Friday, July 28, 2006

A Bug's Death

Just spent almost half an hour waiting for a big fly—a yucky bangaw--to land. It buzzed around my room for quite some time. I couldn’t rest ‘til I got it; I didn’t want it pestering me while I’m sleeping later. After some failed attempts, I finally whacked it with an old newspaper. It was still trying to walk, so I drenched it with rubbing alcohol. Gotcha, creep.

Too bad I wasn’t able to get a cockroach, which crawled into the ceiling, just before that. Tried throwing a slipper at it, but it was too high, and I’m not good at throwing stuff. Slipper landed on my back. Yeep.

Boy, I’m talking about bugs. Slow day, yeah.

One in Every Group

Interesting news week for queer pop stars. Lance Bass of N’Sync admitted that he is, no surprise, gay, and--surprise!--dating Amazing Race winner Reichen; Savage Garden’s ex-vocalist Darren Hayes just married his boyfriend of two years in London; and ex-Wham-er George Michael gets paparazzi’d while having some outdoor fun (aww, let him be).

Life After Toy Biz

They’re still going to be called Marvel Legends, even when they’re not made by Toy Biz anymore. Next year, there’s “Planet Hulk”-Hulk, Lord Thor, Yellowjacket, Hercules! (Woohoo! He kicked ass in Civil War 3, before… you know), and a bunch of others, with build-a-figure extras like Blob and Annihilus! Yay! That’s awesome news.


(Posed and photographed by Benedict last month)

Spider-Woman giving Spider-Hulk special feelings!
Spider-Woman: Damn spider-pheromones…
Spider-Clone: Ew. Outta here.
Spider-Man: Don’t leave yet. She’ll venom-blast him where it hurts in three… two…one…


Catwoman: The jewel’s off-limits, Silver Pussy…
Black Cat: That’s Black Cat, you skank. And I got dibs. Your clumsiness set off the alarms, and that vampire-signal in the sky, whatever THAT is.
Catwoman: Piece of advice, dear, the gem’s a fake, and cursed. I wouldn’t go near it if I were you. I tripped the alarms because I just wanted to see the Bat. I’m sure you’ve heard of him. I... know him, if you know what I mean.
Black Cat: You’re nuts. But… I can relate. My best nights out, they’re spent playing cat-and-mouse over the rooftops of Manhattan with a guy in tights. Or just enjoying a girlfriend.
Catwoman: I see. How… adventurous. Well, “Black Cat”, I hope you’re not muscling in on my territory, because I’d be compelled to turn you in. Nothing personal.
Black Cat: So you’re a cat burglar AND a hero? How does that work?
Catwoman: I was mindwiped. By SuperHEROES! You won’t understand.
Black Cat: I was raped, years back. My attacker got killed in an accident before I got to him. Not getting revenge triggered my kleptomania.
Catwoman: Oh… I’m sorry. Look, wanna hang out somewhere? Sneak into some ritzy shoe shops? Maybe beat up some druggie muggers after? This isn’t a real heist, and the Bat can wait. I’m your tour guide tonight. And have I got some stories to tell you about this town.
Black Cat: Sure!
Catwoman: I’ll steal the beer!
Black Cat: And I’ll steal the porn!
Catwoman: Mee-yow!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Red Rocks

Color It Red’s newest, self-titled album takes a little getting used to, but after some spins, it grows on you. I like that it sounds like a mix of songs from their second and third albums, so there are light alternative and jazz-inspired tracks, and more Tagalog songs. There's an absence of angsty and pointed lyrical content that characterized their debut album, so it can be assumed that the lyricists are at a different, more mature stage already. The music’s mostly breezy but still edgy, and Cooky Chua still damn rocks.

This House Divided

Marvel’s big Civil War event is entertaining, so far. Three issues into the 7-parter, the series has intriguingly and intensely divided its characters into the pro-Superhero Registration camp, led by Iron Man, and the anti-registration side, led by Captain America. This is shaping up to be so much better than Infinite Crisis in terms of long-term, in-continuity repercussions (restarting “history” and changing continuity can be tiring, DC). If you were disappointed with last year’s mega-event House of M (which showed yet another “dream” reality, by the way), Civil War seems to be implementing many important changes, relationship-wise, and it's showing more hard-hitting developments that other crossover stories seem to keep tiptoe-ing around.

