Thursday, July 31, 2003

Another young Jedi lost to the dark side.

The character of Jorge is based on a real classmate of mine from High School. Everyone was scared of him for some reason and he didn't have to do anything to make it work. I guess it was either his connections with the Seniors or because his Dad's a military officer. We still have a good laugh about it these days whenever we see each other.
The world is a cruel place... Small wonder people think we descended from animals because we act like it. Ptooey!

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

I never minded calling You a King
If that meant that I could count on You
To give me everything.
I never thought to ask You,
I always thought You knew.
It was never my intention to question You.

You never minded calling me a child.
Well, I guess that's how I acted all the while.
But You live through every tantrum,
You see through every lie.
Though they seem to be more common
I just wanted You to know why oh why.

You never minded giving us the stars,
Then showing us how blind and unaware of You we are.
You painted me a picture and showed me how to see
Though I just won't behold it
Unless it pertains to me...

Jars of Clay, "Unforgetful You"

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

I used to think that retailers have one of the best jobs around. Being exposed to different people every minute of everyday doesn't seem boring at all as opposed to being cooped up inside the cubicle of a corporate setting. With that thought I looked forward to serving the people, greeting them as they walk in and answering their questions with a cheerful smile. "Who cares about the low pay" I thought at first, "being around people is the best!" But I didn't count on the types of questions and customers retail people face everyday... It's enough to make even the most sane store owner howl at the moon in frustration. Then came the tale of the Acts of Gord, that told of how one brave "Keeper of the Retail Faith" skillfully parried off the slings and arrows of "Consumer Idiocy" that ruthless customers hurl at retailers everyday.
Tales were told that begged disbelief. "No one," we thought, "Is really that stupid." But the stories continued, and the cries of the wretched grew louder and more plentiful. The stories were true: The Gord had become an Owner in Hell. Witness after Witness held forth tales of lunacy and mental vacuousness.

And when I travelled from the hallowed halls of my Game Store and visited the Game Store of The Gord, the truth became apparent. I have no cause to disbelieve the veracity of the tales told here. The truth, it would certainly seem, is contained herein. Go now, and read of The Gord, and know that he has walked the path of the Game Store Owner, and that he has suffered for all of us.

It's a complete gas like something out of a MAD Magazine or a Kevin Smith movie. Thanks for this one L!
Monkeys Rule: An 11-year old kid from England has a brand new blog created by his Mum. Nothing's written in yet but you could leave some notes at his Tag-board.
This is one of the old strips I dug up from one of the drawers inside my room.

Heehee... It still works after all these years.
Drilling 50 yards deep German scientists discovered tiny pieces of copper in core samples taken at several sites in their country. After studying the bits of metal, they announced that 25,000 years ago, ancient Germans had a nationwide telephone network.

Naturally the British didn't want to be outdone. British scientists dug even deeper and found small pieces of glass. After some study, they announced that 35,000 years ago, ancient Brits had a nationwide fiber-optic network.

French scientists were outraged. They dug 100, 200, then 300 yards deep but found nothing except dirt and rock. Finally, they announced proudly: 55,000 years ago the ancient French used cellular phones.
Taken from the May 1999 issue of Reader's Digest.

Monday, July 28, 2003

A big grazie to Rick for adding this site to his list of links. Check out his site for some great pick-me-ups. I kid you not when I say it's way cooler than Starbucks.
I just had a dinner with a good friend who's also newly married. Been a long time since we last talked and it's a good thing she dropped by since I was already getting depressed from the lack of good company (being cooped up here at the shop and all). Our dinner subject revolved around the usual problems married couples have after the honeymoon stage: budgets and expenses. I wasn't much of a help to her but I did try to offer some consolation by shedding some light on the male psyche or why we act the way we do. This wasn't the first time we talked about the differences between guys and girls. She tries very hard to put herself in our shoes but there are still some things that are beyond her comprehension. As for me, I'm having some great insights into married life and sometimes I think I'm more than ready for it. I've heard and read almost everything there is to know about being married. I'm confident about my "l33t sk33lz" in giving advice. I'm the bench coach that shoots ringless hoops from outside the lane! HA!

But I wonder what it's really going to be like when my turn comes?

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Wow. I'm included in Mark Morris' list of blogs. This blog is mentioned in the list of one of THE most interesting blogs I ever read. Wow... I'm real honored. Thanks dude!
One thing came to mind when I heard the news about the coup d'etat this morning: What is it about women presidents in this country that makes the soldiers rise up in rebellion? If you would remember the last incident happened 15 years ago during the tenure of former President Cory Aquino. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has decided to extend the deadline till 7 pm for the remaining rebel soldiers, the pro-government troops are now poised to attack in case things don't work out as planned, and former-coup-plotter-turned-Senator Gregorio Honasan has talked to them. I don't how much longer this thing will drag on but hopefully things won't turn out much uglier than it already is.

* Inq7.net delivers the latest online reports. Just refresh your browser every once in a while.
Dear future wife,

Dad's teaching me a lot of things about myself today (he told me it's never too late for anything). Remind me to tell you all about it when we meet. Thanks!

