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Showing posts from April, 2004
Going through Time Magazine’s issue featuring the 100 most influential people in the world today, I was most affected by Oprah Winfrey’s entry. Written by Sidney Poitier, the entry revealed how his Oscar win – the first for a black actor – helped mold Winfrey into the powerhouse she is today. As a child watching the actor’s triumph on television, she said to herself, “If he can do it, I wonder what I can do.”

I don’t know why, but I got teary-eyed reading that.

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So Ai Ai delas Alas’ superhero flick Volta will be part of this year’s Manila Filmfest, which takes place in a couple of months or so. I’m excited to see it; I heard that it’s riddled with gay overtones. The Zaturnnah movie is still nowhere in sight unfortunately, though last I heard, it will be helmed by Bridal Shower director Jeffrey Jeturian. See, even I have to hear of these things through the grapevine.

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A friend of mine took a leap of faith and joined one of them television “search for a star” contests…
Falling In Love

One of my friends has fallen in love, a fate he's been trying to avoid these past four years. He had claimed that he wasn't ready to commit himself to another for the simple fact that he wasn't ready. But lo and behold, the heart strings get yanked by a locomotive, and there's pray little he could do to stop it.

I haven't fallen in love for over two years, with half of that time devoted to dusting myself off from the last relationship. Before that, it was four years. Contrary to what some of my friends say, I don't fall in love that easily. Crushes abound, sure, but love is another thing altogether.

It was last night, while walking alone through crowded Galleria, that I realized I was lonely. It didn't hurt the way it used to. There was no hurt at all, in fact, just a distinct hollow at the center of the chest that seemed to suck on the life force, an internal black hole if you will. Fortunately, I bumped into an old friend who worked in the …
NASA Curbs Comments on Ice Age Disaster Movie
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
New York Times

Urgent: HQ Direction," began a message e-mailed on April 1 to dozens of scientists and officials at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

It was not an alert about an incoming asteroid, a problem with the space station or a solar storm. It was a warning about a movie.

In "The Day After Tomorrow," a $125 million disaster film set to open on May 28, global warming from accumulating smokestack and tailpipe gases disrupts warm ocean currents and sets off an instant ice age.

Few climate experts think such a prospect is likely, especially in the near future. But the prospect that moviegoers will be alarmed enough to blame the Bush administration for inattention to climate change has stirred alarm at the space agency, scientists there say.

"No one from NASA is to do interviews or otherwise comment on anything having to do with" the film, said the April 1 message, which w…
Dirty Drawing

I started drawing comics again, and discovered to my dismay how slow I’ve become. But this may be just a temporary setback since I haven’t done a comics page in nearly a year. Wow, it’s been that long.

The project at hand is a simple ten-pager for a friend as payment for the dining table he gave me. Science-fiction erotica of the heterosexual sort, but more of the erotica than the sci-fi. (Okay, okay, so it’s more hard core than erotica.)

Drawing comics of this sort doesn’t differ much from drawing comics in general, save perhaps for the ability to draw from some special camera angles, and consequently rendering the human body in varieties of contortion. One of my favorite creators in this genre is Italian artist Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri with his classic Druuna series. If you can handle it, feast on his works at the official site.

While photographic references help a lot, a few liberties have to be exercised to bring out that…ahem… larger than life feel. It is, after all, …
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Panel Discussions
Written By Durwin S. Talon
TwoMorrow Publishing

Many an aspiring comics creator would find themselves wondering how the professionals do their thing, because as an art form, comics is pretty much an amorphous creature, and putting one together is predominantly a subjective process. There isn’t one “right” way.

Despite this, comics creators need to be aware of how they want their readers to go through their stories, and consequently know how to translate this knowledge to the comics page. Page design and panel composition are vital disciplines in making comics, and they go much more beyond common sense.

Panel Discussions is part-inspiration and part-instruction, composed of a series of essays put together by Durwin Talon, from his interviews with some of the industry’s top creators, including Mike Wieringo, Mike Mignola, Walter Simonson, and Brian Stelfreeze. The book takes you through most of the comics creation process from the points of view of these creators, and i…
Side Trip

I was supposed to vegetate this weekend, since the load at work has left me for brain-dead, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to see Tobie again after weeks of not seeing him. It was a small birthday party all the way in ParaƱaque, but I didn’t mind the trip since I needed to get away from the metropolis for a while.

I got there at 10:30 in the evening, just when things were starting to wind down. It was a delight seeing Sam, Oliver, Fero and James again, too. After an hour of catching up, we settled at the game table for a round of The Great Brain Robbery, a suspenseful board game by Cheap Ass games.

