Thursday, December 26, 2002

Allright, the BIG DAY is just a couple of days away and hopefully, all will be set by then. Because now, it still ISN'T! Arrggh! I just finalized a CD of music that will be played on the ceremony itself. We decided to ditch the choir because we can't deal with that added detail now and plus, we've been slowly taking out expenses that we really don't really need. I'm STILL doing the souvenir which will hopefully be a surprise to those who will be attending. Everybody says its a nice idea so I'm really excited about being done with it and having people see it.

Really, I'm not nervous at all about being married to Ilyn. If I can marry her right now, I would, it's not what worries me. What makes me nervous is the thought that something might screw up during the ceremony or the reception, brought about by some minor detail we missed and overlooked. I'm really trying hard to see it doesn't happen. See the kind of thing one has to put up with because society demands certain things from you? People are already pissed for some reason or another and my thoughts on this is this: It's about ME and ILYN. It's the day WE get married. It's OUR occasion, OUR happening, baby. Certain formalities and societal conventions tend to blur this fact and make it more about OTHER PEOPLE than what this is all about: ME and ILYN.

It's the "OLD WOMEN" syndrome once again. Just because old women say so, we gotta do it. And that just sucks. Me and Ilyn don't want a conventional wedding, but traditionalists have been beating us down. Everyone from the photographer, to the barong fabric seller, to the tailor, etc, they have been telling us how things SHOULD be instead of how WE want it to be. I can't believe how narrowminded people can be in times like this, but its something one has to put up with for being a "member" of society.

Me and Ilyn have made the best of it though. Everything is still traditional, as much as we would wish otherwise, but its all right. Ganun e. We're creating our own photo album, our own guest book, our own unique souvenirs and our own unique hand made invitations. We really work well together personally and creatively. I really think this is the start, or rather, a continuation and an affirmation of a beautiful relationship. I think 2003 will be a great year. And I'm sure it will get better each year after that. :):):)

Monday, December 23, 2002

Last night was Gilbert Monsanto's wedding. I had inked him in HELLCOP for Avalon Studios and he's helped me filling the inks on many of the books I worked on. I lived with the guy for at least a couple of years at Whilce's studio. For some reason, he made me best man, which I find really flattering. Thanks man. I didn't realize you considered me in that way. It's a real honor.

It went great, there was a setback or two, but nothing serious. For the most part, it all went smoothly. My mind drifted to my own wedding a few days from now. Although mine won't be as grand as this one, I just hope nothing goes wrong. I have a lot of things to work out this week like make the map, talk to the photographer, make the souvenir, talk to the music people, print out misalettes and my God I wish I have enough ink, send one last invite, talk to the people coordinating the venue of the reception. Arrrgh.

I'm not pushing the panic button yet, but I'm just about to.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002


Comics have flourished over the years in large part due to the variety of styles and interpretations put forth by an international cast of artists. The Philippines became a recruiting ground for the larger publishing houses when DC Comics discovered the amazing work being done there by men like Nestor Redondo and Alex Niño.

This shows the work of 10 men, who from the 1950s through the end of the century have found work for DC, Marvel and Warren, as well as Disney and various production companies as storyboard and inspirational artists. The works presented here range from comic covers to stand-alone art pieces, depicting barbarians, monsters, fantasy women and men and Tarzan.

Includes works by Nestor Malgapo, Steve Gan, Gerry Talaoc, Nestor Infante, Arturo Geroche and Dante Berreno, Jr. The back cover contains biographical information on each artist. Printed on heavy stock. Most of this appeared only in the Philippines and is collected here for the first time. Excellent, top-notch artwork beautifully reproduced in large size. Pyramid Publishing. 18 plates, 12x15, b&w.Text from Bud Plant's Site. It is available there for sale at this page:


You all in the Philippines will be pleased to know that this portfolio is available at Filbar's for only 300 pesos. I was in Megamall yesterday and bumped into Johnny, one of the denizens of the message board and he told me about it. Thanks man! Filbars says they've got only 10 copies so hurry!

But I wouldn't worry though since I think this is published locally and just distributed abroad. Pyramid Publishing is I think owned by none other than STEVE GAN who himself has works in the portfolio and has done remarkable work for Panday and Mekanizmo. For sample of art, check out the OFFICIAL SITE of the portfolio:


For those of you who are interested in discovering or rediscovering or is just plain interested in the best Filipino Komiks artists have to offer, its worth checking out this collection of art.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002


Wow, busiest month so far. I've been slowly moving house the past couple of weeks. I'm moving to my own apartment and I'm having the place fixed. I bought furniture and had it delivered. Believe it or not, my sala set and bed cost me 2,800 pesos delivery included! And that's all brand new. Amazing huh? Now I'm having the place painted. Every wall, every ceiling, every cabinet, the gate, everything. I'm also having the floor vinyl tiles replaced, have the garden done and have a canal dug to prevent possible flooding. I gotta admit the place needs a lot of work but I can see the potential and I think I'm going to really like living there, and for several years, I'd gladly call it home.

If I haven't mentioned it yet, I'm getting married at the end of this month. I've been busy with the preparations, taking care of the reception place, flowers, the church, the cake, wedding car, the photographers (no video coverage for me because those people tend to intrude on the proceedings rather than staying inconspicuously in the background as they should). No stupid cables everywhere and bright hot lights shining on people's eyes, carried by horrendously dressed people in what is supposedly a formal occasion.

My fiancee Ilyn is handmaking each and every invitation. Which is really amazing. She's quite an artist. We've been busy distributing them. Some of them I'm handing directly, some I have to courier. I still have half of them with me so I really have to get them out there. The invitation thing has been a big pain to be honest. I'd love to invite everyone, but Ilyn and I can invite only 100 people between the two of us (and that already includes ourselves and our immediate family). So deciding who to invite is really tough. You're bound not to invite people who would really feel bad at being left out. If you're reading this and you didn't get an invitation, then you gotta know that I would have loved to have you there if not for my own limited resources. Hope you guys (and gals) understand.

In the middle of all this, I'm inking Superman: Birthright. I'm trying really hard to work on the pages every day but I'm moving not as fast I normally would, which is understandable I guess, under the circumstances.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Well, I'm back, sorta. I'm using my bro's computer now for the meantime. I had my computer fixed and yep, it was a CPU problem. My processor got busted for some reason. Now I just bought the damned thing but for the life of me I couldn't find the damned receipt so I can get a replacement on warranty. I spent an entire day turning my room inside out and I couldn't find it. Damn, I'm gonna have to pay for it now. And I just got the thing last March.

Anyway, my bro helped me out by driving me to Greenhills yesterday. I lugged the thing up to Virra Mall and when I got there....the store was GONE. Shit! Well, I didn't have a receipt anyway so it's no big deal. I just went to another store. I wasn't content to just get the processor replaced. I wanted to upgrade so I got a whole new motherboard and processor, the next to fastest one they have (the fastest is always ridiculously expensive the price of which will go down anyway in a couple of months). I got a new sound card because the last one gave me nothing but headaches. I wanted to get a new modem too but I didn't bring enough money. My old trusty HAYES modem has been with me since 97 and it's never been busted. I don't want to let it go but it's only 33K and I really want to upgrade to 56K. PLDT VIBE can reach connections up to 49.5k so I really got to get one. Sorry, but I'm still on dial up. No cable internet service here. There is DSL, but it's so expensive it's a crime. A couple of local companies are offering DSL connections for more than 5,000 pesos a month! I need to go DSL sometime in the future though, because it's severely affecting my capability to accept color jobs from abroad.

Anyway, I still don't have my computer now. I took the bus back home to San Pablo yesterday and the computer was just too heavy for me to carry that far and that long. My bro will be bringing it with him when he comes back home on Saturday and at last I'll be able to play DIAB...I mean, scan and process inked pages I mean.

Finally got to watch my Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition DVD. Watching the movie was of course, quite an experience. Spoiled perhaps by George Lucas and Star Wars, I had thought enormous amounts of money and time was spent on CGI to make Fellowship of the Ring look good.
But what truly amazed me looking at the DVD features is that there is far FAR less CGI in this movie than I imagined. Most of the effects to make the actors look like small hobbits were done mostly by forced perspective, midget doubles and clever camera edits and movements. The amazing vistas, architecture and scenery were mostly big miniatures (called big-atures in the docus) in combination with matte paintings. They even had a big-ature the size of a football field.

There were CGI of course, like the monsters and stuff, but like I said, far less than I thought.

Star Wars I had felt, was pointing to the way how things are going to be done from now on, but seeing how Lord of The Rings was made, it certainly convinced me that using some old fashioned techniques can still look very good and very convincing, and that CGI will not become the end-all and be-all of of special effects in movies. And more and more I feel the same way about comics.

Thursday, November 21, 2002


I'm at a neighbor using their computer as mine has just gone and killed itself. It's a motherboard problem so it's something major. I won't be online for a week to a couple of weeks as I try and fix the damned thing. Or have someone fix it that is. Fucking computer. Nothing but problems ever since I got it. So apologies if you email me at this time and I'm not able to reply. See you guys later....

Sunday, November 10, 2002

I was in Megamall yesterday to judge a Batman drawing contest that Comicquest was doing to promote Jim Lee and Jeph Loeb's turn in Batman starting with issue #608. There was a lot of entries that were really really GOOD. I had a tough time trying to get the top 3 entries for me. And the one that landed on my #1 was really cool. It all depends on the other judges now how the contest will ultimately fare.

