3 yrs ago, fantasy writer Neil Gaiman helped ‘Trese’ comics reach international readers

June 17, 2021 - 2:24 PM
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Neil Gaiman and Trese
Neil Gaiman in this photo from his official Facebook account on Nov. 3, 2020 (left) and a still from 'Trese' as provided by Netflix Philippines (right).

After “Trese” got an animated treatment from Netflix, recollections of its beginnings when co-creator Budjette Tan was just eyeing to distribute the comic books outside the Philippines surfaced online.

A Reddit user on the discussion websites’ Philippine community (r/Philippines) shared a screenshot of the English writer’s tweet on September 2018 when he promoted Tan and Kajo Baldisimo‘s comic book by sharing a link to a fundraising campaign.

“Throwback to that time when Neil Gaiman did his part to help fund the global release of Trese,” Reddit user “Lexidoge” wrote on Wednesday.

Throwback to that time when Neil Gaiman did his part to help fund the global release of Trese from Philippines

It was not the first time that the acclaimed fantasy writer has shown support to Filipino works.

A month before that, he tweeted his love for Filipino mythology but said that local writers can write better about them.

“I really LOVE the myths and monsters of the Philippines,” Gaiman wrote in response to a Filipino fan before.

“But you also have many terrific writers there who can do a better job of telling those stories than I can,” he added.

Gaiman is known to be influenced by mythologies in his writings.

Among Gaiman’s most critically-acclaimed works are “American Gods.” It pits gods from different mythologies against each other in a modern-day setting.

He is also known for the comic book series “The Sandman” which explores different mythologies and fairy tales and combines them with more recent superhero lore.

Gaiman has also visited the Philippines several times before.

RELATED: Neil Gaiman’s love for Philippine mythology shows richness of Filipino culture

Meanwhile, when the “Trese” fundraising campaign was launched before, Tan was then seeking for its international production and distribution.

The campaign, done through Indiegogo’s website, contained different packages in which readers have the option to get a PDF copy of “Trese’s” first volume, the PDF and its printed version and/or copies signed by Baldisimo, among others.

In Tan’s 2018 interview, the “Trese” co-creator revealed that the crowdfunding campaign was launched because “they could not get one of the big American comic book companies to publish the series internationally” at that time.

The “Trese” writer said that while they didn’t think of the global audience when they first started the series, foreigners have “gotten their hands” on it and “enjoyed reading.”

“Based on their feedback, they really like getting introduced to this new pantheon of gods and this new bestiary of monsters. Aside from that, they really like how we’ve portrayed Alexandra and the Kambal and we now have fanboys (and girls) around the world. Which is part of the reason why thought releasing a ‘Trese’ global edition would work,” Tan said in the interview.

Months after Gaiman expressed his support for “Trese” to have an international edition, streaming giant Netflix announced in November 2018 that it will pick up the Filipino comic book series as part of its original anime lineups.

Two years later, the “Trese” comics were picked up by ABLAZE Publishing in the United States.

Its edition features Baldisimo’s redrawn illustrations, extra sketches and insights into the “Trese” world to help non-Filipino readers become familiar with the country’s folklore and myths.