Tuesday, September 30, 2003
I Have A Friend
I have a friend who I know is true.
He saw me when I was in my mother’s tummy.
He watches over me when I sleep and greets me everytime when I wake.
He’ll never leave me alone for no reason at all.
He’s a father, a big brother, a cousin, and a best friend all in one.
He’s there when I’m happy.
He laughs at my jokes and corrects me when I’m wrong.
He protects me from danger and teaches me a lesson when I insist on my own way.
He’s always there when I’m hurt.
I can cry on his shoulders when I’m sad.
I can talk to him about so many things and he would never get tired.
I could ask him all the questions that bother my mind: Like why are there seven colors in a rainbow? Or why can’t I see the wind? Or how did he ever think of flowers and trees? Or tigers and Giraffes?
I love my friend and I know that he loves me.
How do I know? Because he told me when he showed me his hands.
The European Union has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the one other possibility.
As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government has conceded that English spelling does actually have some small, but significant, room for improvement and has thus accepted a 5-year phase-in-plan of these improvements that will eventually become known as "Euro English."
In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.
In the sekond year, there will be growing publik enthusiasm when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like "fotograf" twenty persent shorter.
In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expected to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.
By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z", and "w" with "v."
During the fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords containing "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza.
Ze drem of a United Urop vil finali kum tru.
If zis mad u smil ples pas on to oza pepl. Zen ve vil rul ze vorld!!!!
Monday, September 29, 2003
I also heard the good news that one of my good friends from church is finally getting married! I was told that the engagement was made yesterday and it turns out that he ended up with the girl we were teasing him to (although it was more of a private joke among us). It's true, they're both in their early 30s; he's too kid-like to get too serious about settling down while she was too focused on the youth ministry. Or so we thought. Anyway I wish them both the best of everything that life could offer and more.
Sunday, September 28, 2003
Changing topics now...
It was also great seeing two of my good 'ol chums from Don Bosco last night. We had a lot of laughs and catching up over dinner at that swanky mall, Podium. Out of the original seven only the three of us remain in the country. The rest have settled down in different states of the US and one in Canada. Thanks for the time guys, maybe the next time we get together hopefully we would all be complete.
Saturday, September 27, 2003
With each word your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fear apart...
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose,
It touches my foolish heart.
Lovely ... Never, ever change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won't you please arrange it ?
'Cause I love you ... Just the way you look tonight.
This is my current "last song syndrome." What a sap I am.
This is one of our usual Artists' Den discussion as depicted by Lyndon Gregorio (with We Are Anime's webmeister RG). I'm recovering quite nicely thank you very much and the doctors assured me that I'll still be able to breed children.
"I loved the music, but the excesses of rock 'n' roll never really appealed to me at all," he said. "I couldn't see the point of getting up in front of a lot of people when you weren't in control of your wits."
"I can't think of another attitude to have toward an audience than a hopeful and a positive one. And if that includes such unfashionable things as sentimentality, well, I can afford it."
Very well said m'man. Very well said.
Friday, September 26, 2003
Thursday, September 25, 2003
No animal was harmed in the making of this strip.
Well here it is. Originally I planned to strew (it's a highfalutin word for 'scatter.' And they say you can't learn anything new from comics) some cockroaches and sewer rats but decided against it for fear that people in the U.S. would blow things out of proportion and think that indeed we're overflowing with them things. Btw, that guinea pig looked at a lot like the first one that I got. I named it George (remember that episode where Marvin the Martian imported the Abominable Snowman from Earth? "I'm gonna hug him and squeeze him and call him...")
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
I love P!nk. I swear! No... Not the color.
This is the second strip in the series and the third one I submitted to Fusion magazine. To those in the Philippines who have access to it, please do buy every issue and clean off the shelves. It's 95% worth your hard earned dough. You figure it out. Or better yet, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them how you reeeaaally appreciate these strips.
Monday, September 22, 2003
Friday, September 19, 2003
Thursday, September 18, 2003
West Side transmogrified to anime. Booyah!
I have to admit I got the "white ghost" reaction from Honoel Ibardolaza's Homanga!. I also got the pose from Edvard Munch's The Scream. While I'm at it I'd also like to give a shout out to Culture Crash Comics' Elmer Damaso (One Day Isang Diwa and Cat's Trail) for doing such a great job I couldn't help but incorporate some of his style in this strip.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
See these pearly whites? They're way better than yours!