His apt pupil,

Your future husband

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Three cheers for new wave nights! The final refuge of sentimental fools who refuse to age.
It's a weekend and I'm feeling terribly bored. I wanna go out but I don't have anybody to go with me. Argh. Seems like I would have to go home and veg out in front of the tube again after work. Is there anything fun to do in this world that doesn't involve money, travelling great distances, and can be enjoyed without looking desperate for company? Preferably some place quiet.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Awright! It's my first Friday Five! YOWZA!!!
1. If your life were a movie, what would the title be?

2. What songs would be on the soundtrack?
A mix of indie, pop, and rap-rock songs. Definitely.

3. Would it be a live-action film or animated? Why?
It would be a combination of both. Why? It would be easier to show nocturnal dreams, day dreams, and other yahoos going around. I'm a big fan of the late great Jim Henson's works and I'm also fascinated with the works of Lewis Carroll, Salvador Dali, Bill Plympton, and other surreal artists and writers so I think it would be fun to combine the best of both worlds. There will be a lot of imaginary what-ifs ala Alley McBeal combined with the unpredictable fun of Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Amelie, and Stephen Chow's movies. A bit nutty but creative like George Lucas' Twice Upon A Time and a little fantastic like Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Of course you have to realize that a lot of it happens inside my mind.

4. Casting: who would play you, members of your family, friends, etc?
I can't decide between Harrison Ford, Martin Sheen, and Jack Nicholson to play my father. But Robert De Niro reminds me a lot of my Dad so I'll probably get him. Either Sally Fields, Glenn Close, or Carrie Fisher will play my Mom. Then Sean Connery will play my Grandfather, John Goodman and Tim Allen will be my Uncles, Sigourney Weaver and Patricia Richardson will be their wives and my Aunts respectively. Matthew Broderick, David Schwimmer, Tobey Maguire will be cast as my sibs and Hilary Duff as my li'l sister. Kevin Smith will play my intellectual friend, Chris Tucker, Mike Myers, Jason Lee, and Seann Scott will be my rambunctious childhood friends, Alicia Silverstone will be cast as my mysterious next-door neighbor, Ali Larter will be my tomboyish no-nonsense girl bestfriend, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore will be the snobbish clique. Me? I'll get a young Corin Nemec to play my part and Natalie Portman will play my love interest. Hehehe... I told you a lot of the scenes happen in my mind. I'll make a personal cameo appearance in the movie too like Stan Lee. Ron Howard gets to direct the whole thing, while Tim Burton will be the Art Director. SFX will be done by the Industrial Light and Magic and the movie will be distributed by Dreamworks.

5. Describe the movie preview/trailer.
The movie trailer opens in a quiet Norman Rockwell-ish community setting (think Pleasantville). Then a whole gaggle of huge UFOs manned by aliens suspiciously looking like Pokemons starts flying in and position themselves on top of the town hall, town church, barns, and other houses. But before they could simultaneously wreak destruction with their laser beams a Japanese-version Godzilla comes in and whips them off to kingdom come. Then an ominous voiced narrator goes "And you thought you've seen it all...", the music begins as a MTVish hodge podge of images flash on the screen reminiscent of those awful horror, action, and sci-fi B-movies. The title appears with a bang, then "Coming soon to a theater near you."

Hehe... I can't wait to see it myself.
Do you remember as a kid when in the course of your exploration you'd come across something very interesting and you'd freeze? You'd cease to move, concentrating real hard, lest that thing you're staring at would go away before you're even ready. Yes? High five! No? Maybe that's just me. It's one of those things I carried over from childhood. I'd always get that way whenever I hear barely heard new wave songs that would remind me of my teenage years (I never really enjoyed high school but somehow I miss it real bad) or something would flash across the screen that's really interesting (like a video or two from MTV, guest appearance of a favorite personality, or the teaser of an upcoming good show). I would block everything during those times when I'm concentrating real hard. Beware my wrath if you dare to distract me in any way possible. Not that it happens a lot of times, just rarely.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Have you ever thought what would people be doing in heaven after they die? Would people actually spend their lives doing everything for God only to end up in an eternity of lying on fluffy clouds dressed in plain white gowns, strumming the strings of a golden harp and eating peeled grapes?! Bleack! Whatta bore! This book puts forth some very interesting theories of what life could be in heaven (this is the book I was telling you about last night that I finished in one sitting). Of course nobody yet has gone to heaven and come back to tell us what really happens up there but the author confidently bases his theories on the clues scattered in the pages of the Good book. He tells us that this life is one big opportunity and training-ground for life thereafter. He first opens the need to determine where we'll be spending eternity (smoking or non-smoking?). If you already have a personal relationship with Jesus, then it becomes a different story altogether. Life then becomes a training-ground to know what kind of job you'll be having in heaven. Surprised? Me too. I mean why would one still be working in heaven? Isn't all those years of toiling enough? Ahhh... this book answers it and more. It turns out that what we do here on earth (including our attitudes and motives towards everything and everyone) matters a lot. It doesn't mean that if you're a somebody here you'll still be enjoying the same privilege in the afterlife or it'll still be the same story if you're a nobody here on earth. It's still a wait and see proposition *wink-wink*. Buy the book and read it. I promise you the value of knowing and securing your future far surpasses anything that money can buy. After all how much do you think a life changing experience is worth?
Awright! We're back in business! Happy dance! Funny thing too, at almost the same time the net was restored the kids started pouring in to play games. Weird. Anyway I hope you guys like this strip, one of those that kept me busy over the weekend.

