Brewed Thoughts: Fangasm on Visprint's WIT

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fangasm on Visprint's WIT

I think it's bad that there are less and less people who read, but it's even worse knowing that our local authors and publishers do not get the support they need from the very few reading public. Personally, I like reading Philippine fiction, particularly subjects that interest me such as folklore, history and the paranormal. Although I'm not exactly well-read when it comes to the works of the more prolific Filipino authors, I'm a big fan of some of Visprint Inc.'s titles, some of which were just surprise discoveries in my countless forages in bookshops.


When I learned Visprint was staging the first author-writer meet-up of sorts, I grabbed at the chance to meet my favorite authors, Karen Francisco and G.M. Coronel and have my books signed in the process. They had a talk block session on the fantasy/horror genre which I also signed up for, but I also registered for the other talks that afternoon just to satisfy the curiosity to meet the other authors.

Funny man, Manix Abrera, talks about Kikomachine.

One of the first sessions I was able to attend was on the komiks panel, particularly on Manix Abrera's segment. The author and creator of Kikomachine comics was as hilarious in person as his characters. It's amazing how observant these people are and how they're able to poke fun of our weird Filipino habits and nuances.

 Horror/fantasy panel (from top: Karen Francisco for Naermyth, Karl De Mesa for News of the Shaman, and G.M. Coronel for Tragic Theater)

When the fantasy/horror panel came up, I was really starstruck seeing Karen & Sir Bart talk about their novels, their research and the painstaking efforts they went through to come up with such amazing novels. The entire amount of research and world-building for Naermyth was overwhelming for me. I'm planning a story along the same genre and frankly I'm scared that I may not have enough info to get confident enough to work on this project. Still, it was pretty much amazing how I was able to get some tips from Karen's talk which I hope will help me tide over November unscathed.

Meeting Karen & Sir Bart in the flesh was, needless to say, a humbling experience. I was particularly amazed at how non-assuming Bart Coronel was. I'd have never known this seemingly quiet, simple man had no formal training on writing. I was behaving like a fantard when both of them recognized me by name as I usually stalked them on Facebook and Twitter. When I got my books signed, it was like Lourd de Veyra all over again--that sweet, fangasm feeling of seeing and talking to your writing gods up close.

Visprint authors and artists
I really think local publishers should do more than just book signings. With so many challenges confronting the local publishing scenes, there should be more interactions such as these between publishers, authors and readers. I'm glad Visprint is one of those who take these matters to heart.

P.S.: To the few people who read this humble blog, I urge you to check out other titles under Visprint. For those who've read Naermyth and Tragic Theater, well, Karen mentioned she's 75% done with book 2, and Tomb Keeper, the prequel & sequel to Tragic Theater, will be out by Halloween! I hope there's another book signing event for that. :D

See you in next year's WIT!

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