Wednesday, June 27, 2007

This was the first time I dropped by UST ever since the alternative class thing with the comics me and Lyndon did in the College of Science some one or two years ago, I forget. I don't drop by this campus more often compared to my high school alma mater precisely because it's farther away and it's sorta out of the way compared to the other. But in terms of sheer improvements I've got to hand it to the Dominican priests for coming up with the most impressive changes in this University so far. Aside from the four(?) level carpark cum commercial center in front of the College of Music and the spanking new facade of the UST Hospital, they totally redid the front of the main building doing away with the parking slots, the trees, and road and converting it to a park complete with tiled floors and park benches. Former students of this University will know what I'm talking about and will be totally in awe of the changes made like this picture of the main building showing a bit of what I'm talking about:

I'm set to go back next week for my copy of the transcript of records next week so I'll be able to do a before and after picture comparison of the campus. As an aside too, it's too awesome that I went there when I did as I accidentally met up with a couple of old friends I haven't seen in a long, long time. Well, they're old friends but they're more half my age. One of them was a former student in one of the art seminars I did some two years ago and the other is a son of a couple of really good friends, he calls me Tito or "Uncle" as I've been looking after him ever since I was in college and he was one year old. Now he's eighteen, in college, and taller than me.

Anyhoo, on my way home I spied a strange thing pasted on the door of the MRT:

I first thought some kid impishly pasted his drawing in the cover of the crowd but upon further observation I discerned it to be a computer printout and though the drawing resembled that of a child's the lines were deliberately drawn to approximate some childish strokes. That plus the F-R-E-D written on its tummy area led me to think that this is probably a modern version of the Salenga mystery. Will we see more of FRED? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Here's a progress report on the much delayed book compilation of the CLASS comic strips in the works months after the last one. As you know it's been a long time coming with both family and friends repeatedly urging me to come out with one already. I held back for years as I deliberated how I can make it stand out from the local titles that came out in the market (that and the fact that I was a wuss thinking nobody would buy on account of me not receiving any reaction from the general public back then and even now with the current series I'm doing). I initially came out with the book dummy around ten years ago when I used the series as part of my thesis back in college. Almost everything will be the same, the difference being that was planned to come out in full color whereas this one will be completely done in black and white to keep costs down. The inside pages containing the strips are now being prepped, the cover is currently being done and I'll be posting it online as soon as I finish it.

One of the features I'm most proud of in the titles I'll be coming out with is the inclusion of the bonus stories in each book as inspired by the Calvin and Hobbes Treasuries. With the first book I thought I've better come out with one of the best cartoonists around: Andre Salvatierra, whose EvergreenSD webcomic series made me an instant fan eversince the first time I read it. Here's a preview of the first three pages he's doing for the book:

Yeah, me likey so much too! This is based on an idea for a story I came out back in the mid-90s which I proposed to him. We bounced ideas off each other on how to go about the plot and what the characters are like, then I stepped back and gave him a lot of breathing room to do what he does best with the material. And as you can see with the samples above we're already assured of double the laughter and the goodies in the upcoming book which I hope to release in time for this year's Komikon.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Be Transformed and live up the Transformers legacy with the exclusive and authentic Transformers movie merchandise in a must see event yo wouldn't want to miss...

Transformers : Transform and Roll Out! the Movie Merchandise Launch
June 29, 2007
Event Center SM Megamall
Mega A, ground floor, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong


As the world eagerly awaits for the biggest and much talked about movie debut of Transformers on June 28, millions of Transformers fanatics from practically all walks of life can only be fortunate to have their favorite league of transfiguring robots loaded with exciting and explosive line-up of events, fun-filled activities, trailblazing merchandises and other great surprises to celebrate the comeback and the undying legacy that is Transformers.

