Interview by Kris Lanot Lacaba
As a boy, writer Budjette Tan was all agog at Ray Bradbury, who found inspiration
in the knickknacks which supposedly filled the room where he works. Tan’s desire
to tell stories led him to co-create (with artist Kajo Baldisimo) the comic book Trese
which won the National Book Awards for graphic literature.
What are you reading these days?
I buy comic books on a weekly basis from Comic Odyssey. I’m currently picking up
Brian Michael Bendis’ All-New X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy. Also collecting
Jonathan Hickman’s East of West, which is about cowboys and Indians, set in the
distant future, where people still use magic and the end of the world has been put
on hold because Death has fallen in love.
What books would you recommend?
The last book I read which I really liked was A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness,
which had wonderful,haunting art by Jim Kay. The author put a twist on those
old fairy tales—which were all supposed to end with an important life
lesson—but managed to surprise readers when he reveals each of the four lessons.
What books made you want to write?
I grew up reading the Hardy Boys series of detective novels, which is probably
where my love for mysteries and detective stories started.
Dragonlance and The Rift War Saga developed my love for fantasy stories.
The short stories of Stephen King and Isaac Asimov made me want to try and write
my own short stories, partly inspired by all the Twilight Zone television episodes I
watched as a kid.
What advice do you have to artists and writers who want to take a shot in graphic literatureor comics?
If you have an idea, write it down, draw it, get it on paper. Keep at it until you’ve
finished it. Don’t try to perfect it because you’ll never get it done. Once it’s done,
start again. Tell another story. That’s how you get better at it.
Who were your writing heroes growing up?
When I was in grade school (or was it high school?), I got a book filled with interviews
with Stephen King, where he talked about his writing process. I think that was one of
the reasons I got intrigued by writing and gave it a try.
I also loved the opening credits of the the television show The Ray Bradbury Theater
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIxWOsvYInI which inspired me to fill up my room
with all sorts of trinkets and objects, hoping that one of them will inspire me to write
a new story.
If you were a character from literature, who would you be?
Can I be Batman? I’ve always wanted to be Batman!