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Wednesday, February 28, 2001
It's so damn fucking HOT today. Jeez. Makes me wish I was living in Baguio. Or Tagaytay...or well, while I'm at it, why not San Francisco? he.he. But honestly, I went to San Francisco some years ago and I not only fell in love with the place, I fell in love with a girl as well! And when it came to leave, it truly felt like leaving my heart in San Francisco! It wasn't meant to be though. The girl, I suppose, would be marrying someone else now, and I have my own GF whom I'm really crazy for. So it's OK. Still, I really do miss San Francisco. If there is any city in America I see myself living in, it's there.


Monday, February 26, 2001

"PEDRO AND ME" and ME.

I went to Manila last Saturday for the launch/signing of Carlo Vergara's new Alamat book "One Night In Purgatory". I saw a CRISIS on Infinite Earths TPB and bought a copy. When I started reading more regularly back in 1985, Crisis was already almost finished, and I wasn't able to buy previous issues. So I thought, well, I'd just buy the compilation afterwards. Guess what? DC didn't come up with a compilation for more than 12 years!! Jeez! When it first came out as a hardcover, it was too expensive for me. Sure, I could have afforded it, but I think it was STILL too much for me to pay for a single book. So I waited for another 2 years for the softcover and now I've got it!!

I went to the signing, met Carlo and many other Alamat guys there. Budjette, Mark Gatela, Marco Dimaano, David Hontiveros, Jason Banico, Oliver Pulumbarit, Ryan Orosco, Gilbert Monsanto, Arnold Arre, Russel Tomas, and Karen Kunawicz.

Because it was the anniversary of Edsa 1, the traffic was horrendous. Many people didn't make it, or were really late. Knowing that the traffic won't go away soon enough, I decided to spend the night in Manila in some corner somewhere and just hang out with the guys all night.

In the middle of this all, a friend of mine Angela, lent me a copy of Pedro and Me, by Judd Winick. I put it in my bag and thought nothing much of it. At the end of the day I went to my corner, plopped down on the bed and started to read. I read Carlo's book first and I thought that yow! This is bound to be one controversial book. I liked it when I read it. If I had read this ten years ago, my sensibilities would have been terribly tested, but now I think it's OK. I then went excitedly to look at my new CRISIS book and started reading. I had read it before when I borrowed a friend's book bound copy, but it was great just reading it again. Definitely brought back memories.

The following day I was stuck in traffic once again. And well, I just HATE traffic. And this one was a KILLER. Definitely much worse than the one I had been in last Saturday. My mind suddenly remembered the book Angela had lent me the day before. I took it out and I began to read. And for the next hour, the world around me melted away and I was absorbed into this world that Judd Winick had created. Pedro and Me is a 200 page comic book which tells the true story of the friendship between Judd Winick, a struggling cartoonist, and Pedro Zamora, and AIDS educator who had AIDS himself. They both met and both were participants on the MTV show Real World 3: San Francisco.

At the end of the hour, I was crying in my seat. That was probably one of the most moving comic books I've ever read. I can only recall two other stories that had the power to reduce me to tears. One had been written by Chris Claremont, and the other by Alan Moore. But this one was probably more powerful than those two stories combined.

The story haunts me and my thoughts a lot, and since reading it yesterday, it's still floats around in my mind. I had forgotten everything else that I had read the day before including Carlo's book (which dealt in similar themes) and CRISIS. Upon reaching home yesterday, I immediately wrote Judd a "fan" letter, telling him how much his book has affected me. I'm not expecting anything by way of a reply, but I hope at least he reads it, and knows that in a country far away, in a small town like this that no one has probably heard of, his story has affected someone tremendously.

Thanks Judd, for writing it, and thanks Angela for introducing me to it.

Visit the official Pedro and Me Site.


Thursday, February 22, 2001

CRAZIEST DAY IN THE HISTORY OF ME

I was supposed to pick up my girlfriend ILYN from work at Alabang today. It's usually no sweat. It's usually a comfortable 1 hour or so commute from our house to her office, in which time I'd be riding 1 tricycle, 2 jeeps and a bus. I was supposed to pick her up at 2pm, so I left the house at 11am. Why so early? Because I hate being late for appointments. Some of my drawing work may be late, but that's only because I sometimes go overboard with the details and sometimes I redo drawings altogether if I wasn't totally happy with them. But when it comes to appointments and meetings with people, I HATE being late. And I hate it even more when people I'm supposed to meet are late, and when they do arrive an hour later, they act as if nothing's happened. I HATE that.

Anyhow, after 3O minutes of travelling by bus from San Pablo to Alabang traffic suddenly stopped and refused to move. We were told by some ambulant vendors that there was a town fiesta several barangays ahead. I thought, shit! Fiesta means monstrous traffic. And it started to rain. But I wasn't worried. I was early. I had plenty of time. I even briefly planned on passing by Tower Records first at Alabang before going to my GF's office. Forty five minutes and a few meters later, I started to get pissed and annoyed. I was going to be late! I can't be late! After hemming and hawing for 10 or so minutes, I said fuck it. I got off and started walking. I had an umbrella, but the highway shoulders were really muddy. The mud lost no time in happily attaching to my pants and shoes. After walking for some 15 minutes, sweaty, hot and wet, I reached the town that was having the fiesta and I resisted the urge to go berserk and curse everyone for causing me such misery.

