Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ok, we've finally caught up to the present strip which is also the one you'll see in Philippine News this week (said paper comes out today) which is quite a feat. I've quit doing extra strips for now, those will be included in the compilation, so as to keep myself on schedule. So there. I hope you all enjoyed this storyline, Lolo and Lola will be back in November's storyline revolving around this year's Thanksgiving dinner.

* West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Another meme from Ganns:
1. How often do you blog? Not as much as I want to.

2. Online Alias: kartoonista / Heffer Wolfe

3. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew? Yep.

4. What do you do most often when you are bored? I either surf the net or go out for a walk.

5. When bathing, which do you wash first? The hair on my head.

6. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight? Yep. I didn't like it at all.

7. What color looks best on you? Blue

8. What’s your favorite alcoholic drink? While I don’t get the general appeal of alcoholic drinks, I'd say Bailey's for the creamy goodness.

9. Do you believe in heaven and hell as a real place that each of us will go to after death? YES.

10. Do you find that you have more online friends than offline friends? Nope. They're more or less the same.

11. What was your favorite subject in school? History, art, and English.

12. Are you a perfectionist? In a way, yeah.

13. Do you spend more than you can afford? Guilty!

14. Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved before? I'd like to think so.

15. Do you consider yourself creative? Hmmm... what do you think?

16. Do you give yourself the credit you deserve? It's easier nowadays than it was before.

17. Do you donate time or money to charities? Whenever an opportunity comes, yes.

18. Have you recently done something that you’ve criticized others for doing? Recently? Nada.

19. What’s on your mind right now? I'm watching out for the coming rapture and reading up on the Olivet Discourse, so I'm thinking I need to make up for lost time and get the message out as much as I can.

20. Say one nice thing about the person who tagged you and the five people that you are going to tag. He's one of the jolliest persons I've ever known and a faithful friend of God. As for the others, they're a whole lot interesting bunch of friends and I like picking on their brains whenever an opportunity comes.
On that note... Tag! You're it!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The movie Scoop, sucks. Big time. Woody Allen's a funny guy, I've been a fan of his ever since I saw the movie, Take the Money and Run shown on TV back in the 80s. Looking back he did remind of the the early Rick Moranis or vice versa and it worked. I gave this a chance because of its two young leads and of course it's been a long time since I last saw a Woody Allen film. I came in expecting almost nothing and still being disappointed with the turn-out of the movie is a record low. I can't figure out why he's stuck using the same schtick as a neurotic nerd with low-self esteem. He plays a small time magician and the way he panders his audience in the movie saying things like, "I love you, really. With all due respect, you're a beautiful person. You're a credit to your race." over and over got tiring at the third attempt. Even actors Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson weren't even trying, they just mouthed their lines and went through the motions of acting (Ms. Johansson's lines in her last appearance in the movie was extremely laughable and I don't mean that in a good way). There wasn't any build up in suspense nor did it make people think that there could be other suspects other than Mr. Jackman's character. One could get a better sense of those in a Scooby-Doo cartoon than this movie. Mr. Allen should really know where his limits lie. He should have gotten other writers to write with him and it would have been a lot better if he stuck behind the cameras instead of making a fool of himself in front of it. He could have quit while he was ahead but noooooo. His character's line in the movie, "I was brought up in the Hebrew persuasion, but when I got older I converted to narcissism" was never more appropriate as in this one.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The movie, Monster House is one of my most anticipated movies ever since I first saw the trailer online last year with some friends. Of course the idea of having a creepy occupant for living across the house of the snooping kid is nothing new, having a creepy living house sit across the house of the snooping kid is slightly novel but having it presented in CGI with the characters looking as if they came out of a children's book, well that's really something.

The story begins as it always has with a grumpy old man called Nebbercracker (Steve Buscemi) living alone in an old, old house across his suspicious neighbor, D.J. (Mitchel Musso). It's two days before Halloween and DJ's parents are going out of town leaving him in the care of his regular babysitter, Zee (Maggie Gyllenhaal). His best friend, Chowder (Sam Lerner) right before the parents drive off to show him his new basketball. Unfortunately for him the ball bounced off DJ's garage and into the cranky old man' yard. DJ warned Chowder about the old man and his penchant for confiscating every kid's toy that trespasses there so Chowder turns the table back on his friend and dares him to get the ball before Nebbercracker knows they're even there. But before DJ could reach his goal out comes Nebber cracker shouting at them for sneaking in on his property. He manages to reach DJ and shakes him like a ragdoll but before he could do anything else he keels over from what appears to be heart attack. Feeling guilty that he caused the death of another person he went home and went to bed only to be woken up by the ring of the telephone whose call originated from inside the creepy house. Zee, along with her boyfriend, Bones (Jason Lee) laugh off this incident charging it to his overactive imagination (Bones was later eaten). Chowder thought the same way too and to prove his point he walked over to the door playing "ding-dong ditch." He got the scare of his life when the house came to life and tried to eat him. A few hours later it tried to eat another kid in the person of Jenny (Spencer Locke), who was going from door to door trying to sell some girl scout cookies. They try to tell the police everything that's been happening but they were shooed away for trespassing (the police along with their squad car were also later eaten). With Halloween coming up the next day time's running out and they don't have any choice but to take matters into their own hands if they are to save Trick or Treaters from being eaten alive.

Now believe it or not, it's not enough that this movie has better better visuals than most studios have come up with (with the exception of Pixar) that there were more than a couple of times I forgot I was watching an animated film, and story. Part of the appeal of this film are the lessons learned from what the characters go through. A lot comes to mind like don't give in to pride if you know it involves a great deal of bodily harm. Saving face at the cost of one's life is not worth it at all (DJ's attempt in getting the ball from Nebbercracker's yard after Chowder insinuates his cowardice). People have reasons for how they act in public. There may be deeper issues at stake but they're not exempt from taking responsibilities for their actions (Nebbercracker had to help get rid of the problem at the same time give back everything he took). There are I can't think of right now but the one thing that stands up from the rest is the fact that we all tend to forget warnings and reason if we can only get something we prize above all. It's almost the same as trying to do some stupid stunts prove our bravery in front of our friends. If it's something you can live without then let it go. Living towards the future is not going to be as effective if we can't let go of the past. Speaking of which, if you've already watched this movie there is this good example of a character holding on to his possession that will remind you of another character that also suffers from the same predicament:

"My precioussss..."

Although they both finished the movie with a smile on their faces after being freed from their curse, one lived long enough to savor it. Now Hollywood may have left us a tad skeptical of what they're capable of these days but I encourage you not to scratch this off your list because of your initial impressions. Spielberg managed to come up with one more magic up his sleeves along with Zemeckis (whose last team up brought us the very memorable Back to the Future trilogy) this is one heck of a ride you really shouldn't miss out on the big screen.

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

Friday, September 08, 2006

Two of my artist friends need your help. We are appealing to everyone reading this blog artist My friend, Henry, needs your help. Badly.

He was recently victimized my a group of thieves on board a bus on his way home. He was only trying to help a would-be robbery victim when they noticed he was being in their way. He was victimized the second time around when the passengers inside the bus didn't even lift a finger to help him during and after the said incident. Nobody bothered to see or even even ask him if he was ok.

You could read the whole story here.

Now he's selling his comic book collection to make ends meet. You could help him by buying one of the many titles he's selling or you could spread the word about his comic sale. The titles and corresponding prices of the books are available here. If you don't have money to buy his comics then please spread the word to your friends or post it in your blog or something.

My other friend, Syeri, also needs your help. Or rather her sister and brother-in-law needs your help.

Her sister has already suffered 3 mild strokes at the very young age of 26. She has been advised to lay off any strenous work but she's now 5 months pregnant with their first child. Her medicine for her blood costs her P500+ DAILY (more or less around $10.00+). This is aside from various medical and household expenses that they incur on a monthly basis.

You could read the whole story here.

You could help them by creating one special artwork (or series of it) that you could sell and the sales of which you could contribute to help them while they're in this situation. If you have any spare cash you'd like to give (any amount you could spare would be really awesome), you could deposit in the bank account provided in the link above. Here's an encouragement if you're still thinking about it:
'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'
We all know how it is to be in need and I'm sure all of us have been recipients of the kindness of others. So why not pay it forward without asking for anything in return? And if you have already decided to give, then here's something for you too:
"When you do something for someone else, don't call attention to yourself ... When you help someone out, don't think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
And you know He's always watching.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

nI'm planning to do the whole comic strip compilation for the CLASS strips is really long overdue and I'm currently in the process of cleaning up the strips, yadda-yadda-yadda. Now I stumbled across a minor dilemma which I hope you, loyal readers of the series, would be able to help me to settle. You see I've been inserting photographs in the latter years of the series pasting them in the strips that called for it (this was way, way before scanners, digital cameras and Photoshop), so I'd like to know which of these do you think looks better?

Original Moses or New Moses?

Do you prefer the grainy and dark original pictures so it would retain the integrity and uniqueness of the old way? Or you'd rather go for the sharper and lighter new pictures that show lot more details than the old ones?

Original panels, or

New panels?

I'd appreciate it very much if you'd write your comments and suggestions in the form below this post.

* These strips were published during the run of Dreamworks' animated movie, The Prince of Egypt (1998).

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why is it that I only get these ideas on what to talk about in a comic seminar comes the night before it actually happens? I try doing it days before the deadline and my mind goes blank. Not that I wouldn't know what to say but rather how to say it in a way that non-artists would understand and apreciate the hard work that goes into it. So I get these ideas on the way to the mall and it's as if a floodgate was opened and everything flowed, from topics, analogies, even to the illustrations I could use in the overhead presentations. The problem of course is that I'm so pressed for time there's no way I would be able to do that all without crashing the day after. I sighed in surrender to the inevitable and just went with the flow of ideas.

When I got home later last night I was so psyched with everything that came to mind I thought I'd have enough ideas to talk about for a good hour or so in the seminar. I was a bit disappointed when Lei sent back an answer to my text message earlier asking how much time would be alloted to each speaker (there were four of us set to lead the talks: Lyndon, Patrick, and Lico). She said we'd only have around 10-20 minutes each. Ok so there'll only be enough time to do an overview about what it is we do. By the way, this is a seminar for the executive level employees of the San Miguel Corporation in Ortigas doing a monthly alternative program in their office. These are non-artists too so there's a bit of trepidation on my part. Past alternative seminars done on campus didn't exactly have receptive audiences what more in the corporate setting, right? Surprisingly, they were the total opposite of what we're used to. Those people who attended the seminar were very receptive, attentive, asked a lot of good questions, and reacted very nicely to all we said. Considering that they themselves said that they didn't know anything about the business they were really awesome to talk to. Afterwards over a scruptious lunch next door all we talked about were their experiences in trying to draw in elementary and high school, the use of CGI in movies, Filipino artists working in Pixar, and the lot. There were laughter and a overall great feeling that we're moving on the same page. We do hope to be able to interact with them again in the future. We left our cards so we're just hoping and praying they'll keep us in mind when something comes up that needs our expertise.

The good folks of SMC.

Huge thanks to Mr. Briones for the invitations and Lei for facilitating everything!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

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