I like the how the punchline was set up in this one. Über coolio!

FYI, that's my high school alma mater in the background.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

We still don't have any internet connection and I'm hopelessly driven to go out of my way and give my neighbors a business by renting theirs. To fend off the endless drone of boredom earlier I was forced to read a book in one sitting and watch a Hayao Miyazaki movie. I would have done more strips if I had some prepared ideas and materials at hand. But since a bad case of cabin fever's already beginning to set I can't do anything creative. A couple of things weigh heavily in mind too. I'm deliberating on whether to just close the door or burn the bridge on one friendship, there's the pressure on signing up on a business opportunity but the money's not available (I have until tomorrow to jump on it or lose my chance to earn big returns in investment), I want to go out and visit a friend I haven't seen in a long time but can't since my shop assistant's as yet naive to the ways of the big city, etc. etc. Sigh... At least I'm still alive.
2 days without an internet. Can't believe this. Is this thing broken?

Btw, I'm renting a unit here at my fave spot. It's owned by a former officemate of my sister and managed by a fellow PExer. That's how small the world's becoming nowadays.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Correct me if I'm wrong but comedians and cartoonists have cornered the hardest work on the face of this planet: to make others laugh. It doesn't take a lot to make others cry, sing, angry, or surprised but it does take everything you've got to make others laugh. To do that, we have to learn to be flexible enough to see the brighter side of life. To some, it's a craft that's learned along the way and to others, it's a gift that needs to be sharpened every now and then. And it all starts at the moment we learn to laugh at ourselves. After all, how can we ever hope to make others laugh at what we do if we cannot look at the mirror and learn to laugh at what we see? Here's a list of suggestions for comic strippers on how to come up with a good joke, a-not-so-secret trade secret if you will:
1. Always plan ahead. It would be better, and much easier, to work on a storyline that spans from point a to point d. That way you'll see where your storyline is headed to, weaving twists and turns and effectively developing the characters without dawdling too much. But if you're a daredevil like me, who waits and prefers to sort things out at the last minute, the trip between those two points can be a lot harrowing. Imagine the thrill of having a deadline looming closer and closer while you're pinned under a colossal... Writer's Block. Suffice to say you'll swear off doing it again. That is until the next deadline.

2. Ask. If and when you have a story but can't come up with a punchline to make your shallowest friends laugh milk out of their nose then I suggest that you pray for it. Seriously. If we believe we're created in God's image, and that includes among others, the ability to make others laugh, doesn't it follow that He can do a better job than us? We're used to praying for a lot of things so why not a great idea for a strip?

3. Read, read, read. When I was just a wee cartoonist starting out in this biz I took in whatever funny book or magazine I could lay my hands on to help me start on my own. I read a lot of MAD Magazines, Reader's Digest, daily comic pages, strip compilations by my favorite artists, etc. Try to find out what makes you laugh when you read these, make a science out it. Was it the characters? Was it because of the drawings? Or was it because of the surprise element in the end?

4. Watch and learn. Watch a lot of cartoons (Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network works for me), pick your favorite, record it on video and watch it all over again. Watch a lot of sitcoms, go see a theater play, watch a movie, the works. Get ideas for storylines or situations you can use later on in your strip (then do what Cartoon Network preaches, "let your ideas percolate!"). It doesn't always have to be funny for you to get an idea, surprise yourself and others where you get yours.

5. Take a breather. Go out to the mall or to the park and watch other people. Let your mind wander for a while, let your train of thought run its course and pick up "passengers" along the way. Being cooped up for long hours at a time is not very healthy practice for artists. The ideas emanating from your head keep bouncing off the wall and bumping at each other. Somewhere along the line it's gonna be really "crowded" and really "noisy" it would take a lot to hear yourself think and if you don't get out in time you'll get frustrated and cranky. The idea behind going out to think is that your eyes are like a child that needs to be distracted by constant movement and changes, while your mind is like a parent that's left alone to concentrate in keeping those ideas that would work and tossing out those that won't. Pretty weird analogy if you ask me but that's how it works. Sorta.

6. Seek out others' good company. If you need to distract yourself further then go out and seek out your friends. In the course of keeping each other company, a great idea usually pops out from nowhere. The more friends you have at the time and the more fun you have with them, the more these ideas will come.

This list is by no means complete, so please feel free to come up with your own. I'll try to add more to this list in the future.
Against the background of a darkening blue sky and a cluster of orange cotton candy clouds, was a fairly visible rainbow. It was already 6:30 pm, too late, I thought to myself, for a sight such as this. It's as if the Creator took his pallette and his brush and with a graceful sweep of his arm across the sky made a brief display for all to see. There was nothing to herald it, no one to point at the sky shouting "Look!" Nah-ah. It was a rare privilege, to those who saw it and contemplated on its marvel, to catch God red-handed while doing his work.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

I'm back here at my favorite net café after watching an hour's worth of MTV back at the house. I couldn't let this day pass without writing a progress report on what I'm working on today. I was able to submit one strip yesterday to a local magazine called FUSION, just barely making the deadline. Right now I'm about halfway finished with the West Side strips for the next two weeks. And I'm also very satisfied with the way it turned out. The punchline on these strips I'm working on is right on the money. I'm very finicky with how I set up the punchline in every strip and I would shoot down 2 to 4 initial ideas before coming up with something I'm completely happy with. That's the easy part, I would then have to come up with a great punchline. And only it's because I only have one chance to make it and I have to hit the readers hard and quick otherwise it would only look as if I forced a small burp just to be heard. I'll be writing something, maybe tomorrow, about the work that comes with creating a comic strip.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Why do ideas arrive so close to deadline?

