Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kwentillion, new YA magazine

Visited Komikon for the first time this weekend, and was able to witness the launch of this cool new thing: Kwentillion, a magazine for YA readers. It's got comics and fiction from Filipino artists, and also articles about what Filipino YA readers are, well, reading. The first issue is like a test run, and with enough support, it might just become a regular thing, and we want this to happen, people.

A pleasant surprise was also waiting in the first issue for me -- Interim Goddess of Love was featured in the YA books preview! (My thanks to Tina Matanguihan and Chachic Fernandez.) That list itself was quite helpful, and now I know what I'll be reading this year.

I haven't read the issue from cover to cover just yet, but am putting this out there for editors Paolo Chikiamco and Budjette Tan -- does YA include romance? Because the YA I grew up on, and the YA that got me into reading and writing (and the formula I admit I still use today) would be Sweet Dreams, Sweet Valley, and others like them. Trying to imagine a sweet, completely human, zero vampire romance story in a high school or college setting seems out of place in the magazine as it is now.

And maybe it's not a good idea to force it in anyway, because readers of YA romance probably already have their favorite magazines, and they would be Candy, Seventeen or Cosmo. But YA romance readers who also want to be future YA writers, like me back in the day?

What would make a younger version of me buy this magazine?

I actually thought of a few things.

- Character features. YA heroines, love interests, villains... putting them all side by side would showcase not just what would make good reading, but also what the tropes are. Younger Me would have appreciated this kind of cheat sheet, so I'd know what characters resonate and work, also what's been done and can be updated.

- Adaptation timelines. I was psyched to find out (from Kwentillion!) that exciting new YA novels were being crafted from classic stories. But this is hardly new, and I would like to know what else out there is adapted from something, and what were the updated elements. Younger Me would have been so inspired by this, and might have actually read more classics. I read Emma because Clueless was based on it, so.

Congratulations, Kwentillion! Hope you can all get a copy, for yourselves or for the young person in your life who might need a little inspiration.


  1. Thanks for the kind words, and for the suggestions Mina :) At present, a straight up YA romance contemporary story wouldn't be within the scope of the magazine. That being said, romance is a big part of many YA SFF titles, so an article on what makes a good or bad romance would be a good fit, and maybe something Younger You would appreciate :) Character features and adaptation timelines wouldn't be out of place in the magazine either!