In the recently concluded MTV Movie Awards, the world's largest television network had given Transformers a stump of approval after being chosen as the Best Summer Movie You Haven't Seen for 2007, placing Pirates of the Caribbean and Bourne Automatic behind the pack. The Transformers live action movie brings the battle of the two warring robots of Cybertron, the Autobots and the Decepticons to Earth leaving the future of humankind hanging in balance.

Transformers originally featured the heroic Autobots headed by Optimus Prime and their main opponents, the Decepticons with Megatron as the leader. Transformers are best known as an intelligent machines that are able to transform and reconfigure itself into innocuous form such as car, aircraft or animal. There have been a number of popular spin-offs based on the original Hasbro toy line including the widely read Transformers Marvel Comics series and animated TV programs that began airing in 1984.

Consequently, the equally awaited market release of Transformers licensed products will be officially launched on June 29th at Event Center of SM Megamall Bldg. A. The whole day event aptly dubbed as The Transformers : Transform and Roll Out! the Movie Merchandise Launch will feature an art exhibit, drawing & trivia contest, video game demo, panel discussion for hobbyist and Transformers collectors, stage performances, movie promotion and a whole lot more! The Transformers thrilling live action movie is directed by Michael Bay with Steven Spielberg as executive producer.
Presented by Empire Multimedia Licensing Corp, Transformers Philippines and SM Megamall. In Partnership with EPSON and PSICOM Publishing
Sponsored by SM, Toy Kingdom Express and SM Cinema
Media Partners are The Philippine Star, Gadgets Magazine, The Manila Times, The Daily Tribue, Business World, Tower Sports, Fudge Magazine, Jam 88.3
UNTV, Creative Voices Productions and HERO TV
Click the image for more details on the event or visit the event website at http://www.transformers.epinoy.com

Sunday, June 24, 2007

After a very long time we finally get something new from the Department of Forwarded Mails:
Guess who let out a little surprise?

(Left-Right) Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Harry, Princess Anne, and Prince Charles

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

And I was wondering who would tag me to do this meme after reading the answers from the other blogs. So here goes, "Six Weird Things About Me," as tagged by my good friend, Ganns:

1. I watched "Titanic" a total of 8 times on the big screen. And I kept expecting those poor* people would survive. Now the world knows my shame.

2. I'm totally off the beaten track in music. Ever since I came of age I tend to swim out off the main stream and listen to a tune by band or group that others thought was totally kitsch at the time but was eventually embraced by the adoring public give or take a decade later. Case in point: While everyone was either into Duran Duran or Spandau Ballet in the 80s, I was also on the sly with the Eurythmics. Their music lead me to listen almost exclusively to techno while the others moved to glam rock as the years progressed.

3. I've been wearing baggy pants since high school.
There were only two styles of wearing pants for men back then: slim-fit or baggy pants. Being the scrawny kid that I was (not that being scrawny was an excuse since a lot of my other lanky peers opted to wear the other one in homage to the then-cool icon, Michael Jackson). I chose the latter which persists to this day. While we're still on the subject of retaining trends from the past, I'd like to mention that I sport my hair really short ever since senior year in high school in homage to the New Order's lead singer, Bernard Sumner who also sported a military cut.

4. I still have my report card, notebook, and other "junk" from childhood. I'm a "pack rat" that's very aware of the times ever since I can remember. The fact is I tend to keep things in my cabinet and drawers just because is something that my mother couldn't understand but tolerates anyway. I still have some things from my childhood hidden away inside my room. That old episode from the Twilight Zone TV series where a leprechaun captured by a kid advices him not to throw his stuff away as a reward for his release. He only realized this wisdom as an old man when he later got rich from the proceeds when he auctioned off everything.

5. I think chicken meat is slimy. That's why you won't almost ever see me eating chicken thighs and other parts thereof except for the breast part which is the only part I'll ever eat. The ligaments from the thigh part makes me real queasy and there's not much to pick on the wing part anyway. Another thing, I like my chicken fried or broiled. I'm not a fan of the other ways of cooking.

