Visprint, Inc.(formerly Visual Print Enterprises)
|Publication date||December 2005 – Present|
|No. of issues||Main Cases:
|Created by||Budjette Tan
|Written by||Budjette Tan|
|Artist(s)||Kajo Baldisimo, Ian Sta Maria, Mark Torres|
Trese is a horror/crime black and white komiks created by writer Budjette Tan and artist Kajo Baldisimo. It tells the story of Alexandra Trese, a detective who deals with crimes of supernatural origin. The third book, Trese: Mass Murders, won Best Graphic Literature in the 29th National Book Award in November 2010, the fourth book, Trese: Last Seen After Midnight, was nominated for the Filipino Readers' Choice Award for Comics/Graphic Novels 2012, the fifth book, Trese: Midnight Tribunal, won the Filipino Readers' Choice Award for Comics/Graphic Novels 2013, Trese: Stories from the Diabolical was nominated for the Filipino Readers' Choice Award for Fictional Anthology 2014, Manila Noir, an anthology book that contained Trese: Thirteen Stations, won the National Book Award for Best Anthology in English 2014, while the sixth book, Trese: High Tide at Midnight, was a National Book Award Nominee for Graphic Literature in English 2015. The series is set to be adapted in 2020 as an animated series produced by Netflix.
- 1 Publication History
- 2 Plot
- 3 Characters
- 4 Awards
- 5 Issue Synopses
- 5.1 Main Series
- 5.2 Stories from the Diabolical
- 5.3 Precinto 13
- 5.4 Others
- 5.5 Trese Komiks
- 5.6 Books in Production
- 6 Graphic Novels
- 7 Crossovers
- 8 Adaptation
- 9 Merchandise
- 10 Future
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Trese was first published independently by Alamat Comics in ashcan (photocopied) and online format. It is currently available in a collected, graphic novel form, published by Visprint, Inc. (formerly Visual Print Enterprises). National Book Store rereleased Trese: Last Seen After Midnight and Trese: Midnight Tribunal with dust jackets while Filbars also re-released the first three books with dust jackets. Ebooks of the comics were also sold online. The first 3 graphic novels were compiled into a hardcover edition named "Trese: Book of Murders" which contained journal entries from the protagonist's grandfather, Alexander Trese, that added more history and background regarding each case. "Trese: Stories from the Diabolical Volume 1," were tales originally published online in 2008 in a blog before it turned into a book in 2013. The cases 1, 2, and 4 were republished by Visprint with an updated colored art by Kajo Baldisimo and translated into Filipino by Bob Ong. They also contained translated journal entries from Trese: Book of Murders.
With its popularity, Trese and the Kambal appeared in other books such as Skyworld and Agents of Ambush.
Post-Netflix Anime Series Announcement
With a goal of reaching more audience, the creators then created an Indiegogo campaign for production of a 32-page comic book global edition of Case 1: At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street that has an updated text and art with bonus pages, featuring the same journal entries from Book of Murders. Aside from a variant cover exclusive, supporters could also avail the Indiegogo sketch variant with uniquely drawn covers. The campaign was endorsed by Neil Gaiman. Supporters from the Philippines were given freebies of 2 of the 16 designs sketches that were drawn in 13 ways, and a reprint of the original Trese #1 ashcan.
At the release of Trese 7: Shadow Witness, Visprint Inc "had a record selling out the first three hundred-plus books by the first half of the day" during the 40th Manila International Book Fair. For the 14th Anniversary of Trese, a reprint of Trese #1 Global Edition: At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street was released exclusively by Comic Odyssey and Fibar's titled, "Trese #1: At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street (Anniversary Edition)". It differed from the Global Edition because it was smaller, had a self-cover, and cheaper.
When the sun sets in the city of Manila, don’t you dare make a wrong turn and end up in that dimly-lit side of the metro, where aswang run the most-wanted kidnapping rings, where kapre are the kingpins of crime, and engkantos slip through the cracks and steal your most precious possessions. When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese.
