Wednesday, April 26, 2006

ELMER, Bira Dantas, Guhit Pinoy

Imagine my surprise when I checked my email this morning and found THIS. Huge, huge thanks to Bira Dantas for this terrific portrait. And it has Eugene too! I'm speechless. I can say no more...

For more info about this Brazilian artist, check out these sites:

Louie Escauriaga Elmer Art

Louie Escauriaga is a Canada-based Filipino artist who has worked for eleven years as a storyboard artist the Mighty Ducks, Timon and Pumbaa, Catdog, and Savage Dragon. He was nominated for a Leo Award in BC for his storyboard work on "What About Mimi" in 2001

Check out Louie's site here:

Thanks Louie!

For those visiting this site for the first time and are wondering what is it about all these chickens, click on the ELMER link on the left colum or click here.

And from Edbon Sevilleno in Saudi Arabia comes this announcement of an exhibit of Pinoy Komiks Art in that country.

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office has choosen Guhit
Pinoy to collaborate with S.E. Production to put
together the Labor Day Celebration of the Philippines
to be held on May 4 - 5, 2006 at the Philippine
Embassy in Riyadh. Along with the celebration Guhit
Pinoy will showcase a collection of comic art pieces
in an exhibition entitled Guhit Pinoy Komix Art.

Philippine celebrity Carlos Agassi along with the
Kalahi Band will highlight the opening of the

Guhit Pinoy is this group of incredibly talented artists based in Saudi Arabia, most of them with comic book roots who can't help but return to what they love doing the most: Comics Art.

To see how amazing these artists are, check out their blog here:

Their recent "project" is their versions of Conan.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Humanis Rex #13

Humanis Rex! #13

That's a panel of Humanis Rex! from next month's issue of Fudge. For those of you following what's going on, this installment features a very special guest, who will be the catalyst in sparking the final bloody and fiery act of the story.

Since this is a mainstream mag, I've actually been holding back, not fully knowing what I can or cannot do. I have been assured that I can go a certain distance, so I'll try to do that with the 2nd half, which begins with the next installment.

I can't believe that I've already been doing this for a year now, and that I'm halfway through! Yeah! I can't wait to massacre the shit out of this story. There's a huge war that's coming, and I can't wait to draw it!

Spoof E-Mail

I've been receiving e-mails that came from "Gerry" , with Subject Lines like "GWD:Re" or "Re: Hello!". I'm sure some of you may have received those too.

I would like you to know that those didn't come from me. I don't know exactly how those emails had been sent, if they are the cause of a virus or spyware or whatever. As far as viruses are concerned, I make damned sure that my computer is virus free, and I update my anti -virus software several times a week.

That, plus the unlikelihood of an actual virus being sent from a Yahoo address, an email service that employs one of the most powerful anti-virus software in processing emails that go through them, make it even more improbable those messages had been sent from my computer.

If this is a virus, an internet robot, spyware or whatever, what they do is harvest emails from the Internet. If you leave your email address on a website, a message board or guest book, then your address will eventually be harvested and then used. Email messages can be sent with viruses that can be made to appear it came from YOU. And since two of my email addresses have been made available online, those two address naturally have been harvested and viruses have been sent making it appear it came from them.

OR, an infected computer with your email address in the computer's address book is sending viruses in YOUR name.

There's a way to make sure an email supposedly sent by me is fake.

If you got emails that came from my address, but have names like "Gerry" or "" in the NAME,WHO,or SENDER column then they most likely didn't come from me. I don't send emails with half my name nor do I place my email address in the SENDER column as well.

A real email from me would have my complete name in the SENDER column, and I would certainly have much more imaginative subject lines than simply "Hello!". Most likely, I would use a subject line that has significance to whom I am sending it.

If I send files, I don't send anything but either jpeg or gif files. If you got files other than that from me, then don't open them, and email me first, like some of you have done.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Incredible Hulk #94

Check out Incredible Hulk #94, coming soon (if it isn't available already). It not only features the work of two awesome new Filipino artists, Carlo Pagulayan and Jeffrey Huet, it also features the art of Alex NiƱo!

The gorgeous cover above is by Spanish artist Ladronn.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sonny Trinidad

Sonny Trinidad
Sparto, Pinoy Komiks

Dennis Villegas visited us last week and brought with him some remarkable comics original art for me to scan, not only for the online musueum, but also for the Masters of Philippine Comics Art book.

Dennis Villegas' collection of vintage komiks and original comics art is some of the most amazing I've ever seen. I thought it very important to make him part of this site, and the online museum has been nothing but enriched by his contributions.

The above artwork, courtesy of Dennis, is by Sonny Trinidad (also known as Celso Trinidad) from Sparto, published in Pinoy Komiks.

Trinidad began his professional career as Celso Trinidad, assisting Francisco V. Coching, which greatly influenced Trinidad's own work. He eventually grew on his own as an artist adapting several styles that fit both serious and semi-cartoony.

In the US, he has worked on many Marvel titles including Conan The Barbarian, Dracula, Morbius, Doc Savage and Bloodstone.

John Warner, writer of Bloodstone, wrote of Trinidad:

"The assignment went to Sonny Trinidad, who is very good. But you don't need me to tell you that, as you've no doubt seen his work on THE LAND TIME FORGOT, GABRIEL THE DEVIL HUNTER (from Haunt of Horror) and THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (in Marvel Spotlight #25). In spite of having about two weeks to pencil, ink, and letter the entire job, I think it turned out very well." (Marvel Presents: Bloodstone #2)

Click here for a larger version of the above artwork.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Nestor Redondo by Bira Dantas

Nestor Redondo Portrait

by Bira Dantas

Bira Dantas is a Brazilian cartoonist with a love for Filipino comics. He sent me this image of Nestor Redondo that I thought was really nice and asked if I could post it here. It's always great hearing about how people outside the Philippines get inspired by the creation of our fellow Filipinos.

For more information about Bira, click here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Elmer #2 Cover

I hope that people who had been waiting for Elmer #1 to come out to bear with me for just a little more, as I have to concede that the first issue will be delayed for at least 2 weeks, one month at the most.

It goes beyond just writing and drawing the comic book as there is the additional task of trying to formalize and legitimize my publishing company, Komikero Publishing. I had decided to do this two years ago when I registered the name at the Department of Trade and Industry, partly to reserve the name, but mostly out of a desire to elevate what was once a backyard makeshift series of photocopied comics into a serious publishing company that would exclusively publish my comics.

I figured I had to graduate from the underground and really make this something I can hopefully make a living from. I've already resigned myself to the fact that I won't be interested in doing anything else but comics so I felt very strongly that I should stop fucking around and take this more seriously.

I still believe that making photocopied mini comics is a great way of doing comics, and I still may do one from time to time, but I've been there and done all that for such a long time and now I feel it's time to move on.

Formalizing a comic book company means dealing with such things as the BIR, SSS, Barangay clearances, Mayor's permits and a lot of other legal stuff I won't bore you with, but those things come with the territory, and as such require a certain amount of attention and time.

I decided to move the release of Elmer so I can deal with all these things (as some major outlets will only carry Elmer if I can issue an official receipt). The additional time will also allow me to have more oppotunity to improve the story and the art. Doing Elmer has been a huge learning experience for me as I've had to think of doing comics and approach the art of comics differently than what I had previously been used to.

That said, I hereby promise to have Elmer #1 out sometime in May and no more, by hook or by crook. :)

By the way, the artwork at the very top of this post is very possibly the cover to Elmer #2, which is scheduled for release by July-August. The cover is done traditionally, using a mix of water color, acrylic, colored pencil and ink.

Here's one more Elmer art from one of my friends:

Jac Ting Lim Elmer Art

Jac Ting Lim is a comic book artist, whose professional credits include contributions for Siglo: Passion, Seeker Magazine, Mwahaha! and others. Check out Jac's blog here.