6. I'm not geeky enough to qualify as one. I thought I was one for the longest time but if one were to believe the results of the almost hundred online quizzes I took I always fall short based on the constant definition of a geek. I'm always either 2/3 geek or just above the half range and the fact of the matter is I don't even speak much of the "language" although I know enough to understand it. *Gasp!* Do you know what this means?! I'M IN GEEK LIMBO!

* And the rich folks too.
** Awright, for the next round of answers I'm tagging Patrick, Lyndon, Lei, Jhedde, Daniel, and Henry.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

One of the art sites I'm currently watching, Worth1000, has come up with an interesting contest using the faces of Hollywood celebrities and merging them in famous paintings testing their skills in Photoshop. The contest rules the site put out was this:
"This contest asks a simple question: If the renaissance took place in modern times, and the models were famous pop culture celebrities, what would the artwork have looked like?

"The rules of this game are thus: You will put any modern celebrity, actor or popular culture figure as a substitute for the model of a painting or other form of artwork (i.e. Macauley Culkin in the Scream, Madonna as the Mona Lisa...). As always, quality is a must. You'll have 48 hours for this contest, so make your submissions count."
There are 97 entries in all posted in the site and most of them are so awesome I had a hard time narrowing down the choices to a few out of the lot of personal favorites. Try to identify the celebrities and test your smarts in figuring out the artists and the title of the paintings used without clicking the link.

Monday, June 18, 2007

This is one cool poster I stumbled on online today while searching for a reference. Something we, especially me, should always keep in mind.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

If you're a constant resident of online forums then you're well versed in the way some posters tend to murder the spelling everyday words. Most of the times the result of these people murdering the king's english is a cause for concern, mostly annoyance, but this time part of two sentences from the same poster in one thread offered an idea for a title of a book (much like the way Oscar Levant got his inspiration for the title of his famous play, "Stop the World - I Want to Get Off," from a graffito). Behold the the phrases that inspired me the titles:

Now, if I could only figure out those books are going to be about.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'm wondering why Disney's latest animation, Meet the Robinsons, wasn't marketed aggressively as the others (with the exception of the Robinson's Malls, 'nuff said) which automatically means this isn't going to be one of those flicks people would put in their must-watch list. A pity really considering the fact that this is one of THE best Disney movies in a long, long, long time. This was tons better than the resurgence of Disney flicks during the early 90's. Well just better than the lot at the least (at least nobody was singing).

So while everyone else was bent on catching Oceans 13 or FF: ROTSS I made my way inside the mall and plunked down some cash to watch the second-to-the-last showing of MTR. I also made sure I went in early to catch whatever upcoming movie trailers are interesting. Good thing I did too or else I wouldn't be able to catch the 1938 cartoon short, "Boat Builders." It was a surreal experience watching on the big screen something I knew from TV but at the same time I was perplexed. While I did enjoy the old Disney cartoon, in the back of my mind I was asking "what the heck has this got to do with the movie?" Only when I finished the movie and was sitting there basking in the afterglow of it all did the relevance of the cartoon short made sense. And boy did it ever! The story was beautifully rendered in 3D under the newly appointed chief creative officer, former Pixar chief, John Lasseter, is something that harks back to the traditional way dear old Walt did to oversee the process of cooking up a story. This reason alone is what makes this movie better than their output in the early 90s.

The characters were highly likable from the start, the animation is easy on the eyes, and the heart of the story centering around the themes of forgiveness, both for one's and the others' shortcomings was more than a welcome respite from previous movies that focused more on entertaining and not much else.

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

Saturday, June 09, 2007

With the popularity of comic books while we were growing up and the surge of comic book heroes being adopted into the big screen by "Hollyweird," does it surprise anyone that fighting crime while dressed up in costume (colorful spandex, even) is happening in real life? And they're not in comic conventions either. They're real-life superheroes or as comic book writer, Warren Ellis, likes to call them these days, "underwear perverts."