Cholo Paz's Balik Sa Carriedo is finally available on CD! I never met Cholo personally, but I know his music well. I first heard one of his songs, "Anting-Anting" back in 1993 during the LA 105 days. He heard more songs like "Pulut Pukyutan" and I just fell in love with the music. It's Pinoy Folk at its best. Much to my surprise, I learned years later that Cholo was actually based in the US. To hear someone sounding so Pinoy in a foreign land was truly amazing to me. I began corresponding with him via email. He sent me copies of his tapes in exchange for WASTED. I ended up doing the cover for the CD version of this album. I don't think you can buy this CD at your local ODYSSEY, but you can get it (I think) at Cholo's site:


I had written a review of this album a long time ago back in my old site, but the old site's gone but you can still read my review there at his site. It's still one of my absolutely favorite Filipino albums. And I'm tickled pink to have it on CD. Thanks Cholo!!

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Something I'm Working On

This is a panel for a personal project I'm slowly working on currently as I ink Superman. I don't want to just ink all the time. I want to draw, even if its on the side just to maintain my drawing. I've learned last year via Ochlocrat that if one does not draw, you tend to lose some of the skill and it's tough getting it back.

I can't say where this is for yet, but needless to say it will come out one way or the other. Maybe not this year but most definitely next year. I drew this mostly with a Hunts #102 Crowquill, then a little of a brush and a just a little 0.8 tech pen. I've been mostly using tech pens on High Roads so I can get the dead lines (lines with constant thickness) that the art seem to require. Some comics artists I know seem to be horrified at the thought of using tech pens and not having varying line weights in the line art. I had been doing drawings like that on Wasted before so I'm comfortable with it. Using dead lines and seeing the result has an appeal that really gets me. I see myself drawing more stuff like that in the future.

However, with this drawing, I wanted to get away from that and go back to the quill centered drawing with line weights all over the place, if just to assure myself that I can still do it. It wasn't really as difficult jumping back to it as I originally thought.

The ink to this is actually black. I just played around with the color balance in Photoshop. What do you guys think? Do I keep it black or do I change it to this kind of brown? Doing it this way is actually stretching it a bit for me because I'm usually hesitant to use computers in the production of comic art. It's starting to be the big thing now, but I'm not too eager to jump into THAT bandwagon. I still prefer to draw on paper using ink that gets dirt on my fingers. Yes, the computer is just another tool, but I really think drawing completely on the computer without your hand even touching the paper is something completely different. There is no original piece of art to speak of and there is no longer any physical connection between the artist and the paper the work is imprinted on. It's corny and it's probably quickly becoming obsolete, but what the hey, I don't care. It's just the way I am I guess.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (Platinum Series Extended Edition Collector's Gift Set)

Yes, I WANT it. It's out NOW and I can't wait to get my copy. ha! ha! It has been a source of astonishment to my friends that I've NEVER seen Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. Not in theaters and not in video. I missed the movie because I wanted to watch it with Ilyn, but we never found the time to watch it together. So I said, well, I'll just get it on DVD. When the pirated version came out, my bro was able to borrow a copy but I refused to look at it, even though I got a glance at it and the picture was amazing.

Even when the 2 disc Widescreen edition set came out in August, I didn't buy it because I wanted the GIFT SET out in November. At the latest DVD marathon at Leinil's place I hid in Leinil's studio to read PREACHER because they decided to watch Lord of the Rings. I wanted to watch it when I get my gift set and only then will I watch it. My friends MARVEL at my self control. There was never really much to control because I wasn't really that gung ho about watching it in the first place. I'm pretty sure that I'm gonna love it when I see it of course because I love movies like this.

At least I can get to see this and next movie back to back and not have to wait a year. Hmm...what If I just hold on to this gift set, not watch it, get the DVD of the next movie next year and not watch it, and just watch all three movies one after the other? Hm...that would be great! I think I'll do just that. he.he.

Sunday, November 03, 2002


Well, I'm back home. On the left is a picture of the apartment I left behind. I didn't leave it in that kind of mess of course. As you can see, it's plainly just a very long room, basically the setback of a residential house to the property wall less than 2 meters apart that had been enclosed by a roof. It was a very peculiar apartment mostly because it seemed like an afterthought. I had no TV, I had no fridge, I didn't have any cooking stuff (and I love to cook) and I didn't have my computer with me. I had the bed, a CD player/radio, a cooler that acted as a fridge and a bunch of comics, books and magazines to keep me company at night. I had resisted calling it "home" while I was living there. Not that I didn't like it, it's just that it wasn't really home. I was alone for most of the time and I wasn't even there most of the time. I was either out shooting or at Megamall meeting with Leinil for inking pages or just generally hanging out with friends.
On the right is Ilyn and me at the office of the United Architects of the Philippines here in San Pablo. I took it myself that's why the camera is too close and too bright. Just before I took this pic I was outside opening the roll up door to the office when I noticed this dead RAT right beside me. It was all torn to pieces and I nearly puked. As if I wasn't disgusted enough, I saw its decapitated head staring right at me a couple of feet away. I really just lost it and went off in a stream of disgusted obscenities. I hate seeing dead animals on the street (but strangely enough I have no such aversion for the dead pigs and chickens I eat on a regular basis).
That is a SAMPALOC tree. I had always wanted to take pictures of one such tree. I had never realized it was so BIG. I spent the other day just taking lots of pictures of this tree from afar, up close, up the trunk, etc. I need it for a personal komiks project I am working on while I ink Superman. Since Superman is pretty much taking a lot of my working time, I'll be working on this Sampaloc project rather slowly, and might not see the light of day until middle of next year. I hope to finish it earlier.


I've just seen the TV movie Anne Frank starring Ben Kingsley as Otto Frank, Anne's father, and Hannah Taylor Gordon as Anne Frank. It's probably the best screen version of Anne's story I've seen so far. It's very long at more than 3 hours, but it's a very detailed look at Anne's life before the Nazi invasion of Holland, to her and her family's self imposed exile into hiding, to her capture and eventual fate in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Although I have read the diary a couple of times, it was still harrowing to see it play before you on screen. Your heart really goes out to Anne and futile as it might be, you still think of ways of how you could have saved her.

The PINOY Tradition at the COMICS JOURNAL

Dirk Deppey of the Comics Journal got in touch with me not too long ago with regards to a Francisco Coching article on my site. He had been concerned that since it was an "Artist of the Month" feature, that I would delete the article at the end of October. I had to sheepishly admit that the "Artist of the Month" had already been hanging around there for several months already. ha! ha! And I was still writing the 2nd artist that I will feature, Alex Niño, which should be up this month. But the Coching article will remain there, as long as the site is up.

Anyway, Mr. Deppey wrote to me again today to say that he had written an article, not only on Coching but about my site, many other Pinoy Komiks artists, my thoughts on Culture Crash, and Pinoy Komiks in general. It's a very interesting article which takes an outside and unbiased look at the stuff I had looked upon so closely. Thanks to Mr. Deppey for writing the article. I hope it goes a long way in making people abroad more aware of Philippine comics, and specially of Mr. Francisco V. Coching, probably THE greatest Pinoy Komiks artist who ever lived (in my humble opinion of course), and probably the least known because he had never accepted work outside of the Philippines.

You can check out the article here:
The article will stay there for 5 days before it is archived and is housed permanently in this address:


Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Tonight is my last night in Manila in my apartment. Tomorrow I pack up and go back home to San Pablo. I came into this thing many months ago to do a couple of specific things and I expected no more when I left. But the thing is, I am coming home with something more than I had ever expected. It was a great experience living on my own in Manila, working for myself, paying my own way in the big city. That in itself is an enriching experience. But I also come away with some great friendships that will endure for a long time. For the latter most of all, I'm really grateful.

But tonight I guess I can't help but feel just a little depressed. I don't want to leave the friendships I've forged and the place I had grown accustomed to. I've been living in Malate for seven months and the fact that its the #1 hang-out/gimmick place in Manila has totally slipped my mind. Aside from a small get together with some friends a couple months back, I really haven't gone out and just loosen up. I guess I will do just that tonight. I wanna get DRUNK. I wanna go CRAZY! I wanna go PARTY! But I'm all by myself so that can get a little uh...boring I guess. I'll go anyway and see just what happens.

I felt strange all day. It was a nice night last night but I woke up with a headache. I spent part of the morning in bed and part of it out. After lunch I headed over to Megamal to meet with Leinil for some Superman pages. He said that I shouldn't ink the Clark Kent faces yet because they need to be changed or something. Ok then. He's off to Boracay tomorrow. Man, I'd love to go to Boracay. In fact, I should be in DAVAO RIGHT NOW.

And why am I not in Davao right now? Because of old women. Yes, OLD WOMEN. People here in the Philippines put GREAT stock in what really old women say, superstitions that have been handed down through generations. And one such superstition is that I shouldn't go travelling to far off places immediately before I get married. Because well, something COULD HAPPEN. Jeez. What a crock of shit. I was supposed to attend the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) Conference in Davao roundabout this time. My fiancee said I shouldn't go. My folks said I shouldn't go. Because OLD WOMEN says so. I don't normally stand for such superstition because in my 34 years I have come to learn to QUESTION things before accepting them blindly. But when the president of the UAP told me not to go as well, then what more could I do? I kid you not. OLD WOMEN is a force to be reckoned with. They ought to be characters in a comic book. They can kick serious ass.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Thanks to Hai, I was able to get these screen shots of the PIPOL thing a while back....

