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They’re flying off the shelves! ‘Trese’ comics in huge demand following Netflix series debut

By CHARM MAGPALI Published Jun 15, 2021 8:47 pm

Everyone is scrambling to get their hands on Trese comic books.

Comic Odyssey owner and founder Sandy Sansolis shared on Facebook a screenshot of the Trese Vol. 1 Exclusive Cover being sold for $100-$130 (₱4,000-₱6,000) on eBay.

“Trese fever! Check out current sold prices on our Trese Vol 1 exclusive cover,” he said in his Facebook post.

On June 10, a day prior to the Netflix premiere of the on-screen adaptation, Ablaze Publishing announced that Trese, Vol. 1, “Murder on Balete Drive” was sold out in the United States and up for second printing.

Ablaze Publishing picked up the series in June 2020 for release in the US and Canada. Trese first came out in the Philippines in 2005 and have since been a cult favorite, becoming one of the most successful comic book series in the country. It is also a three-time winner of the Philippine National Book Award for Best Graphic Literature of the Year.

Trese, Vol. 1 “Murder on Balete Drive” (left) and Vol. 2 “Unreported Murders”  Exclusive Covers by Kajo Baldisimo and Raymund Lee. Photo courtesy of Comic Odyssey

The Trese graphic novels have seven volumes so far, but only the first three have been scheduled for release in the US. While "Murder on Balete Drive" is currently sold out in both print and digital versions, Trese, Vol. 2, "Unreported Murders" is set to be released on July 13 and is already available for pre-order on Barnes & Noble for digital and on Amazon in paperback. Trese, Vol. 3, "Mass Murders" is also available for pre-order and is set for an Oct. 12 release.

“With anticipation building for the Trese anime Netflix series, readers are jumping on board the graphic novel series, and we'll be working to make sure copies are available to all those who want to read the amazing source material,” Ablaze co-founder and VP of Creative/Business Development Rich Young told Bleeding Cool.

The comic books are selling out just as fast domestically. “Murder on Balete Drive” is sold out in stores such as Fully Booked, Comic Odyssey, Avenida Books, and National Book Store online. Majority of the other volumes are also sold out as of writing.

Of course, such demand for the comics has led to some resellers marking up the price, both in the Philippines and the US. On Shopee, the markups are from ₱65 to around P1,000.

A seller on eBay also listed the Vol. 1 Exclusive Cover at a price even higher than what Sansolis posted on his Facebook post—for $200 (₱9,800).

Trese, Vol. 1, “Murder on Balete Drive” is sold out in the United States and up for second printing.

When the Vol. 1 Comic Odyssey Flag Variant exclusive cover by Kajo Baldisimo was released in October 2020, it was only sold for $39.99 or roughly ₱2,000 with a limited 200 copies.

Sansolis, however, assured both old and new fans of the comics that the Vol. 2 Comic Odyssey exclusive cover by Raymund Lee is coming their way. “The release date of our Trese Vol. 2 exclusive has been pushed to the end of the month / first week of July. We’ll send out notifications once they’ve landed,” she said.

Trese is now streaming on Netflix. Based on the comic book series of the same name by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, the six-episode animated series is directed by showrunner and executive producer Jay Oliva (Justice League Dark, The Legend of Korra), with Liza Soberano dubbing Alexandra Trese in the Tagalog version, and Shay Mitchell in the English version.

Will you be grabbing a copy of the Trese comics yourself?