Trese is a horror/crime black and white komik 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, Trese: Last Seen After Midnight, was nominated for the Filipino Readers' Choice Award for Comics/Graphic Novels 2012; the fifth, Trese: Midnight Tribunal, won the Filipino Readers' Choice Award for Comics/Graphic Novels 2013; and Trese: Stories from the Diabolical was nominated for the Filipino Readers' Choice Award for Fictional Anthology 2014. Manila Noir, an anthology containing 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 with Filipino-American Jay Oliva as Executive Director.

Publication history

Trese was first published independently by Alamat Comics in ashcan and online format. It is currently available in a collected, graphic novel form, published by Visprint, Inc. 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 three 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 a larger 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 ". It differed from the Global Edition because it was smaller, had a self-cover, and cheaper. In the same year, Trese Deviations: Iunctura ashcan was released. With the closing of Visprint Inc., Trese Lite Postcard Book Vol. 1 was released under Avenida Books.


"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 the streets of Manila. This self-contained story idea comes 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.
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.


Main characters

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.

Issue synopses

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.

Main series

''Trese 1: Murder at Balete Drive''

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

These are re-released issues that have been translated into Filipino with an updated colored art. They all have bonus material attached at the end.


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 that helped the main protagonist, Andoy, who had a destiny to fulfill a prophecy. The single issues 1-3 were released at local conventions.

Volume 1

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.

Volume 2

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.

Volume 3

This will be the last book of the series and is still underdevelopment that's slated for 2020.
Set after the events of Skyworld: Requiem, Andoy, currently called "Maharlika", now rules over a country in rebuild. A free version was released during the Philippine Independence Day 2017. Originally it was titled Martial Law.

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". 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. On March 24, 2020, the complete comic was released in the official Trese blog.

Trese Deviations: Iunctura

Written by David Hontiveros and illustrated by Marvin Del Mundo, the story is a crossover team-up between Fr. Mattias Trese and Dakila. It was a story canon to 'The Verse' universe by David Hontiveros. This was used as a way of featuring his character Dakila and the organization TierCell. This is said to be the first story from the Trese Deviations title.

Other appearances

With the blessing of its creators, Alexandra Trese and the Kambals appeared in Kanto Inc 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 anniversary of Trese, 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." On September 8, 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." In Kajo Baldisimo's instagram, he teased a page of the Trese Occult Case #2. According to Iunctura writer David Hontiveros, Trese Deviations will be the new title for "future team-ups." He also teased "solo stories" for one of the Trese siblings, Fr. Matt. With Visprint Inc. gone, Avenida Books published the Trese Lite Postcard Book Vol. 1 and possibly future Trese books. In a podcast, Budjette revealed that the last pages of the last story of Trese were already drawn.