Trese is a horror/crime komiks title created by writer Budjette Tan and artist Kajo Baldisimo. It follows the story of Alexandra Trese, a mysterious detective who deals with crimes of supernatural origin mainly occurring in the capital region of the Philippines.
Alexandra steps in to protect the streets of Manila when the police can't deal with the supernatural weirdness that appears. Whenever she's needed, Trese arrives, often called in by Captain Guerrero, the Commissioner Gordon to Trese's unconventional Batman, a man who seems singularly predisposed to lean on her knowledge and specific skills. Supported by two mysterious and obviously magical creatures of uncertain powers – the always stylish Kambal, she's always there to protect Manila from supernatural threat. Comparisons to Hellblazer and Vertigo were supplanted in this story with a familiar feel – this has the glorious scale and import of Ellis and Cassaday's Planetary, with Trese functioning as the spiritual and supernatural protector of Manila, delivering her world safe and sound, no matter what it takes, whilst we get to investigate alongside, all the weird and wonderful her mystical existence has to offer. It fuses Philippine horror mythology with graphic storytelling and dark art in telling the story of Alexandra Trese, a detective who specializes in supernatural cases.
Originally intended to be released with just 13 cases, most issues were usually stand-alone cases except for issues from Mass Murders, where Case #9-13 are all related, using different cues from the previous books. This changed from the start of Volume 5 where the cases started to take on a more serialized progression despite still incorporating aspects of episodic storytelling per issue. Volumes 1 & 2 contain self-contained chapters 1-8, where it introduces to the strange and weird world on (and under) the streets of Manila. This self-contained story idea comes (as Tan says) from his idol Warren Ellis - to create a self-contained story in short, perfect tales. But again, the similarities between early Jamie Delano written Hellblazer comics is obvious – each story of Trese builds up her mystique and introduces a little more of her background in Manila, just as Delano did in Original Sins.
In Volume 3, Tan starts to develop the story beyond the single issue story structure he's used so far, taking us back in time to the moment where 15-year-old Alexandra Trese joined her father Anton on her first case. And along the way we find out the origins of her constant companions and bodyguards; the stylish, ultra cool and very deadly Kambal.
- Alexandra Trese - First appeared in Trese #1 Case 1. A strong, independent, modern woman with an old soul deeply attached to the Underworld. Alexandra Trese, or simply Trese, is a private detective who specializes in crimes perpetrated by supernatural beings of the Underworld. She is the proprietor of The Diabolical, a night club that serves the best kapeng barako in the street where it stands, just like the time when it was once a simple cafe run by Trese's grandfather. She is usually dressed in black garb and is often seen working in her trademark outfit a black button-down Chinese-inspired trenchcoat. For weapons, Trese uses guns and a magical kris called 'Sinag', a short sword having wavy edges, used by the old Muslim tribes such as the Maranaw. Trese seems to have a very complex relationship with her father, Anton. She has a twin that died after their birth. Anton used the baby's soul to create Sinag to be given to her. She was revealed her psionic potential at her young age,aiding her father in investigating the mysteries.In her initiation,she finished it within 3 years.
- Kambal - First appeared in Trese #1 Case 1. "Kambal" literally translates to "twins" in English and they are Alexandra Trese's mysterious and imposing personal bodyguards. It is not known as to what matter of creature the Kambal are, whether they are human or some Underworld species. It is not until the third book that the creators finally explained who the Kambal really are. These handsome, half-bred men are often seen floating, wearing black suits and strikingly unique diamond-shaped masks, one bearing a happy face and the other a sad face. To tell them apart when they don't have their masks, Kajo gave the happy-faced Kambal a long haircut and the sad-faced Kambal, a short hairstyle. The Kambal with the short hair and the sad-faced mask who is mostly referred to as "Kuya" throughout the stories until he was finally called Crispin in book 6 is the eldest of the Kambal. The one with the long hair and the happy-faced mask answers to the name Basilio, the younger Kambal who is the more playful of the two. It was revealed the Kambal was born from a female human and a Bukidnon war god.Their father must consume these twins to achieve stronger power. And they have superior power,killing a whole pack of Sigbin with their bare hands. Anton spared them
- Captain Guerrero - First appeared Trese #1 Case 1. He was Sargeant when Anton was aiding his superior.And when his superior retired,he took charge of the task force for the mysterious.
