Thursday, March 06, 2003


If all goes well , Wasted: The Final Edition will be available starting Saturday at Comicquest Megamall, with other branches in Festival Mall, Alabang and SM North Edsa soon to follow. Comicquest will by no means be the only distributor of the book.

In 1998, Alamat Comics published the first compilation of the book with a print run of 500 copies. It sold out in a few months and a lot of people have been asking me for copies since then. Pulp Magazine will be the new publisher of an all new edition of the book. Of course, it will have the same old story, but I've removed much of the other extras in the first edition including intros, chapter stops, my endless rants at the end. The new edition will have a new full color cover, with new pinups from Whilce Portacio, Leinil Francis Yu, Arnold Arre, Roy Allan Martinez, Edgar Tadeo, Philip Tan and Marissa Hilos-Nepomuceno which will act as chapter stops. It will have intros by Karen Kunawicz and Barbie Almalbis of Barbie's Cradle. Pulp will be printing 2000 copies. I get to have some copies to distribute to Comic Quest, Comics Odyssey, CCHQ, Cold Cut and others. It depends on Pulp on where they will distribute the majority of it.

My contact at Pulp tells me that the 500 copies I get should arrive at their offices today. Of course, if all goes well. Leinil will be helping me get the stuff there and store it at his place for the meantime. At least that's the plan. I really REALLY hope that Pulp comes through with this. Because a lot of stuff has been put into motion because of their promise of delivery. There's the scheduled release of the book at Comic Quest, the promises I've made in turn to many people asking for its release, and the scheduled New Worlds Sci-Fi convention next week where Alamat Comics will have a booth which I am a part of. Posters and a huge banner have been made so I could pimp the book at the con.

If the book doesn't come out....well jeez. I don't even wanna think about that.

Why "Final Edition"? To be honest, after Alamat Comics had compiled the book in 1998, and after the book had sold out, I thought that it would be over. I thought I would move on to other projects, other drawings and stories. But the book just won't leave me alone. People who had only just read the book would come up to me and talk to me about it. It continues to surprise me today that I still get messages from people who want to talk about it.

Then came Vernon Go who wanted to serialize Wasted in monthly installments in PULP, cutting it up the way it had been originally cut up as a sporadic mini comic. A lot of people got to read the book who didn't before and once again I started to get feedback, good as well as bad. Even old classmates whom I hadn't met in a long time would get in touch to say they read my story.

Then came talk of compiling the book again. I thought...OK. I brought all original artwork to the PULP offices in Quezon City so they could be scanned properly. Soon after, the PULP offices burned down, taking with it all the original pages of Wasted. I was bummed, but I thought, that was that. It's finally finished. The book will finally leave me alone.

But then Noel F. Lim came to me with the idea of making the story into a live action film. And he seemed really serious about it. At first I wanted to decline, but the sincerity by which he had approached me made me think. It also made me think of all the letters I had gotten through the years because of the book. Letters from people who tell me how the book helped them deal with their own pain in their lives. Letters from people who eventually became good friends. As I look back on my life for the past 8 or so years, I'm surprised to realize that my life will be totally different if I had not done Wasted. Most of the friends I have made in the past several years are there because of this book. A lot of the exposure and work I have gotten in the same time came to me because of this book. I cannot turn my back on it. And I realize now that I don't want to. Wherever it takes will take me, I guess.

The movie is taking a long time, but it WILL get made. The reprint from PULP took a long time coming, but now it's nearly here. Well, at least I HOPE so.

I just hope none of the pages are printed out of order, dammit.