Me, my wife Ilyn and our dog Eugene went away during Holy Week to hole up at our family's rest house at Maansil, Sta. Catalina, San Pablo City. It's not too far away from our house, but it's far enough and remote enough for me to have enough peace to work on Elmer. Our place there does not have electricity, no land line phones, no TV or radio or any technological gadget except for Ilyn's cellphone to be used only in emergencies. I worked in the day, and then by candlelight at night. I was able to do some substantial work on Elmer without feeling any sort of pressure at all.

Me and Eugene

Me, Ilyn and Eugene's ass.

Working on Elmer

Working at night by candlelight.

All in all, it was a terrific experience, and it's something I would love to do again sometime in the future, and probably for a longer period.

In fact, I liked it so much that I actually considered staying there on a more regular basis. Who knows? I guess I'm just sick of how too technologically dependent we have become, and although I do concede that it has become a necessity to a certain extent, it does feel great to give it the finger once in a while.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Nestor Redondo's Swamp Thing

Nestor Redondo's Swamp Thing
Artwork from Redondo's first issue of Swamp Thing, issue #11, August, 1974, DC Comics

Len Wein and the legendary Berni Wrightson have just finished a spectacular 10-issue run of Swamp Thing, in a series many today still believe to be some of the finest comics ever created. To continue in their footsteps with the eleventh issue onwards was almost unthinkable, and fans were ready to hate it, sight unseen.

It is certain that whoever it was that followed, it would have been very daunting, to say the very least. But the man who did take on the job, Nestor Redondo, was himself a 25-plus-year veteran of Philippine comics, and already a legend himself in his home country with memorable stints as the creating artist of Darna, Gagamba, Palos and numerous other stories and characters. He created some of the best comic art the Philippines has ever produced with his adaptation of Quo Vadis.

Here are some of the reader reactions in subsequent issues of Swamp Thing after Nestor Redondo's debut:

"The only complaint I can aim towards Nestor's premier outing is that his art is too bright. It lacked the murky, dank mood which I usually associate with our slimy protagonist. But again, that is what I'm used to."

"As to the artwork- Nestor Redondo is no Berni Wrightson, but then again, who is? Nestor's work on this feature is absolutely superb."

"Last issue, when you introduced Nestor Redondo, you told us that a change of style was always good. What change? When I compare Nestor's work to that of Berni, I come up with no difference. Their styles are practically the same, although I find Nestor just slightly better."

"Nestor Redondo's work is strong, sold, and pain-stakingly detailed enough to ensure my continued support of the Swamp Thing."

"Nestor Redondo is a rising star in this Golden Age of extraordinary artists."

"What can I possibly do but echo the acclamation devoted to Nestor Redondo's superlative artwork."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Making Mini Comics

Creating Mini Comics

"You also mentioned photocopying home-made comics as one of the effective ways of promoting your work. So, how do you go about it? What size do you originally draw a page in? And, when photocopying, what size do you reduce the page to? Are the pages back-to-back? How about the cover?" -JA

I actually haven't written about the technical side of mini-comic book making yet, and I think this would be a great opportunity to do so. I've done mini comics since 1994, beginning with Wasted #1. Back then I didn't know who to ask or exactly how to go about doing it, so I was just guessing most of the time. So I came up with a way to do mini comics that worked for me. It's not necessarily the only way to do it, or probably even the best way to do it, but I made do with what I thought best at the time. Back in 1994, there wasn't an Internet like we have now, where we can log in and ask in some message board or blog how to do these kinds of things.


Before anything else, you really should have a story to tell. I'm writing this with the assumption that you already have one. If not, I would suggest you just have a short story for your first mini comic, one that can fit into just one issue. It's to make it easier for you to accomplish for this, your first effort. Right now you still might not know if doing comics is what you really want to do, specially if this is the first time you're attempting to do something like this. You might not realize the kind of work that's involved. You might find the work that goes with it discouraging, or you might realize while doing it that it's just not for you, then it's far better to have one complete issue, rather than to just have issue #1 in a colossal epic that you never finished.