Thursday, July 17, 2003

In his second day of school in the Philippines, the FilAm protagonist meets the Top Cow, Head Honcho, the Big Cheese, the Big Kahuna of bullies in their batch for the first time.

Here's the latest installment of West Side published in Philippine News. Now I have to start on the next two installments.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Domo Arigato gozaimashita Elbert-san for the addition to your links.
Behold my contribution to the digital quilt! I took a sketch of my characters, did a zip-zip coloring in Photoshop and voila! This is a salute to all the good friends I found over the net. Against a background of stars, which symbolizes for the infinite number of people that inhabit cyberspace, three friends in the foreground symbolize the potential people that are destined to be closer than your siblings. Haaaaa... Kewl!

I made that up just now since I didn't have anything deep while I was doing it.
Here's something unique: a digital quilt. To join you'll only have to submit a 100 × 100 pixel square and fill it with something. It could be a photo, drawing, colours, poetry, song, text, verse, symbols, anything that has meaning for you. It's a creative way of celebrating and giving thanks - individually and jointly - to God for community found online. Coolness. I'm still thinking of a good design to contribute. Thanks to Ganns for the heads up.
I like how the mind works, it takes all these images one has filed away in his waking moments and mashes them together. Two of 'em stands out from last night: the first one is about the discovery of Pompeii. In my dream a bunch of archaeologists have fenced off an area of pyroclastic mounds. It's a large area and they were picking and digging around the edges when two kids appeared out of nowhere. They were laughing and started running and jumping up and down on top of one of the many mounds. One kid was at the left of center of the area and the other one was near the fence near the entrance. The group of archeologists shouted at them and warned them off. But before anybody can do anything, the mound near the center collapsed with the kid screaming as he fell though the hole. Then another one where the other kid was jumping also collapsed. Next scene came and it turned out that the mounds were hollow and beneath it lay the entire city of Pompeii. The mounds acted like a dome over two rock clefts (something similar to the entrance to the city of Petra only it's straight like a wall) with an area wide enough to contain an entire city and a height of more than a hundred feet. The ruins were still preserved with some doors and walls retaining their original paint. I can't recall the other things that happened after that.

The second one is about Ernie being influenced by the evil Bert to go on a murderous drive across different states and it was up to Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu as Charlie's Angels to stop them. I didn't get to finish this since I was woken up by our dog.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Today's my parents' 36th wedding anniversary and guess where we celebrated it? McDonald's! That's right, just a quiet dinner for me, my sister, Dad and Mom at the fastfood joint. It was fun. My Mom even brought her camera to capture the moment on film. God bless 'em both.
They don't make clouds like they used to. Cloud watching was one of my favorite pastimes back when I was a kid. "Spectacular" doesn't even begin to describe these sights during the afternoons after school. The rays of the setting sun would color the clouds in hues of orange, peach, and gold against a background of blue. Clouds back then looked fluffy like cotton candies and, in my imagination, quite solid enough to grasp in your hands. It wasn't hard to make out a group of faces in one large cluster: leering old men would change into a child's face, while various smiling visages look at each other images of dogs or dragons would appear at their side. Then there would be days when the sun would hide behind them, their frayed edges would cause the peeking rays to be divided in varying degrees. Since an 80's TV show called "Greatest Heroes from the Bible" used the same sight whenever God would speak in the end I half expected God to speak to me in an audible voice from the clouds too. Having them appear in long rows across the sky like white plowed fields or feather-like floating in the sky is another sight to behold. Even storm clouds looked imposing and majestic as they moved fast across the sky, roaring and rumbling as they did like a great herd of grey cattle. Every once in a while some small stragglers would fly low and morph into different shapes as they followed the larger ones in their route. Like some animals these days are these clouds now extinct? I wonder where they've gone.
I have two comic strip deadlines on Friday and I don't have any idea what to do. Coming against a deadline is exhilirating and at the same time nerve wracking... definitely not for the faint of heart.

Monday, July 14, 2003

An expression gone terribly wrong: "Oh my gush!"
The Washington Post's Style Invitational asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are some recent winners:
Arachnoleptic fit: The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

Beelzebug: Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

Bozone: The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Burglesque: A poorly planned break-in. (See: Watergate)

Cashtration: The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

Caterpallor: The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

Decafalon: The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of obtaining sex.

Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Glibido: All talk and no action.

Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like a serious bummer.

Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease.

Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the recipient who doesn't get it.

Tatyr: A lecherous Mr. Potato Head.

