Friday, January 28, 2005

I didn't get this at first but I was laughing out loud when I did. I think this "Mr. Pastis" refers to the creator of the comic strip, Pearls Before Swine.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

We just finished a whole day holding a seminar about comics in De La Salle and I'm beat. We started early, around 8:30 a.m. to be exact meeting each other at the McDonald's beside the school (an odd one with a green roof). We only had a few monutes to eat breakfast since our lecture starts in half an hour or so. The number of attendees fell far below what we were expecting but it was ok. The series of classes was part of the alternative classroom program that the school's administrators instituted so their students could get a feel of the curriculum that are otherwise not part of their course and/or not being offered by them. We had fun discussing the history of comics and since this isn't an art class it was a refreshing change from the same old discussions of basic anatomy, layouting, scripting, and other stuff like that. What we basically discussed revolved around marketing one's work and understanding the history of comics and the pitfalls that they should avoid in doing one. Here are some of the pictures from today's activity:

    Lyndon opens the floor by discussing the creation of comics

    I follow it up with the same topic but inject it with some of my own inputs

    I distributed some samples

    Gary does his piece on marketing one's work overseas

    Az talks about the basics of organizing an event

    Lunch time

    We were also able to show some of our works and discuss them along with the merchandising possibilities. We feel that there's a growing market for comics and creators should know how to go about the business the right way. If you'd like to see more pictures then haul over to Az's online album.

    Wednesday, January 26, 2005

    Click to see what happens next

    This is one of those strips that I had a hard time revising and a lot of time would probably pass before I'd even dream of revising this one. The joke is there although I'm not sure if I did get the "special guests'" likeness.

    * West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2005

    I went in to watch the movie Meet the Fockers with some expectations and thankfully the movie had no problem in meeting them. This time around Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo) joins Pam's parents, Jack (Robert De Niro) and Dina (Blythe Danner) on a long trip to Florida to meet the Fockers before the wedding. Even though Greg is securely ensconsced within Jack's "circle of trust" he still feels a bit uncomfortable with the sneaking suspicion that Jack doesn't really trust him and various events during the trip somehow establishes this feeling. Things weren't even getting better when they finally arrived at the Fockers' house. Greg's parents were former hippies who didn't believe in being strict with kids and everything, a far cry with the law around the Byrnes family. Greg's dad, Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) is a retired lawyer who practices tai-chi and whose view of life is to enjoy it to the hilt. Greg's mom, Roz (Barbara Streisand) is presently a sex therapist for senior citizens, an occupation that Greg tries real hard to keep the Byrnes from knowing. Though the elder Fockers try their darnest to accomodate their son's wishes not to embarrass him in front of his future in-laws, they just couldn't help being themselves and some occasional anecdotal snippets from Greg's childhood would come up that not only embarrassed him but also exposed some old lies that were said before to impress his in-laws. Thinking that the Fockers didn't have in them to be connected with the Byrnes, Jack began to investigating Greg's background to see whatever dirty secrets would come up to break the wedding.

    There were a lot of funny moments in the movie and some favorites of mine involved the scenes involving the elder Byrnes and Fockers. Ben Stiller gets to be a tad annoying at times as his characters tries too hard to be liked. Hasn't he learned his lesson before? Good thing these scenes were few and far between. It's my opinion that this film far surpasses the first one not because of the story but because of the presence of the Mr. De Niro, Mr. Hoffman, and Ms. Streisand. They were natural comedians and seeing in this one film throwing lines at each other is priceless. You could really see them having fun acting with each other.

    * Check out also the review in Hollywood Jesus for more insightful reactions to this great movie.

    Monday, January 24, 2005

    Just came home from the Artists' Den campus tour of Sienna College in Quezon City. The day started early but not too early, more like at 9:00 when we had a standing agreement to meet at McDonald's Quezon Avenue at the foot of the MRT station. Lico and Lyndon were already there when I arrived five minutes after the appointed time. There was an ongoing seminar in the closed area beside the table where we were waiting and to while off the time we came up with lots of inane reasons for the seminar, with Lico supplying the words for the speakers. I tried to suppress my laughter (after all those inside can see us laughing and all) while telling them both to cool it before any of those inside figure out that we were making fun of them. Syeri and Jon arrived not long after and then we started laughing again as they contributed their own ideas as to what's going on behind the glass. Patrick came next just before Melch sent a text message asking where we were as he was in SC already and the kids' parents were asking him where the others were. By then it was almost 10 a.m. and we were very, very late for the planned lecture.

    Syeri started the ball rolling by introducing the group and what the kids will be expecting from the workshop. Lico then took the stage and started his lecture about storytelling in comics. It was hot and they were already bummed for being made to wait too long that by the time I took my spot in front of the white board to teach them about character creation (which after Lyndon after Lico) hardly anyone was listening. Besides they were all clamoring for us to do our examples in the shape of SpongeBob SquarePants and his coterie of underwater friends and I, FOR ONE, DO NOT WATCH SPONGEBOB! I honestly can't understand what kind of appeal it has on everybody (I'm more of a Rocko's Modern Life, Fairly Odd Parents, and Jimmy Neutron kinda guy). You could sort of get an idea how my part of the lecture went. After me went Melch, who sort of got their attention again when he taught them basic anatomy using a manga-styled drawing. Here are some of the pictures from yesterday's tour (care of Mark and Az):

    Kids doing an exercise in character anatomy

    Checking their work

    Melch drawing Squidward

    Doing a lame Mickey

    Bubbles! Bubbles everywhere!

    Finding time to draw


    Cheers for a job well done

    I never went again for the afternoon session simply because I was so engrossed with Syeri's upcoming Carpool book and Lyndon did a very good job in creating a rapport with the kids (to think that I almost got the job teaching Grade 5 students). I also did well with the merchandise, successfully selling off most of those that I brought compared with the past conventions. In between sessions we would draw cartoon characters from memory and comic panels (you could see more of them pictures here), goof around with the microphone to announce anything that comes to mind, and watched Mini Moni The Movie: The Great Cake Adventure that RG played on his laptop. We finished off around 4:00 pm and we all got these great tokens of appreciation from the school administration. I didn't go with the others afterwards to eat out, I had a prior appointment with my mom to watch a movie tonight plus of course there's the lecture at DLSU that I have to prepare for too.

    Sunday, January 23, 2005

    AWRIGHT!!! The annual Don Bosco Makati high school alumni homecoming is something I always look forward to during this time of the year (which is so conveniently close to the celebration of Christmas!). It's the one night I get to see old friends, classmates, and batchmates whom I shared almost half of my life. And seeing them again all together brings back memories of both highs and lows that we all laugh at. Bullies, freaks, and geeks coming together to reminisce the old times and update the others on what's happening in their lives. A couple of them brought their significant others which is really not a good idea if you want them to just sit around uncomfortably while you go around talking with friends, that's even beside the fact that being an all boys school things do tend to get rowdy.

    I arrived around 7:30 p.m. and while I observed that the place wasn't as packed as last year's I reasoned that that's because the area's more spread out compared to last year's compact Savio Park (they held the homecoming on the basketball courts which served as parking areas during the previous homecomings). Saw a couple of old faces I haven't seen since graduation among the few early birds in our batch, Alex and Jonathan. I briefly talked to Alex some two years ago on the phone inviting him to our batch Christmas party held at the docked Superferry which they never got to attend. They did attend last year's Christmas party, which I backed out of at the last minute (see post below). Jon introduced me to his wife and then asked me if I'm still doing any drawings. When I answered in the affirmative (I didn't have any at hand so I just showed him my phone's wallpaper) he got all excited and called Alex and told him that I'm still into drawing and stuff. It's nice to see my hobby still gets these reactions from friends. Our other batchmates didn't start arriving till 8:30 pm and there were those who arrived around 10 pm. That's when (and not only till then) the party really started. With an ice cooler full of San Mig Lite and a rockin' show band playing good music (never mind the saucy hostess on stage that wanted attention) everyone started having a good time. Food was also served almost non-stop to our table (especially since the other batches concentrated more on their drinking and talking). The fortunate waiter to brought them was tipped everytime he brought the grub, Jorge initiated the move by passing the hat. We were also joined last night by another old friend, Michelle, an alumnus of both St. Scho and CHML (we all graduated the same year and she's also my schoolmate in the latter school). It's a good thing I was able to borrow high capacity memory card for the camera from my brother because as it turned out I was the only one in our batch that was able to capture the whole thing on film (one of two actually but the other camera conked out early on). Here are some of the pictures from last night's festivities:

    Jess, Vergil, Alex, Jon, and Bryan having a rockin' good time

    Jorge and Paul, the bully and his favorite target together again

    Franco, Michelle, and Dennis

    Ian, Ted, Baldo, Norman and Jess

    Remnants of DB Makati Batch '89

    Former bullies getting together

    Robin, our current batch rep, singing with the band

    Ted, Nicky, Paul, Ian, and Mr. Martin

    No, they're not sloshed or anything

    Dennis, Levi, Edsel, Michelle, and Christian

    Taking over the stage to sing "I'll be" with the band

    Pa-cute na naman!

    Together with our favorite waiter

    Jamming along to the tune of "Awitin Mo (Isasayaw Ko)"

    They love poking fun at Paul

    But it's all in good fun now

    Jorge with Mr. Tengco, our Grade 5 Math teacher

    Mr. Martin joins us in a toast for both our batches

    Jorge puts in a word about our planned homecoming sponsorhip while Mr. Martin was being punk'd

    One of the final shots before I called it a night

    I'm also proud to report that not counting the sponsoring batch, we were among the only three batches with the most number of attendees (the others being '87 and '88). Also among those in attendance were our Grade 6 science teacher, Mr. Supan (although we didn't get to talk with him), our Grade 5 Math teacher, Mr. Tengco (who hasn't changed a bit in all these years), World History teacher, Mrs. Enriquez, our high school PE Teacher, Mr. Martin (who also belongs to Batch '81), and our favorites (and you could also say our peers), Bro. Rodriguez, SDB and Bro. Carbon, SDB. The party ended around midnight and although lots of other people were already heading home with some stragglers staying behind, our group thought the time was all too brief and we were all unwilling to part. I stayed for only about an hour more before leaving for home. I would haven't wanted to stay longer too if the Artists' Den (of which I'm a part of) didn't have a campus tour in Sienna College early today. It's okay with them, I already informed the others beforehand that I would be leaving quite early. There's just no compromising my staying on till the wee hours of the morning and trying to keep up with the planned art lecture that I will be doing for kids later. Can't have myself looking and feeling like a zombie, can I?

    Saturday, January 22, 2005

    It's that time of the year again for our annual high school alumni homecoming. I'm still kicking myself in the bum for not attending our batch's Christmas party last December 4 (the same date as our UP Ame gig). I could have gone there right after the con but nooooo I had to chicken out at the last minute thinking there wouldn't be that much attendees because it was only announced two weeks prior. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! I MUST BE OUT OF MY MIND!!! Anyway, I'm hoping that a lot of my batchmates would be attending later again so I wouldn't feel as bad as much as I do now for missing out on all the fun.

    Friday, January 21, 2005

    Why do groups of women prefer to walk side by side occupying practically the whole walkway, and slowly at that, seemingly oblivious to the inconvenience of other passersby? This is something I observed ever since high school and something I ponder on (with a certain amount of peevishness) everytime I encounter it.

    Thursday, January 20, 2005

    Mr. Potato Head Goes to the Dark Side. Wooooooh!

    Wednesday, January 19, 2005

    Click to read the punchline

    Although BJ is one of the most well-rounded characters I've ever created, he's also one of the most neglected so I've finally figured out that, heck, I should be rotating the focus on each of them characters so they would have a chance to tell their own story. I just wish I could predict where they'll be turning up next.

    * West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2005

    I got a notice from the Associate Editor of Philippine News requesting that I submit future installments of West Side on a much earlier schedule and not one minutes away from the deadline. Aaargh!

    Monday, January 17, 2005

    I finally got to watch Panaghoy sa Suba (an extended theater run actually), the first and only movie that I watched from the recently concluded MMFF. I just couldn't reconcile the fact that such a beautiful movie isn't supplemented by a website. Which is weird if you think about it, considering that the benefits of having a site far outweighs the cost of putting up one. An oversight on their part? An oversight on the part of the whole local industry which should be corrected post haste (with the exception of Unitel Pictures though).

