Books & Art

Kapres and Battlecruisers, Tikbalangs and Starships Take Centerstage in This U.S. Graphic Novel

And then there's a manananggal who is coming of age.
IMAGE KOI CARREON/ABLAZE, MICO DIMAGIBA/ABLAZE
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Tikbalang and battlecruisers, manananggals and robots? It’s a genre never explored before. 

Mythspace: Ignition is a collection of sci-fi adventures blended with myths and folklore of the Philippines: starship battles, giant mecha, and alien bounty hunters meet kapres, tikbalangs, and mananaggals

With Mythspace: Ignition, comic and graphic novel publisher Ablaze takes readers on a galactic journey deep into a world of myth and folklore, transformed into a captivating space opera, Filipino style. 

The collection comprises six stories exploring old tales and folklore creatures from the Philippines but inspired by alien civilizations. With a sci-fi lens, the graphic novel tells the story of a young man’s journey through myth, kapre war, and of a manananggal coming of age. 

Edited and written by Paolo Chikiamco, Mythspace features stories from a cadre of acclaimed Filipino illustrators: Koi Carreon, C.R. Chua, Borg Sinaban, Jules Gregorio, Paul Quiroga, and Mico Dimagiba. 

Photo by Koi Carreon.
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1| Mythspace: Lift Off with Koi Carreon 

Monsters are myths and aliens are fiction – that’s what Ambrosio Magkalas believes, not his crazy Lola’s stories about robot-riding Nuno and Kapres from space. But now she’s dead, and  Ambrosio is about to learn that she wasn’t so crazy after all… Art by Koi Carreon and words by  Paolo Chikiamco. 

2| Mythspace: Black Mark with Paul Quiroga 

A story that gives readers a glimpse into the fractious society of the crafty Nuno, where political zealots (who tint their skins to signify their party loyalties) have the government in a  persistent state of gridlock. Yet, legend has it that there exists a faction that transcends politics:  the legendary Black, a task force that is authorized to go to extreme measures to safeguard  Nuno society. Helmless Mang, a pariah on his home planet, is about to find out that the Black is both more powerful and more terrible than the stories would have you believe… Art by  Paul Quiroga and words by Paolo Chikiamco. 

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Photo by Koi Carreon.

3| Mythspace: Devourers of Light with Jules Gregorio 

The reasons behind the centuries-long hatred between the Kapre and the Laho unfolds in this tale. At a turning point in history, the Laho lead an inter-species alliance to punish the Kapre for violating a galaxy-wide taboo… but when Supreme Apex Barkarilkarilmon loses his patience with the other races, the Laho take independent action — with disastrous consequences for the  Kapre race. Art by Jules Gregorio and words by Paolo Chikiamco. 

Photo by Koi Carreon.
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4| Mythspace: Uncommon Ground with Mico Dimagiba 

It’s tough being a detective on a planet of shapeshifters. But Inquest Haskra’s life takes a turn for the worse when he’s hired by a Laho to find a missing jewel to prevent the onset of civil war. But does Haskra really want to help a member of the race that destroyed his home planet?  Art by Mico Dimagiba and words by Paolo Chikiamco. 

Photo by Koi Carreon.

5| Mythspace: Humanity with C.R. Chua 

In a galaxy where humans have no rights Danny and Marta work as slaves in the mines of the  Kataw. But when they are miraculously rescued by something out of legend, they must decide what freedom means to each of them, and what they are willing to pay for it. Art by Cristina  Chua and words by Paolo Chikiamco.

Photo by Koi Carreon.
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6| Mythspace: Unfurling of Wings with Borg Sinaban 

Ri-En, Books, and Zu are orphans who eke out a living in the slums of an aging space station,  under the protection of their mentor, Ka-Ang. But Ka-Ang’s health is deteriorating, and the three friends hatch a desperate plan to save him — one which places them on a collision course with the station’s worst criminal gang, as well as one of the dreaded and immortal “Sixths”. Art  by Borg Sinaban and words by Paolo Chikiamco. 

Photo by Koi Carreon.

“The Philippines has a vibrant graphic novel scene that is primed for wider exposure to a substantial and eager global fanbase,” says Rich Young, Co-founder of Ablaze. “Mythspace: Ignition unites some of the country’s most talented writers and artists for a potent collection that sets a new benchmark for this burgeoning community of creators. We look forward to  launching the crowdfunding campaign to bring this work to a new range of readers.” 

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“We always wanted to see ourselves represented in the kind of stories we enjoyed when we were growing up – heck, which we still enjoy now,” says Mythspace creator, Paolo Chikiamco.  “Stories of starship battles and giant mecha, of newly-discovered planets and alien bounty hunters. The stories and characters of Mythspace are our attempt to fill a void, in both shelves and hearts. With the help of ABLAZE and Kickstarter we hope to do it again, this time with the  Mythspace edition we always dreamed of making.”  

You can support Mythspace: Ignition by donating to its Kickstarter pre-launch campaign, which can be accessed here. It launches on March 22. You may also sign up for updates on Mythspace here

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