My Thoughts About Trese: Sa Kanto ng Balete Drive at 13th Street (Book Review #87)

So one day I decided to visit a nearby bookstore and I found myself at the Filipiniana section. I was browsing through some titles and lo and behold, I saw a familiar face on one of the covers. I was quite hesitant at first because first of all, it is colored and it is on a different format. So I took it out from the rack and yes, it is of Trese!

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I immediately took it out of it’s shelf and I opened it but no, it was not the book 7 of the Trese that I was expecting. But still, I bought it and took it home to add to my collection. The book was a special collection of Trese’s first Filipino edition in full color featuring Trese: Sa Kanto ng Belete Drive at 13th Street which is part of the first volume, still written and illustrated by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo respectively, winners of the Philippine National Book Award For Best Graphic Literature. And guess who translated it to Filipino. It’s the one and only Bob Ong!

To all those who doesn’t know about what the Trese series is all about, it is a Filipino horror/crime komiks/graphic novel about Alexandra Trese an investigator who works with the police in solving crimes involving supernatural origins in the current Philippine setting. She is assisted by her boys, the Kambal, in this job. The stories in each volume incorporates Philippine pop culture and Philippine folklore.

First of all, as a fan of the series, let me just say that I am ashamed with myself that all along I don’t know about this book was released. I later learned that it was released last year during Komikon 2015, the biggest Philippine Komiks Convention, which also marked the 10th anniversary of the series. The book follows the investigation regarding the killing of a ghost that frequents the corner of Balete Drive and 13th Drive which like I said is a story taken from the book’s first volume, Murder on Balete Drive. Trese and her team then follows a trail of anger and revenge to despair and hopelessness.

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It’s nice to be reacquainted again with Trese and her kick8ss character. I read the last volume in the series last year and it left me with a lot of hopes that the next volume will come out soon which explains my delight when I saw this book. It may not be the next volume that I was expecting but it did lived up up to my expectations and became at par with its predecessors in terms of is illustration. Though it is not easy to get used to (I did enjoy how the current volumes are in black and white), rendering the the art with color has added more dimension, life and depth to the book’s art. And Bob Ong really did a good job with translating the series to Filipino. How I really miss Trese! I hope the next volume will be released soon.

Translating the book to Filipino is a great endevour to expand the the readership of the series. If this will be done to the other stories of any in the volumes, I’ll surely still buy it. Kudos to everyone who came up with this idea.

I read, enjoyed and reviewed the books first 6 volumes and I am just happy that I have now a copy of this edition. The 40-page special edition is just full of pure awsomeness. I like how the last few pages of the book were all but character interpretations by different artists (and yes, they are also colored!). The book also includes a comparison between the original black and white illustration and was placed side to side with the new ones with color. This book is really a must have to all Trese fans! Go pick it up! 🙂

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5 stars out of 5.

If your curious with my thoughts about my thoughts about the first to sixth volume of the comic book series here are my reviews for each:
Trese Comic Volume #6 (High Tide at Midnight)
Trese Comic Volume #5 (Midnight Tribunal)
Trese Comic Book Volume 4 (Last Seen After Midnight)
Trese Comic Book Volume 3 (Mass Murders)
Trese Comic Book Volume #2 (Unreported Murders)
Trese Comic Book Volume #1 (Murder on Balete Drive)

Are you also a fan of the Trese series like me? What’s your favorite volume? Let me know your thoughts. 🙂

BOOK SPECIFICATIONS:

Author: Budjette Tan, Kajo Baldisimo (Illustrator)
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: Bought
Part of a Series: Yes
Release Year: November 2015
Publisher: Visprint
No. of Pages: 40 pages

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4 thoughts on “My Thoughts About Trese: Sa Kanto ng Balete Drive at 13th Street (Book Review #87)

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