Read about the idea here.
I have a hankering for artbooks but I haven't got the foggiest notion what to buy first.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

One of the most anticipated films in my list is Mel Gibson's The Passion. Who cares about the lack of subtitles? I laughed hard while watching Chinese dubbed Ran-ma 1/2 in cable before. I was touched by classic animes like Tonari No Totoro even without the help of english subtitles so I couldn't care less if they resurrected a dead language as a medium of communication in this film. It would still work! Case in point. Even after the viewing the writer got into discussion with Mel Gibson along with some of his production staff:
"As cool as that was, the quality of the film was such that the celebrity stuff was completely gone from the moment. I can't explain it really, except that it would be like standing in the Sistine Chapel next to, well, someone like Mel Gibson. Great art is a great leveler...."

Read her reactions to the film and rave along with me!
Why is it that every single thing that's out of our purchasing reach glows with an unearthly glow. A shining corona surrounds the merchandise, every fluid movement of its rays accompanied by a heavenly choir singing "You want this. You can't live without it. You're the biggest loser on the planet if you don't buy this..." An endless deluge of drool threatens to flow from your mouth at the exact moment you hear the siren song. You try to tear your eyes off the prize but it's stuck fast like a week old band-aid to your leg hair. You're helpless to do anything about it.

Days and weeks pass and the obssession grows even more. The merchandise has crawled its way up to the towering pedestal of your mind and the only way shut the voices up is to buy it. There are only two possible outcomes if and when you have succeeded in coming up with the moolah: First, when you come back to buy it, you'll find the hazy glow around it still intact. The heavenly choir changes its tune to a song of victory as you march towards the cashier with a twinkle in your eyes and a stupid grin on your face. After a few days the accumulating dust obscures the glow of your prize, the heavenly voices have stopped singing the moment the cashier rang up a sale and you're now moving on to a new obsession. Second scenario, you come back to buy it and you're shocked, dismayed, and frustrated to find the mystery surrounding it is gone. It's tarnished. It's nothing. Pffft! Kapoot. By this time the ideal image in your mind has already eclipsed the real thing. And do you know why? Elementary, my dear Watson, it's all part of the game, a sport appealing to our base selves. A game called acquisition.
We watched T3 last night at Robinson's Galleria. It's not as bad as I first thought it would be based on the initial trailers they showed. There's this funny moment when Ahnuld's T-101 had a mean gunfight with the police officers in the cemetery. Tension was high as the bullets flew everywhere, cars exploded and tires were punctured. Then after surveying the damage and finding out he succeeded in avoiding any casualties he calmly walked off-screen with the sounds of birds tweetering sweetly in the background. I wonder why nobody got that.

Kristanna Loken wins hands-down as THE best Terminator ever! Err... Sorry, Terminatrix. She's an Anti-Terminator Terminator and she totally made a fool out of Ahnuld's T-101 (the royal rumble in the loo). I like it everytime she comes out of the rubble with every strand of her hair intact, no scratches or even a hint of dust on her leathery clothes. Wow.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

What's up with people today thinking that at the age of 17 or 21 or 24 they think they're already up there with the geezers? I mean... what's really up with that?
Dear future wife,

Do you like reading books before bedtime? Do we have the same taste in art?


Your future husband
Here's the first strip for a new series titled: Always Saturday. They're the same two guys in the pen and ink sketch somewhere below (by then I decided to give one of the characters a shave). The idea for the strip started way back in 2001 during an art group meeting in Kentucky, Greenbelt. Basically it's all about two childhood friends realizing their dreams of putting up a hobby store after graduation. There will be geeks and nerds galore, conventions and RPGs, and mucho cosplayers and videogames. Something similar to what Jon, Greg, and Mike had in Arnold Arre's After Eden. The characters and their personalities themselves are based on real people (and a wee-bit based on Kevin Smith's characters - Jay and Silent Bob).

Still in its abstract form, the idea was incubated for about a year and a half before the opportunity presented itself. A classmate from college is working as an Art Director in a local Hollywood-type magazine called FUSION. At first there weren't any available slots but a call some days later confirmed my hunch that they did. I took the title from a new wave song by Guadalcanal Diary.

Check it out in this month's issue of FUSION Magazine.

Unfortunately, the magazine editors had a different idea for the strip. They wanted it to include celebrities. Since the characters and the strip doesn't revolve around celebrities (except maybe for those connected to Star Trek, Star Wars, LoTR, and Matrix) I temporarily discontinued the strip and replaced it with another one. Guess this will have to wait again.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Wow. One of my favorite artists, Carlo Vergara, also added my blog to his list of links. Thank you dear sir, I'm very honored by this gesture.
This is so cool! Dean Alfar, classmate of my older brother back in high school and Kestrel IMC head honcho, added my blog to his list of links. Thanks Dean!
Last night I dreamed I was part of the group of Pixar animators and we were screening a new movie. More like a rough animation for an idea inside an AVR. The animators were all in bright colored hawaiian shirts and were a very lively bunch. After a while the lights were dimmed and the screening started. I haven't got an idea what the picture is all about but there were veiny pink paper monsters with large mouths animated using stop-motion animation. Various members of the audience were obviously providing the "voices" for the characters as they roared "RAAAAARRRRRRR!!!" in sync with the opening mouths on screen. While this was happening someone in front explained the idea for the producers or head animators. I had fun during that "experience" and I was a little disappointed when I was woken up (come to think of it, this dream reminds me a little of the "Wacky Deli" episode over at Rocko's Modern Life). Sometime before that I also dreamed about John Goodman on a setting reminiscent of the Conner home in "Roseanne." Well at least some of it were.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