I’ve always been a fan of Iron Man as a kid, and admired the different armors that he’s sported ‘til the early ‘90s. He’s always been portrayed as stubborn when he believes he’s right, so it’s not unexpected that he’s at odds with Cap again (they had a falling out back in the first "Armor Wars" event). But Tony Stark, in recent months, has been portrayed as a well-intentioned but manipulative “futurist” prick. Good thing Cap and his “Secret Avengers”, and Emma Frost, are there to keep him in line.

Stark’s side is actually logical and sensible; masked heroes should be answerable to a higher authority. But Cap champions civil liberties, and it’s understandable that he’s wary of the US government and SHIELD’s intentions. Stark should expose SHIELD’s illegal activities NOW and demand a restructuring, and look for the Washington-based guy who put Nitro in Stamford. If he did these things soon, at least we’d be assured that he isn’t just a puppet, and in effect, a mindless puppet master to others. He’s gotten really bull-headed; I loathe and admire him at once (my brother, who read the first three issues, is quite annoyed at him, and can’t wait to see what happens next). The character’s finally become interesting for me again after all these years.

One out-of-character moment, however: Wasp doesn’t talk like that. In Dr. Strange’s house, she said, “Damn watch always seems to stop when I’m in this stupid house.” She even said that in front of the housekeeper, Wong! Janet Van Dyne has always been written as courteous and jovial, even in the company of strangers, but that line just isn’t her. She’s probably the most polite superheroine at Marvel, even when she’s under pressure.

The related stories are tightly written. Loved the She-Hulk tie-in. Am getting CW: Frontline and CW: Runaways-Young Avengers too. Exciting comics week, yep.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Water Whirled

I’ve been busy interviewing people for a PR firm’s real estate and pesticide clients. Really boring stuff that I’ll appreciate in the future, I’m sure. For now, I’m just tired.

Was invited to the Super! Party at Embassy tonight. Thanks, Pam! Wanted to go, I wanna meet the other contributing writers, but I haven’t gotten much sleep since yesterday. Waah, next time na lang…

Watched Lady in the Water after finishing one such PR assignment in Makati early today. The film is much simpler than Shyamalan’s previous works, and it’s more fantasy-based and fairy tale-like. I’m actually of two minds about it: I find it an imaginative endeavor, as the writer-director has his own take on magical creatures and mythology that many of the human characters suddenly get acquainted with, and immersed in, respectively; on the other hand, the story gets corny occasionally, and certain characters are just annoying, including the guy played by Mr. Shyamalan himself. Still, watch it and decide for yourself. I’m actually more excited for Bryce Dallas Howard’s appearance in Spider-Man 3 as… woohoo!... Gwen Stacy. That’s next year.

Was surprised that this guy is Freddy Rodriguez, Federico from Six Feet Under. He’s an apartment tenant character in Lady who, weirdly enough, only lifts weights to develop his right arm. It’s probably a prosthetic, or digitally enhanced. His bulked-up arm looks real in the movie.

Sweet Swine Sketches

Was with Benedict last Saturday at the Rockwell Tent for the Fully Booked contest thingy. The competition attracted a huge turnout of entries for both comics and prose categories, and the shortlisted ones were subjected to a people’s choice poll. Anyway, the place was surprisingly spacious enough and quite cold. I hope this year’s Komikon organizers will choose a venue that’s just as comfortable (the UP convention last October didn’t even have any electric fans on in our area).

Benedict got two new sketches of his cartoon character Fero McPiglet. He’s been collecting different interpretations for about two years already, his small sketch pads now filled with disparate versions by over sixty artists, including Arnold and Cynthia Arre, Carl Vergara, Manix Abrera, Leinil Yu, Mannie Abeleda, Reinard Santos, Ian Orendain, Wilson Tortosa, Carlo Pagulayan, Jonas Diego, Gian Fernando, Marco Dimaano, Robert Magnusson, me, John Toledo (who drew him roasted and on a platter), Ner Pedrina, Reno Maniquis, Elbert Or, Ryan Orosco, Jac Ting Lim, Ariel Atienza, Gerry Alanguilan and Neil Gaiman (left, the “Signing Pig” sketch, drawn during last year’s event), among many others. There are superhero Feros, barbarian Feros, a girl (a trannie?) Fero, a skinless Fero, and so on. Cool thing to compile, that.