The traffic started to clear so I hopped on the nearest Alabang bus. And we were off! Not 5 minutes later we were stuck again. Double shit!! I resisted the urge to get down again because we were moving, albeit slowly. But when my watch hit 1:15, I knew I just HAD To get down and start walking again. This time the rain was harder and the roads muddier, but I didn't care. I got out of there quick and started to walk. The driver and conductor couldn't believe I was going to walk. After walking for some 15 minutes, I finally saw another bus, and just in time too because traffic started to ease up again. I ran for it! But as soon as I'd pull almost next to the bus, the traffic would move, this time faster, and I was left behind. This happened a couple of times until I was TOTALLY left behind as the traffic finally cleared completely and vehicles started whipping past me. In no time at all the 2nd bus I had left caught up with me. I thought, Oh SHIT, how embarrassing! The driver, conductor and other passengers would be bound to recognize me and start laughing. I tried not to look at them as they passed. But they stopped and they honked the horn at me. The door opened and I saw the conductor gesture me inside. Gad, how embarrassing. But I was in a hurry and not having any other options, I sheepishly got inside.

I collapsed in the seat that I had sat in previously, wet, tired, pissed, embarrassed and dirty. I looked at my watch and it was 1:30. If this bus is fast, I can still reach Alabang in 20 minutes. I'll be late, but that's still acceptable. And just as the we were off again, the bus stopped for gas. SHIT! 5 minutes wasted there. Damn. I just figured I'd get a taxi once I'm in Alabang instead of the usual jeep so I can get to Ilyn's office quickly. We arrived at Alabang at 1:15. By this time I was on pins and needles. I imagined Ilyn pacing angrily back and forth wondering what the hell happened to me. I looked for a taxi, but none came. One passed by, but the driver refused to take passengers. OK, I'll take the jeep then! No jeeps. Now what? A tricycle pulled by and offered to take me as far as Alabang Town Center, which was OK since it's on the way to the office and there jeeps are easier to come by. Once there I hopped on a jeep. Deep inside me I was jumping up and down trying to telepathize the driver to drive faster. As soon as we started going, the jeep stopped for gas. FUCK! Shit! Damn it! What the fuck is going on???! What is this? A fucking conspiracy? Let's get the fuck going God damn it!! This time I just couldn't contain myself. I wasn't shouting of course, but I was loudly groaning and the other passengers started to look at me funny. At the very last stoplight we had a red light, and this time I just couldn't take it anymore. I got off and started running. God damn it all! I wasn't going to be late much more!!

At the end of it all, I was 30 minutes late. The latest I ever was on ANY appointment.

The rest of the day went well. We had a late lunch, watched Pay It Forward (which I liked), and went home. And here I am writing it down.


Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Stayed up reaaaallly late last night just drawing. I'm a little late. I guess I'll be up late again tonight. New Wave has been keeping me company. The Care. Lightning Seeds. Echo and The Bunnymen. Big Country. Modern English. I spend a lot of time reminiscing lately. Mostly of my college days back in the 80's. I miss my friends, the things we used to do, the places we used to go to. Staying up late reminds me of the time when we would stay up all night finishing plates. Well, plates in this context means architectural drawings on tracing paper. In school they're called "plates". At work they're called "Working Drawings". I've been digging up old pictures, scanning them and posting them at our batch's website.

Hey, I got the Tarzan Special Edition DVD today! Once I finish this gig I'm doing, I'm hunkering down to watch this!!



Monday, February 19, 2001

COOL COMICS This Week!

After a long time, I bought a bunch of comics again last week! They include 2 issues of HULK SMASH by written by Garth Ennis, Action Comics #775, Xmen #110 and a TPB of Batman: The Long Holloween by Loeb and Sale.

After enjoying The Authority for so long, believing that THIS is how superheroes should be, I read Action Comics #775 and DAMN! What a terrific story, a story worthy of Superman and just who he is, a story that reaffirms the ideals of truth and justice above all else. And it reaffirms my belief in the power of comics as well.

Hulk Smash was OK. Art suffered a bit in the 2nd issue, but overall, it's was just an OK story. I'm still reading The Long Holloween and it's shaping up to be one hell of a story. Loeb and Sale RULZ!!:)

I bought Xmen #110 just because I wanted to know how Leinil's art looks now. I want to get used to it again because I might be inking him later on. Plus, they killed Colossus! THE FOOLS! One of my favorite Xmen. The metal giant with a heart of gold and the soul of a poet and artist. What a perfect character. And they killed him. The FOOLS!



Hey there....I've finally decided to host my diary of sorts to my own server. I can't design it the way I do the other pages because this time around, some knowledge of HTML is required, and I don't know shit about HTML. I tried to compose the code via Netscape's Composer program, but Blog doesn't seem to recognize it, so I'm stuck with this design. Cool eh? Ugh. If you want to see the old diary, it's still there, just click here:
http://komikero.blogspot.com