Citizen Prime



Chris Guardian

Mr. Silent and Doktor DiscorD


I first saw the report about these deviants in today's episode of Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld, these costumed scourge of society's underbelly however do not possess superpowers but just like Batman they learned to improvise and use various implements you would never give a second look or like the others, just plain guts and derring-do. When they're not fighting or patrolling crime ("which is hard to come by," laments Citizen Prime) they change tires, distribute flyers or calling cards advertising their services, give water & snacks to the homeless, shovel snow off of sidewalks during the day, use angle grinders to cut wheel clamps off vehicles, or even, organize labor rallies and protests, and file petitions. After a day's work some of them park their rears in front of the computer and visit many online superhero communities like the World Superhero Registry. There's still so much to say about these but it's better that you check the provided links and have yourself a really good time reading how and why these good citizens came up with what they're doing right now.

* Related links:
Masks, capes and spandex: Real-life superheroes save the world!
Wikipedia entry: Real-life Superhero
The World Needs Heroes … Just Not These
Real Life Super Heroes: Citizen Prime
Real Masked Superhero and Friend Patrol Indianapolis Streets

Friday, June 08, 2007

Here's an obituary of sorts I picked up today from the archives of the DailyGood, written by a Ms. Linda Wright:


Today we mourn the passing of a dear old friend, Mr. Common Sense.

Mr. Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn't always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6yr old boy accused of sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Mr. Sense declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student, but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot; she spilled a bit in her lap and was awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; his son, Reason.
He is survived by two stepbrothers, My Rights and Ima Winner.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

This here's a simple step-by-step online tutorial on how to create comic pages from children's book artist and authors, Jon Buller and Susan Schade (click the image to open another window). It's so easy anybody can do it, of course you also have to come up with a good story that will move the readers to keep coming back for more and the verve to draw the same details with consistency panel after panel, page after page... Yup, it's that easy.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Oh, the humanity!


Here's a preview of Gerry's upcoming short film. Funny stuff. Too bad we still have to wait till the end of this month to see the whole thing.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I AM SO PSYCHED about this image showing a preview of the pages I commissioned Andre to do for the upcoming CLASS book. I lifted this image up from his blog when I visited it earlier.

Click to watch

Watch this video and prepare to be amazed by the work of an anonymous group, who obviously had a lot of time in their hands, put together the ultimate count down using bits of scenes from different films.
I half expected Mico, our small guard dog, to greet me after I opened the gate when I got home as was his custom. All I got was Tommy barking his welcome from inside the house while I saw his metal dog dish in the distance undisturbed.

This will be my last post about this depressing stuff.
"When my best friend died suddenly early this year, I felt the kind of sadness that I never knew existed. That’s a bit of a statement since sadness was nothing new to me. Yet when I saw him in his coffin, I cried because I couldn’t feel anything. The overwhelming power of grief took over my emotions like a wet rag on a live wire. I sort of short-circuited.

"I was always a sad girl. Although my exterior belies the truth, it’s a thing I do to cope. Who wants to deal with some sad mope? I’m very ambitious and if a charade was necessary for me to get what I wanted, then so be it. Sometimes I believe my act so much it becomes the truth even for just a little while."