Watched Superman Returns with John again, but at the Imax theater in Mall of Asia. Wow, those 3D visors are snazzy. I was kinda expecting those cardboard glasses with red and blue cellophane lenses (the ones that we never got during the boring Freddie’s Dead, back in the day). The Imax experience was just okay; only a few action sequences were given the 3D treatment. The trailers of Ant Bully and T-Rex were great, though. You can practically touch the leaping CG characters and monsters. Neat. Oh, one thing, though… the seats we reserved were quite creaky. But I dunno if that applies to the other rows, too.

Well, I hope that another Imax theater opens in a more accessible mall.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Juvenile Dependency

Young Justice-Young Avengers fan art, July 2006 (pen and ink, click on image to enlarge)

After reading the entire YJ run and the first thirteen issues of YA, I just had to draw the characters. I chose to draw the Young Justice lineup I liked best (Robin! Superboy! Wonder Girl! Secret! Impulse! Slo-Bo! Empress!) with the addition of my favorite ex-member Arrowette. That roster kind of mirrors the current incarnation of Young Avengers, which I felt needed to be drawn with ex-member Kang. It’s a crossover teamup that’ll never happen because of continuity problems (two of YJ’s members are goners), but who knows? The classic ‘70s JLA and Avengers teams joined each other in the 2003 miniseries, so it’s still possible. In the meantime, the ultimate sidekick meeting is just in my head.

The recently finalized Young Avengers lineup is especially promising; I like that Alan Heinberg recharged some pre-existent characters (Cassie Lang, Vision, Kang, Wiccan and Speed), and created entirely new ones (Kate Bishop, Patriot and Hulkling). I wish it'd come out monthly next “season”. If they’re going to do a temporary expansion of the team one day, reserve members with some connection to the Avengers should include Arana, X-23 (make her likeable, Mr. Heinberg!), Jubilee, Thor Girl, Southpaw (from She-Hulk), Arsenic and Victor (from Runaways), and Tara (from Invaders). Maybe Jolt and Speedball can be part of the Failsafe Program too.

I hope they eventually get formally trained by former sidekick Rick Jones, or even the Winter Soldier. I’m looking forward to bigger adventures, and maybe some less-serious and self-contained ones, as well as the development of controversial couple Hulkling and Wiccan. I can imagine some tension that'll test the relationship along the way (Hulkling:Billy, can you magically turn your hair white just for a while? You know, like… Tommy’s?” Wiccan: “Only if you shape-change into Chase of the Runaways.”).

Blues-y Traveler

Was feeling uber-bleh the past couple of days, but am better now thanks to my friends. They're the asskicking-est.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Dinosaur Watch

Okay, to those of you who are gay, or sympathize with gay people, this is important. I got this from Lagablab’s site:

The bad news is that three bills have been filed in Congress this term that would in effect ban same-sex marriage in the Philippines if they get enacted. Rep. Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon (Lone District, Muntinlupa City) filed House Bill 1245 to amend the country’s Family Code to limit marriage to ‘natural born males and natural born females’ only. In the Senate, meanwhile, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago filed Senate Bill No. 1276 to bar same-sex marriages celebrated abroad from getting legal recognition in the Philippines. Ruffy Biazon’s father, Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, filed SBN 1575, the Senate counterpart of HB 1245.

Biazon’s bill is a reaction to a number of rulings made by local courts allowing Filipino transsexuals to change their legal status from male to female. According to Biazon, “With recent developments in the field of medicine, it is now possible to alter or change a person’s sexual organ to make it appear as that of the opposite sex. This bill prohibits marriages between two men, one of whom had a sex exchange operation and between two women, one of whom also had a sex exchange operation.”

Such marriages challege the laws of God, of nature and even of man, according to Biazon.

Defensor-Santiago’s bill, on the other hand, seeks to correct the Family Code, which does not explicitly void same-sex marriages solemnized abroad. Defensor-Santiago’s bill is premised on the belief that “marriage is a union founded on the distinction of sex.”