- Hank Sparrow - First appeared in Trese #1 case 3. He is the trusted bartender of The Diabolical. It is said that he loves to listen to stories of customers and if he likes their story he gives them a drink for free. However, according to what Tan wrote, Hank has been a bartender for a long time and has heard all kinds of stories that it has been a long time since he last gave out a free drink.
- Anton Trese - First mentioned in Trese #1 Case 1. First appeared in Trese #3 Case 1. He is Alexandra Trese's father and the former guardian of Metro Manila. He was a psychic investigator and has seven kids.He died when he protected Alexandra on her initiation rite when he sacrificed himself to fortify the tree.
- Puti - A pack leader under Anton's group. His pack aided Anton in his cleanups,until he and his pack were killed by Kambal when they tried to eliminate the twins.
- Tapia - First appeared in Trese #1 Case #1. He is Captain Guerrero's right-hand man in his investigations.
- Nuno sa Manhole - First appeared in Trese #1. A small, dwarf-like creature of the Underworld. Their kind once lived in mounds of dirt or ant hills until humans started throwing garbage and littered their homes. This particular nuno lives in a manhole, does not like the sea, and seems to know Alexandra's father. There is a superstition that if you disturb a nuno's home, it would inflict powerful curses on the poor, unsuspecting human. In the komiks, Trese asked for permission when she passed by a dirt mound, saying "Tabi, tabi po. Good evening po."
- Maliksi - First appeared in Trese #1 Case #2. A tikbalang responsible for multiple illegal drag race accidents held on C-5. Son of the Great Stallion and a member of the Armanaz herd.
- Senor Armanaz - First appeared in Trese #1 case 2. A tikbalang and the head of the Armanaz herd.
- Santelmo - a friend of Alexandra who assists her in some of her cases. First appeared in Trese #1 Case #3.
- Hannah and Ammie - First appeared in Trese #1 case 2. Hannah and Ammie are Wind-people; they are beings that possess the magical powers of the wind. Hannah is from the Habagat tribe and Ammie is from the Amihan tribe.
Trese: Mass Murders, won National Book Award Best Graphic Literature 2010, Trese: Last Seen After Midnight, was nominated for the Filipino Readers' Choice Award for Comics/Graphic Novels 2012, Trese: Midnight Tribunal, won the Filipino Readers' Choice Award for Comics/Graphic Novels 2013, Trese: Stories from the Diabolical was nominated for the Filipino Readers' Choice Award for Fictional Anthology 2014, Manila Noir, anthology book that contained Trese: Thirteen Stations, won the National Book Award for Best Anthology in English 2014, and Trese: High Tide at Midnight, was nominated for the National Book Award for Graphic Literature in English 2015.
Each issue of Trese is split into 'cases', some are structured like a detective case, with Alexandra Trese arriving at a crime scene and going about gathering clues until the case is solved, while some are structured as chapters in the issue's main story arc. In the main series, the cases are no longer numbered starting the fourth book, but are listed in the order they appeared.
Trese 1: Murder at Balete Drive
- "Case 1: At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street"
- "Case 2: The Rules of the Race"
- "Case 3: Our Secret Constellation"
- "Case 4: The Tragic Case of Dr. Burgos"
Trese 2: Unreported Murders
- "Case 5: A Little Known Murder in Studio 4": Starlet Heather Evangelista was found dead in the studio of her latest movie. Trese is called in after the remains of a dead duwende is found in the crime scene.
- "Case 6: The Outpost in Kalayaan Street": A late case at the cemetery turns grim for Captain Guerrero and his colleagues when the dead rose from their graves and started attacking the nearby outpost.
- "Case 7: Embrace of the Unwanted": A couple was found dead in a mall basement parking lot, ravaged by a very small creature. The case took several turns before finding its way back to a clinic in the mall.
