On June 3, Filipina author-illustrator Tori Tadiar excitedly announced on a Facebook post that one of her graphic novels, Highsummer, is set to be published by Disney Books in 2024.
Tori Tadiar is an award-winning Filipina illustrator who has a collection of graphic novels that mostly feature young people who are living in a magical and fantastical world. Although she works as a full-time IT professional, Tadiar makes sure that she is able to illustrate stories every chance that she gets. One of her most notable works is her Filipiniana fantasy comic story, Sagala, set against an alternate universe of the Spanish Colonial era, that follows the story of a gunslinger girl who dreams of life in the Palacio court with his Guardia Civil older brother, they will then encounter a golden-haired Ambassador and his renowned escort who’s about to change their lives forever. Sagala, even won the Komiket Best Komiks Award in 2017 and later on got self-published by the author in 2019.
And following her growing collection of illustrations and stories, the Filipina author-illustrator is proud to share that one of her current comic projects, Highsummer, will be published by not just any publisher out there but by Disney Books in 2024! As shared on her official Facebook page, the illustrator excitedly announced it to her followers and readers:
Highsummer is a graphic novel series that is heavily inspired by Philippine folklore and mythology that is set in a Filipiniana Junior High school. The story will follow a 12-year-old girl who tries to uncast a curse she accidentally cast upon her two classmates but as she tries to, she will awaken the ancient gods and a sun-devouring beast set into the plunging world of darkness. As she lets loose of these creatures, she must be able to form a team with her former bullies and save the world she loves dearly.
For the new followers who joined the Highsummer ride: introducing choir boy Teo, varsity queen Halle, and our main protagonist Mika (+ their teacher, Raha) as well as some concept art on Ilustra Junior High: the home of the ilustrados! pic.twitter.com/JAbseO1BlH
— 🌟 Tori (@haitori) June 5, 2022
Highsummer will be published by Britt Siess at Britt Siess Creative Management, who is also the publisher of the famous novel Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Tori Tadiar’s Highsummer is set to have a three-book deal and the first book is expected to be released in 2024.
This milestone could just prove what the Filipino comic-illustration industry has to offer for the world to see. Not to mention that it features the rich culture and traditional stories some Filipinos today grew up in. Tori Tadiar’s illustrations and stories give a chance for the world to discover the magical world of Philippine mythology and various folklore stories that are waiting to be discovered and re-discovered. While we devour the western illustrations of mythology, this perhaps reminds us that we, too have our own legendary stories that shaped our country which can be transformed into modern narratives and characters by our own creative award-winning authors-illustrators.
Another of Tori Tadiar’s previous award-winning illustrations include Team Abangers at Ang Estilong Trumpo, which was based on Boon Kristoffer Lauw’s chapter book and became the grand prize winner of the 2020 PBBY-Alcala Prize. While her current project, Twinkle, Twinkle, is an Official Selection finalist at the First Philippine International Comics Festival (PICOF).
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