There you go, that's my room right there.he.he. Not for long since I'm moving out in a month or so. 2 months to go before the big day and things are starting to get hectic. I need to take care of a lot of things while at the same time trying to get some work done. I'm still trying to figure out how to continue shooting the movie, ink Superman, move house, and prepare for the big day. One thing at a time, I guess.

Stuff I get in the mail. Unbelievable. Look at this:

Amazing, if it's true. I got it from a friend of mine.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

PIPOL, ABS-CBN Channel 2, October 22, 11:00pm

If you wanna see what I look like tune in to that program, channel and time listed above. :) They were just here a while ago and they interviewed me about comics. If they make it back to Manila alive that is. That puto we ate tasted horrible. I think it was the butter we put on it or something. I just might have killed Ces Drilon's entire reportorial and camera team in one fell swoop. Already my head hurts and I'm dizzy.

Backtracking, the entire night last night I spent just cleaning my room/studio. It was a terrible mess. And by around midnight my room was reasonably neat and arranged. I was wiped out. I talked with a friend on the phone and I fell quickly asleep. The next morning I waited for the Pipol team to arrive in front of Canossa College, the place I had asked them to meet me so it will be easier for them to find my place. They arrived a little after 9 and we proceeded back to my place.

Up in my room they set up the camera and I took a lot of comic art out to display. Basically, they asked me why I was into comics, and how I got in. They also shot some pics of me with Whilce and Nil and Ed etc. They also shot some comics and comic art I did and newspaper articles I had appeared in. They had wanted to shoot me watching some cartoons. Apparently, they thought that interest in comics and cartoons go hand in hand. Well, I really don't get it. I liked animation when I was younger, but I just don't enjoy it much now. That's strange huh?

PIPOL: Hey, it would be cool to show you watching some cartoons!
ME: I don't watch cartoons.

After half an hour....

PIPOL: Come on, HUMOR us, watch some CARTOONS!!!
ME: Uh...OK.

I pop in my Beauty and the Beast DVD. They shoot the DVD as it slides into the machine. After the shoot wrapped, we watched some porn.

Then the puto with the bad butter. I feel dizzy still. They must be zigzagging across the highway now. I hope they don't get hurt too bad.

Friday, October 18, 2002

A good friend of mine got really hurt last night. All because some fucking idiots who are too fucking lazy to do some decent work go and take other people's hard earned money away. I can't describe how I felt last night when I was told. The Eric in me wanted to kill them all fucking lazy bastards and bash their fucking pea brained heads into a phone booth. But me, I just want to go see her today to maybe just be there and tell her everything is going to be all right. I've cleared all the stuff I have to do today just to go and see her. Apologies to Noel Lim because I can't shoot today, apologies to my brother's sister because I won't be able to meet her today, and apologies to Nil because I wasn't able to do what I was supposed to.

It's all well and good to hope for peace and an end to war and violence. I'd be an IDIOT not to want it. But I'll be more of an IDIOT if I let people who want war, who want violence, who don't want peace to trample over me and the ones I care about. I'd be an IDIOT if I let them come into my house massacre my family and I lie there and take it because I don't believe in violence.

Fuck that. If you hurt me and mine I swear to God, you'll get more than what you gave.

Monday, October 14, 2002

Strangely, I suddenly feel sad knowing that I'll be leaving my apartment in just a little over 15 days. I have been living there since what....March? April? It's been months ago and yet it feels like an instant. It seems like only the other day that I was statying in a hotel in Pedro Gil looking for an apartment and calling all these people up.

From March 3, 2002:

Starting a week or so from now, I'll be moving to Manila for a couple of months. Maybe more. I'll be taking an apartment somewhere so I could be near where our little movie WASTED is being shot. It will just be an apartment with a bed and a drawing table. I won't be bringing my computer or my TV and DVDs. Maybe just a CD player for music. I'll be in Manila on weekdays and I will go home on the weekends.

Wow, seven months flew by so very damned fast. Even though I stayed there only for so long, I got sort of used to the place and got comfortable in it. It almost felt like home. I got close to some people in Manila, people I never thought I'd get close to. And I'll miss them really bad. I wish I could stay, but I have to go. December comes a huge change in my life, the biggest one so far. I admit it's a little scary doing what I'm about to do, but at the end I know it will all be worth it.

Although I did stay in Manila so I can more easily be where Wasted is being shot, it just didn't work out that way. In the end, I was able to give Noel Lim and the movie a couple of days a week, on rare occasions 3 or 4 days, and that was it. Sometimes it was the inking job, sometimes it was for personal reasons. With Superman now starting and will be in full swing soon, and with me moving back to San Pablo, shooting now becomes a little more difficult. When that time finally comes around, I guess I'll just have to schedule my time more carefully. I'll go to Manila when I can and hope we can make the best of the time I'm there.

Moving Again

I've been spending the past few days going over our neighborhood here in San Pablo looking for a house for me to move in. An apartment would be nice, but I've always wanted to have my own yard so I can have grass and plants and space for dogs and cats. I'm not really looking for a big place. Just big enough for me and Ilyn. I'll be moving in before we get married so I can fix the place up and make it livable.

Finding the place wasn't as bloody as finding my apartment in Manila. It was relatively easy, comparatively. I just walked around the neighborhood, found the place, called up the owner who turns out to be a friend of my mom's and gave me the place for less than it normally would.

It's not too far from the house where I live in now, actually. Which is perfect because it's near the school where Ilyn used to teach. She's been wanting to teach again so she won't have to go far. I'll start moving in first thing November. The place doesn't have a phone yet so I just might still continue using the computer here at home.


I've seen want ads in newspapers, flyers, magazines and online, where female applicants are almost always required to be SINGLE. That kind of thing always irritates me. What the fuck difference does it make if the girl is married or not? Is she somehow less of a person, is she somehow suddenly unqualified, for jobs that have nothing to do with being single or married?

I think I've got the answer. All the bosses in these companies want single women. Why? Because they're all fucking married but HORNY bastards who want hot young sweet things to bang on the side. That's ALL there is to it.


That said, I'm signing the Marriage License today. And start on Superman tomorrow. It's about time!!

Monday, October 07, 2002

Today I was one of three judges in a local district on the spot poster making contest here in San Pablo. I do this regularly once in a while because they seem to think I'm qualified to do it. It was pretty tough to judge because there were lots of entries that were really good. But inspite of that, I saw only ONE that could possibly be the winner.

And my #1 choice didn't even make the top three of the other 2 judges. I was flabbergasted. This entry was quite impressive in many ways. Number one, it fulfilled the theme of the competition very well. Admittedly, the entry was quite depressing, but it was a depressing theme. And I thought that this, of all entries, made the theme very immediate in the eyes of the viewers. Number two, the artistry was very impressive for a high school student. The colors were admittedly somber, but it was the perfect color scheme to fit the concept of the piece. The entry that eventually won had colors that were very strong and so very attractive to the eye, but it had a very uneven composition and it exhibited some structural errors in the human figures. The one I wanted had excellent composition and exhibited a very professional rendering of color and layout of human faces and figures.

Oh well, I guess that's why they have 3 judges to even everything out. Still, this kid deserved something because the work was very, very good in my eyes. I expect to see this artist do something great one day.

I was able to buy a new edition of Anne Frank's diary. Of course, I had read this book many many years ago and I love it to death. For those not familiar with it, it's an actual diary of a young Jewish girl during World War 2. It tells of her life before and during the time they hid from Hitler's nazi Germany. It's a very moving diary specially in the light of it being absolutely true. She of course, didn't survive the concentration camps. She died along with the rest of her family, with the exception of her father Otto.

Otto had the diary of her daughter published, but held back certain chapters because they were perhaps too volatile and critical of her parents and other people. This version of the diary which I got, which is being called "The Definitive Version", brings back those chapters and they total nearly 30% of the diary now. The reading is quite fascinating because the omissions that were brought back paints a rounder and more human picture of Anne and it makes her story even more moving as a result. Read it if you haven't.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

If I Had a Billion Billion Dollars

After taking care of all the necessary (like kill off Osama, put up schools, hospitals, libraries and offer financial help to people with illnesses they can't afford to cure), I would:

Put up my own coffeeshop called "Coffeekero Cafe" which will be like a local version of Starbucks, the difference being all coffee recipes will be based on Barako. So instead of Cafe Latte or Cappuccino, you'll have Barako Latte of Barakoccino. Instead of cookies or donuts, you'll have bibingka or puto bumbong or buko pie. All the chairs, tables, napkins, utensils, straws, cups, tablecloths etc. will be made of native materials. A section of this cafe will be reserved for members of Alamat (or to anyone interested in comics) to just hang out, talk comics, share stories and artwork. And I promise that for the first time ever, Alamat will have a hang out place that will not close down on them. The cafe will also have a section where alternative comics and zines are sold. If you have a comic book you have produced yourself, you can sell it there. Comics launchings and signings and all sorts of similar activities can be held there.

I would put up a publishing company that would produce comics for the Philippine market. To this end, I would put up studio which will house editors, artists, staff artists, printers, color separators and all the necessary machinery that would produce well written, well drawn and well colored comics that are offered at inexpensive prices on a monthly basis. There will be requirements however, no black and white artwork shall be created with the help of computers and lettering shall be done by hand directly on the artwork itself and not added later via computer. Coloring however, can be done in the computer but without the overexaggerated shades and lighting effects. Colors will be simple and direct to the point. All the artists must exhibit singular identity in their work and must not be derivative of popular styles. As a result, everybody will be paid extremely well, better than how much someone like Leinil Yu is paid right now by American companies. I will put Budjette Tan in as editor in chief.

Here I'd create all the comics I want to create and have the money to publish them without compromise.

To help distribute the comics, I will put several comic book booths in every mall, theater, school, palengke, street corner of every major thoroughfare, in every city in the entire country. The comics will be available in English, Tagalog, Visaya, Bikolano, Ilokano, Kapampangan, and every other major language or dialect in the country.

I would finance Noel F. Lim's short or feature length movies including providing the latest in equipment and most talented of crew and give him total creative control.

I would finance all efforts to restore and preserve our classic motion pictures by those made by Manuel Conde, Gerry de Leon, Lino Brocka, etc. and make them available publicly via Filmfests and as high quality and feature packed DVDs.

I would buy, restore and preserve SUPREME Theater here in San Pablo. I would have the latest in movie audio and video presentation technology from THX to DTS to an actual Digital Screen and Projection system. It will have the best seats (pre assigned upon buying the ticket), the coolest air conditioning and no one can get in once a movie has started. Best of all, the cinema will have a jamming field that will render all cellphones inoperative for the duration of the movie. And of course, I will show nothing but the best film has to offer.

That is, if I have a Billion Billion dollars.

Of course, if I can achieve at least one of those with the money I have I'd be happy.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Culture Crash and Me
Updated below Sept. 25, 2002

Mike Simbulan of Comicquest extended me an invitation from Culture Crash for a meeting last Saturday. Apparently, lots of guys would be there from Pol Medina to Arnold Arre to Dean Alfar, etc. Unfortunately, me who don't have Internet for much of the week received Mike's email only yesterday, Sunday, when it was all over.

Additionally, Budjette Tan sent me a text message telling me about the meeting, but unfortunately again, my Saturday was busy with a Wasted shoot. The shoot involved other actors who had committed to the schedule. We're damn lucky just to have other actors commit like that and since we're running behind schedule, I'd be crazy to postpone it after we had planned it for sometime.

I hope no one makes up stories of why I wasn't at that meeting, considering my feelings about Culture Crash and their comics. If you are from Culture Crash and you want to get in touch, just email me:

I'll get back to you guys as soon as I can as I'm away from my computer a lot of the time these days.

My thoughts about Filipinos publishing comics using the manga style pretty much hasn't changed. A lot of people have asked me to read the stories and I would discover that they're as Filipino as bibingka and puto bungbong. I will not doubt that. I have 3 or 4 of their comics and I've read them.

I wasn't talking about stories. I was talking about artwork. I have to make that distinction. And this is just a personal opinion. There have been accusations that I'm a crab that won't let others get ahead and bring others down, that I'm envious of Culture Crash's success, that I don't have a right to say what I say because I'm doing nothing for the Filipino Comics Industry.

I disagree with all of that. I'm not envious of Culture Crash's success at all. And I'm not saying what I'm saying because I want to bring them down.

I was just offering my opinion, and I think I have the right to say it, whether or not I contribute to the industry or not. If people have the right to praise them, I reserve the right to point out what is bothering me about them. Everybody else is free to disagree with me, that won't be a problem. I just hope that those people who rise in Culture Crash's defense will keep their cool and not label me as a bigot and call me all sorts of colorful names. I'm just a guy offering an honest opinion.

I have very particular sentiments about Filipino Komiks. I have been reading them for a long time, I have been appreciating all the varied kinds of artwork for a long time and I've idolized guys like Coching, Alfredo and Larry Alcala, Nestor Redondo, Tor Infante, Vicatan, Niño, etc. What stood out to me was that our stuff, and I'm talking just about Artwork here, our stuff could stand toe to toe with the best of what the rest of the world had to offer.

As the years wore on, quality of comics has gone down. Because of poor working conditions, artists were forced to find work elsewhere to survive. Some of my friends and I toyed with our own comics to offer an alternative to readers who were looking for something to read. We made our own comics to the best of our abilities, but we could not produce them as often as we would have liked simply because we did not have the money.

Simply put, we were artists and writers. We were no businessmen. What did we know about running a business? All we knew was making comics. And that was what we did, as best we could.

We were always glad when we saw new comics being produced by other people. Good or bad I enjoyed all of them. And I enjoyed them because they were the product of the imagination of those who created them. Some of them were bad, but at least they were original and were drawn in ways I've never seen before.

So it bothers me a lot when a lot of professional artists started to draw in the manga style whenever they drew their comics, for whatever reason. I don't hate manga per se. I'm a big manga fan. I have lots of manga books here at home and I even have reference books about the history of manga and anime. And when I was younger, I even belonged to a comics outfit that produced manga comics. But as I grew older, I believed that if I were to publish anything, I would not use manga, or American or European styles of drawing. I'd use my own, whatever it was.

It's allright to draw manga for the fun of it, whether it be at home or whatever. But if one is going to publish something, it really is better to draw using a style of one's own.

Yes, comics ought to be fun. And it should be. But something that must not be forgotten is that publishing also gives one power. And to quote an oft repeated cliche, power comes with responsibility. There is a responsibility not only to the readers, but to our history and legacy as internationally respected comic book creators.

If we, as Filipinos, draw in that manga style, then what kind of comic book identity do we have? We're reduced to a just another country drawing in a style that everybody else uses. Don't you artists aspire for something more? Don't you aspire to create your OWN style and blaze your own trail? Don't you wish, even for a moment, to create your own unique style, draw it in the best you can and let everyone else follow your footsteps? Be the MAN! Be the artist that everyone else copies!

Once in a while I'd hook up with a friend of mine who knows someone from Culture Crash. Once I find this out, I'd ask my friend, "Are those CC guys pissed with me?". My friend would laugh, nod his head immediately and say yes resoundingly.

Is this true? I'm sorry if it had come to this, but I really do feel strongly about this. Maybe I'm just a freak. Maybe I'm just holding on to some stupid old fashioned way of thinking. I don't know. All I know is that when I look at a CC comic book, or when I see a venerable title like Funny Komiks being drawn in manga, I feel so sad it breaks my heart.

And this is why I cannot be part of a movement that will promote works like this. I cannot be part of something that will help something like this flourish. And this is why I must sadly decline your invitation to join your convention. I'm sure it will be lots of fun without me.

I'm sorry if I make people sad or angry with what I say. Do the comics you want to do the way you want to do them. I'm just one person so I don't know why what I say can be such a big deal.

On Me Being Envious of Culture Crash's Success

Not at all. I didn't come into comics for the primary reason of wanting to be popular and "successful". I wanted to go into comics because I wanted to, because it was a job that seemed fun to have. If CC's reasons for doing this is to be "successful" then they should be congratulating themselves because they have done just that. I cannot be envious because that is NOT my reason for being here. I just want to draw and to create stories. If people like my stuff fine. If people, don't, then it's fine as well.

On Me Wanting to Bring Down Culture Crash

Anybody who thinks this NEVER understood the point of what I was trying to say. I should just dismiss it outright, but I guess I ought to elaborate and add something more. Wanting to be successful comes with the desire to be praised. Your comic book is very popular and your mailbox is most likely filled with letters of praise. Is there no room at all for any dissenting opinion? If someone doesn't like your stuff does it mean they are bringing you down? I thought this was a democracy and people are free to express what they believe in. Even the government has an opposition. What makes you think you shouldn't have one?

You are responsible for bringing life to the faltering comics industry, yes, I can give you that. But in the long run, you are bringing much more damage to our rich comic book heritage. You are the ones bringing us and and our respected standing in the international comic book community down by publishing comics that are derivative in art style of other countries. You are eroding the standard in which our comic book veterans and forefathers fought so hard to create and establish.

But do what you want. Be unoriginal. Be derivative. Make the Philippines be known as just another country that doesn't have a unique identity in comics. Just like everyone else.

After a Wasted shoot last Saturday, I headed to Robinson's Galleria for lunch. I passed by Humor Post, one of those little book stalls at the mall where I usually saw some Tintin books, volumes that you can normally find at National for far lesser price.

This day was different though. As I glanced at their display, I did a double take. I saw a Tintin volume I never thought I'd see here in the Philippines. I ran into the store, grabbed the hard cover volume in my hands and there it was. Tintin in the Land of the Soviets! I nearly fainted. The first time I saw this volume was at the San Diego comics convention years ago. When I saw it, I had little money with me so I went back to my hotel. And when I got back, the volumes were gone. I thought I had to go back to San Diego to ever see another copy again.

Tintin in the Land of the Soviets is the VERY FIRST Tintin volume that Herge has ever written and drawn. So naturally it is not as accomplished as later volumes. In fact, it's pretty amateurish in many places. For decades, this book, as well as Tintin in Congo were never translated into English because they would be deemed "politically incorrect" in today's times. Sequences that were presented in those books may be considered racist today but back then it would not have been anything out of the ordinary. But due to the fans demands, a limited number of volumes were published in English for the first time and this was the volume that was in front of me at that moment.