To simplify the mechanics: players start the game without brains. They start at the end of the train and work their way up to the engine while picking up brains, hoping to get the brain with the highest IQ number. If a player gets a good-enough brain, he can “install” it in his head and get the bonuses that brain gives, whether it be in additional movement, or additional damage …
Yes, life is unfair. How come some people get paid so high, and yet can be so stupid and incompetent in their work, you could cry.
Hello... I haven't been able to post lately... Hell Week began last Friday and should continue till the end of the month... so that's two Hell Weeks...

To quote Jac, "WHEEEEEEEE!" Ang saya saya saya!!!!
For those sappy lovey-dovey types who can afford to shed a tear or two, maybe you'd like to see this K-Pop video. I loved it.

Kiss

Of course, you gotta have them speakers and a hi-speed connection.
Queer Publishing

I got a text message from a friend yesterday, inviting me to join his team to put together a gay lifestyle magazine, as editor-in-chief of all things. I responded, “You’re talking to a person who’s bobo when it comes to the gay lifestyle. And EIC work is too stressful.” I offered to contribute artwork instead.

This is not the first time I was asked to participate in a publication of this sort. I had a pseudo-meeting with another group of friends, with an initial objective of putting together possible content sections for a gay mag. It was a difficult process, and months later after that meeting, the topic has not been brought up.

The initial challenge of a gay lifestyle magazine concerns its target audience, because this group helps determine the kind of content the publication will hold. Moreover, the target audience should be sizeable enough to guarantee a decent level of sales, both in retail and advertising fronts.

What is the target audience of a gay lifestyle mag…
21 killed in free-sari stampede

LUCKNOW: Thousands of people, mostly women, had gathered under a huge white canopy to celebrate the birthday of Lalji Tandon, the state's opposition leader and to receive saris being given to the poor. The stampede began when rumors spread through the crowd that there were no more saris to give away.

Twenty-eight people were injured, doctors said. The dead included eight women aged 45 to 60 years, and seven young girls who had lined up to receive saris as gifts, said Dr. Lalit Saxena, one of the doctors who took the bodies to three city hospitals.

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So I guess when it comes to oddball election-related news, the Philippines ain't alone. Read the entire article here.
Academic Zsazsa

Someone from the International Institute for Asian Studies (Netherlands) submitted a paper entitled: Battle of the Sex(i)es: Incorporations and Resistances in Contemporary Filipino Superhero Comicbooks, The Case of Darna and Zsazsa Zaturnnah . The person's name is Alwin Aguirre, who I'm assuming is the Palanca Award-winning scribe.

These are the sorts of write-ups I would like to read. I am aware that there are students who've used my books as subjects for their papers, yet I haven't seen any of them. I'm more interested to see those papers that take the book to the psycho-social or even socio-political levels, or dissecting the book based on literary theory, or art theory.

So if you guys know anyone who's done something of the sort, please please please I'd like to read them, for no other reason than to look at my work from a different point of view, from another vantage point. It'll be a great educational opportunity, whatever the paper…
Penitence

These past couple of days, I’ve been cleaning, washing, cooking. . . general household stuff. Very therapeutic.

My cousin was able to purchase two bookshelves from Makro, but these babies required assembly. Last Wednesday, I had bought a few screwdrivers and a hammer from TrueValue hardware, and it took a while to choose the right ones for the job. The shelf boards came with screws and nails and a tiny instruction sheet that needed decoding. The finished product turned out pretty impressive. Since the room was hot and humid, I took off my shirt and wrapped the neckline over my forehead, karpentero-style, to prevent my sweat from drizzling the beech wood. I spent about an hour hammering and screwing to build the two shelves. Now my comics and books sit nice and comfy in their new home.

A disaster, however, fell upon some of my cousin’s books. The box where she had been keeping them had been mysteriously invaded by … um… worms. Literal bookworms that found their way through the…
Pasyonista

Cousin and I were talking last night about dressing up. Now fashion isn’t in my top five list of expenses, and I’ve been for the most part going about life in the plainest of plainclothes, with a few rags thrown in from way back.

A couple of years ago, a dear friend of mine who’s a self-annointed fashion devotee benevolently berated me over my choice of socks, in that the colors didn’t go well with my pants and shoes. In the most apologetic manner, he oriented me on the basic points of color coordination, and I could only listen with much interest and intent.

Right now, I could say I know which colors suit me, thanks to dear friend and a book entitled…ahem… Color Me Beautiful. The book classifies skin shades into the four seasons and recommends colors that bring out those shades. I’m on the Autumn side, which translates to the darker, muted hues.