- "Case 8: The Association Dues of Livewell Village": A pattern of deaths is found in Livewell Village with a person electrocuted once a year, left with a sigil on their body. Trese's investigation lead her to a shady deal between the residents and a lightning elemental.
Trese 3: Mass Murders
- "Case 9: A Private Retaliation"
- "Case 10: Patient 414 in Mandaluyong"
- "Case 11: The Fort Bonifacio Massacre"
- "Case 12: The Baptism of Alexandra Trese"
- "Case 13: An Act of War"
Trese 4: Last Seen After Midnight
- "Cadena De Amor": A serial rapist is killed by a plant elemental at Luneta Park. The case opens up to reveal the whereabouts of a missing gardener.
- "A Private Collection": A manananggal falls out of the sky with its wings carefully sliced off. The incident nearly starts a gang war in the area and Trese has to find the real murderer before the situation escalates.
- "Wanted: Bedspacer": A strange illness of depression affects students living along Katipunan Avenue and Trese has to trace the source of the paranormal epidemic.
- "Fight of the Year": With an aspiring boxer nearly lured into a deal he'd be sure to regret, Trese shows him what his idol has to do to achieve his fame and success.
Trese 5: Midnight Tribunal
- "Maverick Rider"
- "The Judge's Verdict"
- "Return of the Madame"
- "The Great Stampede"
Trese 6: High Tide at Midnight
- "The Executioner's Return"
- "Casa Lanan"
- "The Plan of the Four Clans"
- "The Executioner's Squad"
- "Slaughter at Brgy. Pacifica"
Trese 7: Shadow Witness
- "The Exorcism of Linda Blasco"
- "The Madrid Gig"
- "Thirteen Stations" - Reprinted story from Manila Noir
- "Table for Three" - Originally printed as an ashcan
Stories from the Diabolical
Budjette Tan created Stories from the Diabolical Blog to tell stories that he couldn't put into the comic books. They would often involve "The Diabolical" and sometimes reference the main cases such as "Case 1: At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street" and "Case 2: The Rules of the Race". Some of the stories in the blog had collaboration with other artists like Mark Torres, who drew for Image Comics, and Elbert Or, creator of Bakemono High. Most of the blog posts were published into the first volume and were all illustrated by Kajo Baldisimo.
Trese: Stories from the Diabolical Volume 1
- "One Last Drink at the Diabolical"
- "The Usual Spot"
- "The Last Full Show" , was the first draft that was developed into Thirteen Stations 
- "The Choir"
- "Coffee Black"
Stories from the Diabolical Blog
- "Welcome to The Diabolical" , used panels from Our Secret Constellation
- "The Choir"
- "One Last Drink at the Diabolical" , illustrated by Mark Torres
- "The Usual Spot" , illustrated by Elbert Or
- "Coffee Black"
- "I Carry your Heart
- "On the first of January"
- "The Last Full Show"
- "Night of the Creeps"
- "A Domestic Disturbance"
- "Midnight Patrol"
- "Calling the Parents of a Little Girl in a Blue Dress"
- "Trese: The Devil's Playground"' , art by Melvin Arciaga and story by Budjette Tan (Released online in 2009)
- "Masquerade" , illustrated by Mark Torres and written by Budjette Tan (Appeared in the October 2009 issue of Rogue Magazine)
- "Songs of the Lewenri: Farewell to Pain" (Published in 2010 for Free Comic Book Day)
- "The Clinic" (Appeared in the 2010 graphic fiction anthology: "Underpass")
- "The Feast" (Appeared in the December 2010 Philippine issue of Uno Magazine as well as the Lontar: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction in 2016)
- "The Last Full Show" (Appeared in the 2011 anthology book "Alternative Alamat", in a July 2012 post in the "Stories from the Diabolical" blog, and in the "Trese: Stories from the Diabolical Volume 1" in 2013)
- "Thirteen Stations" (Appeared in the 2013 publication of Manila Noir, Abangan: The Best of Philippine Komiks, and reprinted in Trese 7: Shadow Witness in 2019)
- "Trese: Engkanto in the City" (Appeared in the May 4, 2013 edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer)
- "Trese: Table for Three" (Published in October 2016 as an ashcan and then appeared in Trese 7: Shadow Witness).