You can also do a collection of gag strips, or 1-2 page skits or vignettes, if you feel this is more up your alley.


Since your comic book will be photocopied, the size of your mini-comics will depend on the commercially available paper sizes. You can use short bond paper (8.5"x11") or long bond paper (8.5"x13"), or if you feel like it, A3 size (11.5"x16.5").

Folding those pieces of paper once would yield the size of your mini comic. Short bond would have a mini comic the size of 5.5"x8.5", long bond would be 6.5"x8.5" and for A3, 8.25"x11.5".

I have used both short bond (for Crest Hut Butt Shop and Dead Heart Stories) and long bond (for Wasted), and although I considered using A3, it proved to be too expensive to reproduce.

You can use specialty sizes of course. Maybe you want to make it as big as the standard comic book or make it really, really small...but oh man, why go there? You can do it of course, but me, I get tired just thinking about it.

Let's say for the sake of discussion we choose short bond. Since half of one short bond represents ONE comic book page, the size of your page would be 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches.

You can choose to draw your original art in this size (as I do with Crest Hut). It would save you from having to have your art reduced later on.

Or, you can choose to draw your original art bigger. How bigger? You can use a whole bond paper (like I did with Wasted), a whole long bond paper, or you can draw on an A3, if drawing in that size is easier for you. Why make your art bigger? Some people find it very hard to draw in very small paper. And generally, you have more control over the drawing if you are drawing on bigger paper, and the reduced art looks better.

Let's talk about proportion. If haven't drawn your art yet, you can have better control of it's proportion, in relation to the finished mini comic book.

In one page of your mini comic, which is 5.5"x8.5", you only have a limited area in which your artwork can appear. Many photocopiers, or most anyone of them currently available to us locally, are not able to print on the entire 5.5"x8.5". It is a certain that around 0.75 centimeters above, below and on the outer edge of the page will not be usable to you. But it would be a good idea to go to your local photocopiers and see exactly just what the limitations of their machines are.

This is why "bleeding" is out of the question in many photocopied mini comic. "Bleed" is a technical comic book term that means artwork that extends right up to the edge of the paper.

12 centimeters wide and 20 centimeters high would be a safe area in which your work could appear in the finished comic book. That then, is the proportion of your artwork. You can work on larger paper, and create bigger art, but make sure that what you do is proportional to the smaller size limit.

Here's a little trick I learned in high school about making sure your artwork is sized proportionally.

I drew this up so that I don't have to explain in words what I hoped I could explain by a drawing. I hope it's clear enough, if not, oh, well. The main trick is really the "projection line" which you can extend even much further if you wish for a much larger original art.


It would be really great if you are able to find a photocopy place where you are able to establish a good relationship with the operators. It's so much better to have someone there who completely understands what you are trying to do, so much so that you can leave them and they would know exactly what to do. Specially when you need to have 100 copies or more photocopied. There's nothing more boring than watching endless photocopying after endless photocopying. That way, I can go off and browse the local Booksale, or get a snack or whatever. Additionally, I hate it when an operator tells me offhandedly, "This is gonna take a lot of toner." I really hate that. To me that smells trouble (uncooperativeness, inattentiveness that could lead to errors) so I take my business elsewhere.

Older type photocopy machines use liquid toner, which produces copies that aren't very good. You need to find machines that uses powder toners, which are generally much more expensive, but produces excellent copies.

If you decide to make your original art larger than the final print size, then you would have to take your original art to be reduced. You can do this in the computer, or at a photocopy place. Since my printer is crappy, I never attempted to print out reduced original art for reproduction because my lines tend to break apart and thicken. I always opt for reduction via photocopy.

Knowing the correct reduction percentage to specify at the photocopy place is simple. Your final print width is 12cm. Divide that with the width of your original art. Let's say your original art has a width of 18.30cm, divide 12cm by 18.30cm and that yields 0.65573. That means you can specify 65% or 66% reduction.

If part of your artwork is done in the computer (like lettering) or all of it is done in the computer, then you have no choice but to print it out. Just make sure you have a very good printer, accompanied by good paper.

One of the things you need to deal with when using a computer is the use of grey tones. If you choose to use them, make sure you print them in a way that they can be photocopied well. I have little experience in things like this but I'm sure other people may have thoughts about it.


Now that you have reduced your art, you can now lay them out in an "original plate". You can see what I mean with a photo of the original plates of Crest Hut Butt Shop #3 below.

Now "original plate" is a term I just came up with. I don't really know what it's properly called, but for the purpose of this discussion, that's what I'll call it.

If your mini comic has 20 pages including covers, you would have FIVE original plates, with one plate containing 4 comic book pages. One plate is 8.5" X 11". I generally use thicker paper to use for the original plates because I like them sturdy, and would take less damage from continuos handling and photocopying. You will then need to cut up your photocopies to paste on the plates. Refer to the photo above to get an idea of the proper order of pasting pages.

You can add a lot of fun stuff to this like editorials, where you thank your girlfriend, parents, pet parakeet, or whoever you wish to mention. You can talk about what made you want to make comics. You can even add a photo of you and a bio. You can be either truthful or not. One of the cool things to do would be to "create" a comics company as way of at least showing a sheen of legitimacy, all in the spirit of fun. I used to put "Deranged Comics" in all my mini comics complete with a logo and wrote a lot of fun bullshit in the indicia like "Copyright violators will be punished and shot by firing squad. You were warned." Of course, you can even be completely serious about it, it's really up to you.

Nowadays, all comics that I do, beginning with ELMER #1, will carry "Komikero Publishing", which is a legitimate and duly registered company with the Department of Trade and Industry.

Take note that for Crest Hut Butt Shop, I drew it in actual size, and I drew right on the original plates. This way, I don't have to reduce, and I don't have to paste anything up.


Now that you've completed your "Original Plates", you can go back to the photocopy place and have it reproduced. You can have 20 copies made, or even 50, but if you have the money, why not go for 100?

Since this is your first time reproducing a mini comic book, make sure you monitor the photocopying. If the operator has something on his mind he's bound to commit errors. Imagine one single error being reproduced 100 times. That poor guy would have to pay for that out of his own pocket. Have them test copy one plate and once it checks out, give the go signal to reproduce. Do the same for the other plates.

It's kind of cool coming home with a huge stack of photocopies that are still hot. But cooler things are yet to come.


Put together one copy and fold once in the center. The line formed by the fold would be your guide where to staple your mini comic. There are three ways of stapling. One is to get a long stapler so that you can staple in one go. But if you have just an ordinary short stapler, you can do either of 2 things.

Get two thick books of equal thickness, place them side by side but leave a gap of 1 centimeter between them. Place the spine of the mini comic (the cover and back cover side up) along the gap between the books and staple. This would allow the staple to pass freely through the papers. Flip the mini comic over and fold the staples manually.

OR, you can just get a large thick styrofoam board, place the mini comic (the cover and back cover side up) on it an staple. Flip the mini comic over and fold the staples manually.

And there you go! You have the first copy of your very first mini comic.

Allow yourself a few minutes to take in this momentous moment. Get a picture taken of you with your work, if you like. For posterity.

Now hunker down and go and staple the next ninety nine copies.


Distributing mini comics is mostly a hand to hand affair. You do not have a giant distrubtion system at your disposal. But there are many ways in which you can get your work around.

In the old days, Paul Grist, creator of KANE, peddled his mini comics on the streets of London. Although it would be fun to do that, you people today have the additional benefit of the Internet, where you can create a presence online from which you can promote and sell your mini comics.

Create a buzz for your work by uploading previews and other information about your comic book online. Join comic book communities and share your work there.

Promoting oneself may be frowned upon by some, but for you to sell your work, how else can people be made aware of your comic book? Try everything to get your work out there, short of compromising yourself and your work.

Get in touch with stories in your area who would be willing to sell your comic book. In Manila, there's Comicquest, Druid's Keep and Comics Odyssey as a few of the supportive comics stores willing to carry mini comics.

Join comics conventions. This year alone, there are three different comics events where you can promote and sell your work including Komikon II in UP Diliman in October, and the San Pablo Comics Art Festival II in December. If you don't have such events in your area, why not organize one? Or get a stall at your local tiangge and flea markets?

Get your comic book reviewed by sending copies to local or nationwide newspapers or magazines. You can send a copy to me, and I generally review ALL comic books I like. If I don't review it, it probably means I just didn't like it. Sorry.

That's it. I guess that's all I can say about this, but please feel free to ask me any other question to clarify things. I'll be leaving and won't be back till next week so I won't be able to reply until then.

For the meantime, check out another article on creating mini comics courtesy of The Comics Reporter.


Good Luck!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Noel Tuazon's Elmer Art

Noel Tuazon Elmer Art

Noel Tuazon is a Canadian based artist who has been working in the comics industry since 1989. He has worked on Dave Sim's Cerebus, Arianne, Taboo Special, Graphic Classics, Fleshrot, etc. Most recently he worked on Elk's Run for Hoarse and Buggy Productions. You can read Elk's Run in it's entirety here.

Noel Tuazon's site and portfolio can be found here.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Comics Lettering

"I just wanted to ask, when making originals for your comics, do you prefer to include the dialogue balloons in the panels using Photoshop(or is it Illustrator?" -RE

I replied by email, but I thought it would make a nice springboard for something I could write here.

Honestly, I prefer to hand letter my own comics right on the originals. I've done so for many of my past works, specially Wasted, Johnny Balbona, my Graphic Classics adaptations, Dead Heart, Terror, and now for ELMER. I started out hand lettering Humanis Rex, but I've since lettered it via computer to make the work go faster. That said, I find I really like the look of my hand lettered Humanis Rex pages better.

There are definite and clear advantages to using computer lettering over hand lettering. If you know what you're doing, it can really make the work go faster. You have much more freedom to change fonts and arrange the balloons and words on the page. Substandard illustration can be superficially uplifted by gorgeous computer lettering.

The advantages however, are far outweighed by the satisfaction I personally feel upon completing a finished hand lettered comics page. There is something about a completely lettered original comic art that I find very appealing. My lettering may not be as precise or even as good as computer lettering, but I nevertheless feel greater satisfaction, and a far deeper sense of accomplishment.

There are certain nuances in hand lettering, certain differences in how letters are written, certain quirks and accidents that make it more consistent with a hand illustrated page. Computer lettering, even though it is often based nowadays on real handwriting, is done with so much precision, clarity and sharpness, with hardly any room for nuance or error, that it always seems to stand out and often seem out of synch.

Now if don't have a choice, like how it sometimes happens with Humanis Rex, I'd much rather use Photoshop than Illustrator to letter the pages. Since Photoshop is a pixel based program, I feel that it can produce lettering that would mesh much better with my pixel based scanned illustrations. To use Illustrator that produces razor sharp vector based letters and balloons would once again make the lettering stand out a little too much from the art.

Many artists feel that they can't hand letter their own art because their handwriting sucks. I try not to think of comic book lettering as handwriting. Instead, I think of it as "drawing" the letters. Any artist can letter well. They just have to treat the letters as just another part of the art (which it is), that they need to "illustrate". If an artist can draw horizontal lines, vertical lines, circles and diagonals well, then he can letter well. There's no question about it.

Lettering *IS* part of comics art. The form in which the readers see this art is through the published comic book, where each page tells the story through words and pictures. So the combination of both art and words need to be arranged in such a way that the page not only looks aesthetically pleasing, but also tells the story well.

Unless the story is meant to be wordless, as in some of Moebius' work, then lettering really should be part of the art, as important a part in a page as the background, the foreground, figures, etc.