Cousin strongly suggested that I wear collared shirts. The only reason why I dislike wearing collared shirts is the fact that I sw…
The Passion of The Christ. I'm not quite sure what to make of Mel Gibson's latest directorial effort, a two-hour focus on the final moments of Jesus of Nazareth. It was...nice. There's some tried-and-tested Hollywood touches that added interest to this timeless story, (When was the last time you saw CG and cinematographic effects in a Jesus movie?) and the use of Latin and Aramaic lent a lot to the realism and atmosphere. The much-talked about inhuman punishment inflicted on Jesus is... well, you have to watch it. I must admit it was difficult to sit through it all, which may perhaps be the intention of Gibson. As a whole, though, there was something about the experience and the film that wasn't quite right, like pancake batter that's lumpy despite its sweet taste. The Passion of the Christ may find its place as one of the most important Catholic films ever made, and it's already broken into the top ten all-time US box office list, but you have to be in a certa…
In Romania, pre-emptive strikes on 'vampires'

By Matthew Schofield

MAROTINU DE SUS, Romania — Before Toma Petre's relatives pulled his body from the grave, ripped out his heart, burned it to ashes, mixed it with water and drank it, he hadn't been in the news much.

That's often the way here with vampires. Quiet lives, active deaths.

Villagers here aren't up in arms about the undead — they're pretty common — but they are outraged that the police are involved in a simple vampire slaying. After all, vampire slaying is an accepted, though hidden, bit of national heritage, even if illegal.

"What did we do?" pleaded Flora Marinescu, Petre's sister and the wife of the man accused of re-killing him. "If they're right, he was already dead. If we're right, we killed a vampire and saved three lives. ... Is that so wrong?"

Yes, according to the Romanian State Police. Its view, expressed by Constantin Ghindeano, the chief agent for the …
Tidying Up

This Holy Week, I’m getting my room in order.

This is the primary reason why I can’t join the gang on their two-day escape to Tagaytay. I need the time to organize my junk and do some general cleaning. The bathroom needs serious cleansing, and dust is slowly caking the hardwood floor. I’ll be getting a drafting table this week and hopefully squeeze in a computer table, while my cousin will be procuring cheap book shelves from Makro. I’d like to catch up on my reading and writing, too.

Upon hearing this, the loveable Dean likened the whole affair to “fixing my life,” and there may be some sense in that though not completely. I believe I’ve fixed a chunk of my life albeit concurrently. I’ve charted out a semblance of a map and, while I can never predict what tomorrow might bring, a plan is a plan and it’s better than nothing.

Part of my Holy Week exile involves reflecting on what I’ve gone through, thanking God for all the blessings He’s given me, and prepping my system for a …
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Teen Titans: A Kid's Game
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Mike Mckone and Mario Alquiza
DC Comics


Giving in to temptation, I got the first trade compilation of the new Teen Titans, penned by Geoff Johns with art predominantly by Mike McKone and Marlo Alquiza. In this series, Titans veterans Cyborg, Starfire, and Beast Boy (formerly Changeling) recruit former Young Justice members Impulse, Robin, Superboy and Wonder Girl to continue to fight crime and evil while giving the young’uns a weekend hideaway for their teenage angst.

It starts off enjoyably well, and I really like the twists Johns puts here, but the encounter with the Justice League later on didn’t sit well with me. It felt like fan service, pitting the experienced JLAers against the relative newbies. I mean, c’mon, surely Superman et al would know better. Oh well.

McKone has found a slot in my favorite artist list. Despite his fluid lines, he’s able to inject a lot of dynamism in his compositions and camera angles, and he kno…
Updating Myself

Now that I’ve the Siglo script down pat, I’ve to get to work on the art of that, my story contribution to the Alamat Anthology, a little project with Jason, Vin’s Twilight Empires (yes, yes, it’s been a while), the Zsazsa in Manila script, and a few other bits, all of which should be in the can before October.

I’ve begun writing the script for Zsazsa in Manila, and I must say that I haven’t felt this excited about writing. I honestly felt this high-schoolish tingle and found myself smiling as I typed up the first ten pages, which involves scenes focusing on Ada and Dodong. The other scenes have been slowly creeping in, and I can’t wait to put them all down, especially the parts where the villains will appear. The major bad guy logically has snakes for hair.
This is just too unreal. I wonder what I did to deserve this. It's the funniest punchline I've ever heard, leaving me with breathless giddiness.

I got a call last night from someone. And in the midst of that long conversation, there was an admittance of affections. I really don't know how to handle this. I'm still reeling. But I'll take it a day at a time.

Wow. Too unreal.