Thursday, June 30, 2005

See the Sun Rise

Been a while since I listened to this Melissa Etheridge ballad. It spoke to me when I felt problematic years back. I can still relate to it, even after things have changed radically. Reminds me of those who really matter.
Talking to My Angel

Don't be afraid. Close your eyes. Lay it all down. Don't you cry. Can't you see I'm going where I can see the sun rise? I've been talking to my angel. He said that it's alright.

I've always had to run. I don't know just why. Desire slowly smoking under the midwest sky. There's something waiting out there that says I've got to try. I've been talking to my angel. He said that it's alright.

This town thinks I'm crazy; they just think I'm strange. Sometimes they want to own me. Sometimes they wish I'd change. But I can feel the thunder underneath my feet. I sold my soul for freedom. It's lonely but it's sweet.

Don't be afraid. Close your eyes. Lay it all down. Don't you cry. Can't you see I'm going where I can see the sun rise? I've been talking to my angel. He said that it's alright.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Weekend Geekery

It’s been nearly 48 hours since I touched a computer. The wonky weather made me really sick. I think I may also be stressed from work-related stuff, so I just spent my time sleeping and watching TV for most of Sunday and yesterday. The down time allowed me to reflect on many things that need to get done, since I do have many priorities mixed up. Organizing is another matter entirely, but I’ll get to it. The short hibernation period was relaxing, however, and it made me wish that I had time and money to burn to go away for a while and not worry about work for a few days.

Action Heroes
The 4th annual Toycon was great and, as usual, crowded. I was there for only a short time because I was feeling exhausted and quite queasy. I left soldier-boy Benedict to sell copies of LNA. Gerry, Ryan, Jonas and the other Komikeros were there, as well as Carl, who dropped by in the afternoon (he sold copies of One Night in Purgatory as part of a special 2-pack with LNA). Got to meet Ruel of Comic Brook too. Saw many Cosplay participants as I left early in the afternoon. Wish I stayed longer, but I had to go home and rest. To those who bought my comics, and to the Komikeros, Carl and Benedict, thanks again for helping out.

Bought New Avengers # 6 last weekend. This is the end of the first story arc. I wish I was satisfied, but the story just went around in circles. The new group didn’t get to show off any real team dynamic. I don’t have problems with the new lineup, but only Spider-Woman was shown doing something substantial in the issue (she threatened to kill the bad Black Widow). Wolverine was there just to quip that he can kill; the rationale for him being considered for membership by Iron Man is iffy. They’re supposed to be Marvel’s premier super-group this time (according to the hype), but they just moved too slowly and failed to save a number of lives. Yes, I know Sentry and Ronin have yet to join, but this team would be so creamed by the JLA’s big seven. The Avengers seriously need energy powerhouses and speedsters (I consider Photon one).

I’m fine with cliffhangers, lineup shake-ups and epic storylines, but the arc just felt so decompressed and lacking a big affecting impact to it. It did make me dig up and read my old Roger Stern, Kurt Busiek and John Byrne Avengers issues, and appreciate the good old days more. I hope Brian Bendis (whose dialogue is superb) can recapture that kind of scope and magic and give us something exciting and memorable with his future issues.

Finished the 12-issue Justice League Elite. Now this is cool stuff. Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke are my fave post-Morrison-Porter creative team on JLA, and I’m glad they were able to work again on some of the characters in this series. It’s been a fun ride filled with morality conundrums and fast-paced superhero action, and it would be great if it becomes an ongoing series soon. Will pick up JLA-Cyberforce one-shot in two weeks because of the Kelly-Mahnke collaboration too.

Unearthed Stuff

Image hosted by Torero
Pencil drawing, April 2000Image hosted by The Anime-trices
Pencil drawing, June 2000

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Ahh, feeling really drowsy. Need some sleep...

Anyway, for those who have yet to buy copies of Lexy, Nance & Argus: Sex, Gods, Rock & Roll, check out the Komikero booth tomorrow, Sunday, at the daylong Toycon event (Megatrade Hall, fifth floor of SM Megamall). Thanks to Gerry for inviting me to sell! A bunch of Pinoy comic book creators will be around so check that and the other exhibiting participants out. Will be there briefly if I'm well enough.