It is not for the casual fan. But Tintin freaks, collectors and aficionados would go NUTS over it as I have. I bought it immediately. And I demanded they also get Tintin in Congo from where ever it is they got the first one. Congo and Tintin and the Alpha Art (Herge very last, but unfinished Tintin adventure) remains the very last volumes not in my possession.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

I'm off to Manila again to do more Wasted. I'm also starting some comics stuff I've been keeping in the backburner for so very long. Leinil and I start on Superman next week! Which is cool. As far as i know, the first issue will be a huge one. Can't wait to start work on the big S! And to work on a story by Mark Waid, one of the writers whom I truly respect as a creator, is really amazing. Leinil has been sending me stuff via email, drawings and sketches he did for this project and it's blowing my mind. I can't wait to see his pencils. Unfortunately, you guys won't be able to see the finished thing until March of next year. Jeez! Next year. That's a long time from now. I'll be devirginized by then.


Sunday, September 15, 2002

I spent the entire week in Manila last week and I just got home a couple of hours ago. Quite a productive week I should say. We were supposed to shoot some scenes at San Beda church early this morning. But last night it was raining and Noel and I agreed that we would not be able to shoot because we really needed sunlight. I guess I was tired from all the things I had to do for the past week and said I would just rather go home. And well...guess what! It was a beautiful sunny day this morning! Arrgh!

We'll be having an official site for the movie. We've already reserved the domain and the future site can be found here:

Nothing there yet but the title, but it will be full of stuff soon. We're currently choosing screenshots that we can put up there and some ought to be up in the next couple of weeks.


I got a TON of comics last week! The new ones I got were Planetary/JLA because Warren is writing it and Jerry Ordway (my idol!) is drawing it. Haven't read it yet. I also picked up Whilce's Stormwatch #3. Hey Guys, High Roads #6, the final issue was just released. :)

And now for some goodies! I visited Goodwill bookstore again in Megamall and they just came out with a whole bunch of really CHEAP Marvel trades. I got SIX of them instantly. I got Greatest X-Men Battles (255 pesos-roughly 5 US dollars. It includes some really cool X-Men stories from Neal Adam's Sentinel Stories, the finale of the Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past and a Jim Lee issue), Greatest Avengers Battles (255 pesos and it includes that amazing Mike Golden annual with Rogue's first appearance), Greatest Marvel Battles (255 pesos. Just OK. Includes 2 X-Mens with Wolverine vs. Sabertooth, both written by Claremont and drawn by Rick Leonardi and Alan Davis respectively), Greatest Spiderman Stories, Marvel Masterworks ( 200 pesos. First few issues of the All New X-men) and MARVELS by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross (300 pesos).

With the exception of probably Marvels and X-Men Masterworks, I would never have picked any of these books up at regular prices. But if I see more cool trades at these prices, I'll buy them all!!

Friday, September 13, 2002

Sometimes I can be so stupid. But what can I say? I'm a stupid guy sometimes. I guess this comes from something I have learned about myself, and that is that my heart is always more powerful than my intellect. More often than not, I'd do what my heart dictates than what my mind screams at me to rather do. This has benefited me at times, and it has been detrimental to me at times. If I had used my brains rather than my heart, I would never have become a comic book artist. I was already starting to settle in my career as an architect and I could have gone on doing just that. I would have gotten married, got kids, gotten a house, and lived my life as just another working stiff working 9 to 5, and died into old age, content in the idea that I have lived my life as competently as I could have.

But it's just not me. I chose to take the risk, and lost a lot of things, just because I wanted to follow my heart wanted. But I did gain a lot of things as well. And those things are worth everything. And I don't regret a single day.

But sometimes I do things where I followed my heart, and it has gotten me into trouble, and made me do things that could be considered bad. I've never hurt anyone, at least none that I know of, but if I did, I'm really sorry. Like I said, I can be really stupid sometimes.

No, I lie. There are days that I have regretted. Many years ago during a Stone signing with Brian Haberlin and Whilce, there was something I should have done but I didn't. I wish to God that I had did it and now there are days I wish I could go back and do that day over again. Would my life have been better? Would I have been happier? To be honest, I really don't know. But that's the risk isn't it? It's a risk I would have been willing to take and I would take whatever consequences it would have brought.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

It was a pretty interesting week. You learn and experience something new everyday, and every single day of the past week was just that. I mean, even in the littlest of things, you can see and learn stuff if you just look hard enough. I was talking with a friend not too long ago, waiting for her to catch a ride. As she left, she kissed me on the cheek. It was pretty startling, really. It felt nice of course, but I guess I just wasn't used to it. Another time I ate wild pig. Next I smash a guy's head into a phonebooth. Interesting experiences all.

One night I was at Comic Oddyssey and I saw a friend whom I recognized but I forgot his name. I was with another friend and not being able to introduce them to each other because I FORGOT HIS NAME was a situation I never wanted to be in. So I told the guy. Hey! I know you. But dude, sorry, I forgot your name. Well, that seems to work out ok.

Hey, it's September! Lots of birthdays this month! There's my mom, my brother, my best friend in high school and college, a couple of ex-girlfriends, another friend who likes to walk in the rain which gives me an idea for a gift, an old classmate who I forgot to greet. Arrgh! Belated Happy Birthday Jeca! And Nick Manabat's birthday is also around this time. What IS it about September and why are so many people being born at this time? Hm, let's count back 9 months and hmmm! Hey, CHRISTMAS! he.he. Lots of love and holiday spirit!

Thanks to PM Junior for the book! My utang ako sa iyong High Roads, pre! Nil's back, when do we start pre? Thanks CHez for being really nice. Thanks ILYN....for lots of things!

Saturday, August 31, 2002

Today I make a very difficult decision, a decision that could affect my life and career from now on. It is not by far one of the biggest decisions I could ever make, but it's still significant enough. As always, I cannot be specific. But I have to write something.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

SICK....AGAIN! Oh, and Nude Models

Yeah, here I am, sick again. I'm so sick of it. The Monday after the signing, I fell sick with fever. Is still feel bad now, in fact, but ah what the heck.

And as I lay there in bed, my thoughts go back to Ochlocrat. Before I accepted the job, I asked Doug Miers, the writer, if he could make a story that didn't have a main FEMALE character in it because I was still having difficulty drawing women. Ok, the main character in the book was male, but it had a lot of women in it, plus a MAJOR supporting female character. AARRGH!

Have you seen the book? My women suck. And I ask myself why that is seriously now, specially that I'm doing more pencilling jobs than ever. Back when I was still a trainee at DAVID IMAGE comic book company based in Binondo, a manga comic book company, a certain day was set aside for figure drawing with a nude female model. To be honest, I've never seen a naked woman right in front of me at that time. Ok, we did go to Baguio many years earlier for a totally nude girlie show, but that was different. Then it was all flashing lights and stuff and it all seemed unreal. The idea of seeing a girl totally naked just like that in front of me scared the hell out of me. I did not report for training that day. And before that and since then, I've always been squeamish when I draw women, specially the more delicate parts.

This is perhaps the reason why I've never drew women well. It's just that I never drew them enough. I want to try drawing from a nude model, for real this time. I feel like I really need to improve this skill or I'm doomed. Thing is, I don't know WHERE to get a model. I suppose this is easy enough for other artists, but not for me, obviously. Anybody know anyone willing? Of course, this will be completely *cough* professional and the model will be compensated.

All right, it's back to bed and Kurosawa's Red Beard for the FOURTH time.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002


From Left: Ilyn Florese, me, Arnold Arre and Cynthia Bauzon

From Left: Leinil Yu, me, Angela Paman, Edgar Tadeo

From Left: me, Pol Medina, and Arnold Arre

Monday, August 26, 2002

Pol Medina

Wow, I met the creator or Pugad Baboy yesterday, Pol Medina!! He was really cool! He was funny, jokey, down to earth, and he looks and acts pretty much like the characters in his strip. ha! ha! I had him sign my Pugad Baboy: Pirata graphic novel. I was amazed because he knew me and he knew my name. I was awestruck, star struck. Pol is only the most talented cartoonist to arrive in Philippine Komiks in the last couple of decades, you know? This guy's talent is unbelievable. Check out his site:

I'm continually amazed that he never runs out of jokes. I asked him about it and he said that he just doesn't make them up. He said that he gets his jokes from the everyday things that happen to him and around him. It must take some imagination to do that, really. Because I tried to make a comic strip once, and I lasted only 10 strips before I ran out of jokes.

There are some pictures of us (Leinil, Edgar Tadeo, Arnold Arre, Carlo Vergara etc) Meeting Pol. I'll post it up here and at my site when they arrive.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Wow, this Internet cafe I'm in Malate now is incredible! Surfing is unbelievably fast, the fastest I've ever used, it's amazing. It's the only reason I'm even considering updating my blogger from outside my home in San Pablo.

Ok, more Wasted shooting the past few days. Very tiring. Its still inimidating having to "act" in front of a lot of people who are surprised to see you there and would like to watch. After a while I stop to care really. Noel Lim is taking a lot of takes which really takes a lot out of me. I'm starting to understand why he chose ME for this role, aside from the fact that he can get me for fucking FREE since this is my story and I have some vested interest in it too. I think Noel is doing a movie with an "anti-movie hero hero". Meaning, he's going against the standard belief that movie heroes ought to be tall, good looking and attractive, having voices that is deep, beautiful and well articulated. Good, because I'm NONE of those. He's going against every possible cliche there is about action movies, trying to come up with something new and fresh. Good for him! I'm just along for the ride. Just let me sleep once in a while dammit!

