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Showing posts from December, 2008

Well, it's Different

Spent a chunk of this extended Yuletide break in the hospital. My gall bladder had swollen to three times its normal size and had to be "ectomied." So... ummm... that's this week's bit of news on Carver end.

It's not so bad. There weren't any complications. No hitches or road blocks. Just a simple procedure that required an incision beneath my right rib... and a catheter in my peepee. Note that I have to make special mention of the catheter in my peepee (which is essentially having a small tube inserted into your urethra to facilitate the involuntary discharge of weewee while you're under general anaesthesia) for the immediate jewel novelty of this event among my limited experiences in life.

Anyway, I'm still in one piece. I'll be home in less than a couple of days. Happy New Year to All!

Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal...one more round

Had a meeting over the weekend with Tanghalang Pilipino (TP) and, yes, curtains will rise for the 6th run of the "Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal" in February 2009 for 15 shows. Auditions have taken place to fill in slots for the chorus, as well as a new Dodong (again!) to alternate with Arnold Reyes. Eula Valdes will reportedly do all the shows barring any schedule conflicts. Tuxqs Rutaquio, Joey Paras and Kalila Aguilos will reprise their roles as Ada, Didi, and Queen Femina, respectively.

Sounds like a great Valentine's date, don'cha think?

This latest staging of TP's song-and-dance extravaganza will have the 400+ seater CCP Little Theater as its venue. More details over the next few weeks.

(Oh, and forgive the shameless plug, but the book is still available in bookstores... in case you're searching for a last-minute Christmas gift. Heehee)

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I'll be signing off from the blog for now unless announcements have to be made. Thank you …

Character in Setting: 1011 Ricaforte Street

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If there was one thing I learned while working for Real Living that I'm applying in comics is the idea of character in setting--that a place has a life of its own. That setting contributes significantly to the story experience by inviting a reader to immerse him or herself into the new world. If I had taken up architecture in UP during my college days, I'd think that my sense for setting would've then been developed.

Setting has always been an important element when I make comics, ever since I started with Flashpoint in 1993, but a lot of it has been on the surface. I didn't study it extensively back then--as long as I gave my settings enough detail, it should be fine. But now, I'm more conscious of history, of design, of detail, of styling, of culture, just through my magazine work. Add to that my conversations with friends who were into interior decor and production design, and I consider myself forever changed as a comics creator.

Whenever I'd go to Manila for…

Lights Camera Action

Someone, then a small-time film director, once told me that I ought to someday try out helming a movie. He said that my comics work could pass for a good storyboard, that I had a knack for choosing the right camera angles among other things, and all I needed to learn were the little technicalities behind the medium. He admitted that he didn't go to film school, but he found himself directing a handful of films later in his career.

I then remembered one of my comics heroes, Katsuhiro Otomo, who had let go of comics to pursue animation with such projects as Steamboy and Memories. And for a time I wondered if I could graduate from static to moving images with some ease.

Right now, I don't think so. I don't think I ever will. Not because of the technical aspects, but more of the level of collaboration it entails. I work better alone or in small groups. Put me in a position of directing a huge number of people, and I might just throw the towel in.

Another director, this time with …

Kasih Yang Terpisah

Looking through YouTube a few months ago, I chanced upon this song. Blew me away, even though I have no idea what it means. Performed by Idayu, one of Malaysia's top singers, Kasih Yang Terpisah has got that uber-mega-power ballad thing about it. Just thought I'd share.

SNIKT

http://www.myspace.com/x-menorigins

Looks good, but a tad antiseptic, IMHO. Its Philippine release date is April 29, 2009.

The Brilliance of 'Atang'

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I've never had a strong interest for kundiman or the sarsuela, so I watched Dulaang UP's Atang just for the performances. But when my tears started to fall during the latter part of the second act, I knew this was one for the blog. I don't remember the time when a stage production moved me so much to the point of a hangover.

