Sunday, October 30, 2005

All Hallowed Out

Silly John took this pic of me in a dorky Viking hat a few weeks back at the toy department of SM Megamall. I don’t really get into the Halloween spirit by being in costume or going to parties--nah, they’re not really my thing--but I like the celebration and seeing everyone in fancy getup, from kids and pets to professional cosplayers and competitive masqueraders. Posh subdivisions in Makati and Alabang are serious about Trick or Treat-ing; they have costumed residents of all ages festively going around for sweets. Haven’t witnessed one up close myself, but I’m told it’s a fun spectacle.

This time of the year, for me, brings back fond memories of sem breaks, watching televised or taped scary movies, and trading spooky stories with friends and family.

Enjoy the holidays and be safe, everyone!

Image hosted by"Candied", Mixed media, Oct. 2000

Was feeling creative a couple of days ago and wrote this chantey of sorts. Make up your own tune.

Halloween Carol

In mist and fog, through doors that creak.
Sunless attics, empty rooms, oh they can make you shriek!
Fear can be anywhere you look:
In a still pond, a quiet street, an awful book.
But brave the unknown, revel in good cheer.
Have fun and fear! Halloween’s here!

In cobwebbed stairs, through dark dead trees.
Strange shadows and sounds that make you freeze!
Phobias can be anything you feel.
Open spaces, creepy crawlies, imagined or real.
But brave the unknown, revel in good cheer!
Have fun and fear! Halloween’s here!

Dress up and be merry, be nice or be scary.
Be god and frighten them with a flood.
Or act undead and crave for blood.
Or be a creature made of swamp mud!
An emotional vamp, a gold-digging tramp.
A politician on a stamp.
A backstabbing friend, oh you can pretend.
That you deserve the boons the heavens sent.
Put on your makeup, ghouls after breakups.
Put on your angel or fairy wings.
Or slinky cloth held up by strings.
And munch on those colored, crunchy things!
Give your dentist work, eat that sugared bread.
Tonight, the line ‘tween heaven and hell, we tread.
Live merry, for one day we’ll be dead!
Oh, be anyone you wish, before the night fades.
Feel the power of the annual masquerade.
Be someone you’re not, play a part once a year
And brave the unknown, revel in good cheer!
So tart up and sneer! Halloween’s here!
Have fun and fear! Halloween’s here!

“I think there’s a lot of people out there who say we must not have horror in any form, we must not say scary things to children because it will make them evil and disturbed….That offends me deeply, because the world is a scary and horrifying place, and everyone’s going to get old and die, if they’re that lucky. To set children up to think that everything is sunshine and roses is doing them a great disservice. Children need horror because there are things they don’t understand. It helps them to codify it if it’s mythologized, if it’s put in the context of a story, whether the story has a happy ending or not. If it scares them and shows them a little bit of the dark side of the world that is there and will always be, it’s helping them out when they have to face it as adults.”
-- Joss Whedon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Monster Book (2000)

Cosmo Treat
Un-scary stuff. Just wanna thank the nice ladies of Cosmopolitan Magazine for giving LNA a nice review in their October issue. Yay!

Time to Bogey
This accompanied an article about TV and movie bogeybeings I wrote for the paper three years ago.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Had a meteor crashed on the UP Bahay ng Alumni last Saturday afternoon, it would’ve wiped out a sizeable chunk of this generation’s local comics-creating community in one fell swoop. Almost every clique was there, from the vast spectrum of indie creators to internationally known artists, as well as hundreds of Pinoy readers and aspirants. Exhibitors offered a variety of products that the generous guests happily (or perhaps in some cases, reluctantly) purchased. It’s safe to assume that it was fun for everyone.

I was able to sell 25 copies of LNA: FA (which was available in seven cover colors!) and 16 copies of LNA: SGRR, so it was especially cool for me. Benedict sold 20 copies of Psigns, and that’s great too, as we were unsure if it would make it to the convention a few days prior. To those who bought, passed by, greeted, and asked for autographs, thank you so much. Thanks to Taga-Ilog, Joseph, Jason, Paolo and Claire, Enrique, Josel, Reno, Allan a.k.a. Tenzil, Jonas (who bought copies for Johnny Danganan), Arnel and Mannie Abeleda, Kensai Zach Yonzon, Russell Tomas (nice to see you, old friend), Vinnie, Ruel and Shiela of Comic Brook (fun talking to you both!), and to those whose names I can’t remember right now, or didn’t ask, thank you for buying and chatting, too!