I got a couple of comics yesterday from Robinson's Place. I got a couple of Alan Moore TPBs namely Tom Strong Book 1 and Promethea Book 3. I also got Neil Gaiman's Murder Mysteries as adapted into comics by P Craig Russel. Absolutely awesome book that has a twist at the end that's of the "Sixth Sense" caliber. Great job Neil, Craig! You guys are awesome!

How's the job, Jac? Ed, may atraso ka sa akin. You gonna pay, man. Chez and Paulo, kamusta? Lets rehearse! Ange, Ner, see you later! still da best!

Tuesday, August 20, 2002


My new site is finally up! I've been working on it on and off for the past month. It is still incomplete and there are still lots of things to do on it, but it's pretty workable now, and the art gallery is complete.

I wanted to upload it already because I just want it out there before I go back to Manila for the week. I'll work on it again when I get back on the weekend.

The images on the gallery are pretty big, most of them pushing 200K. I'm still trying to find a way of bringing them down without sacrificing the quality of the images.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002


We'll be shooting some Wasted in the next couple of days and I must admit I'm a little nervous. I'm really not an actor so I can't act you know, but Noel Lim has gotten some crazy idea that I can. We've already shot a lot of scenes, but most of them were silent scenes wherein I just had to sit there and look pissed or walk here and there and stand there and shoot somebody. We really haven't shot anything where I'm actually talking.

Well, the scene that we're going to shoot next is me doing a LOT of talking AND screaming. And it's an outside scene in the middle of the street and there will be lots of people. And to be honest, it scares the hell out of me. I really haven't done anything like this before and to do it for the first time in front of a lot of people who think I'm a real actor who expect to see something good is really nerve-wracking. I think I may need a little drink before I start, which I haven't done in a long time.

I'm grateful for the typhoon today because the shoot was postponed, but sooner or later, I'm gonna have to face this. And I'm wondering how I'm going to deal with it. People say just shut the people out and just concentrate on what I have to do. I've been successful so far with shutting out the camera, so I guess I'll just extend it to everything else. I'll need a couple of beers to do it though. ha. ha.

For those who have read the book, the scene in question is the telephone scene, where Eric is "talking" to his ex, Jenny, on a pay phone. Eric starts out glad he's talking to her, but he slowly gets desperate and angry as he talks. And just as he is at his angriest, he catches a guy trying to slash his back pack.Eric transplants all that anger into the guy, repeatedly bashing his head right into the pay phone until the guy dies. A cop comes in and Eric scampers away.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002


Bruce Springsteen's new CD has just come out and I've got a copy. ha! ha! As far as I know, it's hasn't been released locally yet. And it's absolutely terrific. Can't say anymore about it except that.

Finally finished the entirety of High Roads, all 6 issues of them. #5 has just been released. It's great relief to finally finished an entire project of this length where no fill in inkers were needed to do pages here and there. Every single page, except covers, was inked by me, and I'm really kinda proud of that because often times, in other projects, other inkers were called in to do 4 or 5 pages of an issue.

Well, that's INKING. I still wanna move on and do pencilling (and inking) full time. I know it will be difficult, but I gotta do it. I don't see myself just inking till Kingdom Come. Of course I don't mind inking, specially when I get to work on talented people like Whilce, Leinil Yu and Roy Allan Martinez, and I get to work on characters like Superman, Wolverine, X-Men, X-Force and Fantastic Four. But I gotta, I wanna move on. I see myself inking for at least just a couple more years, more or less depends on whether I get that pencilling job or not.

Anyway, I wanna rant about inking for a while. It's one of the most misunderstood jobs on the planet. Some inkers don't even know exactly what it is they're doing and why they're doing it. I wanna explode some idiotic fallacies associated with inking.

Penciller and inker work on Project X. People love the art. For Penciller's next project, Project Y, he is teamed up with a different inker. The art sucks or is not as good as the art on Project X. People blame inker, wish him unemployment, and curse his talentless ass into hell.

What's important to think about is THIS:


If no, then you don't know what the FUCK you are talking about.

Let me explain. What you see on the printed page is, in fact, the inker's handiwork. No trace at all of the penciller's line work can be seen. So what basis can any person have, save for the editor, penciller and inker, to judge the inking on any objective manner? Previous work perhaps? The penciller is known to do this quality of work and all of a sudden in the hands of this inker, the penciller's work suddenly sucks. Yes, the inker may be at fault, but as a reader YOU CAN'T BE SURE. The penciller could be having a bad day. He could be sick, he could be in a hurry or he is just deliberately changing his style.

It has been observed that Leinil's art has suddenly become cleaner and simpler when I came aboard to ink him. They reminisce about the good old Wolverine days when Leinil's art was gritty and dark and so I should be butt kicked out the door and get his old inker back.

They forget that Leinil is an artist and that his art develops. It's developing with every page that he does. If his art is clear and simple today, it simply means that Leinil is drawing simply and clearly. It's got nothing to do with me. I'm just there to ink whatever line he draws down.


Getting ready to go back to Wasted full time. I hope we finish a lot of stuff this August. As much as I enjoy doing the movie, I no longer wanna be still doing it by December. I think we've found our Jenny. She's very pretty, very nice, but she's taller then me. I can always stand on boxes dammit! We're still gonna test her to see if she can do it, but Noel Lim is a guy who I think can make an actor out of anybody. He's trying with me though. Not sure if he's succeeding. ha! ha!


Got 3 Kurosawa DVDs yesterday. Ikiru, Drunken Angel, and The Throne of Blood They're not available in the US so I just bought Region 3 versions (the only versions available so far). While its cool to have these movies finally, I just wish they would get better translators because the subtitles absolutely SUCKS. I feel I may be missing a lot in the story simply because the dialogue wasn't translated very well. Makes me wish Criterion would handle all these titles as well.


San Pablo Post Office get your act together dammit! A friend of mine mailed a letter off to me last Friday right here in San Pablo. It's Wednesday now and it's STILL NOT HERE. What the fuck?


Augy, happy birthday! Jac, good luck! Nil, hey dude, when you coming back? Nakita mo lang si....nakalimutan mo na kami. :) Maggie, can't wait to meet you allright? Chez and Paolo...hello! Wala lang. Vernon, where's Wasted dude?

Ilyn....well, you drive me crazy. In a good way. :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Me and Bruce

People who have gotten close to me soon realize that I'm a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. As in HUGE. I have all his albums on CD, even those rare to find ones including "Before the Fame" and Winterland Night and Missing Tracks bootlegs.

I had been reading about Bruce on various Jingle magazines long before I became a fan. Back then I thought he was just another rocker who sang bullshit songs, posed angry, took drugs and took home groupies.
The first song of Bruce I ever heard was "Dancing in The Dark" back in the summer of 1984. There was something about the song, something about Bruce's voice that hit me really hard. I became a fan, and I realize now 18 years later, that I have become a fan for life. I bought the vinyl record of "Born in the USA" as soon as it came out and devoured it, day in day out, while I drafted my architectural plates for school, while I ate my pizza and drank my coke, while I washed the dishes and while I took a bath.

Bruce sings songs about the ordinary people and their relationships with each other. He sings about the hardships of everday life and what people do just to survive and see another day. He sings about relationships failed and happy, sad and angry. He sings songs about the guy and girl next door. He sings songs about me. That is perhaps why I, and a lot of people connect with Bruce and his music. His songs may not be hit material, but they hit harder than any song you will ever hear. To this day he's never had a #1 hit single. But Bruce was never about hits. He was never about making it big, rich and famous. He was about making songs that mattered. Perhaps this is why I never tire of hearing his songs, even though I've heard them hundreds of times. This is perhaps why a song like "Bobby Jean" can still make me cry even though I had been listening to it for nearly 20 years.

Contrary to what first impression one may have about a song called "Born In The USA", it is not a song of patriotism and flag waving. It's a song torn from the heart of a bloodied but unbowed human being, telling us what it is like to live in the USA. Bruce's music doesn't have the quality of being appealing right away. I have not liked many of his songs at first listen. But after listening to them a bit more, they turn into mini masterpieces that makes me wonder why I didn't see how marvelous that music was in the first place. This is perhaps why these songs stick so long with me.

While other rockers continue to make rock music into their old age, Bruce grows with his music. His songs mature as he gets older, and as I grow older along with him, I connect with his music even more. While music that I had grown to like and love gets tucked away one after the other in my closet as I get tired of them, Bruce's music is always there.

I had the opportunity to to watch Bruce and his band LIVE in Detroit back in 1999, after I had attended the Comics Convention in San Diego. I had a ticket reserved for me, and I had already booked my hotel. My ticket ensured that I would be right next to the stage. I'd see Bruce and the band up close. This was perhaps a moment that I had been waiting nearly 20 years for. I imagined being in that stadium as Bruce walks in and hits that first chord. I had thought I would cheer, but I found myself shedding tears I could not explain why. That's how much weight and impact his music has with me. Unfortunately, the concert was postponed, and I was crushed. But I still had the music, and it was all right.