So starts Celine Lopez's column from last Sunday's paper. Although her column is one of two best columns I look forward to reading because of the candid and entertaining way she writes about her experiences I glossed over it in favor of the comic pages. I didn't return to reading it till this morning while I was eating breakfast. I knew what she was talking about in the first paragraph having read about it in her previous column published last February, what she said in the second paragraph got me hooked. I'm no stranger to the inability to feel sadness. Oh sure, I did feel its heaviness during times of great stress and pain but what I did was to refuse to play being seen as a weakling unable to deal with the blows that life dealt me. I thought it funny how some friends and/or acquaintances asking me before why I looked so sad even though I was just being indifferent, or what's most weird, feeling happy at the time. I pushed it down to the deeper recesses of my brain till She then relates that the death of her friend only enabled her to recognize she was going through something other than an extended period of mourning. "It was also something I was all too familiar with. The cycle had started to begin. I just dreaded going through it all over again," she wrote. Her case started in college while mine started in high school. It's a lot easier to diagnose once you're years removed from the incident. The term "emo" wasn't coined yet and wearing an all black ensemble back then either meant someone like a member of the family or a close relative died or you're channeling Robert Smith of The Cure or Andrew Eldritch and the guys of The Sisters of Mercy or even Identity Crisis, on the local front: you reveled in being a member of the Goth movement. Of course, poseurs would go dress up like them in order to get the attention but there were those like me who felt crummy on the inside but still looked normal on the outside because I never wanted to entertain any questions about what I was going through. As far as escapism goes like any other teen embroiled in chaos at the time I dove right into the popular music of those day. Nothing different from today or from those generations belonging before us you say? The difference lies in the fact that the lyrics from those generations before and today had it so easy to speak of love and love lost, of anger and lust, and other things that are clear cut and are easy to see. The lyrics to the music I was listening to back then weren't so clear cut as the movement characterizing that decade chose to be more poetic and abstract in their singing. Most of the time though the collection of music was spurred by the burgeoning electronic music and mind-blowing graphic design gracing the album covers that mostly hid the faces of the artists so unlike those of today. Even then, in looking back now the fact that I was attracted to people who hid their faces behind the art says something a lot about myself.
"The reason why I am writing about this now is that over the years people have come up to me and asked me what the eff is wrong with them. I guess with this condition, we’re all like dogs: we all smell it on each other."
In my case I was the one who sought them out. Call it a survival instinct but back then I felt like I was drowning and since I didn't know who to talk to that would understand where I was coming from it became natural for me to seek out those who were in the same boat as me. You can imagine how jealous I am of a lot of people who eventually get out of this phase and lead a normal happy life. Me? I don't think I ever got out of it. One of the good things I got from it is the ability to be introspective. Being my own worst critic, the mindset of being harder on oneself and seeing those faults first before anybody else does, does that to you. That way I labor more on minute details where others see the one big picture. Being in state also means humor and the laughter that follows it is the equivalent of an oasis in the desert. I craved it more than others. I lapped it up, savoring each delivery and timing and studying it in case the next one takes a long time coming. In wanting to learn what's up with myself I delved into reading behavioral studies and a bit of psychology, watching people, developing an ability to read between the lines, generally studying everything I can put my hands on to understand human nature and applying everything that works both in real life and my art.

These days I'm coping with this burden, truthfully I wouldn't be able to survive and face each day without the grace of God. The said grace is apparent during times when I feel unexplainably vulnerable and can't help but put up walls while I curl up by the corner of my mind. It's during these times that He would stoop down, lift my head up with His hand and repeat an assurance He promised so long ago while looking me straight in the eye to show He really means what He says:
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
I'll just have to face up to the fact that I need to be really patient and more forgiving with all the others, with me especially, and remember that these things take time. But more importantly to just believe that I will live through this unscathed and a lot better than I could ever imagine, just as He promised. Still I do apologize to everyone I've offended in one way or another by my being standoffish or antisocial, or even those times where I pretended not to see you at one time or another somewhere. There's still this lingering fear of being embarrassed that you wouldn't acknowledge me or just the mere fact that I wouldn't know what to say at the moment so I took the easier route of not looking or walking away. I won't be doing it again but if indeed I lose myself and repeat it then do be the better friend than I am and wave your hand so I wouldn't have any excuse.

Monday, June 04, 2007

We lost Mico earlier today when my dad left him outside the gate to fend for himself when he ran outside and refused to run in again when my dad went out in the wee hours of the morning for his daily walk. He didn't even check if the dog was all right when he got home. I only found out about it when I brought out their metal dish to feed him and our dalmatian, Tommy, their breakfast. I looked under every parked car outside our house as he usually hid under some o f them when this happened the first time. I tried calling out to him, clucking my tongue in that familiar sound I use to call out to them, I roamed the surrounding blocks. He was nowhere to be seen. Our driver and I even tried the local dog pound but we were told they stopped rounding up stray dogs last February, they even brought the log book in case we didn't believe them. Then we passed by the nearby squatter's area in case we chance upon him alive or at least his body. Nothing.

Rest In Peace li'l buddy, I'll see you again on the other side. I just pray you didn't suffer anything before they stole you away from us.

* This picture was taken last December 28, 2003 / 02:45:29, a couple of days after my dad brought him home from the province. He would have been four years old this year.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

"My photos intend to graphically represent my inner visual world as a blind person.

"I use film as a canvas to depict what my remaining senses bring to my mind’s eye. I incorporate phantom imaging from the effects of my eye disease and my past memory. Graphic representations of the enhanced senses felt by the blind find a place in my work. The results often have a mixture of the real and surreal. I became legally blind about twenty years ago. I have been categorized as totally blind by doctors for about four or five years. I find the challenge of photography an enjoyable test of my creativity.

"I still view the world visually. But now I have to use my remaining senses and memory to formulate an inner vision in my mind’s eye. Losing my eyesight has not diminished the clarity of my internal vision. I have worked hard to sharpen my other senses and learn what objects sound like. These efforts have sharpened my internal vision. This process is similar to a baby learning to see. A baby has to learn to comprehend vision. I am learning to comprehend sound. I actively research sounds and how sound interacts with objects to be able to make better photos. Sound, touch, and memory are events in the photographic process that result in a visual product. I enjoy the event. The graphic product I view as conceptual art that I can't see. " ~ Pete Eckert (the artist's statement copied from the Exploding Head Gallery
I watched this guy being interviewed on TV and I was hooked with the images being shown. He used a Yashica-Mat TLR camera or something similar as I was only able to see the camera but not the brand. Being a blind artist is one thing but to not let it affect what it is he wants to get out of life is really something else!
Eckert was 28 when he was deemed legally blind; he spent the next decade earning several degrees, including one each in sculpture and ceramics at the Art Institute of Boston, and one in design and industry from San Francisco State. He also became a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. When the 48 year old former carpenter went blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa six years ago, he did the first thing he wasn't supposed to be able to do. He became a photographer. Eckert says, he paints with light and navigates through touch while listening to sounds. "Imagination fills in the details," he says.
I didn't believe it at first, he didn't look anything like your typical blind guy that wore dark glasses or whose eyes were expressionless instead he wore clear lens glasses avoid having his eyes scratched (from flying debris probably while he's working on his sculptures) and his eyes, even though he couldn't see anything, were full of life. But that's not the weird thing. As he told the San Francisco Chronicle (Feb. 27, 2005 issue), things started to a turn towards the interesting and unusual when he became blind, "I can see lots of ... really weird things," Eckert says, slowly lifting his left hand toward his face and gazing directly at it. "I feel light so strongly that it allows me to see the bones in my skeleton as pulsating energy, or like in an X-ray. At times I can sort of see sound. Sometimes I can even see things from the back of my head." Hmmm... Slap on red tights and call him DD! Just kidding. I'm just a bit surprised and awed at the same time about this kind of gift that happens in real life. Anyway I figured visual artworks are better off shown than described so I tried looking for the exact photographs shown during his interview but I've only managed to come up with these:

Hunter and V-Head

Idol and Rocking Chair

Coffee and Saloon

He accomplishes his portraitures by getting a feel of the edge of the subject before standing back and tracing the person with beams of light from a pen lighter like a painter uses his brush before he takes a shot. All the others are stumbled on during his walks (I have this theory that windows of photo opportunities open for an average of a fraction of a second and you have to be ready with your camera to capture the exact lighting and setting that fascinated you). I haven't seen any samples of his sculpture or ceramics which is just as well since I think his photographs catapulted him to fame more than his other works.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?