Read more here.

There you go. You know, I hate to admit it, but I actually voted for Miriam when she ran for President in the early nineties. In recent years, I discovered that, well, I’m glad she lost. I'm also regretting that I repeatedly voted for the older Biazon now; I always thought he was a revolutionary, no-nonsense lawmaker. I don’t doubt that they’re intelligent. But with these recent developments, they’re just being overly prudish. The world is changing, senators, and it’s time to accept that it’s not the golden era of 1950s morality anymore. Gay people exist and are living progressive lives already in the here and now, so please, LEARN TO LIVE WITH THAT. And please, stop using the phrase “the laws of God”, Mr. Biazon. What laws are those, exactly?

Anyway, his son Ruffy Biazon has been vocal about his anti-gay marriage rhetoric (I forget which TV program where he staunchly declared that he will fight it, years ago). Well, he’ll never, ever get my vote in the future.

To those who wish to learn more about this, visit Lagablab’s blog, and contact the lawmakers (they have email addresses and landline numbers). Remember, be respectful, but strongly reason with them why their efforts are huge setbacks to gay rights. Make them understand that what they’re doing is inspiring division and further bigotry.

Jacky’s Strength

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 is still fun, and still twenty minutes too long. But it’s generally enjoyable, especially since Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow hasn’t gotten old yet. Oh, stay and wait for the end credits to finish, because they’re showing something, like last time. It’s not as important as the X-Men 3 post-credits scene, but it’s funny and cute. Heheh.


I’m not accustomed to getting asked personal questions by people I’m not exactly close to, but whenever it does happen, I have to admit it’s amusing and a little weird. It’s like I’ve been asked a showbiz question, but one that I’ve never asked people myself. Well, private stuff is private, until I, or people involved in the answer, decide that it’s okay to elaborate. Until then, thank you for understanding when I don’t answer your personal questions.

Mondo Milby

I just noticed that Sam Milby endorses Hawk, Swift, Jollibee, Smart, Close Up, Bench, and Centrum, among other brands. He’s so overexposed now that people who never knew that he was in Pinoy Big Brother, like myself, can easily recognize him. Well, milk it, Milby. Fame is a fickle thing, so enjoy making love to it while you can.

Oh, he sings the Centrum jingle-ballad, where he growls like Scott Stapp in some parts, which some people find funny. The song played during a radio premiere, and people laughed at those parts. His Close Up song was okay (haha, yeah, well, it’s fun), I wonder why he had to do the grungy growl in the other song. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Wow, it’s July already. It still feels like summer, though. It's still horrendously humid most of the time, even after sudden downpours.

Met up with Lee last Saturday. She bought three Lexy’s, two of which were given to her friends Alan and Kat. She had me sign them and the Family Album. Thanks, Lee!

To those still looking for copies, it’ll be back in Comic Quest, but it may take time. I’ll finish the requirements needed to sell there when I get the chance, though. I’m just too busy to fit it in right now. But I promise I’ll get to it. In the meantime, there are still copies at Druid’s Keep and Pride Exchange. Please drop by those shops and look for it.

I’m just taking a break from work. I was able to finish Peter David’s fun Young Justice run earlier. That was entertaining and mostly a light read; too bad it got canceled and the last arc felt too compressed. I also read the first few Teen Titans issues and, well, I’m still not that big a fan of the older characters like Cyborg, Changeling and Starfire. Speaking of sidekick heroes, Alan Heinberg and Jim Cheung wrapped up the first season (thirteen issues) of their GLAAD* award-winning Young Avengers. The roster is stable (for now), and the team looks good and promising. Kate Bishop gets a codename, finally. Tommy the Straight Twin gets one, and a costumed identity, too (“Hyperkinetic” works better than the simple one they chose, in my opinion, but well…). Looking forward to Civil War: YA and Runaways by Zeb Wells, while the regular title is on hiatus.

Not much happening with me for now, but there are things that I ‘ve been meaning to do that I hope to get done soon. I need some shut-eye. Been enjoying that lately, as last week didn’t allow me to get much rest.

Oh, for those who’re interested, here’s Fully Booked’s set of entries that made it in the People’s Choice Award Category.

*Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation