Showing posts from July, 2003
THE CYBORG GANG If's Cyborger program is to be taken seriously, the gang is a serious kick-ass bunch of cyborgs. Based on our names, here's the team: For Surveillance and Exploration C.A.R.L.O.: Cybernetic Android Responsible for Logical Observation M.A.R.C.O.: Mechanical Android Responsible for Calculation and Observation C.A.M.I.L.L.E.: Cybernetic Artificial Machine Intended for Learning and Logical Exploration N.O.E.L.: Networked Obedient Exploration Lifeform D.I.N.O.: Device Intended for Nocturnal Observation For Destruction and Nullification D.E.A.N.: Device Engineered for Assassination and Nullification N.I.K.K.I.: Networked Individual Keen on Killing and Infiltration A.R.N.O.L.D.: Artificial Robotic Neohuman Optimized for Logical Destruction C.Y.N.T.H.I.A.: Cybernetic Ytterbium Neohuman Trained for Hazardous Infiltration and Assassination For Both V.I.N.N.I.E.: Vigilant Individual Normally for Nocturnal Infiltration and Explo
Leaping Salmon!! In the late nineties, I had one of those ideas that I really didn’t share with anyone because it was just… well… one of those ideas. The kind that didn’t have much of a future given the fact that I was a mere employee trying to make do with what I had. The concept involved a delivery service, wherein the items on the menu list are not cooked meals, but raw ingredients. Being an occasional cook, and having been holed up for a time in a Makati condo, I grew frustrated over the fact that those exotic ingredients found in cookbooks were nowhere to be found. And if they were available, I didn’t need to buy a whole pack or bottle, but just enough for a special dish or two, either just for myself or for a friend or visitor. So why not have a delivery service that features a menu of really swanky dishes, the ingredients of which would be delivered to your home so you could prepare them yourself? This service is, of course, meant for those who like to cook. It sou
One of the best things that happened today was receiving good news from Marc, that our fledgling company Kestrel IMC beat out a major industry player in handling the website overhaul of a big company, which I'll call Plum Account. We were contacted by Asia Online to be their design partner in the pitch to Plum Account, where six other bigshots in the graphic design/web development industry were invited to pitch as well. Dean alongside AOL did the blah blah during the preliminaries and was later chosen to be one of the final two companies to go head-to-head. It was a David and Goliath thing, if I may offer a metaphor. It's always a good feeling when you bag a major account. Always good for the portfolio. But the trade off is usually a lot of work and a lot of frustration. I don't think Plum Account's gonna be an exception. But we'll see. On the home front, mom just got back from the hospital, but I've yet to find out what she's suffering from. All
Raking at Reading Apart from wracking my brain at work and dealing with a few projects on the side, I've been struggling to get some good reading time in. Two nights ago, I managed to finish Jack London's The Shadow and the Flash , an exquisitely written science-fiction short story. I've also begun to read Jules Verne's The Day of an American Journalist in 2889 , and AC Ellis' The Chanter . I've downloaded a bunch of short stories from the net, which should be enough material for the next two weeks. When my eyes get tired from all the text, I switch to a comics trade or a graphic novel. My cousin's lovey lent his collection of The Invisibles , which I'm downing ever so slowly as strongly recommended by Vin and Nikki. Grant Morrisson knows his death and despair, magic and mayhem, and may-I-fuck-your brain concepts, so I'm being a bit careful with it. I'm already working myself up to a nervous breakdown as it is. While I haven't finis
It’s been over a year since I heard the song, that song someone once said was meant for me, its rousing melodies a confident declaration of devotion. As each note and lyric spiraled deeper into me, the way frothing stars and systems implode in black holes, I couldn’t escape remembering again – a voice, a touch, a glance – the magic that was silent in its omnipotence. It has become my poison, the magic and its song, ichor black against the veil of the cosmos, and I’ve spoke every available incant to dispel it. Though there have been small victories, futility reigns in my attempts to free myself, and I’ve sought the comfort of too many puffs of smoke and gulps of caffeine in finding answers. The song has brought me to the attic of some murky past, the ballroom of throwaway days, and I’ve been driven mad in search of an exit. There may be light but there is no window, not even a breath of passage to or from anywhere outside. So I sit at the center of the musky attic, of the splendid