Directed by Alex Cortez with script by Floy Quintos and music by Von de Guzman, Atang is a story of love, sacrifice, artistic integrity, and finding one's place in the world. Young film actress Guia Almonte interviews the venerable Atang de la Rama in the latter's Tondo home. Since Guia had been given the chance to play the title role in an Atang biofilm, what better way to do research than to talk to the "Queen of Kundiman" herself? During the course of the musical, we not only celebrate the triumphs of Atang as an entertainment superstar during pre-War Philippines, we also learn of the hardships she endured during her marriage to wri…

Start Your Graphic Novel: Part 2

Phase 4: Outline Your Story In 12 panels
That's right. 12 panels. These panels will serve as the barebones structure of your story. The following breakdown is roughly based on Joseph Campbell's mythical structure and Christopher Vogler's Hero's Journey. Add captions, thought balloons, or bits of dialogue to support the images.
Panel 1: The Setup. Draw the "World," in which your story will take place. In that world, draw your main character doing what he normally does in that world. Panel 2: The Inciting Incident or Call to Adventure. In this panel, draw the situation that prompts the main character into contemplating his main objective. This is where the "ultimate goal" is first described.Panel 3: The Doubt. In this panel, draw the circumstance that would make your main character initially refuse to take action. Panel 4: The Decision. In this panel, draw a situation that ultimately compels the main character to pursue the objective.Panel 5: The Subpl…

Slow Cooking

I've passed the 10% mark on the new book, all drawn and lettered. Working on the page where Gwyneth makes his first appearance, and it's such a slow, slooooooow process. When you're in my shoes, you can't help but ask, "What the frig did I get myself into?"

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It's during these slow times, when you wish you could get things done faster but couldn't, that you get existentialist flashes. You start to think about how the year went, what you've accomplished and what you failed to do. You look at how fortunate your peers are with their numerous accomplishments while you're stuck in the kitchen waiting on the crock pot and the low flame. The stew simmers in bullet time, and you indulge in a round of tabloid crossword, or Spore on your DS Lite, as the scent of tenderizing meat and mingling spices hypnotize you like an 80s ballad.

"In my time, I've never loved so much... and through each high and low, I've let my heart…

Start Your Graphic Novel This January!

If you want to make your own graphic novel, or at least a graphic "novella," there's no better time to start the ball rolling than this coming January. So that, by the time the next Komikon comes along, you'll have something to show.

Where do you start? How do you go about it? While every creator has his or her own system, I've outlined a method below, one that I've contemplated on using but never got around to trying it out.

Phase 1: Opening Up To Story Ideas
January is about beginnings, so spend 31 days being an active sponge. The objective of this month is to write down every idea that comes your way. You have to be actively looking for story ideas--reading newspapers and magazines, watching the news, surfing the net, even listening to friends--and jotting them down in an idea notebook. The ideas don't have to gel at first, and they don't have to be stories in themselves. They can be quotes, a flash of insight, a cool concept, a reflection, a memory, …

Golden Globe Nominations 2008

Nominations for the year ended December 31, 2008

Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, and Ralph Fiennes score two acting noms apiece. Streep gets lead noms for Doubt and Mamma Mia!; Winslet is in the running for Revolutionary Road (lead) and The Reader (supporting); while Fiennes scores for The Duchess and the television feature Bernard and Doris. Winslet's Titanic leading man Leonardo DiCaprio gets a lead acting nom for Revolutionary Road as well.

Speaking of couples, Brangelina gets a nom each in Changeling and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Changeling director Clint Eastwood gets a nomination, too, but under original score (!) for the film Gran Torino.

Heath Ledger gets a posthumous supporting nod for The Dark Knight, and Tom Cruise is in for Tropic Thunder.

Benjamin Button, Doubt, and Frost/Nixon lead the film nominations with five each.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
Warner Bros. Pictures and Paramount Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures and Paramount…

Summit Media Job Openings: Additional

STAFF WRITER (Philippine Entertainment Portal)
At least a Bachelor's/College Degree in Journalism, Mass Communications or equivalent. At least 4 year(s) of working experience in the related field is required for this position Highly knowledgeable and interested with local celebrities; Preferably 1-4 Yrs Experienced Employees specializing in Journalist/Editor or equivalent.STAFF WRITER (T3 DIGITAL)
At least a Bachelor's/College Degree in Journalism, Mass Communications or equivalent. Excellent Writing and communication skills Highly knowledgeable and interested with gadgets and other related topics. At least 4 year(s) of working experience in the related field is required for this position. Preferably 1-4 Yrs Experienced Employees specializing in Journalist/Editor or equivalent. MANAGING EDITOR (T3 DIGITAL)
At least a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism or any related field. At least 4 years of work experience preferably in "Online Publications". Interested and highly-famil…