With easy access to computers, a lot of young artists today automatically think of doing the lettering and the art separately by default. And I think that may put them somewhat at a disadvantage. If I were teaching all of this in a class, I would advice them to start their experience in comics by hand lettering their own art first. This forces them to really consider the lettering in laying out the page, forcing them to consider the lettering as a significant and essential element of comics art. If any young artist do not go through this process, I believe it could impair the development of his composition and storytelling skills.

Doing comics art without lettering forces the young artist to make the page look good without the letters. The pages may indeed look good, but once you squeeze in the letters, they will look exactly that: squeezed in.

This is why, and I can see this is in many current local comics, a lot of the pages seem cramped and confusing to follow. The balloons and words, because insufficient thought went into their inclusion, are often pushed out of the panels in inappropriate places, seriously damaging the logical flow of the storytelling, and/or covering up really cool parts of the art.

After the artist learns how to do it by hand, and now wishes to do further lettering using the computer either by necessity or by choice, then that he can at least know that he has sufficiently trained himself in treating the lettering with a lot more consideration and thought, and will make better comics art because of it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Detail of a larger zombie illustration. I had a lot of fun doing this one, spending an unhealthy amount of time doing it and "researching" for it (see earlier post). As I mentioned earlier, this is for a Night of the Living Dead book, inspired by the movie of the same title. I have a copy of it and to stay truthful to the feel of the film, I used a lot of elements I saw in there into the drawing. This particular zombie, for instance, is based on one of the zombies in the movie.

I find I really enjoy working in the horror genre. There's something in there that allows me to really let go. I've done a lot of horror very early in my career, and I had a chance to illustrate a couple of stories of this type for Graphic Classics, adapting short stories written by Bram Stoker and Rafael Sabatini. I wouldn't mind doing something longer with something like this.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

April 5 2006

Blogging without photos or artwork for once. It's been a long time since I just sat in front of the computer and just wrote about what's in my mind that had nothing to do with comics. I've been waking up later and later nowadays, as I go to sleep later and later at night. I used to be able to say I normally wake up at 6 in the morning and people would be surprised. To be honest, I sometimes wake up even earlier. And that was just normal with me. Now it seems i can't wake up earlier than 8 in the morning. That's probably because I go to bed at around 3 am nowadays. I seem to be getting more and more comfortable working at night. ( I knew it, I knew I won't be able to help but talk about work.)

I'm working on this zombie drawing for a Night of the Living Dead book. I had watched the original 1968 movie, as well as the 1990 remake, so I can immerse myself in the mood and feel of what I need to draw. I ended up hopelessly addicted to zombie movies and I watched numerous living dead films, good and bad, in quick succession. I have watched, more or less in order:

Night of the Living Dead (1968) - Directed by George Romero. Very interesting drama about a group of various people trapped inside a house. Not really scary, at least for me. I used to be very scared of zombies as a kid, but now, I've yet to see a zombie film that can be as scary as The Exorcist. I find them funny mostly. But this movie-that-started-it-all is hardly funny. Very interesting for a serious drama, with a rather frustrating and unsatisfying ending.

Night of the Living Dead (1990) - Edgier remake of the original. And as indicative of the times, this movie has stronger women characters. More gruesome zombies, and a much less frustrating ending.

Dawn of the Dead (1978) - Direct sequel to the original, it postulates an interesting idea of zombies beginning to overrun the world. This time, a group of different characters hole up in a mall and try to survive.

Dawn of the Dead (2004) - Remake of the 1978 version. Lots more effects and explosions, and it seems that a lot more people survived this one. A hopeful ending, but as the credits roll, you realize it wasn't such a happy ending at all.

By this time, I started to realize all these zombie movies end badly for most of the characters involved, except the zombies. Very depressing.