    The title is translated as "Call of the River" from the original Boholano language and the story runs around the lives of the citizens of this small village by the river during the 1940s. How their not-so uneventful lives were interrupted by the presence of the Japanese army taking over their village. Iset (Juliana Palermo) unwittingly seems to be set in the middle of all these goings on. First she was being wooed by John Smith (Phil Anthony) her mean American boss (her impoverished family led by her aunt[Caridad Sanchez] , of course, was all for it), then by her workmate, Ibo (played by Reiven Bulado, who was killed accidentally while he was trying to get back at him for firing him for talking to Iset), and then by the Japanese officer, Fumio Okhohara (Jacky Woo) who not only offered his heart and some pricey gifts to his family but also protection from his enthusiastic soldiers, to the entire village. While all throughout these roller coaster courtships, her true love Duroy (Cesar Montano) kept his distance as a respect to his brother and for their safety as he lead a small guerilla army in the mountains.

    It being the first Visayan movie in a long time (apparently there were a few unknown ones made during the same time as the setting of the movie) I was amazed even the local arm of UNESCO endorsed this movie. I also like the way the original Visayan language is articulated (with english subtitles supplied of course) and I don't know if you'll believe if I say that this was the first time I heard it spoken in all its entirety. There's more to love about this movie than any of its peers in the MMFF. I don't know why they keep bemoaning the death of the industry if they themselves don't even try to work on something as beautiful as this. This one's definitely a keeper!

    Sunday, January 16, 2005

    I went out with my old friends, Jorge and Sheila, again last night. Been quite a while since I last saw them and last night's dinner was a welcome respite from the goings on in the world of comics (and other related stuff). Besides, I missed out on a lot of things on that part of the circle like birthdays, the recently concluded holiday season, and just plain hanging out in their office. I showed them the newspaper where the birthday strip I did that saw print last week and they were beside themselves laughing. They asked if they could have that copy as a souvenir which I gladly gave before settling down to eat. We had a lot of catching up to do and the load of topics that we talked about ranged from recent pop culture conventions that I participated in and the secret lodge of the Masons to future birthday celebrations and politics. After dinner (which went ont for more than two hours) they invited me to join them for some drinks in Villamor Airbase. In the vicinity of the badminton court, to be precise, where his older brother, Joseph and some friends had gathered after a round of games. Not a drinker myself, I just took one bottle and held on to it throughout the duration of our stay there. The fun thing about having their peers in the military around during these sessions (their dad's a retired high ranking officer) is that you get to hear insider information about current issues published in the newspapers.

    The small party was disrupted a few minutes later after they got wind of the news that their younger brother had an emergency situation. It was already past midnight and they didn't want to think of the worst. Thank God it didn't evolve into something that couldn't be handled by the brothers themselves. Jorge kept apologizing to me for the disruption and for dragging me along in this situation. I just kept telling him that I was just fine and there wasn't any need for an apology. It was quite an exciting ride actually, one of their friends, a General, kept remarking afterwards that Jorge's driving reminded him a lot of the way they would convoy with other government officials. It was really that fast. After everything had settled we moved our small party to their house and continue exchanging notes about what happened. I got my customary one bottle and listened to them. We went our separate ways around 3 a.m. earlier today and I was forced to get up at seven due to our traditional Sunday breakfast outside the house. Wish I could still stay in bed.

    Saturday, January 15, 2005

    One of the topics we discussed at the Artists' Den meeting last night was the improvement for the group's website. The plans of this site has long been overdue (in fact it spent almost 5 years on the drawing board) and it's mere existence as a functioning thing has been put up with the help of our good friend, Az. Graphic-wise the site's still trying to find its own identity. As much as possible we wouldn't want to monopolize it to cater the comics crowd. Though that's what the group seems to stand for right now, it wasn't and still isn't the reason why the group was put up in the first place. The group was put up to support struggling artists like painters, scupltors, writers, poets, digital artists, graphic artists, theater and film, singers, musicians, etc. This country has been blessed with a plethora of talents and what we're seeing still is just the tip of the iceberg. And in our small way this site, like what the IndieFilipino.com does with theirs, will hopefully cast its light on those who are still left out in the dark.

    * The forums are also now available for subjects, questions, and suggestions you'd want to discuss. Registration is free and open to all artists and their patrons.