I've been meaning to watch Daddy Day Care ever since I first saw the trailer and I'm happy to report that it doesn't disappoint! Yerz! It's not as breathtaking as Finding Nemo but both come with the same flavor that makes you keep coming back for more. Hmmm... What do I like about this movie, let me count the ways: One, the importance of spending quality time with your kids while you're still able; two, listening to everything they have to say (even if they use Klingon language); three, your intention of providing what's best for them is not as important as having you beside them; four, it's not really embarrassing to still be a kid at heart; five, men can do things women can do; six, let the kids have fun and don't ever, ever take away that privilege from them, and seven, women can never fill in what father-figures roles are supposed to do. Like that wonderful fish movie, Daddy Day Care shows the importance of fathers in a kid's life. Only fathers can provide most of the answers that kids need in their journey through life. Like for example that kid that doesn't want to take off his Flash costume (I think it's been more than a month already), or that nasty kid that kept on hitting theirs shins, or that little girl that looks too intellectual for her age (even though she never had the urge to read yet), these kids found what they wanted in Charlie (Eddie Murphy) and Phil's (Jeff Garlin) day care center (moms are important too but only Dads can validate a person's identity). But I would have to balk at that one act where Jeff's character had to bribe this kid a dollar just to behave and having them watch the Three Stooges at such an impressionable age is a no-no. All in all for me this is a really funny and entertaining movie, something that I'm thankful this summer lot's got a whole gaggle of. Good thing this movie became such a huge hit in the US they're now developing a sequel titled Daddy Day Camp, can't wait for that one.
Monday, September 15, 2003
I'd probably miss this place where I had meself a lion's share of the best and the worst of times. But since I hate goodbyes, I'd prefer not to.
Sunday, September 14, 2003
Moving on, I went with my Mom to watch the tail-end showing of a stageplay musical titled "The Last Five Years." She's been looking foward to this play ever since she read about it last summer and I wouldn't deny her the privilege of seeing it (even if it means missing out on some priorities). What can I say about it? Well, uh... it was good. It was really different from all the other plays that we watched. Though I must say having the whole story sung by two people, with different points of view for one and half hours straight takes a lot of getting used to. It felt like the lyrics of the songs were gliding over my head straight into the other people in the audience. There were three songs that were really likeable but I can't say the same for the play. It's just too "elite" for me. Might I also mention that I'm currently working on this week's strip and I'm surprised the work load's a lot easier than the usual. Wow. Thanks Dad!
Saturday, September 13, 2003
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.
Smoehting I got form the mial aagin.
Customer: Can I have this typed? (handing over a bunch of papers with handwritten notes)
Me: I'm sorry but the regular typist just took a break.
Customer: ...took a break. (pause)
Me: You could try coming back later.
Customer: ...Come back later. (after another pause) What time?
Me: I dunno, maybe after an hour?
Customer: ...After an hour. (another long pause)
Me: Uh... hello?
Ok I'm kidding about the last part but this kind of powwow goes on and on. They'd stare as if weighing my words and trying to find out if I was telling the truth. I dunno, all I know is that they like to stare. Are my words hypnotizing them that they have to stare and repeat everything I say? It's freaky I tellz ya! Freaky!!!
Hmmm... Maybe I should have followed it with "I will hand over to you all my money."
A university creative writing class was asked to write a concise essay containing the following elements:
The prize winner wrote:
"My God," said the queen, "I'm pregnant. I wonder who did it?"
Friday, September 12, 2003
Thursday, September 11, 2003
After eight years away from newspapers, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed is creating a new comic strip called "Opus," starring his beloved penguin of the same name.Well to make you all understand what's the deal behind all this hullabaloo, Breathed's work Bloom County was the main influence in my drawing style today (you could still see the resemblance). You could actually ask around and see how many cartoonists he influenced (Bloom County, along with Calvin and Hobbes and Far Side were some the top pillars of American comic industry in the 80s and 90s). So this piece of news along with the news that an Opus movie will begin shooting before the end of the year equals Paaaar-tey!!! Also in a way I haveta agree with Breathed when he said that cartoonists "die and go to cartoon hell for working beyond that magic intersection of art and fun."* It also doesn't help that a lot of people have relegated cartoonists and their comic strips to the almost forgotten kid's corner.