This July 30, 2002, Bruce Springsteen and the band will be releasing a new album called "The Rising". It's their first studio album together as a group since 1984. In this album, I hear Bruce will be singing about America after September 11. Bruce can do no less. I've already listened to at least 3 songs via Real Audio from the official site. I didn't like them at first listen, but now I'm playing them all the time, as often as my Internet connection would allow. Yes he sings about America recovering, but his songs transcend even further and have found a connection with me again.


Go to the site above and give a listen to a couple of songs available. Who knows, you may end up liking it.

I will be going to America again next year to attend a Comics Convention in San Diego. This time, I'm making a promise to myself to see and hear Bruce and the Band, wherever they may be touring at that time. If I miss them again, well, at least I still have the music. Thanks Bruce for all of it!

Monday, July 22, 2002

I can't put my finger on it, but something is really bothering me. It's been bothering me now for quite some time. I wanna talk about it, but I really just don't know what to say. Except a few senseless words like what I'm doing now. Oh I don't know.

Pick up HIP FLASK from Comicraft! It's cool! Interesting story, amazing art by Ladronn.


The first image Leinil has drawn for the upcoming SUPERMAN BIRTHRIGHT written by Mark Waid, and well, inked by myself. Coolness!! I'm working on Superman!

Sunday, July 21, 2002


Allright! I finally got my own domain! Heh. Nothing is there right now, except a page that pisses on the place telling me that THIS SPACE IS MINE!! ha! ha! ha! I'll be moving my site there, but at the same time I'll be updating everything. Don't know when that will be, maybe in several months, but I will be doing it slowly once in a while...

Tuesday, July 16, 2002


It's so frustrating when someone has already done something you have come up with independently. I had been thinking about a sci fi story that I had been planning to do after all the stuff I had been doing. I thought it was a pretty nice idea and I told Noel Lim about it. He shook his head, took out this trade paper back and showed me that it has already been done before. I was really broken hearted. There I was thinking I was so clever I had created something really original when all the while someone had already done it. It's damned frustrating. I'm thinking of doing it anyway and to hell with it, but then again people might accuse me of ripping someone off.

It's happened a couple of times already. I had been thinking about a neat idea for superheroes and how to do them differently. I had the story all laid out. Who the characters are, what their motivations are, what the conflict is and how it will all end. I was crushed when I learned that a similar kind of story was done 15 years ago, and another writer did again for a series years later, all unbeknownst to me. Frustrating. Fucking shit!

Sunday, July 14, 2002


I've finally finished my WASTED website. I've been meaning to do it for a long time, and in fact I've been doing it slowly for several months. But don't expect much. It's just a very simple site that gives you information about this book. I realized I've been neglecting WASTED in my site, not giving any info about it, in the light of the new printing and the movie. I think it's about time I put one up. It has all the basic info one can reasonably expect from a comic book. A short intro, some art, some news, and reviews. :)

Below is the FINAL cover to the book:

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

I just finished a drawing for a foreign publication. I scanned it and sent it over, concerned that the editor/publisher may not like it. But he did and not only liked it, he wanted to buy the original drawing as well. (When a company asks you to draw something for publication, they are only buying the rights to use the image that you have created, not the original piece of art. You however, will not be allowd to publish the art elsewhere, but the piece of art does belong to you.) The pay isn't as big as my inking, but I did it anyway because I just love drawing and any opportunity to show that I can actually draw (and not just ink), I jump on it. Of course, I agreed to sell the piece of art, but I asked to be paid not in money, but in 2 Akira Kurosawa DVDs. Check it out:

What do you guys think? I'm such a Kurosawa freak, even more so when Toshiro Mifune, my absolute favorite actor, is in it. Toshiro is just really awesome. To me, there's no other Japanese, American, or European actor that can come close to his presence, his sheer talent and energy.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Leinil, myself and a couple of other friends stayed over at Nil's place a couple of nights ago to just hang out. Of course, I was there to pick up pages to ink as well. We had a DVD marathon as we always do when we hang out there while Nil draws. While waiting for pages to ink, I finished an illustration depicting a couple of stanzas from HP Lovecraft's "Fungi From Yuggoth", which I did for Graphics Classics.

While there, we watched "The Others" and man, I thought it was a terrific movie. I have always heard how good it was from other people, but to see it for myself was unbelievable. I normally don't get scared watching horror movies when I'm with other people, but this was an exception. I felt the hairs stand on my skin in one of the more terrifying moments of the film. Seeing it made me want to get the DVD myself. Throughout the night we watched some anime, "The Hamster Factor" (the kick-ass documentary on the 12 Monkey's DVD, Seven Samurai and some other stuff I don't remember. Having had a tall americano from Starbucks, I wasn't about to sleep and I didn't.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

The past couple of days have been very confusing. I can't say why. I can't be specific. But I have to write something or I will go crazy. It's very hard to deal with certain situations sometimes, no matter how mature you delude yourself to be. Sometimes you ask yourself, how can something that feels good be so bad, and makes you feel guilty? Then you realize that it's that way a lot of times. Steaks and crispy pata tastes great, but I haven't eaten them in a long time because they can be bad for you. And you feel guilty for eating them because you know it will have pretty bad consequences.

Yesterday was pretty tough. I had to wade through a lot of flooded streets just to get to my apartment from Nil's place, pack my stuff and head on to the bus terminal to get back home to San Pablo City. It had been raining all last night and all day. All the while I had been struggling with a lot of very strong emotions, much of it were not related at all to my current dilemma of just getting home in the midst of all that flooded mess. I haven't had much sleep, I haven't eaten breakfast and lunch and perhaps my judgment was seriously impaired, but I came close to doing something that I might have regretted. I thought of Ilyn and as always, thinking of her always makes me want to do the right thing.

I got home, dealt with mail, made some calls, and just plopped into bed for a long sleep.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002


I've lost moderation control of my message board! Oh man! I got the forum last February I think, and because I created it via DelphiForums, I had control over it. I can delete messages. I can edit messages. I can ban people. I can customize the appearance. I can post images. As far as I'm concerned, I'm GOD on my message board! No longer! Delphi has long been telling subscribers that they will start charging for their service. A free option will remain, but most of the features a subscriber used to enjoy will no longer be there. Forum owners will lose control over their message boards. Which was what happened to me. AAARRGHH!

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Larry Alcala 1927-2002

I guess I'll take time out of my petty problems and ridiculous selfish rants to give tribute to one remarkable artist. I grew up with Larry's strips on newspapers and magazines, specially "Asiong Aksaya", "Siopaoman", and "Slice of Life". His strips were humorous, insightful, and so remarkably Filipino. Thanks Larry for all the jokes, art and stories! You will be missed. I'm here working in comics in part because of the inspiration your work has had on me. Thanks!

Monday, June 24, 2002

It Was Horrible

I read the book Hiroshima by John Hersey which I got from Booksale. It's an old 1980 edition of the book and must have gone through numerous printings. It's tells of the story of several survivors of the explosion of the Atomic Bomb over Hiroshima in 1945, what they were doing before and after the disaster. Initially coming out as a series of articles in the New York Times, it eventually came out as a compiled book in 1946.

It's a terribly moving book at first reading, and after you feel anger at the people and circumstances that led to its conclusion. How can a nation kill 100 thousand innocent lives of another nation? It's horrible, unspeakable. Since the book was written a year after the bombing, the author and the survivors as well, have no inkling that their troubles have just begun. Little do they know that they and their offspring will forever be marked by the devastating effects of radiation. Are these bombers no better than terrorists who strap bombs to themselves and kill innocent people for what they believe in?

It is true that the bomb, and the one at Nagasaki was probably what ended the war, but did have to cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives? Who's to say that the war would have ended anyway without them? Japan certain was already on the losing side by that time. Her allies Germany and Italy had already fallen, how could it have managed to hang on? I think there's no justification for it. Good guys must always find a way. And good guys are what Americans supposed to have been in WW2 right?

Anyway, I was thinking about the book and the people chronicled in the stories when I was buying lunch today at a local open air fast food place in town. There were really no walls in the joint and one can move freely in and out to the sidewalk and back. Well I was seated right next to the sidewalk with my back to the road. I was thinking what it would be like if such an Atomic Bomb were detonated right on top of San Pablo City. What would happen to this fastfood? To all these people rushing about. Where would I go in case I survive it? Just then, I heard the people in the fast food place screaming at something happening on the road. I turned around to see that a cat had just been run over by a jeep. The cat wasn't killed, but it was writhing horribly, its hind legs crushed. It was trying to scream but no sound was coming out. It was terrible, the pain it must be feeling. Before I could do anything, help it or something, another jeep came rolling right on top of the cat's head. I immediately looked away and closed my eyes, but I can't shut out the screams of the people around me. It was horrible. Really horrible. It really bothers me still right up to this writing. I can't get it out of my mind.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Partial Annular Solar Eclipse

Absolutely cool! I'm watching it right now and it never fails to amaze me. I've got a welding glass that allows me to look at it safely. I've never seen and experienced a totality before, and I'm not sure that I will. The only way for me to see a totality is if I go chase after one years down the road.

This reminds me of a strange story back in college. I remember 2 partial solar eclipses that occurred for the duration of my college years. In the first occurence, I brought a bunch of negatives with me to class so I could show the eclipse to my classmates, many of them weren't aware that one was going on. All of them of course, were amazed, except one. I gave the bunch of negatives to my friend and asked her to look at the sun through them. She looked, paused for a moment and looked at me with what I could consider 'fear' in her eyes. She said, "How did you do that?" And she was serious too! I couldn't believe it. I explained to her that it was an eclipse and that it naturally happens once in a while. That I know when it will happen because scientists are able to compute when one happens by measuring the rotation of the earth, sun and moon. It didn't seem to ease her fears about it though.

