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Thursday, November 28, 2002

Well, I'm back, sorta. I'm using my bro's computer now for the meantime. I had my computer fixed and yep, it was a CPU problem. My processor got busted for some reason. Now I just bought the damned thing but for the life of me I couldn't find the damned receipt so I can get a replacement on warranty. I spent an entire day turning my room inside out and I couldn't find it. Damn, I'm gonna have to pay for it now. And I just got the thing last March.

Anyway, my bro helped me out by driving me to Greenhills yesterday. I lugged the thing up to Virra Mall and when I got there....the store was GONE. Shit! Well, I didn't have a receipt anyway so it's no big deal. I just went to another store. I wasn't content to just get the processor replaced. I wanted to upgrade so I got a whole new motherboard and processor, the next to fastest one they have (the fastest is always ridiculously expensive the price of which will go down anyway in a couple of months). I got a new sound card because the last one gave me nothing but headaches. I wanted to get a new modem too but I didn't bring enough money. My old trusty HAYES modem has been with me since 97 and it's never been busted. I don't want to let it go but it's only 33K and I really want to upgrade to 56K. PLDT VIBE can reach connections up to 49.5k so I really got to get one. Sorry, but I'm still on dial up. No cable internet service here. There is DSL, but it's so expensive it's a crime. A couple of local companies are offering DSL connections for more than 5,000 pesos a month! I need to go DSL sometime in the future though, because it's severely affecting my capability to accept color jobs from abroad.

Anyway, I still don't have my computer now. I took the bus back home to San Pablo yesterday and the computer was just too heavy for me to carry that far and that long. My bro will be bringing it with him when he comes back home on Saturday and at last I'll be able to play DIAB...I mean, scan and process inked pages I mean. eh.eh.

Finally got to watch my Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition DVD. Watching the movie was of course, quite an experience. Spoiled perhaps by George Lucas and Star Wars, I had thought enormous amounts of money and time was spent on CGI to make Fellowship of the Ring look good.
But what truly amazed me looking at the DVD features is that there is far FAR less CGI in this movie than I imagined. Most of the effects to make the actors look like small hobbits were done mostly by forced perspective, midget doubles and clever camera edits and movements. The amazing vistas, architecture and scenery were mostly big miniatures (called big-atures in the docus) in combination with matte paintings. They even had a big-ature the size of a football field.

There were CGI of course, like the monsters and stuff, but like I said, far less than I thought.

Star Wars I had felt, was pointing to the way how things are going to be done from now on, but seeing how Lord of The Rings was made, it certainly convinced me that using some old fashioned techniques can still look very good and very convincing, and that CGI will not become the end-all and be-all of of special effects in movies. And more and more I feel the same way about comics.



Thursday, November 21, 2002

OFFLINE FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS

I'm at a neighbor using their computer as mine has just gone and killed itself. It's a motherboard problem so it's something major. I won't be online for a week to a couple of weeks as I try and fix the damned thing. Or have someone fix it that is. Fucking computer. Nothing but problems ever since I got it. So apologies if you email me at this time and I'm not able to reply. See you guys later....



Sunday, November 10, 2002

I was in Megamall yesterday to judge a Batman drawing contest that Comicquest was doing to promote Jim Lee and Jeph Loeb's turn in Batman starting with issue #608. There was a lot of entries that were really really GOOD. I had a tough time trying to get the top 3 entries for me. And the one that landed on my #1 was really cool. It all depends on the other judges now how the contest will ultimately fare.

Cholo Paz's Balik Sa Carriedo is finally available on CD! I never met Cholo personally, but I know his music well. I first heard one of his songs, "Anting-Anting" back in 1993 during the LA 105 days. He heard more songs like "Pulut Pukyutan" and I just fell in love with the music. It's Pinoy Folk at its best. Much to my surprise, I learned years later that Cholo was actually based in the US. To hear someone sounding so Pinoy in a foreign land was truly amazing to me. I began corresponding with him via email. He sent me copies of his tapes in exchange for WASTED. I ended up doing the cover for the CD version of this album. I don't think you can buy this CD at your local ODYSSEY, but you can get it (I think) at Cholo's site:

CHOLO PAZ

I had written a review of this album a long time ago back in my old site, but the old site's gone but you can still read my review there at his site. It's still one of my absolutely favorite Filipino albums. And I'm tickled pink to have it on CD. Thanks Cholo!!


Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Something I'm Working On

This is a panel for a personal project I'm slowly working on currently as I ink Superman. I don't want to just ink all the time. I want to draw, even if its on the side just to maintain my drawing. I've learned last year via Ochlocrat that if one does not draw, you tend to lose some of the skill and it's tough getting it back.

I can't say where this is for yet, but needless to say it will come out one way or the other. Maybe not this year but most definitely next year. I drew this mostly with a Hunts #102 Crowquill, then a little of a brush and a just a little 0.8 tech pen. I've been mostly using tech pens on High Roads so I can get the dead lines (lines with constant thickness) that the art seem to require. Some comics artists I know seem to be horrified at the thought of using tech pens and not having varying line weights in the line art. I had been doing drawings like that on Wasted before so I'm comfortable with it. Using dead lines and seeing the result has an appeal that really gets me. I see myself drawing more stuff like that in the future.

However, with this drawing, I wanted to get away from that and go back to the quill centered drawing with line weights all over the place, if just to assure myself that I can still do it. It wasn't really as difficult jumping back to it as I originally thought.

