welcome!

Welcome to the blog/website for EK Gonzales.

Basic writer information and free-website moderator information about me is present within these pages. Also available are a bunch of personal reviews for Filipino indie/semi-indie komiks.

If you’re here for the komik reviews, please type in the name of what you’re looking for at the search box to your right.

More recent reviews are in these places:
PinoyKomikNinja on tumblr (longer-ish recent reviews)
Komikninja on Instagram (short reviews with pictures)

Enjoy your stay!

story in PSF10: Soulless

I am incredibly surprised and incredibly happy to report that the…um…kawayan-punk? Pinoy steampunk?…story “Soulless” has been accepted into Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 10, edited by original tandem Dean and Nikki Alfar. It will be released near the end of this year. Links to Flipreads will be given once available.

It has been several years and several attempts ago since. The story was fun to think for, but a long shot, so I am grateful to be included.

Others chosen have also been announcing (including the Osiases and Eliza Victoria), so the volume is expected to be a wonderful selection of genre fiction.

joining april camp nanowrimo

Camp-Participant-2015-Facebook-Profile

This is to inform that, after so many years, I’m doing Nanowrimo again. Just at a lower level, 30K. Because I’m taking Camp Nanowrimo, which allows for flexible goals, as long as it is done in a month.

I sorta-kinda have a story, through a given broad prompt by the awesome and kind Mina Esguerra.

I may even have a battle plan, because unbelievably I find myself accepted into the first AILAP Writing Lab in the Young Adult division.

I’m taking this up while I can. The months after April may no longer let me do this.

Here goes, and wish me stuff.

long-listed story: Frozen Delight

“Frozen Delight”, part of Horror: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults edited by Dean Alfar and Kenneth Yu, has been included in the long list for the Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction 2013, by Twelfth Planet Press, edited by Julia Rios and Alisa Kranostein.

Eliza Victoria (her awesomeness!) is included in the anthology itself, so cool. Two other Pinoys from the horror antho are also cited in the long list: Elyss Punzalan and Charles Tan. Rochita Loenen-Ruiz is also cited in the long list for a story in Clarkesworld. Congrats all around to everyone!

drabble: auction

This is kinda the annual Rizal day tribute thing. I hope you like. ^^v

…………………………..

The sullen man sat at the back of the auction hall. His hair was white, fell to his shoulders, and was partly hidden under his top hat. He raised the dark spectacles over his eyes. HIs hands were perched over his cane, simple, hardwood, hiding a reliable but plain sword in its center, without any of the jewels that he peddled across the Asian isles.

He bided his time, as he had for years now, waiting for the perfect moment.

The auctioneer pounded his gavel for order. He grew alert.

Continue reading

Mukat volume 2 (mel casipit) (mukat comics/fl3)

Prince Eric, Jani, and Sapok are in Abraria, resting and restocking on supplies for the continuing journey. But the powerful mage Patro has stolen many human souls and awakened Samal, a strong demon with the ability to possess humans. The only people who even have a chance to stop Patro’s damage in Abraria may be just these three, plus Yeyen, Samal’s guard-mage.

These are the 2006-2008 material, just a little before Mel’s successes at the Komikons. The raw-ness is still visible in the written-in speech balloons and the occasional uneven illustrations. But in this set, you see the rising quality of his comic art, and you cannot help but be beyond impressed. The set is filled with action scenes and panels that are rendered wonderfully with high detail and the feeling of high-impact motion. Many of these scenes, of course, were clearly derived from the way manga does these things. Yet the way they are utilized in the series is beyond imitation, but are signs of an excellent artist still experimenting with his craft.

Also visible are Mel’s improvements as a storyteller, for the pacing in this set is much better, and laying-down of information is spread gradually across the chapters. Patro properly comes out as dangerous and crafty. Sapok’s cheerfulness and friendliness while hiding secrets is better presented. Jani’s strengths in battle are highlighted, along with a family history. Eric’s fighting skill combined with humility is expressed very well.

Mukat is still most likeable because it is what it is: the work of a developing artist, pouring heart and soul and craft into something he totally believes in. It’s fun because it suddenly tangents into local comedy, into in-joking (surely the Sherwin of Abraria person, Sapok’s ‘besprenz!’ is a classmate in real life?), into info-dumping, then dips into action, into being YuYu Hakusho (Ghost Fighter), then Pokemon, then well-thought fantasy, then something else. All of this without losing the course of the main story, and continuing to show character development. It won’t work in this current stage of Mel’s comicking career, knowing what he already knows and having improved his craft so much since then, now that he knows better control. But it was awesome and totally fun back when it was written. Because he had fun, so do we.

Overall, we continue to see the artist’s journey in this series, and you continue to be impressed at how Mel Casipit kept pushing himself to improve through the years. As a time capsule, and as itself, Mukat continues to be a key part of the new indie age, in its own cheerful happy way.

Patintero volume 2 (kai castillo) [fl3]

Owen and the Red Flames have managed to prove they have what it takes. When a group backs out at the last minute, they suddenly have a way into Patintero Urban, more or less the X-games, underground league of the sport. But success is getting into Marco’s head, too many people are looking at blind player Owen with disbelief, and their first challenger the Chaos Bolts are a harder fight than they expected.

The big question now is: will the cutie Chester Okada now have commercial-modelling gigs?! You know, like for Gatorade or NIke or Bench, or picture articles at Esquire and Cosmo? ^^v

In a big leap of faith, Kai Castillo has dared to show the second part of the series immediately in TPR form, without initially creating individual folded-paper issues. The gamble has paid off. Because this is the only running sport komik (in contrast to the many fantasy, scifi, school-story, and zombie komiks), the rules are different for his running series. By deciding to go direct to TPR, he was free to develop a whole game, from its planning stages to its crucial final minutes, across the equivalent of three folded-paper issues, without disrupting continuity. Therefore, you keep reading and following the action as it unfolds, without wondering if you’re missing something because of lacking an issue. You can’t believe you’re following patintero like it were a tight basketball game: intense and unpredictable, even if you kinda hope the main characters will win the day.

Giving pauses where chapters stop and start are his versions of an important sports website for Patintero Urban. Do not skip them; read them because they give clues to undercurrents related to the running game. They are short enough not to wear out their welcome. That said, if the “website updates” will be continued, they should really be given a final grammar check before publication.

The rapid development of Kai’s art style also shows in this release. There are plenty of detailed action poses and more variations in “camera angles” all throughout. Inclusion of markers or paints to the heavy inking also adds more dimension to the art in general, especially in the second half. The main characters are also easier to tell apart, and enough repetition of the names in dialogue are given now (without overdoing it) so I can properly distinguish one from the other.

And you definitely know something great is being done here when you feel the fangirling mode coming on while reading. The crazy feelings you reserve for big manga or anime, for popular TV series. Owen is being so awesome! Chester is cute and so cool! Where do you get posters of Chester to put on the wall, please! When are we getting fanart! When are we getting, gasp, fanfic! The characters are latching on to us. It’s a good thing.

So keep it coming, sir. Give us backstories, give us game arcs. Keep it coming.