It was also nice to finally meet Manix Abrera, Luis Katigbak (thanks for taking that picture!), Gabby Lee, Joel Chua, Butch Mapa, Terrence and GOOF. (yeah there’s a dot after), and to see old pals and/or fellow comics junkies Ian, Chris, Arn and Cyn, Jac, Wilson Tortosa, Felix Cua, Ryan Orosco, Marco, El and Camy, Andrew, Gerry, Carl, Dave, Budjette, Annie Alejo, Ric, and from afar, Nil Yu, Gilbert, Jay Anacleto, Lico Reloj and Ed Tadeo. There were those who looked really familiar but I can’t name them. Grabe, star-studded.

Congrats to the organizers for the event and for bringing such an eclectic bunch together. One major gripe though: I hope they switch on the ceiling fans near the exhibit area next time. Hindi naman liliparin yung mga papel namin. Many of us were fanning ourselves and were uncomfortable. The venue was good and spacious; I just don’t see why we had to swelter the whole time when there were four unused electric fans in that area.

Anyway, thanks to Benedict for helping me sell my stuff and the pic above, and for bringing me home. Here’s the old Lakan group a.k.a. Creative Underground, a.k.a. Pot Luck Productions (minus John, who was busy last Saturday, and Budj, who was away, and Marvin, he’s in the US). Thanks for this pic, Gerry!
Image hosted by

Update (Oct. 28, Friday): Those who wish to meet and have their books signed by creators David, Carl and Manix, they're in Powerbooks Greenbelt right now til 5 p.m.. It's the official launch of the Penumbra books (Takod, Parman, Craving), and other Visprint titles like Zsazsa Zaturnnah and Kiko Machine will also be available. Go! Now!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Cover Boy

Psigns of the Season ashcan cover (left) by me. Created and written by Benedict and illustrated by Gian a.k.a. GOOF, it's got kid superheroes and a really cool mystery. The unique short story is something that young and old readers can enjoy. It’ll be available at my table later today, Komikon 2005, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., UP Bahay ng Alumni. Only P 30. Drop by, say hi, and please buy our stuff.

Here’s another cover I made, this time for Sky’s e-book series Warm Bodies (he put in the masthead and text over my letter-less drawing). This third volume, “Nostalgia Galore”, compiles over a dozen selected blog entries about, obviously, personal recollections of the decades that were. The file can be downloaded from his blog. Reminisce away.
Image hosted by

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Five for Filing

1) Palanca Award-winning writer David Hontiveros will be releasing three new horror-dark fantasy novellas during the Komikon. These are Parman (cover by me, image above), Craving (cover by Carl Vergara) and Takod (cover by Wawi Navarroza). The books will be launched officially a week after the comics convention. Will announce the date and venue when everything's confirmed. Parman introduces a different kind of Filipino hero, Uno, a knight in special armor. Check that and the other books out.

2) Met up with science guy Sky briefly last Sunday afternoon at the nearby mall for something work-related. Was expecting him to be pale, scrawny, and kulot. That’s how I imagined he’d look like. He’s not. He’s a little intimidating, actually. But he seems like a nice fellow, heheh.

3) Saw a quick but very touching story about rocker Melissa Etheridge, who recovered from her battle with breast cancer, on ET last night. She’s overjoyed and claims that every day is a chance to live life to the fullest. “I don’t fear the future,” she enthuses. She's also grateful to her loving wife Tammy Lynn Michaels for her unwavering support throughout the ordeal.

4) Saw a South Park episode over Jack TV two nights ago, where Cartman was duped into buying a teenaged guy’s shorn pubic hair. After failing miserably at getting his money back, evil Cartman had the last laugh by… ahh, it’s just too gross to put in detail here, but nevertheless, I was entertained and disgusted at the same time. That rarely happens.

5) Heard Alanis Morissette’s version of Seal’s “Crazy”. Impressive. Ben Folds’ version of The Cure’s “In Between Days”? Mmm... sorry. I don’t like it.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Infinity and Beyond

Sneaking some blog time between sleep and work. Got a few things I should write about before I totally forget. Past week was busy as usual. Just taking a breather.

She’s Damn Talented
Last Friday, I attended Isha Abubakar’s EP launch at the Podium. She performed four new, all-original Tagalog compositions. My favorite among them, the title track “Katakataka”, was melodic and heartwarming, and was a solid team effort between her, the band and her backup singers. She did a bunch of awesome covers while playing the keyboard, including “People are People” and “Life in a Northern Town”. I hope to get a copy of the CD soon; I've yet to check if the stores sell it already. Wish I had a camera (yeah, I should save up for one, I know); I can only say so much about how she looked while playing, channeling all that ethereal energy into her lilting voice and her swift, adroit fingers.