Also, to those attending tonight's annual Malate and Club Government pride parties, have fun!!! Enjoy and take care, people.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The World is Not Enough

Image hosted by
Pencil drawing, June 2000
Galactus, devourer of worlds, and Nova, his loyal Earthling herald. I really like Galactus and Marvel's rich mythologies and cosmic sagas.

Just Can’t Seem to Get Enough of…

Desperate Housewives. Love this show. I’ve seen four episodes already. It fills the void left by Sex and the City. There are four strong female protagonists too, seemingly picking up where the SATC foursome left off. The Desperate characters are suburban women who lead very interesting lives; they’re a bunch of friends whose life, love and lust experiences are unique yet familiar. I especially like ex-Melrose Place villainess Marcia Cross’ compelling turn as an obsessive-compulsive wife and mother. Very funny and charming stuff. There’s also a mystery brewing at their neighborhood, Wysteria Lane, that threatens to shatter the assorted characters' seemingly peaceful coexistence. A housewife who killed herself in the pilot is the unusual (and humorous) narrator of every episode.

The Pre-Infinite Crisis books. I like how everything pivotal happens in DC Comics titles like OMAC, Villains United, Rann-Thanagar War and Day of Vengeance. I wish they didn’t take too long to finish, but it’s an interesting and massive way to set up the sequel to the milestone Crisis on Infinite Earths, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Other DC books I’m enjoying right now are Grant Morrisson’s Zatanna and JLA’s first issue of Geoff John’s and Allan Heinberg’s run. I wish Marvel’s House of M event created as much excitement for me, but so far, the new alternate reality just reminds me of old What If stories, the post-Onslaught reboot, and Age of Apocalypse. But I’m crossing my fingers. Hope the story improves.

Justice League Unlimited. Over thirty Justice Leaguers in one show. Most of them are background characters, and the focus has mainly been on the core group and some supporting cast members, but the stories are so epic and solid that it’s created a strong continuity that’s removed from the comic books. I hope Marvel is learning from the success of this series and makes a decent Avengers cartoon soon…

Bone. I’ve recently read three trade paperbacks and several single issues, and I must say that writer-artist Jeff Smith is one talented guy. His clean, cartoony style, pacing and overall sturdy storytelling are really special.

Cutting Crew’s Everything But My Pride. Nostalgia time. What a sad but lovely song. Bought their compilation CD last week.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Thank You Consequence

Been a tiring but worthwhile week for this old geekboy. I just wanna thank some people for just being there and doing good stuff. Shout-outs to:

John, for hanging out and helping me with computer stuff. And for just being creative, wise and generous as always.

Benedickie, for letting me work in his place, the Bone TPB’s and JLU eps (Justice League versus the super-clones! Yay!).

People who gave favorable reactions to my comic book in the last month or so. I’m sincerely delighted that you connected with my work and found something valuable in it. Eric Julian Manalastas, Ruel de Jesus, Bong, Chriscroix, Markus, Chuayjai, Karl the Humanities professor, Fudge, Benedict’s friend Kris and all the others who bought and read it, thank you so much. And Chrissy a.k.a. Boi Bitch… I really appreciate your never-ending pimpage.

Dean, for writing this touching and inspiring post. That’s very cool.

McVie, for this really funny interview with blogging phenom Badinggerzie and other fun posts.

People who visit this blog, thank you for sharing your presence and thoughts. Click on the other bloggers’ links, too. Each one’s unique. They all have interesting stories and ideas to share.

My family, just because.

Thank you, thank you. :)

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Once Upon a Rhyme

Image hosted by Photobucket.comPen and ink, 1997

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Let's Get Metaphysical

I’ve been extremely busy with stuff, but the comments in the previous post have inspired me to hand over my two cents on the very touchy subject of worship. It’s always a thorny issue, and it invites endless debates. But it’s an issue worth talking about.

I’m not a big fan of it, as older readers of this blog or my friends already know. And as I have mentioned before, faith will always be a personal thing. It will always be up to you which pre-established beliefs you can apply to your daily dealings and search for spiritual contentment. If you don’t believe in God in whichever manifestation countless religions have presented them to you, that’s cool too. In this day and age, that liberty to choose is a crucial one, and one that mustn’t be suppressed by anyone.

I agree that many people have found, and continue to find, comfort and direction with their beliefs, despite the imperfections of traditional systems. I acknowledge that people need to have moral codes or compasses at some point in their lives; whether they attain that through learning old teachings from old prophets or even from the expansive and infinite terrains of pop culture is entirely up to them.

Religion, like anything man-made, is imperfect because we all have limited perceptions, no matter how we have, since time immemorial, claimed monopolies of various truths. Many lives were lost and rich cultures were destroyed by “holy” wars, inquisitions, and crusades throughout the centuries. Blood has been spilled “in God’s name”, and it has created rifts and inspired pissing matches on a grand scale. It hasn’t stopped. People still justify trampling on people’s rights by brandishing ever-reliable “God” today.

What’s also disheartening about old institutions like the Church, in its many incarnations, is that they’re not open to evolving ideas anymore. To cite a recent glaring example: the late Pope John Paul II stated for the record that gay people are “evil”. When the world’s most powerful religious leader says something like that, it’s not merely an opinion. It’s canon, a declaration that homosexuals are abnormal, sinful and cannot be part of a productive society. And if someone this influential can be so bold and self-righteous to make such an “inspired” assessment, I shudder at the thought of how that strengthens followers with latent homophobia. I fear and feel sad for gay persons stuck in such a hate-mongering, very selective thoughtscape. And it’s also disappointing that very few Christians have shown the courage to speak up against such unjust and, to be frank, stupid attitudes.

All that being said, there are followers who are realistic and practical enough to go with their own judgments regarding alternative lifestyles, birth control and feminism, and it’s really good that many people are willing to dissect complicated issues like these (these elicit contrasting views, depending on which priest you ask). And it must be noted that some faiths are trying to be relevant with the times by being more accepting of differences. Some have proven to be helpful to those in temporal need as well.

My Dad once asked me why I wasn’t a Christian anymore (he had to find out when I briefly mentioned that fact in a Gary V. article I wrote two years back). I simply answered, “I can’t relate to Christianity anymore.” I wanted to elaborate that I couldn’t relate to its many intricacies—the mystical backstory, the repetitive rituals and the hypocritical declarations, among other things. I couldn’t tell him that I didn't believe in the selfish, bossy bastard the Christian God has continuously been portrayed as anymore—an embodiment of “might makes right”—a cosmic bogeyman that I do not find worthy to judge me.

But we didn’t talk about it anymore. He was obviously disappointed, but he just let me be, as he always has. Maybe one day, we’ll discuss it. I hope we do, honestly, so that he’ll at least understand where I’m coming from. He has his beliefs, as do my other relatives, and I respect them.

I don’t know for sure if there’s a real Supreme Being, or if he/she/it was just concocted by ancient scribes to be an imaginary friend for grown-ups. But if there’s anything I’ve learned and continue to learn about life, it’s tolerance. A little goes a long way. We can just agree to disagree; none of us are getting any younger. It’s actually hard sometimes, but let’s just celebrate diversity. At the end of the day, we all want the same things, even when our daily addictions and preferences differ.

It’s a small planet, and we’ve very little time to make our efforts count, God or no God.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Image hosted by Photobucket.comDrawn using Microsoft's Paint program (and a rickety mouse) some time last January.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Calm Betwixt the Storms

Jed stared at him in the dark, unblinking, the sole light from the muted motel TV giving flickering shape to his peaceful, lips-parted slumber. Unable to resist, he kissed Ehren’s mouth softly; it was a pure and sincere gesture, with nary a hint of regret or hesitation. Crouched over his once-secret lover’s naked form, he proceeded to run his fingers through his thick, dark hair, their bodies touching again under the large, thin blanket that somehow, miraculously and continuously, kept the airconditioned chill at bay.

Ehren stirred, scratched his left cheek, and quietly exhaled, “Hnnnnnhhhrrrr… heyyy…”

They hugged abruptly and fiercely, and tossed aside their “magic” blanket, suddenly excited that their bodies were generating their own protective warmth.

“God, I love you so much,” Ehren whispered.

Jed didn’t reply anymore, as his mouth was busy doing other things. He’s used to replying in actions, anyway, and that particularly endeared him to sweet, loyal Ehren early on. Their bodies blurred, heaved and thumped their shifting, slapping percussion beats, until they rapidly gasped into a spasm, in unison, eight minutes later. They burst into loud giggles and happy cussing, unmindful of the sheet of paper posted at the door (and it was posted at every door) that hopelessly requested, “PLEASE OBSERVE SILENCE”.

“Hmh… that chubby veejay’s so cuuute… he needs a veejaying workshop, but damn, he’s so ooomffff!” Jed said while shaking the remote control giddily. “I rode a jeep last week with the seats covered in tarpaulin banners of his first ad… remember that? So anyway, I sat on his face--well, his tarpaulin face--so, yuumm…”

“Jed. She knows,” Ehren interrupted.

“Who? Knows what?!”

“Rubie Regalia. She knows that we’re on to her. It’s only a matter of time until she tracks one of us careless or drunk enough to stray off of Andy’s mind-maps, and breaks him or her into revealing each and every Alternatural’s location. Andy and Octophelia are gathering the others right now. I’m needed, Jed. We need volunteers too. So, are you--”

“But… but the others can handle it. You don’t have to be Spectro anymore. Come on! I gave up being Jacob the Fibber for you. There are dozens of them, Ehren… please, stay.”

“I’m needed. I gotta do this. You know I should. There isn’t much time left. And once Regalia mobilizes her troops—we’ve seen her organizing a new Core Four already—we’re all done for. I mean, that earth elemental Gaulus? He’s a confirmed member already. Our team’s gonna be needing me and some of the other heavy hitters. And please, don’t use telepathy on me to keep me from the job this time.”

Jed’s brow knitted. He pulled the blanket up to his shoulders and quietly stared at the still-muted TV.

Ehren sat down and stood up; activating his mystically spawned gift of speed, he rushed to the bathroom to briskly clean up for at least half a minute. He sped out back, while a playful glow of colors from his chest emitted heat that dried his dripping body in barely three seconds.

He then manifested his uniform by thought, which enveloped his glistening physique like interconnecting tentacles of spandex, leather and enduramesh. Jed has seen this transformation numerous times before, and has always shown enthusiasm for the “kinky” aspects of every private spectacle. But he just sat there on the bed this time, unmoving and his eyes transfixed on the old Kylie video.

“Bye, baby,” Ehren said after planting a kiss on the sulking Jed’s left cheek. "I’ll be back as soon as I can. Just yell if there’s anything wrong. You know the drill. I… I’m sorry, but I gotta go now. Oh, and the car needs gas, don’t forget.”

Ehren opened the window and flew off, leaving a streak of tiny red and gold sparks in his wake. Jed slowly moved his head to the direction of the open window, whose curtains fluttered violently at the intruding post-typhoon winds.

He sighed, tisked and flipped the remote to change the channel.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Retro Fix

Just got The Cure's Greatest Hits compilation (2001) from Tower Records. It's got 18 songs! Pictures of You and Caterpillar weren't included, but four unfamiliar, typically nice-sounding songs from more recent albums were. Image hosted by I'm thinking of getting the Cutting Crew and REM greatest hits albums next.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Thor, Son of Odin and Gaea

Pencil drawing, May 2001 Posted by HelloSuperman can knock him out almost effortlessly, but Thor is still one of the mightiest superheroes ever.

Nikolai Barrett a.k.a. Dhampyr

Pen and ink, December 1997 Posted by HelloThis pin-up was based on an idea that won't ever happen in any sequel, but it was fun to draw, anyway.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Bat Tea

I feel like Jack Bauer right now. Minus the grief and violence, of course. Been awake for almost 24 hours. It was a very busy work day. I also just got home from the press preview screening of Batman Begins. 'Twas gooood. I suspect kids won't like it as much as the old movies, but older viewers will be pleased that this new version's more steeped in reality than its predecessors. The story's more complex; it's a detailed re-telling of the Dark Knight's secret origin. Christian Bale was just perfect. And Katie "Tomatie" Holmes wasn't bad. The Brit actors added class. There were scenes that were unnecessarily long, but overall, the movie works. Ah, I'm rambling. Off to bed now.

Oh, by the way, talented local band Imago's second album is now finally available at selected music outlets. Buy it!