Summit Media Job Openings

DIGITAL HEAD
At least a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management / Advertising / Marketing or any related field. At least have 5 years of holistic experience in brand management, specializing inonline brands Must be passionate about for magazines. At least 25 years old. Excellent communication, marketing and sales orientation with strong business acumen. Very strong leadership skills. Detail-oriented, resourceful and should have a sense of urgency. Very creative, highly organized and can work well under pressure. WEB DEVELOPER
At least a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or I.T. Programming or any related field. Extensive knowledge & experience in developing applications in various application platforms such as PHP, Java, Ruby on Rails, CGI, MySQL, HTML, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Flash. Adept in the design & architecture of Content Management Systems. Patient, flexible, organized and cooperative and can handle pressure well. Experience working with a development te…

Commercial Theater: Layman's Thoughts

I am set to meet with Tanghalang Pilipino (TP) to discuss the restaging of the Zaturnnah musical in February. If things go well, the month-long restaging will take place at the Little Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, with the old gang on board--Tuxqs Rutaquio, Joey Paras, Arnold Reyes, Eula Valdez, etc.--though there may be alternates. This is great news for those who may have missed the past 50+ shows of TP's major draw. It's too bad that the company's adaptation of Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon had to be shelved, due reportedly to budget limitations.

I sometimes feel that it's high time that local theater explored fresh material that had higher commercial potential--both in sales and sponsorhips. In a season of four productions, two could be the money-making crowd-pleasers, akin to Hollywood summer event movies--those that you simply must watch. This way, theater could accumulate enough funds to fuel the more artistic or classical projects.

Anot…

Real Living December 2008: Win Everything on the Cover!

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That's right. This is the third year of Real Living magazine's highly-successful December promo. All the furniture and home accessories (from Crossings Department Store no less) you see on the cover can be yours. Unlike in previous years where folks have to send entries by electronic or snail mail, joining the promo will now be exclusively through your mobile phones.

Each copy of the December issue has a unique code, and you will need that code to join the contest. So if you like what you see on the cover, get a copy of Real Living. Only P140.

Other features in this month's issue:
Unique ways to display your photosHow to set up a 1920s glam-inspired partyThe basic equipment you need for your mini-barTips and tricks for easy home organizingAnd a whole lot more!

Here and There

For all you Olympic-philes: Check out this interactive map of all Olympic medal tallies, beginning with the first modern Olympiad in Greece.Someone created Zsazsa Zaturnnah icons for Livejournal. These are unauthorized. No comment.Comic book writer and self-publisher Buddy Scalera says, "Market comics to adults, and kids will want to read comics."Thinking of Photoshopping those errors away? Here's a blog that tells you how NOT to do it!Have a good laugh. If you haven't seen the Robot Chicken Star Wars parodies, here's a compilation of clips. The part with Boba Fett and Han Solo is brilliant.Speaking of animation, Kung Fu Panda leads this year's Annie Awards. Read the full list of nominations through Awards Daily.

Sick in The Head

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Listening to: Lostby Katy Perry

Thought I had it all under control. But I guess these things do happen over and over again.

A few years ago my mind when blank, refusing to commit to any kind of heavy thinking, because of extreme mental and emotional activity. It's a state I vowed never to get back to. However, lo and behold, there it was again. It's a feeling akin to a swelling inside your skull, like your brain was floating in an additional gallon of fluid. And there's the pressure, pushing against the insides of your cranium.

Then you're in zombie zone.

Just like the last time, the simple idea of enjoying a basic pleasure becomes a chore. Staring off into space becomes the only remedy, plus the occasional beating up of oneself for forcing it in the first place.

But I'm a little better now, hence this blog post.

On to lighter stuff...
Chris Martinez' film 100 begins its theatrical run this week. Be sure to catch it. Mylene Dizon, Tessie Tomas and Eugene Domingo deliv…