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Showing posts from February, 2010

Renaissance: A Gathering of Pinoy Comics' Greatest Creators

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I was contacted by Whilce Portacio (one-time penciller of Uncanny X-Men and creator of Wetworks) weeks ago to contribute to a coffee table book to help raise funds for the victims of typhoon Ketsana. The book, entitled Renaissance: Ang Muling Pagsilang, features the artwork of dozens of Filipino and Fil-Am illustrators, comics book artists, cartoonists, and animators based here and abroad.

This is the piece I contributed to the book. It was inspired by a friend's experience:

I arrived at the star-studded February 21 book launch held at SM Megamall only in the afternoon, as I had forgotten that it was my dear mom's birthday. It was a very humbling experience being in the presence of so much talent, from veterans to newbies, mainstream to indie, including Michael "Bitoy" V. Many of you may not know that the Bubble Gang mainstay is a fantastic comics artist, and has actually done some comics work in the past before going full blast into novelty rap and television.

I actual…

Billboard Top Hits, February 25, 1996

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Let's move back a good fifteen years to the Billboard Top 10 pop chart dated February 25, 1996. Nostalgia mode... activate.


1) One Sweet Day, Mariah Carey and Boyz 2 Men.
Over the years since this record-breaking hit, Boyz 2 Men lost a member, and Mariah lost her voice. (She lost a bit of her sanity, too, but then there was emancipation.)

2) Not Gon' Cry, Mary J. Blige

3) Missing, Everything But The Girl
Take what was originally an acoustic song, add thumping house beats, and get a pop chart hit.

4) Nobody Knows, Tony Rich Project

5) Sitting Up In My Room, Brandy
Too bad her glory days have come and gone. She needs to get back up there.

6) Be My Lover, La Bouche
One of many Euro electronica club hits that crossed over to pop. I'm beginning to miss 2Unlimited.

7) Jesus to a Child, George Michael
This is where George Michael's fantastic run on the pop chart began to suffer. If I'm not mistaken, he didn't have many big Billboard hits after this song."Father Figure" …

Drawing Mark Spencer of "Love Is In The Bag"

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At the KomikStrip convention held at the University of the Philippines - Los Baños last February 13, I was assigned the table beside Studio Studio, the group led by Ace Vitangcol which produces "Love Is In The Bag." You may have seen this Pinoy manga series in the bookstore and wondered if it was imported.

It's about a girl who transforms into a bag when under extreme stress, particularly when she sees her crush. This is particularly advantageous for her, because she doesn't make a mess of herself and someone can just whisk her away inconspicuously. When I see my crush, on the other hand, my innards just explode and I melt into a brown bubbly morass. Good luck, right?

I lent my 12-year old niece the four books in the series, and she went through them all in one sitting. There will be a fifth book, Ace says, and it will be the final book. Anyway, Ace asked me to draw one of the series' most beloved characters--the brooding basketball hunk Mark Spencer. (The dazzling…

Where to go if the Philippines goes to the dogs

It is no secret that there's a lot about living in the Philippines that we don't like, moreso in the present circus... I mean, socio-political situation. So much so that a number of my friends have quipped, either in jest or sarcasm, about leaving the country and settling in less stressful territories.

New York-based Mercer Consulting annually surveys the world's cities and draws up the "Best Places In the World To Live" list, based on myriad factors including political and social, economic, health, housing, and natural environment. For 2009, Filipino favorites Canada and New Zealand figure prominently with five cities landing in the top 20, namely: Vancouver (4), Auckland (tied at 4), Wellington (12), Toronto (15) and Ottawa (16). And if Australia entices you, Sydney (10) and Melbourne (18) sit comfortably in the top 20.

If living in Asia is still your thing, Singapore has the 26th spot. Incidentally, if city infrastructure (traffic, public transport, telecom faci…

Drawing Dodong Again

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Some of you may have already seen this illustration over at the Zaturnnah Facebook page. I'm reposting it here, the before and after versions. (Click on image to enlarge)

Incidentally, Zsazsa Zaturnnah: Ze Muzikal earned seven nominations from the 2nd Philstage Awards for the Performing Arts. The Tanghalang Pilipino hit musical is vieing for the following awards:

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL

OUTSTANDING FEMALE LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
Eula Valdes

OUTSTANDING MALE LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
Nar Cabico
Joey Paras

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL DIRECTION
Vincent De Jesus

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL COMPOSITION
Vincent De Jesus

Congratulations to Tanghalang Pilipino! See the complete list of noms at Gibbs Cadiz's blog.

Story Writing Prompts Using PostSecret

Sometimes you're just aching to write, but you don't know what to write about. Or, you're desperate to find a great inspiration for a story, but you don't know where to start. Websites that feature writing prompts can help, but a number of the prompts featured simply encourage you to jog your brain and not really generate fresh story ideas.

PostSecret can be your rich resource for writing prompts specifically geared towards creating a short story, or a subplot for a larger story. The website started out as a community project where people created postcards which revealed their deep secrets, and the site has spawned a number of bound collections which can be purchased in bookstores (I saw one in National Bookstore).

Secrets, especially those experienced by real people, can be one of the greatest story inspirations --and writing prompts-- around.

Here's a way to do it:

1) Choose one secret, particularly an emotionally compelling one, from the site and take some time to f…

Mid-Life Crisis: I guess it's official

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People who know me well can tell you that I've been one to lock my psychological age at 26. In fact, I've been "26" for about nine years now, and the fact that people tell me that I look far younger than 39 seems to prove that age is all in the mind. Sure, I've been noticing more lines on my face, plus the onset of sagging cheeks, coupled with a few aches here and there, but I've otherwise never really felt my age. Not that I know what my age is supposed to feel like, but the words "I'm too old for this," never factored into the way I went about my life.

But lately I've been ill-at-ease of a different sort--more irritable, impatient, less motivated, easily distracted, lethargic. For someone who's predisposed to feeling this way, I can say with some authority that this new attack is really different.

So I've done a bit of research, including consulting with someone older, and have more or less confirmed that, yes, I am indeed going thro…

Oh, Oscar!! Nominations Announced

My uninformed prediction for the win in itals...
Best Picture
Avatar
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious
A Serious Man
Up
Up in the AirDirecting
James Cameron - Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino - Inglorious Basterds
Lee Daniels - Precious
Jason Reitman - Up In The AirActress
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
Helen Mirren - The Last Station
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Gabby Sidibe - Precious
Meryl Streep - Julia & Julia
Actor
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up In The Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz - Nine
Vera Farmiga - Up In The Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal - Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick - Up In The Air
Mo’Nique - Precious
Supporting Actor
Matt Damon - Invictus
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Christopher Plummer - The Last Station
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz - Inglorious BasterdsAnimated Feature
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Princess and th…