I'm tired. I'm tired of all the requests. I'm tired of all the questions. I'm tired of the way parents would let little kids run around with all impunity. I'm tired of the different attitudes people give off. I'm tired of the smells. I'm tired of them flinging the answers back to me in the form of another question as if they didn't hear what I said the first time. I'm tired of all the noise coming out from the video games. I'm tired of all the shouting. I'm tired of all the laughter. I'm tired of the words "excuse me" being recited one after the other. I'm tired of hearing questions, the endless calls for kuya this and kuya that. I'm tired of being such a nice guy. My nerves are frayed to ribbons and I'm so burned out from this job I'm leaving a trail of ashes everywhere I go.

"Loving is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction."
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939

Congratulations on your engagement, Andre & Chaz!

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Dear future wife,

Thoughts of you came to me this afternoon. I humbly apologize to you for not being consistent in my pursuit. There have been a lot of things happening in my life these days and I hope you don't mind my asking for a little more time to remedy these things before we meet. Till then do take care of yourself.


Your future husband
There's something to be said if your mood is up because great things have been happening to people you care about (or at least whose career you're following). Thinking that if you faithfully pursue your dream, you'd eventually get the same big break as they did.

First up is my best friend from college who's now in Los Angeles. The last time we talked over the phone he told me he was fired from his job (he forgot to go back to his office and finish a job after attending a Bible study). Back then he was really worried about his working visa and his status in the U.S. We talked about this and I told him that he shouldn't worry about all this no matter what happens since we know from experience that God takes care of his own. And He did! My best bud sent me this letter today and part of it reads thus:
I now work for MorningStar International. in Torrance, an hour drive, yes im sponsored and Im here to stay, praise God. I work as a graphic designer. in line with my new-found realization that my calling is in the Advertising commercial arts industry. film making was only a part of that whole calling.

I think I hit a major artery here bro, this is big. Pastor Al Manamtam was excited about it. And my friend Joel too, he said hes been praying for someone to hit the
Advertising Industry of this nation. cause no one in the church is actually in the commercial arts industry. by far in MY valley church theres two of us. me included.. theres a guy coming from Nashville, he designes most of the stuff for MorningStar. but i believe the lord is starting something here.

Now you're wondering, If my roomate Nate, who also works in MSI, is moving
to Michigan for grad school, how am I going to work and back when no buses
cater to that route? well, this weekend God blessed me with a vehichle through my uncle. a Mitsubishi 89 4x4 2-door Montero. the total outdoor bachelor roughrider!! its good cause i dont have to pay a hefty down payment but only monthly installments.

man, my dream, and vision has never been bigger, actually, its as it was originally in 3rd college before i got saved.. only now with a greater sense of purpose..could God be behind it all?

lemme know what else is up.


This was a complete turnaround to his situation. A great job, a great car, great friends... what more can one ask for? Well yeah, there are lots of things one could still ask for but this..! This is GRRREAT news! I was so ecstatic over what happened I almost jumped off my chair (I forgot to ask if he met Donita Rose in the L.A. conference last week, that would be totally rad!).

Second one is Scott Kurtz (PvP Online) whose online strips I've been reading for more than two years now. He's one of those who inspired me to write personal thoughts online and to do it in just the right amounts. His success story as an online comic strip artist turned Image artist is something to look up to. Here's what he wrote today in his site regarding his first stint as part of this prestigious company in the upcoming Comic Con:
I will be attending the 2003 Comicon International in San Diego, Next Thursday through Sunday at the San Diego convention center.

I will be signing at the Image booth Friday morning from 11am-1pm. Image Comics will be located at booth 1914.

The rest of the time I'll be sitting at my table. I'm not sure the exact table because I bought in with some other artists. The four tables we're all sitting at are 1405/1407 and 1504/1506. So I'm at one of those four tables.

It should be easy to find me. I'm the guy that has absolutely no business sitting at four tables with Frank Cho, Adam Hughes and Arthur Adams. What's a nerd doing at the cool kid's table? I got no idea. I just hope I don't get beat up.

He's at the same table with these artists?! Wow. I wish I could be just as lucky. Maybe someday I would be able to tell you guys with mounting excitement that I'll be attending a Comic Con and would be sitting with these guys. Most importantly with one of my favorite artists, Scott Kurtz.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

This is one of the best buddy songs I ever heard. It came to mind when I was posting a comment on a friend's blog (he had a crummy day yesterday and I quoted part of the song to cheer him up).

Apo Hiking Society

Nakasimangot ka na lang palagi
Parang ikaw lang ang nagmamay-ari
Ng lahat ng sama ng loob.
Pagmumukha mo ay hindi maipinta
Nakalimutan mo na bang tumawa?
Eh, sumasayad na ang nguso mo sa lupa.

Kahit sino pa man ang may kagagawan
Ng iyong pagkabigo
Ay isipin na lang na ang buhay
kung minsan ay nagbibiro
Nandidito kami, ang barkada
mong tunay aawit sa 'yo
Sa lungkot at ligaya, hirap at ginhawa
Kami'y kasama mo.

