My CebuLitFest x Komiket 2019 Haul

It’s my second time going to CebuLitfest x Komiket and I came home with a hoard of art prints and stickers twice as large as last year. Here’s a look at what I bought and why. Do we even need a reason for new merch?

This is my hoard from the Manila-based artists. The postcards and sticker in the middle is from Cheryl J. Owen. Love the fantasy and steampunk elements in her work. I got the other stickers from Fandom Feels PH, Miss Adventures, and StickxPop. Lot’s of geeky and fandom goodness right here: books, TV shows, video games, and more.

It’s so nice to be able to geek out without judgement even if it’s just once a year. Just remember, you shall not pass & bawal umihi ditto!

Last year, I bought several prints from Art by Bred, and this year I bought even more. 2019 is my year for reading Stephen King books, and Art by Bred had art prints featuring two of my favorite King books: “IT” and “The Shining”. Bought six prints and got a free Pennywise sticker!

The other stickers I bought from Bastinuod whose socially relevant works are amazing. This is the second year in a row I bought from this artist too. These new stickers will join my Bastinuod collection on my gaming PC.

The two art prints on the upper right are from Art of Ver Onika, whose prints I used as the front cover of my 2018 Hobonichi so I could see them every time I used my planner. I love the oriental style of her works.

My favorite newly discovered artist of the year is Art Sliced. I love his anime themed bookmarks and art prints. I only know around half of the anime series and movies referenced in his works, but I just want to stare at them all day.

I think the donuts bookmark was referencing Shirobako, so “Don-don donuts, let’s go nuts!” Let your geek flag fly!

Thank you to the Cebu Literary Festival and Komiket for organizing this event.

Relearning to Fear Vampires with Salem’s Lot

What do you feel when you encounter the word “vampire”? Do you experience an inexplicable primal fear?

Or do you feel something different, filled with images of glittery attractive young people involved in political and romantic encounters with humans, werewolves, witches, etc., etc. etc.?

Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot is a throwback to the good old days when vampires were simpler and more terrifying. They come out at night and suck the life out of you–killing you or making you a vampire too. Simply terrifying!

Here is the book synopsis from Goodreads:

Thousands of miles away from the small township of ‘Salem’s Lot, two terrified people, a man and a boy, still share the secrets of those clapboard houses and tree-lined streets. They must return to ‘Salem’s Lot for a final confrontation with the unspeakable evil that lives on in the town.

Salem’s Lot is Stephen King’s second published novel, yet it’s different from Carrie in many ways. It’s a more adult novel, with more explicit violent and sexual content. And yet many things are similar between the two.

You have the isolated small town setting with its small town secrets. The small towns in King’s novels are like living creatures!

Religion is also a common thread between these novels. In Salem’s Lot, it’s the power of good against evil. The power of religious objects versus the power of individual faith.

Imagine a man with a makeshift cross made from two sticks being more powerful than an ordained priest wielding a blessed crucifix. A simple yet powerful image.

Characters die aplenty in Salem’s Lot. There is no hero in this story. No Van Helsing or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There are no epic fight sequences, powerful artifacts or spells to use against the undead.

The vampires here are so terrifying and powerful that they overrun the town easily. You would doubt the man and boy would survive a final confrontation with the unspeakable evil.

If you are looking for a serious vampire story with plenty of scares, Salem’s Lot by Stephen King is for you. If you are looking for a story with plenty of action and romance then you should look elsewhere.

An Ode to Stephen King’s Carrie

Carrie Landscape
My original copy of Carrie, bought in 2001. The first book I ever read for fun.

I used to hate reading books. This, despite my mom’s best efforts to get me into the habit during my elementary years. She bought me Roald Dahl’s children’s books, The Chronicles of Narnia book set, among other books. She even bought me a bookshelf!

But it was Stephen King’s Carrie that finally got me into reading. Thus, the clear divide in my history as a reader: before Carrie (B.C.) and after Carrie (A.C.). 

I had few close friends in school back in 2001, and it was my best friend Josh who introduced me to the master of horror.  Stephen King was Josh’s favorite author. Josh would incessantly talk about King’s stories and how much he loved them every chance he got.

It was only a matter of time before he convinced me to try reading one of King’s novels.  He told me to start with Carrie.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…

A socially-awkward introvert, I was bullied relentlessly in and out of school. This was the main reason I immediately connected with Carrie. I totally understood her feeling like an outcast, her desire to fit in, and her need for revenge. If only I had telekinetic abilities like she did…just kidding!

First published in 1974, Carrie is King’s first novel. It’s quite dated now, but I never tire of rereading it. The message of bullying still resonates with me. The prom scene is a classic, as is the destruction that follows. Even today, I’m terrified by Carrie’s mom. Margaret White is one of the scariest mothers in all of literature.

Carrie is a book I reread for fun. It’s very cathartic living vicariously through her, until she overuses her powers and her heart explodes. I also read it for nostalgia. Carrie is the first novel I read for fun. It is the book that started me on my reading journey that continues today.

Without Carrie, I may never have read the books of J.K. Rowling, Haruki Murakami, and Brandon Sanderson. I may not have taken up  Creative Writing in college and worked as a writer after graduating. Stephen King’s Carrie changed my life forever.

I recommend the book to anyone who was bullied or is being bullied today. It may change your life too. 😉

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery