It’s going to be a pretty quiet month, at least as far as my blogs are concerned because of NaNoWriMo, and other real life stuff that does not revolve around the novel. You definitely know I am writing my novel because I am starting to avoid contractions in my text to up my word count. See?

Anyway, other than NaNoWriMo, we have just moved out of our house for our long awaited house renovation, so I had to put all my books into big plastic bags and transferred them to this apartment down the street. This kind of stopped me from reading because I can’t just dig those books out without making a big mess. Most of my reading will be done via Astrid the Kindle now, but I will try to grab a book once in a while. Perhaps after November.

But of course I cannot stop reading. So when I’m not writing, I try to read. And that happened earlier while I was at work. I did not feel like writing, and I also did not feel like working, so I decided to poke around in my Kindle to see what I can read — something short and quick, to just wake me up.

Then I found Kataastaasan.

Kataastaasan by Hannah Buena and Paolo Chikiamco, is not really a book but a short 22-page comic that is set in 1770 in Cebu City and tells an alternate history of the Philippines’ struggle for independence from Spain. I don’t want to give anything away since it’s a pretty short piece, but suffice to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how the story turned out! I’m not much of a comic person and I’m fairly new to speculative fiction, so I did not know what to expect with this, but I finished this one with only one thought: that was a really cool twist.

And it really is. I thought it was a very creative use of one of the many colorful aspects of Filipino culture, with a steampunk twist. The language was easy to understand and I liked the dark vibe it had despite the innocent looking characters. I’m also not very knowledgeable in making comments on artwork, but I thought the illustrations here were very good, even if it’s all in black and white. The lack of color just adds to the overall historic feel to it, IMHO.

I really, really liked this one, and it was worth the fifteen minutes I stole from work to read it. :P I’m hoping there would be more? I’m not much of a comic reader, but I’ll definitely be in line for this one if there is more. :)

Kataastaasan will be published by Espresso Comics, which hopefully will be published before this year ends. Thanks to Pao for the ARC!

Rating: [rating=5]

2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 95 out of 100 for 2010
* Book # 12 out of 20 for Project 20:10
Fine. I know it’s not a book…but I’m counting it in anyway. :P

My copy: e-ARC from one of the authors

Cover image: Rocket Kapre

Other Reviews:
Into the Wardrobe

9 Thoughts on “Kataastaasan

  1. Good luck with Nanowrimo! And I hope you can get to your books soon. I read the occasional comic/manga. I like the image so I’ll take note of this for later when it comes out.

    • Hi Holly! Thanks! It’s my seventh NaNo, but it still drives me crazy when I hit the wall. I hope one day I get enough courage to edit and send any one of my works somewhere for publishing. That, or I go self-publish. But it’s too early to think of it.

      I’m not sure if Kataastaasan is going to be released internationally, but I hope they release an ebook version of this so other people could read it, too. It’s a very interesting take on Philippine history. :)

  2. Wait… your Kindle’s name is Astrid? :)

  3. Hullo Tina! :)

    This looks like an exciting comic book, I hope I’ll be able to see and grab a copy one this coming Komikon.

    Thanks for the heads up! :D

    • Hey Jzhun! It’s very good! I’m not sure if it would be out in time for Komikon, but in case you meet Pao, then maybe you can ask about it? :)

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