Kung sa pag-ibig may pinag-awayan
Kung salapi ay huwag nang pag-usapan
Tayo'y di nagbibilangan.
Kung ang problema mo'y nagkatambakan
At mga utang 'di na mabayaran
Lahat ng bagay ay nadadaan sa usapan.

Kahit sino pa man ang may kagagawan
Ng iyong pagkabigo
Ay isipin na lang na ang buhay
kung minsan ay nagbibiro
Nandidito kami, ang barkada
mong tunay aawit sa 'yo
Sa lungkot at ligaya, hirap at ginhawa
Kami'y kasama mo.

Kung hahanapin ay kaligayahan
Maging malalim o may kababawan,
sa iyo ay may nakalaan.
Kami'y asahan at huwag kalimutan
Maging ito ay madalas o minsan
Pagkat iba na nga ang may pinagsamahan

Kahit sino pa man ang may kagagawan
Ng iyong pagkabigo
Ay isipin na lang na ang buhay
kung minsan ay nagbibiro
Nandidito kami, ang barkada
mong tunay aawit sa 'yo
Sa lungkot at ligaya, hirap at ginhawa
Kami'y kasama mo.

Kasama mo.
Kasama mo.
Kasama mo.
I didn't get to relax after work last night. I went back to my favorite haunt there was a sizeable crowd made out of yuppie couples filling the tables near the door. I found myself a corner spot and reserved it by placing my copy of After Eden on the table, ordered a hot choco and a cookie, took a couple of PULP magazines from their mag rack and settled down to read. Out of nowhere this lone lady came up to my table and rather forcibly asked if I owned one of the magazines on the table. She's looks like one of those people who would encroach on your personal space and ask many questions. Without saying a word she browsed through the magazine, took two FHMs from the magazine rack and sat down on the chair opposite mine. I couldn't shoo her off so I moved the cookie and the hot coco closer to me and held up the magazine I was reading to block the view and fend off any efforts to start a conversation. I know it was rude but I thought that she was rude to me first. Then a smoker came in blowing smoke like there was no tomorrow, a sign was pasted on a post near the door clearly stating that smoking was prohibited inside the place. And doesn't he know about the no-smoking law? He even lingered a bit before going away. Ten minutes after she first invaded my personal space the lady left but not before slamming her magazines on the chair she sat on. I stayed for another five minutes but I never got to relax right after that. *Sigh!*

Monday, July 07, 2003

Here's something freaky from the Department of Forwarded Mails:
The mother of a 17-year-old girl was concerned that her daughter was having sex. Worried the girl might become pregnant and adversely impact the family's status, she consulted the family doctor.

The doctor told her that teenagers today were very willful and any attempt to stop the girl would probably result in rebellion. He then told her to arrange for her daughter to be put on birth control and until then, talk to her and give her a box of condoms.

Later that evening, as her daughter was preparing for a date, the woman told her about the situation and handed her a box of condoms. The girl started to laugh and reached over to hug her mother saying, "Oh Mom! You don't have to worry about that! I'm dating Susan!"
I'm stuck. I'm in between projects and I have no idea what to do next. I could start on the next strip submissions or maybe I should start writing the long-overdue character profiles for the book. Hmmm... Think man! Think!
Here's another new pin-up featuring three of the characters of West Side.

(clockwise from the top: Ben Jr., Jon, and Jay)

This one took me around two days to finish. Ben Jr. and Jay's hat are composites of cloth photographs I got off the net. I was actually anticipating great difficulties in doing Jay's hawaiian shirt. Turns out that the work didn't have to be that meticulous as I first thought it would be. Here's a neat trick I came up with, if you stare at the the big guy's cheek you'd be able to discern the hallmark of mestizoids coming in from the cold to a tropical weather. Wouldja believe that it took more than 10 minutes for me to choose between three backgrounds before I finally settled this one?

This was colored by my good friend and a really talented artist, Ryan Orosco (penciller for Darna #1, and book cover artist for Beerkada). I gave him free rein in choosing the colors and the background, except for Ben Jr.'s clothes (he's in a rock group back home in the U.S.). I like what he did with this sketch.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

I'm now here at my favorite new haunt, which is ironically another internet café. One would think that after working in one for 12 hours I would retreat somewhere less technologically inclined like a library or a park. I'm thinking that for that to be really justified I would have to make a trip to Makati and hang out somewhere in Greenbelt. Too far and I'm all alone. Heck, Megamall's too far at this hour. Nope, this new haunt's just far enough from home. They also charge P60.00 for an hour's worth of net surfing (not bad, considering that they have a great OS, quiet ambience with a mix of hip-hop, blues, and pop music playing in the background, and not that many people crowding the place). Put up more tables in the café area near the door and everything's set. Starbucks has become too noisy and the people are too conscious of themselves. They still think that being seen in that place can do wonders to their social status. Uh... Yeah right!
That's it. We fired my shop assistant yesterday. He wasn't even apologetic or anything, he just dropped by to get some things (to think that my Mom even had to ask one of our helpers early in the morning to go to his house and ask if he's coming to work which he answered in the positive). With a couple of weeks remaining before this business folds up, the least thing he could have done was wait.

