deep Recovery Mode, let me take this opportunity to thank all you mighty fine folk who dropped by on Saturday to completely hoover up stocks meant for both Kon days in 4 hours and 43 minutes...

Marvin, Budjette, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed the first adventure of our Divinely Dynamic Duo, Dakila and Fr. Matt.
And if you did, please spread the word and the love because there's certainly more where that came from.

I'd also like to thank all you mighty fine folk who picked up the latest DAKILA release

as well as those of you who inquired as to the best starting point for any new DAKILA readers.
I hope all of you enjoyed the issues you went home with, and again, if you did, please spread the word and the love.

And for everyone who dropped by to have their books and comics signed, thanx so much as well.

Special shout-out to Alexander, who proudly proclaimed his Dakila fandom by giving his vocal recommendations for which issues would be good reads.

And to the Visprint Crew, thanx for the hospitality.

Thanx so much, one and all.

And while I enter Deep Recovery Mode, please keep in mind, if you've got any questions (for Iunctura in particular, and Dakila and the 'Verse in general), then please feel free to leave them in the Comments section.
So long as the questions aren't too spoiler-y or too personal, I'll do my best to answer them in a future Addendum piece.
Or, you can also email us (at the address listed in any 'Verse release) with any thoughts and questions and comments.
We'd love to hear from you.

Parting Shot:
In addition, these issues of DAKILA are available to order online here, at the Indie Komiks Market section of

Click on over there if something strikes your fancy...

you can’t drink just six,


Wednesday, November 13, 2019


As I mentioned in the Iunctura announcement here, this is the Addendum to the text page in the comic.
Despite all you mighty fine folk not having read the comic (or the main text page) yet--since Iunctura launches at Komikon Grande 2019 some 10 days away--I think this post is still nonetheless readable, because it addresses the fundamental question...


It’s a question I anticipate will be asked about Iunctura, so I’ll do my best to answer it here.
Obviously, I can only answer that question with authority in regards to Dakila and the ‘Verse, and my answer: YES.

So all you mighty fine folk who’ve been following Dakila’s adventures in his own title, yes, this is the same Dakila.
For the record (and as I explained to Budjette during our conversations before I agreed to take on writing Fr. Matt), there is only one ‘Verse timeline.* No Elseworlds or What If’s.
In staying true to my belief that every story counts, not just from a narrative standpoint, but a character one as well, there is one single Dakila, and in every story that features him and that’s written by me, rest assured, it’s Brandon Ramirez underneath that mask, and not some alterna-Brandon.
It’s Brandon wearing that mask, and in the same way each of us learns a little (or a large) something from every encounter we have, every challenge we’re confronted with, every day we live through, there’s a single Dakila, with a single emotional throughline, a single character arc, learning a little something here, a large something there, as he goes along.
So yeah, Iunctura is canon, as far as Dakila and the ‘Verse are concerned.

And as far as Fr. Matt, who will be appearing in both Trese Deviations team-ups as well as his own “solo” stories: as I mentioned in the Iunctura text page, both kinds of stories work in tandem to build out the world that includes the Hilasterion and the Malevari.
We’ll meet the other members of the Mercy Seat; we’ll see the manner in which they operate and conduct their ongoing struggle against the Forsaken; we’ll learn what other kinds of Malevari are out there, as well as the origins of the entire demonic race.
All of these and more, secrets and revelations, to be found in either type of story, so the Big Picture can only be seen, the proverbial puzzle solved, from pieces gathered from each and every Fr. Matt story…
So we fervently hope you’ve strapped yourselves in, ‘cause we aim to treat you to a wild and wonderfully horrific ride as we take you into the midst of the Hilasterion/Malevari conflict…

* Note though that not all characters who appear under the ‘Verse banner are singular like Dakila.
I’ve addressed this in the past, but I’ll repeat it here since it seems to be germane to what we’re discussing: the Kadasig who appears in Skyworld is not the same Kadasig who appears in the ‘Verse title that goes by his name, in the same way as the Alexandra Trese who appears in Skyworld is not the same Alexandra who appears in the comic that she headlines.
You can choose to look at it this way: while Skyworld may now be retroactively considered a “Deviation” for Alexandra, it’s always been canon to Skyworld
Because--and I’m brutally paraphrasing good old JC* here--“You should always have the right to refuse to be someone else’s alternate timeline.”


Because there wasn’t any space for this in the comic:

Blondie, Depeche Mode, Dubstar, The Essence, The Fall, Grandaddy, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, The Pale Fountains, Pulp, The Railway Children, Ruby, and X-Mal Deutschland

-- dave (AKA The “Writing Machine,” as Budjette refers to me)

* No, not that JC! I mean John bloody Constantine!

So there we are.

[Featuring Dakila & Fr. Trese]
By: David Hontiveros and Marvin del Mundo

Page Count: 36 pages
Cover Price: P 160.00

Launching at Komikon Grande 2019
November 23 & 24
Bayanihan Center, Unilab Compound, 8008 Pioneer St., Kapitolyo, Pasig City

Now, while there may be more BTS insights of this sort in the near future, what I'd also like to do here in this space is to open the floor to any questions you may have.
So long as the questions aren't too spoiler-y or too personal, please feel free to leave them in the Comments section of this post, and I'll do my best to answer them in a future Addendum piece.

So, once more, save the dates: November 23 & 24, Saturday and Sunday.

Hope to see all you mighty fine folk at the Bayanihan Center for Komikon Grande 2019!
Look for me at the Visprint booth, where copies of Trese Deviations: Iunctura and Dakila: Kapalaran 3 will be available.

Parting Shot:
In addition, these issues of DAKILA are also available to order online here, at the Indie Komiks Market section of

So for any Trese fans who are as of yet unaware of who Dakila is exactly, please feel free to click on over to mervstore and check these issues out.

you can’t drink just six,