Hierbas I’ve begun to write some script lines for my Hinirang -based horror/drama grafiction tale, tentatively titled Hierbas (Weeds). In its essence, Hierbas tells about the lengths one might choose to go through to guarantee one’s status in the public eye, in a society defined by conquest politics and religious underconflict. At its core is a love triangle, its narrative flourished with history, magic, strangeness, and other classical fantasy trimmings. (Tall order, yes. I am well aware of my penchant for self-destruction.) This baby I project to run between 100 to 150 pages, and because Hinirang is largely based on Spanish Philippines, there’s quite a bit of research that needs to be done. I don’t expect to finish the script soon and, needless to say, there exists the ever-present threat of The Shelf. In any case, I don’t think I’ll be able to squeeze in another solo project within the year. There’s already too much on the plate, like finally finally finally getting On
Twilight Spotlight Vin reported recently that the first-issue script of his spectacularly stupendous ultramega-epic science-fiction fantasy opera Twilight Empires (TwEmp) is near completion, painstakingly edited by the exotically-featured editrix Nikki. These past weeks I’ve been toying with various character designs, as well as tuning my subsconscious sponge to visual inspirations for the insanely myriad array of techgizmos, battleships, locales, and cultures of TwEmp . Vin trusts me to an endearing fault and, thanks to him, I’m about to face my most challenging art and design assignment so far. It will be wise, Vin, that you reserve a room -- a suite, with the works – at the NIMH. (And I’m not talking about the Don Bluth's magical rats.)
Then and Now I wanna peace, man peace, man Judo karate Samurai Cavite Atras abante Atras abante Balik sa dati Balik sa dati P'enge ng pera Dukot sa bulsa Nawala ang pera Sino'ng kumuha Si Ramon Zamora HAI!! During those days when Pong was the computer console in vogue, kids kept themselves occupied by socializing with others in the neighborhood, through classic games like patintero, agawan base, touch ball, taguan, habulan, and tumbang preso. When no one wanted to run around too much, there were such options as pick-up sticks, jackstones, Chinese jackstones, Chinese garter, and what have you's. I used to trip a lot playing habulan, much to the mom's dismay. And she'd always ask, "Kalaro mo ba si Ariel?" Ariel was one of the kids in the neighborhood, and whenever he'd participate in a running game, it's almost always certain that I'd trip and walk home with a bloody knee and tears in my eyes. I found it strange how mom w
What I Hate About Student Interviews When students request for some of my time for an interview, whether it be for a term paper, a thesis, or the school paper, I’m always too happy to oblige. I accommodate students as much as I can because I know what it’s like being in their shoes, and I want to give them an easy time, by being comprehensive with my answers, adjusting a bit to their schedules, and being as friendly to them as possible. It was early last year, I think, when I had one such interview with a couple of seniors (high school), and they were thankful that I didn’t give them a tough time. They ‘complained’ about some other interviewee who was giving them the runaround in settling on a venue. At first I was appalled at this interviewee’s behavior, but now I’m beginning to understand where he’s coming from. I’ve accommodated a few interviews over the past two years, whether in person or via email, and I can safely say that there are students who need to learn some c
Out of My Hands Last night at Country Waffles, I met with the people who have tentative involvement with the Zsazsa film. (I say tentative, because things can change over the course of this project.) They were the tentative director, the talent manager of the tentative choices for actors, and the tentative screenwriter, a fun and intelligent bunch who gave me valuable insights about the showbiz industry, confirming a few impressions and shedding blinding light on others. The issue of creative control had been thrown at me way before I was even contacted by any movie studio for the Zsazsa film. Back then till now, I chose to take a stance of non-involvement. Sure, it would be nice if the film were faithful to the original, doubly so if my wishlist was followed to the letter. But we all know that’s never going to happen, so it would be in your best interest to not expect anything. I know I’m not. While I appreciate those who have expressed concern about how the movie’s going to
Today’s a relatively idle day compared to the rah-rah events of the past two weeks. A good break, but disorienting still. Just when I had conditioned myself into prepping for handling a pile of work, time had suddenly slowed. Not complaining, mind you. At this point, I’d like to apologize to all my friends for not being in circulation as often as I’d like to. As I’ve said in a previous post, a lot of the work that I’ve been doing has rendered me unable to spend precious time with those who seek my company. Whether it be the high school guys, the college bunch, the poetry group, the comics gang, the folks I’ve met through the internet, my former co-workers, my email buddies, or those single individuals, all of whom I’ve grown closer to over the years. You’ve all been instrumental in molding who I am now, and I’m grateful that you’ve helped me, in small but important ways, in my healing. So I hope you can forgive me for not being there as often as I want to. It’s getting more diffi