The Washington Post Writers Group, which will syndicate the strip, is expected to officially announce Breathed's return this Sunday. The reclusive Breathed, who rarely gives interviews, could not be reached yesterday for comment.
The new strip will appear on Sundays in The Washington Post starting Nov. 23.
*From MSNBC News.
It's true, my sister's friend's whole family is going to watch the concert this Saturday.
I almost backed out on doing this strip wondering if the Filipino community in America was even aware of this strange new obsession in our country. Hopefully by dropping hints here and there they'd be informed and entertained at the same time. This strip appears in this week's issue of Philippine News.
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Most people aren't aware of the strict code of honor that the pirates upheld. They mistakenly believe pirates to have been evil blackguards totally without honor or principles. While there was the occasional "character flaw", in general, pirates took their work quite seriously, and before a crew set off on a voyage, all members signed documents and swore oaths reflecting their dedication to their fellow crewmates and their promise to uphold the rules of the ship. Below is an example of such articles, used by Captain John Phillips on the pirate ship Revenge. These codes varied a little from ship to ship, but fundamentally they were the same.THE ARTICLES OF PIRACY:
ARTICLE 1: Every man shall obey civil command; the captain shall have one full share and a half in all prizes. the Master, Carpenter, Boatswain, and Gunner shall have one share and quarter.
ARTICLE 2: If any man shall offer to run away, or keep any secret from the Company, he shall be marroon'd with one bottle of powder, one bottle of Water, one small Arm, and shot.
ARTICLE 3: If any Man shall steal any Thing in the Company, or game, to the value of a piece of Eight, he shall be Marroon'd or shot.
ARTICLE 4: If at any Time we should meet at another Marrooner (that is, Pyrate) that man shall sign his Articles without Consent of our Company, shall suffer such Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit.
ARTICLE 5: That a man that shall strike another, whilst these Articles are in force, shall receive Moses' Law (that is 40 Stripes lacking one) on the bare Back.
ARTICLE 6: That Man that shall snap his Arms, or smoak tobacco in the Hold, without cap to his Pipe, or carry a candle lighted without lanthorn, shall suffer the same Punishment as in the former Article.
ARTICLE 7: That Man that shall not keep his Arms clean, fit for an engagement, or neglect his business, shall be cut off from his Share, and suffer such other Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit.
ARTICLE 8: If any man shall lose a joint in time of Engagement, shall have 400 Pieces of Eight: if a limb, 800.
ARTICLE 9: If at any time you meet with a prudent Woman, that Man that offers to meddle with her, without her Consent, shall suffer Death.
Yohoho! It's a Pirate's life for me! ARRR!!!
Tuesday, September 09, 2003
I just finished doing this week's submission to Philippine News and I still have one more strip to do tonight when I get home. Az is here at the shop surfing the net, we'll be having some discussion about the plans for the artists' support group meeting this Friday. Gotta have me a late dinner too after closing shop.
Monday, September 08, 2003
Whooa! Dude take a look at this awesome sword!
Contrary to their popular image pirates don't shout "Avast! Matey!"(or was it "Shiver me timbers!"?) in this one. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is one heck of an enjoyable movie with loads of swordfights and somersaults galore, not to mention a belly full of laughs. Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow carried most of the movie with his drunken antics and twisted logic, while Geoffrey Rush's Capt. Barbossa played the cackling Pirate's role to the hilt. What struck me the most on this one is impact of making decisions and a lot of these characters show their puzzlement: Orlando Bloom's character Will Turner decides to suffer in silence for most of his young life rather than confess his attraction to the alluring Elizabeth Swann played by Keira Knightley. Capt. Barbossa deciding to brushing off the warnings of a curse connected to the treasure's curse thereby condemning himself and his crew to an undead state, Jonathan Pryce's character Governor Swann helping his daughter make the most important decision in her life, Jack Davenport's Commodore Norrington making a brave and unselfish decision to make someone dear to him happy, and Jack Sparrow wavering between sides as long as it helps him achieve his goal of getting back his ship. There are lots of characters making personal decisions that would affect his/her life and those around them. I'm a Johnny-come-lately in this season's bumper crop but who cares?! Bring 'em on I'll take yea all! Seriously this is a really fun movie and my sister and I were pleasantly surprised with the numerous references to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland. And hopefully dead men will do tell tales by way of the planned sequel! Nyahahahar!