- "Kambal: The Elegant Skull" , illustrated by Ian Sta. Maria and written by Budjette Tan (Appeared in the October 2017 issue of Kommunity magazine)
- "Trese #1 Global Edition: At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street" (Made available in October 2018, just before the Netflix adaptation announcement, for the backers of the Indiegogo campaign), retconned Alexandra's usage of a keypad mobile phone and fax machine 
- "Trese #1: At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street (Anniversary Edition)" (In celebration of Trese's 14th Anniversary, "Trese #1 Global Edition: At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street" was reprinted as an ashcan on 2019, similar to the original ashcan issue, exclusively sold by Comic Odyssey and Filbar's)
These are rereleased issues that have been translated into Filipino with an updated colored art. They all have bonus material attached at the end.
- "Sa Kanto ng Balete Drive": case #1 At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street
- "Mga Tuntunin ng Karera": case #2 The Rules of the Race
- "Ang Trahedya ni Dr. Burgos": case #4 The Tragic Case of Dr. Burgos
Books in Production
- Trese 8 
- Trese 9 
- Trese 10 
- Trese 11 
- Trese 12 
- Trese 13 
- "Bantay and the Askaleros" , a spinoff focusing on the character Bantay and his Askaleros. A preview was given out as a freebie during the Free Comic Book Day 2015. The characters appeared a year later in a story from the Stories from the Diabolical blog.
- "Trese Occult Case #2", the Global Edition of Case 2: The Rules of the Race
- Book 1 - Trese: Murder on Balete Drive
- Book 2 - Trese: Unreported Murders
- Book 3 - Trese: Mass Murders
- Book 4 - Trese: Last Seen After Midnight
- Book 5 - Trese: Midnight Tribunal
- Book 6 - Trese: High Tide at Midnight
- Book 7 - Trese: Shadow Witness
- Volume 1 - Trese: Stories From the Diabolical
- Volume 1 - Trese: Book of Murders (compilation of books 1-3 with updated artwork plus additional annotated material and was only limited to 1,000 copies, making them rare).
Written by Mervin Ignacio, and illustrated by Ian Sta. Maria, "Skyworld" was set in an alternate universe, where Alexandra Trese acted as one of the main characters along with the Kambal (Crispin and Basilio) that helped the main protagonist, Andoy, who had a destiny to fulfill a prophecy.
- Skyworld: Apocrypha
- Skyworld: Testament
Every legend hides a lie. A murdered Skygod re-emerges in modern-day Manila. A Tikbalang prince plots vengeance for the death of his father. And the Queen of the Asuang unleashes the mythical Bakunawa upon the streets of the city. Caught in their age-old struggle is Andoy. a crippled orphan that discovers he is the fulfillment of a prophecy dating back to Lapu-Lapu himself.
- Skyworld: Prodigal
- Skyworld: Requiem
Every legend hides a lie. The Queen of the Asuang and her legion have taken over the country. Alexandra Trese leads the resistance alongside Makabo, a Tikbalang warrior, and Kaio, the Duwende trickster. Trapped in their epic battle is Andoy, a teenage boy tasked with uniting an army of Tikbalang, Enkanto, Kapre and Duwende against the Asuang. But before he can lead them, he must first recover a mystical sword that was once part of the fabled Yamashita Treasure.
This will be the last book of the series and is still underdevelopment.
- Skyworld: Dominion
Zombies vs Robots: UnderCity
Published by IDW, written by Chris Ryall, and illustrated by Mark Torres, in the second issue, a man with the likeness of Budjette Tan wearing a shirt with "Trese" on a sleeve can be seen in one panel.