Tomb Raider 2: The Cradle of Life Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler, Chris Barrie, Djimon Hounsou, Ciaran Hinds Directed by Jan de Bont United International Pictures, Paramount PIctures Thanks to Cams for the premiere tix to Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life . I wasn’t able to see the first Lara Croft film, so I was more curious to find out what this action-adventure chick flick had to offer. In this Angelina Jolie-starrer, Lara Croft is tasked to prevent a group of evil capitalists from decoding a strange orb that’s supposed to lead them to the very secret of life itself, found in the legendary Pandora’s box. I got in late, and found my place just near the entrance way, leaning against the wall trying to get comfortable. But halfway through the film, I was fighting off the urge to leave. If you walk into the theater thinking ‘mindless popcorn action,’ then you’ll just might think it okay. My only complaint can be summarized in three words: Hindi siya astig. Most of the
Work Work Work While finishing up on work at the office, someone I had recently met texted me, asking how I was and all that. I said that I was rushing stuff at work, to which he replied, “Work? How boring.” I felt offended. I don’t consider myself a workaholic. (Spending time staring off into space has as much appeal.) I just like working. Or to put it in a less obligatory fashion, I like to keep myself busy. There are times when, yes, I would complain or get all edgy about certain aspects of work, but the kind of fulfillment I gain has no parallel, especially if the task is something I give 100% of myself to. Admittedly, a part of me likes to work because it affords a kind of escape through substitution. I’ve always said that I’d rather have a headache than a heartache, and it’s always best in my book to strive to transform as much negative energy as possible into productive output, particularly when I’m emotionally down in the dumps (like what happened last year). I’m n
A Plan Is A Plan Some members of the gang, particularly Dean , Jason , and Marco , have been hinting about some of their creative endeavors over the long-term, whether they be tinkering with concepts, fleshing out plotlines or writing actual stories. Just to join this little bandwagon, let me share some of the artsy stuff swimming in my noggin’, if only to help me keep track of the number of ideas waiting to be explored. 1) Project: Zsazsa In Manila – Ada and Dodong arrive in Manila and shack up in Gwyneth’s Sta. Ana home. The Zaturnnah stone comes back through familiar circumstances, and our protagonists face yet another foe (with a serpentine persona) who’s hell-bent in taking over the world. Also, Ada and Dodong go through their first “lover’s quarrel.” (Filipino) 2) Project: Misunderstanding – A modern-day Pinoy horror/drama. (Filipino) 3) Project: Santacruzan – A gay-themed comedy starring a homophobe. (Filipino) 4) Project: Period Piece – Another horror/drama, about
Uber-Trippin' Har har har... don't ask me why. I'm dumbfounded myself. Nerdslut What's your sexual appeal? brought to you by Quizilla
Perceived Value One night, at National Bookstore – Galleria, I chanced upon a locally-produced newsprint komiks issue (the title escapes me), and browsed thorough it just to see if there’s been any improvement in the production values over the past ten years. The story installment I found myself reading was about a young muscular dude who, in an effort to rake in some extra dough, decided to try his luck as a strip dancer in a gay bar. The piece attempted to go manga, but the art was obviously rushed despite its four-color glory. The writing wasn’t much to gush about either. I hoped that what I saw wasn’t representative of the whole komiks lot, but I couldn’t help but suppose otherwise. There wasn’t any long-term value stamped on it, merely a quick-fix story that holds no longevity. If Philippine komiks publishers intend to sustain themselves over the years, they need to rethink their strategy when producing their products. And I’m talking about an overhaul. This assumes, of
Trove Spent too much on comics yesterday, but there should be no regrets down the road. Apart from getting Runaways #3 and #4, I splurged on three trades: Switchblade Honey (Warren Ellis and Brandon McKinney). Essentially a satire of those antiseptic science-fiction TV shows. Batman: Child of Dreams (Kia Asamiya). An original Batman story by one of Japan's foremost manga talents. Wicked (Francis Takenaga and Roy Allan Martinez). A horror tale, the details of which I'm currently oblivious to. I've been increasing my stockpile of trades lately, even if I haven't finished reading the lot of them. But at least they're there, and I can just pull them out when I need to. Must resist spending...