Day of the Dead (1985) - Direct sequel to Dawn of the Dead, and it follows a group of soldiers and scientists trying to find a solution to the zombie problem while holed up underground. Same as previous movies, it has a lot of drama between characters, but it seems some of these characters are rather extreme. This movie memorable for "Bud", a zombie in a starring role that manages to get some sympathy from the viewers. ( I hear a remake is in the works.)

Land of the Dead (2005) - Fourth in George Romero's series of zombie movies. Featuring John Lequizamo (cool!) and Asia Argento (hot!). A whole city holes up against a world seemingly overrun by zombies. And zombies are getting more intelligent. And as usual, zombies get the upper hand at the end.

Return of the Living Dead (1985) - A solid favorite of mine half an hour into the movie. HILARIOUS. Very good actors playing hysterical roles. It's has a rather frustrating ending though, almost as frustrating as the original Night of the Living Dead.

Return of the Living Dead 2 (1988) - 2 of the actors in the previous movie return as different characters and try to work the magic they worked in the first movie. Didn't work. I didn't even finish it.

Shaun of the Dead (2005) - Hilarious Brit movie paying homage to George Romero's zombie movies. I'm an instant Simon Pegg fan. The "Don't Stop Me Now" sequence is classic. My only gripe is that it seems the story became a little "too"heavy and dramatic towards the end that seems out of place to the tone established for the first half of the movie. But at least, here's a zombie movie with a happy, hopeful ending.

Cemetery Man (Dellamorte Dellamore) (1994) - Featuring Rupert Everett kissing a lot of girls. And at least one zombie girl. A very VERY strange movie. I couldn't figure out if the writing is bad or if it's just too deep for me to get. But I've got to say that if a movie is bad (like Return of the Living Dead 2), I would not have finished it at at all. But this one had me engrossed right up to the end, wondering even up the last minute where in hell is this movie going. So it has to be good.

I've got a couple of movies still lined up: Stink of Flesh (2005) and Zombie Honeymoon (2004). I guess I better check out Resident Evil and 28 Days Later now. Any other zombie movies anybody would recommend?

I already saw Reanimators 1-3. The first one is a classic! I liked the 2nd one, and I sort of didn't like the third one. Still, Jeffrey Combs is terrific in all of these.

Sulu is Pinoy!

Over at the end of the spectrum, I found some interesting Star Trek bit in a book entitled "The Making of Star Trek" written by Gene Roddenbery and Stephen E. Whitfield back in 1968. Gene Roddenbery actually describes the George Takei character, Hikaru Sulu, as being part Filipino!

I quote:

"Although of mixed Oriental and Filipino background, Sulu's cultural heritage is mainly Japanese, and he finds himself drawn to the samurai concept as a philosophy."

And I suddenly realized.... is "SULU" even a Japanese name? Googling SULU, the highest result (omitting anything Star Trek related) yields the name of an Island Province here in the Philippines, located in Mindanao, the capital of which is Jolo. I've been to Jolo back in 1989 and although I saw the name "Sulu" lots of times before, during and after my trip, I never made the connection to Star Trek until now.

And just for reference, the province of Sulu is pronounced "sooloo", with the accent on the second syllable.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rey Villegas Elmer Art

Rey Villegas Elmer Art

Rey Villegas, like me, is an architect by profession, but holds a great interest in comics and comics art. In fact, he's got professional credits as a comic book illustrator both abroad and here in the Philippines.

Thanks Rey!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Doroteo L. Alanguilan

My dad is coming out with a book of his poetry, written from his school days in the 50's right up to the present. Some of these poems have been previously published in various newspapers and magazines, but this is the first time they all appear in one collection, including many unpublished ones.

I've provided spot illustrations throughout the book, and came up with the design for the cover. It's still a temp cover, as I thought it would be a good idea to actually see my dad's handwriting on the paper. That's my dad in 1955 and my mom in 1963.

Also published by Komikero Publishing, this should come out a month or so after Elmer #1 does.

If anyone is interested, please get in touch with me directly at my email: gerryalanguilan(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Oh, and my dad also has his own website. :)