    Friday, January 14, 2005

    Mannlich-Violet (2005)

    Forken In Full Color (2005)

    These impressive examples of mecha art was done by a friend of mine, John Velasco. His works remind me a lot of the old school mecha designs, like the ones Dr. Hell, Baron Ashler, the Boazanians, and the likes liked to build (those who grew up in the 70s and 80s would know what I'm talking about). Personally I much prefer those curvy bot lines than the more recent angular ones. You wouldn't believe how long it took his sister and us friends of his to convince him that he had what it takes to be a good mecha artist (you have to see what he did with the "Tricycle Transformer"). He's a registered nurse by profession and he didn't seriously think that he was an artist. It's always the same story with those real good ones who prefer to lurk in the background rather than be in the spotlight. It's a common thing among artists to hide behind their art and basically there's nothing wrong with it. Exhibiting a worthy piece of work in a designated place is not the same as pushing oneself and gloating on the faces of other people. Besides, I believe it's about time other people took notice of this guy's awesome, awesome work.

    Thursday, January 13, 2005

    Wanna see something really awesome? Ta-daaaaan!!! It reminds me a lot of that killer project we did back in college. The subject was Illustration 2 and our prof assigned us to copy the facade of any old church that we want, draw it on a 15 x 20 board, and texturize it using any of those inking techniques that we learned using pencils. In short, we were told to just wing it and submit the whole thing after one week. Now artists live for the adrenaline rush of the deadline so no matter how much lead time is given to us we prefer to work on those projects some three to two days before the deadline (something about achieving near perfection or satisfaction in one's work when staring "death" face to face). What I did back then is nothing, absolutely NOTHING, compared to this piece of work. This dude's insane! Insane I tells ya!

    Admittedly, I'm one of the bigger fans of Stephen Chow ever since I first watched Shaolin Soccer some years ago. Then I got to watch God of Cookery and Flirting Scholar on CTTV, both of which proved to be certified laugh-a-minute projects. I was hooked and looked forward to watching all his movies because he's a certified comic genius! One can never go wrong with Mr. Chow's movies if you want to laugh and be entertained, it's a 100% guarantee! So why am I not laughing as much with his latest opus, Kung Fu Hustle? I'll give you a number of reasons why:

    1. The movie didn't focus on his character - What made his previous movies really good was the fact that there was one central character that every story focuses on: him. All the others were there for support and their stories were secondary to his. Stephen Chow is funny. But you take the spotlight away from him and it's not as much fun as it should be.

    2. SFX dominated the movie - There was too many of it in this film compared to his previous works. And back then the special effects were used sparingly and only to support either visual humor and/or action scenes. Was it deliberately done to cover a weak story? Probably.

    3. Too many characters - Smorgasbord characters prevented the telling of individual background stories resulting in shallow characters. Aside from a brief flashback of Mr. Chow's character and his leading lady, we don't know much of the others. Who's his sidekick? Where did they meet? Where did the three kung fu masters come from? What about the landlords? When did they first meet "The Beast"? Who is The Beast? How did he start off? What of the ugly girl? If she's insignificant, why give her more screen time than the beautiful mute girl? How did the Axe Gang start off? You get the picture.

    4. Too much action, not much talk - Like the domination of SFX, the movie focused too much on the kung fu action. Don't get me wrong here, I totally love the action scenes, but did he have to overdo it to the point of forgetting character development and, yes, humor? The last two Matrix films come to mind here.

    5. Use of too much violence and brown jokes - Granted that Mr. Chow occasionally used jokes that were mildly crude in his previous films and some blood were included in some of them to highlight one or two (ludicrous) action scenes, the use of it here just wasn't funny. I know his scenes with the knife throwing and snakes were really funny, but the others were not. The punchline in the action scenes were severly lacking (although some people in the audience laughed just the same). What about the sight of butt shots and defecation? Funny? Maybe once for the former, but after numerous instances of it, I don't think so. The lone defecting scene is totally not funny at all.