Sunday, September 07, 2003
Allan Quartermain teaches his young American pupil how Brits do it.
I managed to sneak out again last night for some well deserved R&R at the nearby mall. I caught the last full show of the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen after quick dinner. The thing is I shouldn't have spent money for dinner if I knew beforehand I was getting the LXG snack pack at the concession stand (the snack pack consists of one drink inside an LXG tumbler, popcorn, chips, and hotdog with a special LXG box carrier) which cost a lot more than my dinner! But being the souvenir hunter that I am I shelled out the dough. Contrary to most of what I've read in reaction to the movie I really enjoyed it. Well that's aside from the fact that Sean Connery's in it (go mahn!) and that I never read any of Moore's LXG GNs before. What stuck in my mind though is the main theme of looking for acceptance and forgiveness. Almost all of them have lived long lives and inspite of their party-hardy days the ghost of their past continues to haunt them and hopefully in fulfilling a grand request to save the whole of Europe from the brink of war they'd be able to purge their sins. It's like the twelve labors of Hercules, which according to how the story goes, did try to make up for the murders of his wife and children in a temporary fit of insanity. For the most part they did succeed in quieting those ghosts inside of them but not totally. In the end they managed to form a sort of early version of Reformed Villains Anonymous that goes on a world tour.
Another recurring theme that I like about the movie is the importance of mentoring as shown between Allan Quartermain (Sean Connery) and Tom Sawyer (Shane West). Quartermain, being a loner showed extraordinary fortitude in taking the newest and youngest member of the team under his wing. Though the older man lost a son the same age as Tom, theirs was more of a friend-to-friend mentoring rather than a father-figure/younger man relationship. One leader near the end of his days passing all his wisdom to someone inexperienced but has the potential to be great someday. Except for the contrived ending these two themes make this movie a really good one for me, who cares if it didn't remain faithful to the original? This movie should be made to stand on its own merit and not on someone else's.
Friday, September 05, 2003
You call this art?!
These are the exhibited works near the stairs. A couple of them checking our Ryan Orosco's comic pages for an upcoming collaborative work with Lyndon Gregorio titled Stricken. Those four illustrated figures below mine belong to another talented illustrator, John Velasco.
For the life of me I can't see how this can be funny.
It's moments like these that make an cartoonist's heart grow three sizes larger.
"Aha! Doodling in class!"
Some minutes before the seminar started, three daring students approached a mysterious cartoonist for a quick sketch. They were never seen again.
Artists don't pay attention to lectures.
(l-r) Rex, Lyndon, Ground Zero artists, Azrael, and me. Here we are waiting for the organizers to finish setting up the tables where we'll be book signing. In the meantime we were heckling two of our fellow artists, Ryan Orosco and Wilson Tortosa who were giving a lecture before a group of students.
"Aaaaww! They so cute!" Thought five innocent students moments
before they fed the artists some peanuts. Pandemonium followed.
We tried to look busy to avoid looking too embarrassed by the attention.
Eight hours later and we're still smiling.
(l-r) Jon, Joanah, Syeri, me, Lyndon, and Rex (hidden). By mid-afternoon the students were really crowding the tables and a group of Fine Arts students were showing their portfolios for critiquing. They walked away scarred and traumatized, vowing not to become comic artists after graduation.
Some students from the College of Education and Fine Arts & Design wanted in on the fun and asked if we could do the same for them. While of course there's no problem with that we just asked them to arrange it with their student orgs and write to us about it. It was a lot of fun and hopefully we could do this again in other schools and maybe in the other colleges. Haul off to Syeri's site for more of them pics.
Thursday, September 04, 2003
Feeeeeed the woooo-o-orld! Let them know it's Christmas time again.
Wanna know something scary? Me being a workaholic. Imagine me working for hours straight on end in front of the computer or inside the room drawing and working on things without so much as a break. Well okay it's not as scary in the conventional sense but it's still creepy.