The big decision that I recently made is summarized thus: I have awarded the film rights of Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah to Regal Films. It was a big decision for me because it wasn't only Regal who expressed interest in Zaturnnah's first adventure. In opportunities like these which ordinary mortals like me seldom come close to, I had to exercise a lot of scrutiny and objectivity over it. I'm no longer concerned whether or not I made the right decision; what's important to me now is that the deal has opened new doors, and hopefully it will also open doors for my fellow grafictionists. Back to work. Deadlines. (Thanks to Dean for his two-cents throughout the whole affair.)
Today, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. To some, it may just be one of those decisions, especially if its just par for the course, but to me it translates to beginning a new chapter. As Dean said, I should expect big changes in my life the moment I made the choice; nothing will ever be the same again. No, I'm not getting married. And I'm not getting a sex change. ------------ This morning, I found a note from James Denning on my desk. A sweet surprise, something totally unexpected. It reads: Carlo - Thanks for sharing me your book. I like the way you mix up styles of art in the same panel and the energy of your line work. I wish I read Tagalog -- superhero-eating frogs? It looks like fun. Good luck with it. James Denning Sure, he's not up there like Jim Lee or Bryan Hitch, or our very own Gerry Alanguilan or Leinil Francis Yu, but he works for DC Comics. Anyone who does something for DC Comics is, like, WOW.
James D. This is just too unreal. Tonight I was making my final email checks at the office before heading off to SM Megamall. As some of you may well know, our office has been squatting at the space of Glue , a video production outfit. For most of the day, Glue has been busy doing editing work for a client's video. Just a while ago, the guy who was representing the client approached me and engaged in a bit of small talk, starting with the Daredevil cover of The Cinematographer Magazine. We then started to talk about other superhero flicks, until we took the topic to comics in general. He was a collector, who loves the new Daredevil work of Brian Michael Bendis. I was surprised to find out that he works on a per-project basis with DC Comics, doing writing chores for DCs Cartoon Network line, particularly Dexter's Laboratory . His names James Denning, and he'll be flying to California next week to attend the San Diego Comicon. Wow.
There are a lot of people I know who’d rather not talk about God, and I don’t talk about God a whole lot, too. But I can’t deny how good He’s been to me and my family. Thanks, Daddy God, for being there when I needed to talk to someone, for not growing tired of hearing out my bitterness, for holding me close and tight when others would rather not. I try to do good whenever I can, and I know that I’ve failed a whole lot of times, but it is only You who can search my heart and know the depth of my sincerity when even I could not. I’ve learned a great deal from the people who’ve come and gone in my life, as well as the people who have stayed. Thank You for them all, for without them, I am without me.
Proof of Infamy Thanks to Marco for the screenshot!