Komikon 2005
That’s next Saturday, folks. Confirmed attendees include, aside from yours truly: Arnold Arre (Mythology Class), Leinil Yu (Wolverine), Gerry Alanguilan (Humanis Rex), Budjette Tan (Kid Zeus and Ate Carol), Elbert Or (Cast), Reno Maniquis (Maskarado), Jonas Diego (A Girl’s Story), Jac Ting Lim (Pilya), Marco Dimaano (KIA), Carlo Vergara (Zsazsa Zaturnnah), David Hontiveros (Parman, Craving, Takod), Manix Abrera (Kiko Machine), the event organizers Artist’s Den, and many others. Please click on the Komikon link in the previous post for more information.

Also, for those curious, no, the LNA: Family Album minicomic isn’t a sequel. It’s a small supplement that complements the comic book. I’m hoping that new readers who pick it up will be enticed to get the previously released book. And that those familiar with that will be interested enough to check out the new, non-sequential gathering of snappy snapshots, which further explore the characters and their world. It was a chance for me to revisit the concept, and the different format allowed me to experiment a bit. That was fun to do.

Infinite Crisis
Wow. First issue’s out. The buildup was great; it was spread across five titles (I only read four, so that’s 24 issues). Spoilers! The sequel to DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths sees a fractured Justice League confronting an alliance of Super-Villains, the insane Spectre, the Meta-hunting Sentinels… I mean, OMACs, bloodthirsty Thanagarian forces… and some unknown, otherworldly threats. Important figures from the first Crisis reappear. Twenty years after that unforgettable epic, this series promises to change the status quo again. It’s also heavily tied into last year’s Identity Crisis, so the repercussions are big. The JLA title is a crucial tie-in, too, as some of the team's founders gather a new group. Infinite Crisis is really dark and bloody, so far, and most importantly, fun. I’m a kid again! Can’t wait for the next ish.
Image hosted by Infinite Crisis # 1 (from Newsarama)

House of M
Again, spoiler-ish. By contrast, Marvel’s current big crossover event is almost at an end. It started really slow, but the penultimate issue (# 7) finally reveals the real machinations behind the new reality. This story was brought about by last year’s controversial and somewhat forced disbanding of the Avengers (the title was revamped into New Avengers). Magneto’s insane and powerful daughter, the reality-bending Scarlet Witch, reshapes the world into one where mutants, primarily the House of Magnus, rule the Earth. Like Infinite Crisis, it’s supposed to forge the universe’s new direction. The cliffhanger in # 7: The almost-Beyonder-like Wanda wishes mutants away. The rumor is, the mutant population will be thinned down to a few hundred. Will they be de-powered? We'll see next month. Incidentally, there have been genocidal efforts that significantly removed mutants before (hundreds were killed during the Morlock Massacre, and millions in Genosha’s Sentinel attack) and there was a storyline where the High Evolutionary neutralized millions of mutants' powers for weeks.

Well, I hope the conclusion doesn’t disappoint. That’s been the problem with the Avengers title recently (it's written by the same scribe). Wanda’s rampage last year was stopped by a non-Avenger, Dr. Strange. The first arc of New Avengers ended with the unexpected intervention of SHIELD. Most recently, the Sentry went on a rampage, and the X-Men's Emma Frost saved the day! What gives? Will the Avengers shine and be the real heroes at all in the Ronin arc?

Shadow of the Cat
One of the most memorable New Mutants issues ever, # 45, from 1986. Powerful and relevant. Kitty Pryde speaks about a new friend, Larry Bodine, who killed himself because bullies threatened to expose him as a mutant. They didn't know that he actually was, until it was too late. Click on the panel below.

Will sleep now. I miss my bed and pillows.

Friday, October 07, 2005

They’re back!

All-new format! The Lexy, Nance & Argus: Family Album minicomic (5 ½” X 8 ½”) is an all-new collectible companion to the well-received Lexy, Nance & Argus: Sex, Gods, Rock & Roll. The 24-page, black and white special collects exclusive spot cartoons (captioned comic illustrations, a la The Far Side and Dennis the Menace newspaper strips) starring the lovable and quirky characters from the hit indie comic book. Only a limited number of copies will be released during the daylong Komikon 2005 event on Oct. 22, at the UP Bahay ng Alumni. Please do check it out. Only P 50 per copy.

Lexy, Nance & Argus: Sex, Gods, Rock & Roll will also be available on that day. Other local creators and publishers will be releasing all-new books at the convention as well.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Magda Lynne of The Nine

Pencil drawing, 1999 Posted by PicasaI don't remember who she is or what she can do, but she's part of an interstellar organization of some sort.