And!!! Please support the ongoing Pink Film Festival at the Gateway Mall!

Update: This post's title was inspired by the Joey de Leon movie Alyas Batman en Robin. Joey, as Batman, offered Dawn Zulueta's character some bat-beverages. She responded, "Magba-Bat Tea na lang ako." Hehehe...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Conduct Awardee, hee hee Posted by Hello I sported that haircut ‘til I was in sixth grade. Mom was a Beatles fan, and it wasn’t until I was in first year high school that I had my hair trimmed at a barber shop.

Sometimes, I miss being eleven. Sure, I wasn’t one of the cool, athletic kids, but I was happy with my interests, which mostly consisted of comic books, cartoons and my He-Man action figures. I had a good childhood. I can’t complain; I was raised by hardworking parents who kept reiterating the importance of studying. I suppose they’re also grateful. When I was in Grade One, I won first place in my school’s Science quiz contest, as well as third in the Spelling contest (it was a tie between me and old classmate Marco Dimaano).

By the time I transferred to another school in Muntinlupa when I was nine, my interests remained the same. I still enjoyed reading. I frequented the library after classes, and I borrowed books, many of which were illustrated. The ones I can remember off the bat include those about aliens, ghosts and monsters (they might be old DK Books, if the publishing company already existed), as well as Peanuts Encyclopedias, Burne Hogarth’s Tarzan, different hardbound versions of Aesop’s Fables, Dr. Seuss titles, and many more (I liked the Choose Your Own Adventure series, but the library didn’t have them). The only other person from my class that I often ran into in that strangely welcoming haven was a girl who wrote well, Leah. I forget what she liked reading, but she was a nice, quiet person.

The school was only a few blocks from the house, so I walked home everyday, excited about the stuff I borrowed. After returning them on their due dates, I'd borrow those I really enjoyed for a second time. I was still heavily into superhero comics, and I would discover when I was eleven that it was easy to draw the figures by just copying them and not tracing. I began drawing super-characters I created on the backs of my notebooks and mimeographed textbooks. They had their never-ending slam-bang fisticuffs. Eventually I played with my brother’s prized Speedball pen set and copied the cover of an Uncanny X-Men issue featuring Colossus versus the Vision (drawn by John Romita, Jr. and Dan Green) on oslo paper.

By sixth grade I was so bored with school that I would feign sickness almost everyday. All I wanted to do was look at my comic books and draw. I honestly felt that I didn’t want to go to school anymore because I had no enthusiasm for it (a story for another day, yes). But during one of the days when I forced myself to attend my tedious classes, it was the annual Book Fair. At one of the tables near my classroom, a nice lady, Mrs. Simbulan, was peddling new comic books! She told me about her new shop called Comic Quest. It was a five-peso, 10-minute tricycle ride away. I went to school every day thereafter primarily to save my allowance for quite a number of Marvel comic books (and the occasional Crisis on Infinite Earths issues). That was a good time to read stories about superheroes.

Life as a geeky boy was funny and weird, now that I think about it. My memories about certain events remain very vivid. Before things were irrevocably altered by adolescence and its complications, I was a kid who never thought about the future. I never thought I’d ever grow up. And in some ways, at certain times, I’m still that youngster, devoid of any real-world concerns.

My worries then were different, of course. I fervently prayed to Jesus that my circumcision wouldn’t hurt, and that he would always keep me safe from manananggals and other kinds of vampires. And that I’d go to Heaven to join God, Mother Mary and the angels when I die.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Arty Facts

Spellweaver - Pencil drawing, Dec. 1998 Posted by HelloHaven't blogged in a while. Was sick last weekend. I wanna talk about how good Sin City was, but maybe later. I've been very busy, so I'll try to catch up on some sleep. In the meantime, here are some ancient drawings from what seems like a lifetime ago. As usual, click on the images to view larger versions.

Dark Avatar

Pen and ink drawing, Sept. 1999 Posted by HelloArt from Alamat Comics' Avatar # 1, the first page of David Hontiveros' backup storyThe Legend of Baal.

Swamp Thing

Pen and ink, April 2001 Posted by HelloI'm a fan of the Moore-Totelben-Bissette stories.