Revived Affair with Anime Anime has been an on-and-off part of my life since post-college in 1992, when I started hanging out with De La Salle’s resident gaming group ROUGH. Back then, there weren’t a whole lot of otaku compared to today, so the appreciation of manga and anime was more on a groupie level. (The anime I’m referring to doesn’t include the big-robot anime of the 80s.) I was enjoying the OAVs of Megazone 1 and 2, Project A-Ko , Ninja Scroll , Creature City and Urutsokidoji , and I loved the amount of variety and depth anime offered compared to its American counterparts. But because I had moved on to the corporate world and theater, the level of my exposure to anime dipped to almost none. Thanks to the current gang, especially Vin Simbulan and Angel Ace creator Marco Dimaano , I’ve been able to find greater access to anime. I’ve already seen Read Or Die , Ghost In A Shell , Crying Freeman , and parts of Vampire D , as well as an episode or two of Vandread and Ra
I'm Ready for My Close Up, Mr. DeMille... Okay. So my interview on ABS-CBN's Knowledge Power was aired a few minutes ago. I heard that it was a well-made feature, so it's all good. Thanks to Manny Segunto and Weng Aniano for being very prompt and professional. This marks my third major appearance on television out of a total of six. My first major appearance was waaaay back in 1982 or '83, sixth grade, when I joined a storytelling contest on June Keithley's The Children's Hour ... Now's the time to read your books Now's the time to pray Now's the time to run around Now's the time to play Now's the time to sing our tune Now the time is ours So c'mon and join the fun Join The Children's Hour The contest was sponsored by that short-lived soya milk drink Vita. Every week of the promo period, two young 'uns would face off in telling original stories on how the soya bean came to be. My opponent was a wee innocent fe
Whew! Here I am complaining about not having any time to read, and yet I've managed to update the blogshelf with more titles. Goes to show where my priorities lie. The weekend is upon us, allowing me to park my sleep-deprived state, and hopefully get another workout in. My cousin's lovey lent her his full Invisibles TPB collection, so I'll be taking my brain on a Grant Morrisson headspin over the next couple of days. During breaks, there's Farel Dalrymple's Pop Gun War , or maybe I can start with Like Water for Chocolate . Have a great weekend all!!
Somewhat Whirlwind Hoookay... work's beginning to pile up. One client after another, and I'm hoping that Bok and I pass this phase with flying colors. If Kestrel IMC is gonna be big, the designers have to stay sane, and organized. Looking at my desk right now, it seems that I've got my work cut out for me in that department. But things are smooth still. I don't see a nervous breakdown coming. An impromptu interview with a television show was the day's highlight. I even trudged to Greenhills to get a collared shirt, as a bright yellow one wiould simply not do. The interview actually took place here in the office at a little past 7pm. A real nice and professional bunch asking the usual questions, allaying some of my worst fears. And the feature will only be five minutes at most. I managed to put a major statement about making Filipino comics great again, but it'll be up to the editors if they'll include the chunk of it. After the interview, the write
There's that saying, "Be careful what you wish for, because it might just come true." It's coming true, in a manner, and I find myself fighting off the urge to keel over. Too overwhelming. An action is supposed to be met by an equal and opposite reaction. The universe has its laws, and I had thought that these laws can only be broken in theory or fiction, as was wonderfully presented by Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran in Orbiter . But I can't help but feel it's happening to me now. Dear God, You sure have one heck of a sense of humor. Thanks for being good to me still.
Graphic Novels If I had gobs of money, I’d set up a publishing house that produces nothing but graphic novels or anthologies of grafiction (or comics), all packaged as books, with nicely coated covers and impressive book design. The publishing house would also venture into publishing the short fiction and prose novels of the grafictionists, and perhaps an occasional how-to. Again, IF I had gobs of money. The graphic novel has distinct advantages over its serial pamphlet cousins (comics magazines) as well as straight-prose novels. And these advantages can spell healthy returns for a publisher. Versus Pamphlet Comics Because graphic novels are packaged and designed as books, they can reach audiences who shy away from the stigma-ridden comics magazines. They can also attract those who may have ‘outgrown’ comics. Graphic novels make great gift alternatives. It’s very rare to give magazines as gifts, but common to give books. Graphic novels have greater longevity. If
It's time to plot out something different. Less of the old, more of the new. It's bad to be boxed, to be caged, especially if in that darkness where you're forced by impressions to stay, you find yourself in the embrace of a stigma, akin to a virus that renders you unclean. It's time to break from the cage. And burn it. By heaven, I will try to burn it, even if I've been smeared by its rusty tar-laced bars. I may not be able to escape completely, but at least I'd no longer be trapped. In this case, it's better to die half-free.