Inferno: An Agents of Ambush Adventure
Created by Andrew Villar, Agents of Ambush is a continuing strip published daily in Philippine Daily Inquirer. It is about Amber Gonzales a.k.a. Ambush who started being an agent at a very young age. A variant cover with Trese paid homage to Uncanny X-Men #173 .
When a big fiery dog razes a village, the bravo company discovers the paranormal is involved. Trese, the Kambal, and a former agent help, but not without a huge sacrifice that would change their lives.
A Night At The Museum
In honor of Batman Day 2016, Kajo and Budjette released online a non canon fan fiction story about Trese, Batman, and Wolverine teaming up in fighting The Hand and Aswangs. It was left unconcluded. The last 2 missing pages were published in an ashcan titled, "Mga Drawing Ni Kajo #6" (The Drawings of Kajo). As part of the celebration of BatCon 2019, physical copies for the completed comic will be first released for the first 100 ticket buyers  as well as for a raffle for attendees. The cover is exclusive for that convention.
With the blessing from its creators, Alexandra Trese and the Kambals appeared in Kanto Inc (issue #3) and in a comic strip of Callous. Parody versions also appeared in Beerkada comics.
The creators attempted to make a short film inspired by "Masquerade" that was 10 minutes long in 2010 but found it costly to produce. According to the afterword of "Trese 4: Last Seen After Midnight", the script was reused which became the story "A Private Collection". There have been talks to adapt the series by Filipino studios and networks. Glaiza de Castro was a fan favorite for the role and she even showed interest. A thesis short film was made by students but was only screened privately due to the creators having signed a contract with a potential film producer. On November 8, 2018, media-services provider Netflix announced at their "See What's Next Asia" event Marina Bay Sands in Singapore that they will air an Anime adaptation of Trese. According to Netflix's page, it will come out in 2020.
Due to its local popularity, the creators sold limited amounts of shirts while in the years to come, several licensed shirts were produced by Art Initiative, Evil Genius Clothing Co., and Team Manila. Dolls of Trese, Crispin, and Basilio were made by Studio-Kaiba in 2012. In Komikon 2017, The Keybie Cafe sold keychains while Visprint sold refrigerator magnets. In honor of the 13th year anniversary of Trese (which translates into the number 13 in Filipino), Hidden Fortress produced Trese and the Kambal 3.75" tall resin figures limited to 30 sets and exclusively on ToyCon PH 2018.
In 2016, Balangay Entertainment announced Trese Case Files: War and Chaos, a cooperative board game for 1-5 players. Players will play as the characters from Trese as they protect Manila from villains from the comic. Players will need to work together to investigate cases, defeat monsters, gain favors, and thwart the mastermind’s diabolical scheme. Development stopped the following year in favor of other projects.
The graphic novels form one giant image of Alexandra Trese with 3 covers filling up a row of the entirety of the image, hinting more books than the current 7. In the afterword of Trese: Stories from the Diabolical Volume 1, the writer teased a sequel saying "We'll reopen soon with more stories from The Diabolical," which will possibly use the other tales from the Stories from the Diabolical blog. Kajo Baldisimo confirmed that there will be 13 books on Dia del Libro 2019. On January 14, 2019, Visprint Inc. , Trese's publisher, confirmed the rumors in social media of its closing. The company will be done in 2021 along with "the retirement of the pillars of the company."  In September 8 of 2019, an interview was released with Trese writer Budjette Tan who confirmed that the eighth volume's release was planned for the year 2020 and that they will try to release 2 books every year. According to the goals of the Indiegogo campaign of Trese #1 Global Edition: At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street, if it exceeds the target funding, excess "funds will go to the production of Trese Occult Case #2." 
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- Baldisimo, Kajo (October 14, 2019). "kajobaldisimo Buy ONE ticket (starts at P500) for the BATCON 2019 event and get a FREE copy of the TRESE: A Night at the Museum ASHCAN. No raffles to enter. Copies are limited to 100 so this will be on a first come, first served basis. Will update this post for other details if there's any. Salamat". instagram.com. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
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- "Callous and Trese Crossover Comic Strip".
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