Monday, June 10, 2002

What not to do when DRUNK

A month of so ago I was interviewed by the Manila Standard about the state of local comic books. Chong the interviewer and I met at Shakey's Robinson's Malate and had a few drinks. Well, actually I only had maybe 2, or 3? mugs of draft beer. Nothing too hard than that, but well, I haven't drank in a LOOONG time and my tolerance for alcohol has dropped way down. So by the end of the first mug, I was hit really hard. And by the 3rd glass, I was blabbering away and I really don't remember what the hell I was talking about. I must have ranted like crazy because I definitely remember a slightly horrified look to the writer's face when we said goodbye. So I was a bit wary about the article. The writer had sent me a text message that it was out, but I didn't get it so I had no idea it had been out until a few days ago, three weeks after the interview was out. AAARGH! Anybody read it?

A friend of mine will be launching a brand new site about the Filipino indie scene, appropriately enough, on June 12. I don't know exactly what's going to be in it, but I'm pretty sure it would be really cool. Nothing there yet but a form to fill out to join the mailing list, but come back June 12 for the launch!

Something Strange

I heard something strange last night. I was watching CSI on AXN last night at around 9pm when I suddenly heard this loud beeping from a jeepney maybe a street or two away. It was so loud and persistent that it started to drove me crazy and mad. Mad because I wasn't able to concentrate on the show. And the damned beeping went on for another 10 or 15 mintues. By the end of that 15 minutes I was really on the edge and I was ready to go up to the roof and scream bloody murder. "What the fuck are you doing you moron? Why they fuck don't you just fucking go and knock on the fucking door or talk to whoever it is I don't fucking care just fucking lay off the God damned beeping!!" Just then I heard 5 gunshots in quick succession. I turned down the volume of the TV to listen to what was happening, but I didn't hear anything anymore. The beeping stopped. Did the guy in the jeep shoot the guy he was beeping at or vice versa? Or did an irate guy annoyed at the beeping shoot at the driver? I have no idea. I'll try to find out.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

Don't mind me, just ranting.

I may not talk about it much here, but I think about the Abu Sayyaf situation in the south a lot. And I think it's time I did say something about it here, in the light of recent events. I have to say that I'm both happy and disappointed at what happened. Happy that Gracia Burnham is alive, sad that Martin and Deborah are dead, happy that some Abu Sayyaf are dead, disappointed that not all of them are. I want take Abu Sabaya's big gun, shove it down his God damned throat and pump it full of fucking bullets. You're nothing but a gutless coward. You think that gun makes you a man? You fucking idiot. That gun makes you nothing. When you die and you think your God will congratulate you? Stupid. I'd love to see your face when your God sends you to HELL.

A couple of weeks ago, a child was held hostage by an addict. He had a footlong knife pointed right into the side of the boy while fully armed policemen surrounded them totally helpless. You could see many MANY times opportunities where the addict pointed the knife elsewhere, a time when a sharpshooter could have taken the fucker out. But they just stood there like idiots, waiting for something I don't know what the fuck what. The kid was crying and crying calling for his mom while his mom, God knows what she must have felt at the time, couldn't do anything but call at him back. When the addict started to stab the kid, the police opened fire, peppering both addict and boy to shreds. During the autopsy, it was found that the kid had 5 bullet wounds, and one straight to the heart which had killed him. What fucking idiots those fucking police were. You don't want to think badly about your own law enforcement, but sometimes you are forced to by no less than the police themselves. You idiots. You morons.

And to you fucking bleeding hearts who believe addicts are victims who shouldn't be punished, you're out of your fucking minds. It's because of idiots like YOU that addicts can victimize innocent people with impunity. It's because of YOU that this world is NOT a better place to live in. These "addicts" KNOW that taking drugs is BAD. And they KNOW that under its influence, they can do BAD things. They're CRIMINALS, pure and fucking simple. Victims my ASS. They should be shot on sight.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

New Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band Album!!

Ok, I better get it out of the way first. I'm a HUGE Bruce Springsteen fan. I have been ever since I heard Born To Run nearly 20 years ago. Likes in music come and go, but my like in this guy's music never goes away. I have all his CDs, even a couple of bootleg Concert CDs. I almost saw him and the band perform in Detroit in 1999. I had a ticket and I already booked my hotel but the concert was postponed and I spent the day in Detroit just walking and eating chili. I always wanted to see them live because I hear that's where Bruce really comes alive. I'm still hoping.

The very last true Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band studio album was Born in the USA back in 1984. Sure the band appeared in Tunnel of Love but they were used sparingly and sparsely. Bruce's new album, "The Rising" is the very first true studio album from these guys in 18 years! And I for one am totally excited. I can't wait!!

From CNN:
Springsteen releasing new album in July
First record with full E Street band since '84
June 3, 2002 Posted: 1:32 PM EDT (1732 GMT)

NEW YORK (AP) -- After releasing just three studio albums in the past decade, rocker Bruce Springsteen finished his latest record in eight weeks.

He was as surprised as anybody.

"I woke up one morning, and I had a record," Springsteen joked about his new album, "The Rising," due in stores July 30.

"The Rising" will be Springsteen's first studio rock album since 1992, and his first effort with the full E Street Band since 1984.

For the rest of the article...

Today I'm gonna do something that I've never done on my blog before. Just start writing, bahala na and just write whatever comes to mind. Yeah, I need to be drawing right now, but I'm sorta down and I just want to write something, anything.

I should be in Manila now, but since my mom was in the hospital (she was just released and is now resting at home), I hung around. I'll go back to Manila tomorrow and get more work. I walked out earlier today as I do often in the mornings whether I'm in San Pablo or Manila. I just like to walk, clear my head, and do some muscle stretching and sweating along the way. I mostly walk to a nearby lake and go around it. It's not that large a lake, just around 2.6 kilometers circumference.

I want to run around it but I'm worried about getting bit by a dog. I was walking around there one time and this dog started following me. And pretty soon, this dog started barking at me. And pretty soon, this dog was shoving it's snout on my leg, salivating and barking like crazy. It could have bitten me right there. Meanwhile, the owner just look at her dog dumfounded. If I was a little pissed off and down during that time, I would have kicked this dog's teeth in. What the hell, I'm going to run it. As soon as I buy some nice running shoes. The one I have now is falling apart and I can't use it anymore to run. But I am using it for the Wasted movie. I expect I'll be panting and grasping for breath on the first 100 meters alone. But I feel I gotta do it. I'm making it a goal to run around that lake continuously until I make it all around.

Ok, DVDs then! I got a couple of new DVDs over the past couple of weeks. I got a couple for my girlfriend, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Legend Ultimate Edition. Personally, I got myself Plan 9 From Outer Space, the one with the 2 hour documentary on the life of its director, Edward D. Wood Jr., and From Hell. I want to know what justification they had for making the movie the way it was. Yeah, I know you can't translate a book into the movie word for word, yeah, yeah, I know that I'm NOT stupid. But if you can't even be faithful to the essence of the book, then why fucking bother? This story is about Dr. William Gull and why he was the way he was. This was NOT a story about Fred fucking Abberline.

Oh man, this is not working. I'm logging off...

Monday, June 03, 2002


My mom fell sick over the weekend and we had to take her to hospital earlier today. Nothing really serious, but it was bad enough that we had to take her there. I was supposed to spend the week in Manila this week, but I'll be staying here in San Pablo to look after her half of the time. It's been quite stressful now this past couple of weeks. Deadline here, deadline there, worried sick for my mom. Things are never really easy I guess so I really just have to work through it and do the best I can. Grin and bear it they say. I can bear it sure, but I'm not sure if I can grin in the face of it.

Sunday, June 02, 2002

My God, I'm so tired.

Last week was really difficult to get through. Shooting Wasted was far more difficult than I had expected. I had always wanted to act, but it was something I did not show outward attention to. It was just something I kept to myself. Now that I'm there, doing it, man, it's really tough. I'm not really doing much physically but it's really emotionally draining, very much like the time I first wrote and drew Wasted. Everytime I finished an episode, I was so emotionally drained that I felt so weak and fell sick. I also finished inking an X-Men drawing over Leinil for Wizard, and I'm currently drawing The Yellow Shawl. I'm also starting inking an issue of High Roads with a really tight deadline.

Last night I arrived from Manila so tired that I wasn't able to check my email, messages that have been building up for the past week. I slept for nearly 10 hours straight. And tomorrow I have to leave for Manila AGAIN, to deliver some props for the movie, and to pick up more pages from Leinil. And my dreams don't leave me alone either. Last night I dreamed I had been beating up my dog (which I don't do) and I had beat her so hard that her eye fell out. I tried to put it back but I couldn't. When I woke up I rushed to my dog to see if she was OK. She was, and I was so happy I hugged her really hard.

I should be working today, but I still feel very tired that I'm deciding to just take it easy before I plunge back to work tomorrow. Once this blog entry is done, it's back to bed for me.

I did watch a couple of movies last week. Spiderman and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, momentarily breaking away from work. They were good diversions. I had fun watching and enjoyed them a lot. They won't make my list of top favorite movies though.