After a million years, I finally got another good workout in. I’d usually go about it for 90 or so minutes but, since it has been a while, I tapered it down to about an hour to get the old bod used to lifting again. I’ve laxed a bit too much; the waistline has shot up to over 35 inches when I vowed to not let it go over 33. I’m gonna try for twice-weekly sessions, or maybe sign up at a nearby gym. Whatever. A workout is a workout, and it shouldn’t matter how often I do it or where. Here we go again. - - - - - - Finally got to see Charlie’s Angels . Fun fun fun. Eye candy all around. The women were hot. The men were hot. Though I’d have loved more of the melee combat sequences, I had a great time with it. Next up is Gil Portes’ Munting Tinig (Small Voices), Dancing in the Dark , and hopefully, the long-overdue The Hulk . - - - - - - Sunday early morning, around 2:30 am. I was with Vin and Marco in the van cruising down C-5 towards Aurora Boulevard when a disturbing sight
"I don't mind the fact that there's a lot about life that I don't know. What I do mind is when it gets shoved in my face. I'd much rather go home, instead of feeling stupid."
I need to find a new album site to host my images. Village Photos can only allow a certain amount of bandwidth per day, which is why some of you don't get to see all the images at times. And I got an email from Picture Trail saying that my Intro account is only good fro a few number of days. This is what I get for not bothering with the terms and conditions.
I just registered at but I made a widdle mistake. My location is Saudi Arabia. ((sigh)) Now I have two entries in their queue; the second one's the correct one. Oh, whatever... Online Sex Again In 1948, the small Japanese city of Tochina was still recovering from the impact of World War II. American soldiers occupied the town, frequenting the pan-pan girls and hostesses of the Yoshiwara, the ruined geisha district. In converted shelters young people jiggied to imported dance hall tunes. New Western fashions and ways blended with Japanese traditional culture. In a secret laboratory under the city, well hidden from eyes of authorities and passersby, a once renowned scientist continued to conduct biogenetic experiments begun in war times. Attention sexy geeks in cyberspace! Visit the land of Tochina, the sex-crazed post-WWII Japanese city that is the setting for Anime Noir , the online role playing game cum chatroom. In this world, players can
Oficina The home of Pipeline Media's successor, Kestrel IMC, is a floor below. We've been permitted by the kind folks of Glue (a video production outfit) to set up shop there while our operations go through a much needed adjustment. Compared to the old office, this new environment is more to my liking. While there's much less space to move around, it's more conducive to work because there's an impression of order. Well-illuminated interiors with the windows all blinded down. Sienna shades and light peach-brown balances everything out. And I love the mini-conference room. If I were to design my own office, I'd go for a more corporate theme. More desaturated hues and lots of lines and angles. To offset the cold, some little touches of pastels would go here and there to warm things up. Corporate chic on the more conservative side. The only comfy part of the set-up would be the corner of the room, right next to a large window overlooking something, like t
Tick-tock Life Visionarys are the overnight successes. The ones who make it big after years of struggle, failure, rejection and disillusionment. They tend to start out pretty good. They do well in school, are athletic, often attractive, seem well-liked by peers and, on average, quite congenial people. They tend to be reflective thinkers and drop-of-a-hat dreamers and enjoy passing time doing both. Able and conscientious in most all they attempt, they tend to inspire confidence in others; enough so to be included on likely-to-succeed lists. When Visionarys graduate youth, they tend to meet early success in adulthood. Not long after that, things tend to go rather wrong, rather quickly for them. An internal rebellion arises and they begin questioning long before middle-age, "Is that all there is?" From birth to death, their tick-tock, tick-tock is a cellular-insistent and pulse-driving reminder that cannot be ignored in quiet or drowned out by noise. Through thick and thi
A Gay Man Trapped In A Woman's Body And, man, what a body!