The good news is, when I told my cousin about this earlier this morning right after the service (he's a Pastor and his preaching rocks!) he said that he has somebody he could recommend. The someone is also part of our Bible study group and he has the experience and the know-how in computers since he previously worked in an internet café. That same guy called just now and he's okay with the set-up (e.g. salary, working hours, location...) Thank God everything worked out in the end.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Check out the link for the future site of the Artists' Den. There's nothing much to look at right now but hopefully nest week there would be enough artworks contributed to get it going.

Friday, July 04, 2003

One of the most important things I learned in planning is that it all should be written in pencil. That way you get to avoid major disappointments whenever a block in the road suddenly appears out of nowhere. My shop assistant took an impromptu vacation without so much as a peep. And there I was all dressed up and raring to go visit my friend in his office in Makati. It was a good thing I didn't send him a text message that I was planning to do so. I'm not surprised anymore, I'm a little frustrated and somewhat disappointed but I'm not pulling my hairs out by the roots over this incident. This isn't the first time he did something like this but it certainly is the last straw for me. You try to be nice to them and this is what you get in return.

Here's my favorite sketch of two shopkeep characters in "Always Saturday." Hopefully I would be able to find them a home and develop the story line I started for the series.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

You would know art has come full circle when you see a beautiful scene and you think that it looks a lot like a painting, or when you a gorgeous flower and you tell yourself that it looks fake.
This was retold in church some weeks ago. I included some new passers by from other versions of the same story.

A man fell into a pit and couldn't get himself out.

A subjective person came along and said: "I feel for you, down there."

A codependant person came along and said: "Let me get in the pit with you!"

A mathematician calculated how he fell into the pit.

A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on his pit.

An I.R.S. man asked if he was paying taxes on the pit.

A self-pitying person said: "You haven't seen anything until you've seen my pit!"

An optimist said: "Things could be worse."

A pessimist said: "Things will get worse!"

An overweight person said: "I guess judging by the size of your pit, I'm glad I'm fat!"

The country inspector said, "Did you have a permit to dig that pit?"

A professor gave him a lecture on the elementary principles of the pit.

A realist said, "That's a pit."

A scientist calculated the pressure necessary, pounds and square inches, to get him out of the pit.

A geologist told him to appreciate and study the rock strata.

An aged man hobbled by and said: "At least you can stand. When I get there I'll be prone in a pine box!"

A Charismatic said: "Just confess that you're not in a pit."

A Fundamentalist said: "You deserve your pit!"

A Pharisee said: "Only bad people fall into a pit."

An evolutionist said, "You are a rejected mutant destined to be removed from the evolutionary cycle, in other words he is going to die in the pit so he can't produce any more pit falling offspring."

A Christian Scientist came along and said, "You only think you're in the pit."

Confucius said, "If you would have listened to me you wouldn't be in that pit."

Buddha said, "Your pit is only a state of mind."

Finally, Jesus came by and saw the man in the pit, took him by the hand and lifted him out.
I asked one of my good friends to buy me a pirated DVD of Akira Kurosawa's "Dreams" (my humblest apologies for this) and all those stories got me thinking about doing a series of short stories or comic stories of my own. It won't be based on images from my dreams or anything like that but on the things the world at large takes for granted. On a smaller scale, it would be something similar to what the Wachowski Brothers did with the "Animatrix." The sum of those stories would tell the story of a greater whole. It won't be the stuff made out of legends but the stories would be fantastic but at the same time simple and real. Something like what the Pixar guys do with their projects. It would be semi-autobiographical in the sense that it won't be telling the story of my life, just the things that matter to me the most.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Here's something interesting from the Department of Forwarded Mails:
Is your birthday day 13 of the month?

Your Life
You are sincere and easy going. Flattering and
charming around are not your style. You care so much
for freedom that often leads you to the difficult
path. Because of your sincerity, most people find you
easy to be around although you are sometimes too

Your Love
Your gentleness, care and sincerity make you an
attractive person. Eventhough you don't intend to be
charming, but you naturally are, especially in the
eyes of opposite sex.

Can you believe something like that? Me? Please. They had to have a lot of time on their hands to come out with a personality profile for every day of the month.

Hehehe... cool.

Jay got into a fight on his first day of school and his Dad heard of the news that same night when he arrived from the U.S. along with his elder son and daughter.

Here's the latest installment in the West Side series that I'm doing. I never got to submit this on time, they'll be publishing this next week. I'm also thinking of making a full length comic book about their experiences here in the Philippines. Having a weekly feature cuts out some of the details of the story. I'll upload the pages and create a link here when I finish it.
Should I or shouldn't I go to my friend today? Or maybe, Friday? Hmmm...

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

I wasn't planning on creating a new blog (after the first one quit on me) but after going through Scott Kurtz's piece about his experience in a recent Trekkie convention I just had to write my thoughts again. This is the line that struck a chord in me:
Also, Wil seems quick to post really sentimental stuff on his site. He seems to wear his heart on his sleeve and I share that with him. Sometimes I wonder if it's a good idea to share so much of what I'm thinking with my readers and the fact that he does that also validates it a little.


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