The ink to this is actually black. I just played around with the color balance in Photoshop. What do you guys think? Do I keep it black or do I change it to this kind of brown? Doing it this way is actually stretching it a bit for me because I'm usually hesitant to use computers in the production of comic art. It's starting to be the big thing now, but I'm not too eager to jump into THAT bandwagon. I still prefer to draw on paper using ink that gets dirt on my fingers. Yes, the computer is just another tool, but I really think drawing completely on the computer without your hand even touching the paper is something completely different. There is no original piece of art to speak of and there is no longer any physical connection between the artist and the paper the work is imprinted on. It's corny and it's probably quickly becoming obsolete, but what the hey, I don't care. It's just the way I am I guess.


Tuesday, November 05, 2002


FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (Platinum Series Extended Edition Collector's Gift Set)

Yes, I WANT it. It's out NOW and I can't wait to get my copy. ha! ha! It has been a source of astonishment to my friends that I've NEVER seen Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. Not in theaters and not in video. I missed the movie because I wanted to watch it with Ilyn, but we never found the time to watch it together. So I said, well, I'll just get it on DVD. When the pirated version came out, my bro was able to borrow a copy but I refused to look at it, even though I got a glance at it and the picture was amazing.

Even when the 2 disc Widescreen edition set came out in August, I didn't buy it because I wanted the GIFT SET out in November. At the latest DVD marathon at Leinil's place I hid in Leinil's studio to read PREACHER because they decided to watch Lord of the Rings. I wanted to watch it when I get my gift set and only then will I watch it. My friends MARVEL at my self control. There was never really much to control because I wasn't really that gung ho about watching it in the first place. I'm pretty sure that I'm gonna love it when I see it of course because I love movies like this.

At least I can get to see this and next movie back to back and not have to wait a year. Hmm...what If I just hold on to this gift set, not watch it, get the DVD of the next movie next year and not watch it, and just watch all three movies one after the other? Hm...that would be great! I think I'll do just that. he.he.


Sunday, November 03, 2002

BACK HOME

Well, I'm back home. On the left is a picture of the apartment I left behind. I didn't leave it in that kind of mess of course. As you can see, it's plainly just a very long room, basically the setback of a residential house to the property wall less than 2 meters apart that had been enclosed by a roof. It was a very peculiar apartment mostly because it seemed like an afterthought. I had no TV, I had no fridge, I didn't have any cooking stuff (and I love to cook) and I didn't have my computer with me. I had the bed, a CD player/radio, a cooler that acted as a fridge and a bunch of comics, books and magazines to keep me company at night. I had resisted calling it "home" while I was living there. Not that I didn't like it, it's just that it wasn't really home. I was alone for most of the time and I wasn't even there most of the time. I was either out shooting or at Megamall meeting with Leinil for inking pages or just generally hanging out with friends.
On the right is Ilyn and me at the office of the United Architects of the Philippines here in San Pablo. I took it myself that's why the camera is too close and too bright. Just before I took this pic I was outside opening the roll up door to the office when I noticed this dead RAT right beside me. It was all torn to pieces and I nearly puked. As if I wasn't disgusted enough, I saw its decapitated head staring right at me a couple of feet away. I really just lost it and went off in a stream of disgusted obscenities. I hate seeing dead animals on the street (but strangely enough I have no such aversion for the dead pigs and chickens I eat on a regular basis).
That is a SAMPALOC tree. I had always wanted to take pictures of one such tree. I had never realized it was so BIG. I spent the other day just taking lots of pictures of this tree from afar, up close, up the trunk, etc. I need it for a personal komiks project I am working on while I ink Superman. Since Superman is pretty much taking a lot of my working time, I'll be working on this Sampaloc project rather slowly, and might not see the light of day until middle of next year. I hope to finish it earlier.

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I've just seen the TV movie Anne Frank starring Ben Kingsley as Otto Frank, Anne's father, and Hannah Taylor Gordon as Anne Frank. It's probably the best screen version of Anne's story I've seen so far. It's very long at more than 3 hours, but it's a very detailed look at Anne's life before the Nazi invasion of Holland, to her and her family's self imposed exile into hiding, to her capture and eventual fate in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Although I have read the diary a couple of times, it was still harrowing to see it play before you on screen. Your heart really goes out to Anne and futile as it might be, you still think of ways of how you could have saved her.

The PINOY Tradition at the COMICS JOURNAL

Dirk Deppey of the Comics Journal got in touch with me not too long ago with regards to a Francisco Coching article on my site. He had been concerned that since it was an "Artist of the Month" feature, that I would delete the article at the end of October. I had to sheepishly admit that the "Artist of the Month" had already been hanging around there for several months already. ha! ha! And I was still writing the 2nd artist that I will feature, Alex Niņo, which should be up this month. But the Coching article will remain there, as long as the site is up.

Anyway, Mr. Deppey wrote to me again today to say that he had written an article, not only on Coching but about my site, many other Pinoy Komiks artists, my thoughts on Culture Crash, and Pinoy Komiks in general. It's a very interesting article which takes an outside and unbiased look at the stuff I had looked upon so closely. Thanks to Mr. Deppey for writing the article. I hope it goes a long way in making people abroad more aware of Philippine comics, and specially of Mr. Francisco V. Coching, probably THE greatest Pinoy Komiks artist who ever lived (in my humble opinion of course), and probably the least known because he had never accepted work outside of the Philippines.

You can check out the article here:
http://www.tcj.com/journalista/
The article will stay there for 5 days before it is archived and is housed permanently in this address:
http://www.tcj.com/journalista/zarch200211A.html#pinoy

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