    And did he have to resort to too many references to other movies? This was the problem of Hot Shots: Part Deux, too many clichés. Mr. Chow's known for sensible storytelling and great humor he didn't have to resort to such desperate measures to entertain people. I wanted to like this film for the Mr. Chow's sake, I really did but it just doesn't work at all. This film is also definitely darker than his previous ones and he was probably experimenting a new formula aimed at the fans of black comedy. People I know rave and proclaim this to be his best output yet but I terribly doubt it. They say they had a blast, enjoying the comic scenes but I observed it only had four hilarious scenes at the most unlike his previous work. They say he's a genius for seamlessly employing SFX and kung fu action scenes together, this we'll have to watch out for. He cannot and should not sacrifice eye candy for a good storyline, substantial characters, and witty scripts. I'm still a big fan of Mr. Chow but I won't be putting this is in my list of favorite movies that he made.

    * Production history and lots more pictures can be found here.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2005

    This is loosely based on a couple of events that really happened during the last convention. This is the second self-depreciating joke that I did (the first for this series). This time, I thought I'd return the favor to the Master of Self-depreciating Humor himself who taught me that while it's healthy to laugh at one's misfortune it's even healthier if one's laughing on the way to the bank.

    * West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.
    Here are a couple of very quick sketches that I just did using my trusty Wacom and Painter Classic program which I now really love to pieces (I tried doing the same thing with Photoshop 7 but the results were nowhere near what I've achieved with Painter). Unfortunately I can't go beyond the penciling and watercolor stage (yet) but that didn't stop me from having fun!

    This is so fantastic! The pencil effect is so life-like I could almost taste the lead!

    I'm a bit hesitant in posting this second drawing, being a bit of a risque and all, but I swear to you I had no other intention than to capture the beauty of the female form (avoiding other details that might cross boundaries of good taste).

    Tuesday, January 11, 2005

    So who's hitting who first?

    I just arrived from watching Blade: Trinity with my mom at the mall, and yeah the movie was good but it could have been better. The movie looked promising in the beginning, sorta like a continuation of the showdown at the old temple dedicated to the blood god in the first movie. A group of "young" upstart vampires awaken Dracula to help them gain the ability to become "Daywalkers." The latter becomes intrigued with the drastic changes the world has gotten itself into allows himself to be brought to their HQ. Soon after they set a series of events into action. They ingeniusly framed Blade (Wesley Snipes) by letting him kill one of their human servants in a raid and setting the police and the FBI hot on his trail. When they did man age to capture him (entailing a sacrifice on the part of Blade's mentor, Whistler, to try and buy him some time) the gang of vampires led by Danica Talos (Parker Posey) made an appearance to bring their arch-enemy into their care. But before they could do so, the predictable entry of the cavalry in the persons of Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel) and Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) saved our hero from certain destruction. They introduced themselves as part of the group, Night Stalkers, a group of vampire hunters committed to the extinction of these monsters. Soon after, Dracula invades their lare as the others were busy putting a blood farm of the vampires out of commission. This course of actions forces a final showdown between the two groups.

    While the action was good but there wasn't much variety, just the standard kung-fu stuff that we've seen thousands of times before (where are the big guns, sword fights, nanchucks, burly fights, etc.?). I also love Parker Posey as a dressed up whining and pouting brat in her other movies but she's all wrong for this one. Was this movie trying to replicate the coolness factor Traci Lords helped brought in the first movie? You decide. And Dracula? Please. While the silhouette at the onset of the film made him intimidating and all (something like the armor in Coppola's version), he wasn't anything but that when seen in human form. He should have stayed in the shadows. And what's the with the Drake nick? Eesh! I think the move would have benefitted a lot with his absence. Other characters like Hannibal provided a welcome break from other grim and serious characters. And unlike the other new characters, his was the only character with depth and long term likeability (aside from Blade of course). Abigail's getting there and though she had all the qualities to make an unforgettable character, Director David Goyer didn't afford her the luxury to do that. So what I would want to see right now, in case the Blade series stops here, is a spin-off focusing on these two new vampire hunters. Maybe by then, with a new director, the franchise would pick up again.

    They're BAAAAAACK!!!

    We got a new channel on our cable TV subscription and I'm extremely happy about it! Oh yeah! It's called Series, a South African Channel chuck full of sitcoms and reruns of really old TV series (like "Growing Pains," "Night Court," and "Full House"). What I really, really love about this new channel is that I will now be able to catch all the episodes of Roseanne each week! I'm a huge fan of this sitcom and took it real hard when a local channel took it off their list of their shows. But, it doesn't really matter now that they're showing it here again. Dynomite!