Wednesday, September 03, 2003
Had enough? This is how it works, remember when we were still kids and those more cruel classmates would come up with all sorts of tags and labels to get our goat? Remember how traumatizing that was? You'd think that was all for fun? Na-ah. It's a power game. If you succumb to their teasing and retaliate or cry your eyes out you're handing all authority over you to them. Same goes with parents coming together to baptize you your name at your birth and so for 18-21 years hence you're under their control and they still get to retain their authority over you till the day they die. Another example are self-given nicknames. Personally I think nicknames are sort of a loophole we give ourselves to escape the hold of parents over us, so exists the names Buzz, Glock, Stu, Skoorb, Big Bee, Grasshopper, H Bomb, Ice, Flea, Weasel, etc. These examples are the common ones used in real life, the we use online are much more creative. And with it comes a totally new personality we like to project in front of strangers. The names give us an opportunity for self-governance and power.
While those that tease us back when we were kids with really weird nicks like Feather butt, Tarangela, Poop, Big Ape, and things like that, it's a power struggle. That by labelling us with all sorts of freaky names to get our goat they hope to put one over us by surrendering ourselves to their authority by retaliating. See? While those that give our nicks out of affection and/or camaraderie it's sort of a power transfer thing. The time we enter into these relationships they give us new names as a way of elevating our status to the same level as theirs or vice versa. Like when I call my best friend Rocko (from Rocko's Modern Life) he calls me Heffer (Rocko's best friend) we get to enjoy an inside joke that's all to ourselves, a sort of authority that belongs only to us. Am I making sense here?
Another case are those whose names carry a certain prestige and authority, the mere sound of which is enough to make you quiver in fear or inspire awe. These are on the same level as titles that are reserved to certain individuals, and to be given these names either by natural means or by adoption is the ultimate in coolness. This means you get to share in the inheritance both material and influence as that person. To be bestowed that name means you can enjoy the same authority as theirs. Just be careful not to soil it by doing anything rash.
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
These are the Star Wars strips I made for last Sunday's event. I re-edited the colors and added some minor details that may not make any difference to the readers but matters a big deal to an 'ole nitpicker like me. It's a paradox actually, the way I draw simple drawings on paper and then slave away in front of the computer for almost a day adding the most minute details that nobody notices. But I do it anyway. Suffice to say I'm really proud of these and I do hope to get the hang of making the Sunday formatted strips on a regular basis.
Another thing I'd like to point out is the way I tend to forget that a lot of you out there reads these strips. Of course I do know that but it still surprises me to no end when someone comes up to me to say that I'm doing a good work. It's like when they do that I'd get all saucer eyed and ask, "Who? Me?" Then I'd look around to make sure that I'm the recipient of that particular praise. I'm not one to look for appreciation after being humbled a lot in this area but when it's given I get all "awshucks..." and bashful. Truth to tell I'd rather hear that my work made someone's day rather than win an award (not that any award is not appreciated, I just take these things as they come). With that in mind when I read this post in Ganns' blog I got real warm and fuzzy inside.
Another up-and-coming cartoonist (at least as far as I know; this guy could've been the bomb, and I could be the latest to jump onto his bandwagon) is Ariel Atienza, who maintains a series of strips, most notably Class and West End. Ariel is Christian, and his art, IMHO, is reminiscent of Doonesbury meets Mad Magazine. Classily drawn and expertly colored, I have no doubt great things will happen for Ariel.
It's like, wow, that's one of the biggest compliments I ever received. Thank you! I really appreciate that. For a long time I've been so afraid of success and you guys egged me on saying I've got what it takes. Well guess what? I think it's time I faced up to that fear and showed him I can't be cowed anymore. Don't worry, we'll change that "could've" word soon enough.
Monday, September 01, 2003
The Late Isabel
The program started after about an hour and the bands were good but this one band stood out from the rest, an indie band called The Late Isabel. Composed of four people with a fantastic ingenue doing the vocals. She was dressed in a costume that's a cross between Princess Amidala and Cleopatra, but much simpler. I don't know how you could imagine that you'll just have to take my word for it. They sang four songs starting with Siouxsie and the Banshees' Killing Jar, an original composition called Happy Girl, My Favorite Things (from the Sound of Music), and another original composition. Their music is gothic and something else, like Cocteau Twins' or Sugar Hiccups' music. Ethereal maybe? You should also see the way she performs with arms flailing around. It's art! I'm planning to buy their self-produced LP once it comes out. We went home around midnight, halfway through the party.
And finally we just finished setting up an exhibit at the lobby of the Commerce Building in the University of Sto. Tomas. They're having their Commerce Week this week and we'll be back on Friday morning to sign books and sell some indie comics. I'm bushed, can't wait to get some sleep.