EXCLUSIVE: ‘Trese’ creator Budjette Tan spills about ‘High Tide at Midnight’

The sixth release of the Trese series, High Tide at Midnight, came just in time for the holidays last year. WAG talked to Trese creator and writer Budjette Tan about the latest release, plans for the series, the sexual tension between Trese and Maliksi, and what kind of drinks they would serve up at the Diabolical. Questions contributed by Nicole Santos.

'Trese' creator
‘Trese’ creator Budjette Tan

What’s a Geek: We’ve already seen some of Alexandra Trese’s origins, but do you have any  plans on expanding on the  family background a bit more? Say, Verdugo?

Tan: Yup, we plan to reveal more about Trese’s family tree and what happened in the Great Balete Tree in the coming issues.

WAG: Do all the Trese siblings work with the supernatural?

Tan: As far as we know, the siblings are also involved in some aspect of the supernatural. Fr. Matthias Trese probably deals with cases that are more demonic in nature. Jimmy Trese, the thief, just gets into a whole lot of trouble related to magical items and artifacts.

Obviously, the Madame has something up her sleeve and in this book, and the characters repeatedly mention some agreement. What are the terms of this agreement?

I can’t really say for sure. Trese has never shared with me the full documentation of The Agreements. All I know is that certain conditions were made that would allow humans and the denizens of the Underworld and Skyworld to coexist. If the balance is upset, then it trouble will soon follow.

WAG: Which twin would get what for Trese on her birthday?

Tan: Gloomy Kambal would probably get Trese a book. Happy Kambal would probably buy her a drink… or bring a bottle of wine.

Trese 6 preview
Trese 6 preview from

WAG: Any further plans on the Trese/Maliksi ‘ship? Is it even a ‘ship?

Tan: Hahaha! I’m sure Maliksi will never stop the flirting.

WAG: Will we get an arc on the twins and their loyalty to Trese? It was mentioned in a conversation in this issue about controlling them.

The masks primarily controls their bloodlust. They are loyal to Trese and the family because they were saved from being killed by their own father. If they didn’t have the masks, they’ll probably still be loyal to Trese, feel indebted to her and the family, but they’d probably end up killing more than expected.

WAG: What drinks does the Diabolical serve, exactly? Can we get a menu?

Tan: You’ll have to ask Hank about that. We did get to chat with Hank Palenzuela (the real Hank, not Hank d’ Bartender) and he brought up the idea of creating a “How to Mix Drinks” book. Hope we get around to doing that project someday.

WAG: How far will Trese go to keep the peace and balance?

Tan: Wait and see. 🙂 Let’s just say, she’s seen how her family has done it in the past and doesn’t agree with the old ways of doing things.

WAG: The drug used in the book surely has its roots in the Mutant Growth Hormone from the Marvel books. Knowing this, have you taken inspiration elsewhere for your plots devices and characters?

Tan: Mutant Growth Hormone? Oh wow! I must’ve stopped reading X-Men by the time they introduced that! (I just Googled it and read up on it.) But the idea of pills giving you temporary power has used in other stories. This was also partly inspired by Yvette Tan from her book “Waking the Dead,” where the enkanto creatures were taking a drug called “S.”

Certain bits of Book 6 were picked up from Yvette Tan’s other stories. The idea from the Madame came from Yvette’s story where the First Lady encountered a creature from waters of San Joaniqo Bridge.

Trese is greatly inspired by Batman and Hellblazer, as well as X-Files and CSI.

Trese was also inspired by the Ghost in the Shell TV series. I liked how the series explored the relationship of humans and androids and AIs. In Trese’s cases, I just end up exploring the relationship of humans and the supernatural.

WAG: What’s a Geek?

Tan: I was once having a conversation with a friend and after I babbled about my favorite comics, he said, “You’re such a geek!” Knowing that he loved cars, I then asked him what would be a good car to buy and he started to talk about all these details about the engine and the wheels and about what gasoline to use. To which I replied, “You’re such a car geek!”

I think a geek is anyone who is passionate about a certain thing. We love it so much we try to learn as much as we can about that certain topic.

Gia Densing

Preppy riot girl with a geek streak. Tweet me: @gdensing.

One thought on “EXCLUSIVE: ‘Trese’ creator Budjette Tan spills about ‘High Tide at Midnight’

  • Awesome interview! Plus I gotta say I love how Budjette answered that last question. I’ll use that next time someone calls me a geek again 😀


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