    Monday, January 10, 2005

    It has been two years since a good friend of mine and me last saw each other. Although the opportunities to communicate were still there (that's what Friendster and text messaging is for) we didn't do anything about it. He had some problems eating him up on the inside and he took the time to sort things out on his own. It took the death of another friend of ours last month to open the lines wide open again.

    We had brunch last week, his treat, and we caught up with each other's stories and work. Last time I saw him he was graduating from college and quite an emotional mess. He's now working in a call center and he has an air of confidence and maturity around him now. Experience taught him a lot more than I ever could. Back then I provided a listening ear and some good 'ol advice for him to fight his demons. This time around I felt that we were on almost the same level, thinking on the same wavelength, and sparring using the same weapons of knowledge. I'm really happy for him these days and most of all I'm grateful to God for taking good care of him better than any of us, his friends, ever did. To think that this is only just the beginning.
    More commentaries with regards to the recently concluded Metro Manila Filmfest:
    Memo to RP movies: Back to basics, please
    By Gibbs Cadiz
    Inquirer News Service

    THE ENTRIES may have been raised to eight, and the movies just as noisily hyped, but it's safe to say that the just-concluded Metro Manila Film Festival was the weakest, quality-wise, in recent memory.

    Of the five we managed to watch, four stood out-but for all the wrong reasons. They were striking illustrations of what is wrong, and basically so infuriating, about mainstream Filipino movies today: their unrealism, artifice and lack of plausibility. (con't...)
    Ouch. I now rest my case.

    Sunday, January 09, 2005

    We just concluded the third and last day of the G2 con. It was a fun but tiring weekend, but it wasn't as tiring and as packed as today was. For about quarter of an hour or so I was drawing caricatures left and right. People kept coming up to me asking me to draw them next (for a token fee of course) even if I wasn't finished with the drawing I was doing for a customer at the time. I'm extremely grateful to my fellow artists who supplied me with endless paper like Jon. A funny thing about capturing their likeness on paper was the fact that I had to look at them every now and then while pencilling the whole thing. On the few seconds that I'm afforded to scrutinize the shape of their heads, eyes, nose, mouth, hair, etc. these people that I'm drawing would move or turn away leaving me usually less than a second to commit an outstanding feature to memory. Doing caricatures is one of the hardest things to do getting an immediately reaction from your intended audience usually packs a wallop for one's self-esteem. If they like it then hooray! but if they don't the thought that you're not good enough an artist would begin to eat you up inside wreaking havoc on subsequent projects. I used think that I couldn't do caricatures and that only a few gifted cartoonists would be able to do one. I even read how-to books about the subject, hoping against hope that I would be able to do one. Then I thought, what the heck am I doing? I'm a cartoonist and everything I do freehand falls under the category of cartooning so what am I doing struggling with this thing? I should just let it flow and not worry about anything. Right? Right, that's how all cartoonists should think when venturing into doing caricatures. Of course it also pays for you to hone your God-given skills to a razor sharp edge.

    As also expected, today being the finals for the cosplay competition, serious contenders came out from their hiding places to slug it out onstage. I'm not familiar with most of the characters they donned for today's programme and there are those characters I know were taken from online games and anime features like Ragnarok and Robotech but I couldn't sepcifically identify them by name (hence the lack of descriptions). Of them all I can only name Tis Morrigan Aensland (Dark Stalkers), Prince Zardoz (Voltes V), and Karl Ruprect Kroenen (Hellboy), which is somewhat pathetic. Anyway, here are some selections from the pictures that Az and Mark took from the event earlier today:

    Busy busy busy

    Some of the stuff we're selling in our booth

    These ones are mostly mine except for the sketch

    Unicron wants to know if you've seen this man

    Mini Moni Philippines performing

    Robert Wong and his latest cosplay masterpiece, a Zerg Hydralisk from the StarCraft game

    You have to hand it to these two for being easy favorites

    Agent Smith

    Job well done for everyone involved

    I had a harder time sorting through the images I got, leaving out some of the really good ones out of of consideration for the space thing. There will be a lot more events during the first half of the year, with two more coming before the end of this month alone. It's quite daunting if you think about it but if you figure in the fun factor, it's something we're all looking forward to in the coming days and months ahead.

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