Showing posts from April, 2008


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Oh, and by the way, David Hontiveros ' online superhero/showbiz novel Pelicula currently has 29 chapters online, thus clearing the halfway mark. If you haven't already done so, do check out what David's got up his sleeve. Visit Pelicula now .

A Slow Start Is Still A Start

I've begun to draw. The plan is to post the first two chapters (over 40 pages) in three- to five-page weekly installments. Maybe I'll add the third chapter--depends on some marketing issues I have to iron out. When will the first set of pages go online? I don't want to promise. But, since I'm already drawing the thing, it's going to be sooner than later. Knocking all sortsa wood. How will the sequel be different from the first book? I'd say there will be a lot of the same and a lot that's different. Calling it an improvement may be too soon to do, but deep in my heart ( "deep in my heart" daw, o!!) I believe that I've matured a bit in my storytelling and art skills. I completed the first book in early 2003--that's five whole years ago. If you were a freshman in college and you got the book when it first came out, by now you'd be part of the workforce. In my case, I've subjected myself to self-imposed do-it-yourself post-graduate st

Re-Orientation Part 2

I haven't drawn "large-scale" in a while. For those who don't already know, drawing a comic book at least 25% larger than the final printed size is ideal, allowing the artist to add detail without having to roll himself up into a ball over the paper. Now I don't use those industry-standard comics drawing boards--too expensive for me. In the past, I would buy 3-ply bristol boards from National Bookstore and cut them all up manually, then line the page dimensions in with a pencil and a ruler--total draftsman work. Right now, since I'm too lazy to do any kind of board cutting, I've decided to use biggie-size sketch pads. I was able to find one brand that had the thickness and texture I needed. My final drawing area is 24.5cm by 35cm, which will be reduced in the final printing to 7" x 10"-- a good reduction of almost 30%. Note that the above page will NOT appear in the book. It's just my drawing test-run to see if I still "had it." It&


If you're like me who's predisposed to trying different art styles, you know the disadvantage of that habit. It takes a while to get back to your core style. So here I am, reorienting my hand to my default while, at the same time, reviewing the script for the long storytelling journey ahead. Here's a sketch--Gwyneth. More or less the final version. My hand needs a little more work, though. Oh, and one more thing. My Graphic Classics assignment ( The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter , adapted by Antonella Caputo) will be released this August. Graphic Classics: Ambrose Bierce will also feature the work of our very own Reno Maniquis , creator of Maskarado.

Sound of the Crowd

I have this love-hate thing going when it comes to crowd scenes. I love drawing them, and I hate drawing them. There's the odd rush that takes place when I think about the kind of energy a crowd can generate, whether in a quiet scene like a mass or a noisy one like an outdoor party. Depending on the situation, everyone who appears on the panel has to be doing something, allowing them to contribute to the entire atmosphere the scene intends to evoke. In theater, it's called "stage business." When I place a person in the crowd, I always take a moment to think what's on the person's mind, and draw accordingly. But when it comes to actually putting it all on paper, I draw out the thumbnails with copious grunting and clawing. I remember what Gerry said before, that the fun part is in the thinking. The actual art becomes a technical exercise, with a test of endurance thrown in. So far, I haven't mastered the crazy chaos of a crowd during, say, an outdoor superhe

Two Detective Comics

Now here's some news that's begun to circulate. Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo are set to release their Pinoy paranormal detective comics Trese in about a couple of weeks. Trese started as an online series that can be read for free, and now Visual Print Enterprises has picked up the publishing rights. According to Budjette, the first compilation will contain the first four issues. Two more books will follow in the coming months. For the kiddies, two-time National Book Award Winner Arnold Arre teams up with Cast scribe Jaime Bautista for Private Iris , which features the sleuthing adventures of two kids Iris and Danton. One of the major selling points of this book? The official website says, "Every issue of Private Iris ... teaches kids money saving tips, interesting science trivia, fun do-it-yourself projects and imparts the proper values." Not surprising, since it appears that Pioneer Insurance is backing up the project along with Blue Cow, a group which prom

Comics and Doughnuts

A discussion recently erupted in Gerry's blog about a once great komiks publisher going the skin route with a glossy girlie magazine. The company is Atlas, and the magazine is Playhouse. Whatever it was that made Atlas peddle naked women is rhetorical at best. In many ways, putting together such a publication is easy. Plus, I am aware that a lot of people would be eager to contribute some intellectual content. The sales potential is a no-brainer, and companies are more than willing to plunk down money for ad space. I wouldn't blame Atlas for going this route if revenues are their primary objective. It's their business, literally and figuratively. Doesn't matter that I absolutely despise their bondage covers. Call me a prude, but that's something I wouldn't want my nine year-old niece to see. (Even if it was a hunky guy on a cover, I'd still wince.) But the topic at hand is comics, so here goes. Will comics sell in the Philippines? Yes. Will comics sell eno

Trying Something Kinda New

For my latest Graphic Classics assignment, I tried a technique that I had assumed would help me work faster. And was indeed able to work faster, though the method presented its own set of challenges. The method is a three-step: tight form pencils, black and white washes, and digital texturing. You'll see the results of each step by clicking on the image. What I really liked about this technique is the variety of activity. I'd be shifting from pencils to brushes to mouse as the need arose, so the toil on the right hand isn't too harsh...well, at least to me. The downside of this technique is that the mental planning factors in the halftone (grey) contrast. Unlike the usual one-tone page where you only have to worry about blacks and whites, the multi-tone page gets you fiddling with contrasts, making sure the subjects of every panel reasonably pop out. But I like how the whole of 40 pages turned out. The resulting mood of the images fit the atmosphere of Ambrose Bierce's

I Hate Hate Hate Book Sales Part Deux

I couldn't help it. Guilty as charged. Meggs' History of Graphic Design by Philip B. Meggs (Author), Alston W. Purvis (Author) I've always wanted to get this book since I saw it on Amazon. After all, every graphic designer needs a large dose of history. But I couldn't get around to shelling out over two thousand bucks for it. National Bookstore and Powerbooks were selling it at almost twice the price--not a good deal there. So imagine my giddy delight when I chanced upon this volume lying face-up with hardly a scratch or dent in the bargain bin of Powerbooks Shangri-La mall. It seemed like serendipity, since I hardly go to that branch. Its price was a few pesos shy of P2,000, and I could not refuse. With a glint in my eye, I gingerly took the book in my arms and held it close, like a schoolboy finding a 500-peso bill in the restroom. "Finders keepers," I thought. In short, mukha akong tanga . The Education Of A Comics Artist by Michael Dooley (Editor), Steven