I was super late to the Kwentillion Young Adult Readers Carnival. Because of the rain and flood and all that drama that comes with the opening of ticket sales for Big Bang’s concert in October, I got to NBC Bestsellers in Galleria around 4pm. I missed Mina and Charles‘s “Filipino YA Creators” panel and barely made it in time for the Kwentillion creators’ panel.
The talk was fun. It also gave us insight into what the creators were aiming for — showcasing local talent and giving kids and adults something uniquely Filipino to enjoy. During the Q and A, one of the people in the audience, a teacher, suggested that they try coming into schools to reach the magazine’s audience. Which I thought was a great idea. I hope this happens.
After the talk and the Q and A, there was a signing session. Glad I didn’t miss that.
I haven’t had time to finish reading the whole of Kwentillion’s first issue, but I love what I’ve seen so far. First off, the cover is gorgeous. It’s an illustration by Chester Ocampo of “The Last Datu” by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, the first story in the issue. Check out the lovely headdress and stylized kris. Someone cosplay this, quick!
Also, I would like a large-size poster of this please.
“The Last Datu” was easily a favorite. The heroine’s name is Lawana, the daughter of a Datu and an enkanta. While Budjette and Kajo’s Alexandra Trese is burdened with the mission to fight evil, Lawana is burdened with angst and a promise she made to avenge her father’s death — you know, the usual girly stuff.
I also enjoyed the steam punk “High Society” written by Paolo Chikiamco, which is set in the 18th century during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, and has the crazy awesome art of Hannah Buena. If you can’t get your hands on a physical copy of Kwentillion, High Society is available as an e-book on Amazon. I hope Paolo and Hannah are cooking up sequels or prequels, because I want more!
Then there’s the delightful “Poso Maximo” by Robert Magnuson. The artwork is so animated and expressive, it didn’t need any dialogue. Poso Maximo is the grumpy uncle (or grandfather, depending on how old you are, haha) you just wanna hug. And he’s the one to call when you’re plagued by monsters in your sewers.
I’m saving the rest of the stories to read tonight. Don’t worry, TJ, I’ll get to “Sky Gypsies” soon!
To help you along, the issue also has a guide to Filipino folklore.
Needless to say, I’m psyched for issue #2 of Kwentillion. Till then, you all should run to your nearest National Bookstore branch to buy your copy. (I can’t believe I only paid PhP 150 for all this awesomeness.)
(If this post isn’t mega enough for you, wait till I update this with the video I took during the event.)