Lovecraft Playground

— Story Notes; February 2014 —

Old Man: “To understand Cthulhu, or any of the Old Gods…
Picture an un-maintained playground overgrown with weeds, where older children bully smaller children for lunch money.”

Young man: “And Cthulhu is the older child?”

Old Man: “No, child, Cthulhu is the playground.”

Oscuro Diary ::: 01

So my webcomic OSCURO has been live for a few months now.  I have some twenty-something pages online — definitely not reflecting the number of weeks the site has been active.  I promised myself I’d do a page a week, but I need to make concessions for actual paying work (not to mention a couple of projects I’m behind on).

Osc 22 fbOSCURO is a webcomic with one foot in horror and the other in fantasy.  It tells the story of a little boy finding his way in the dark with nothing but a flashlight that he pulled off a skeleton, and that’s in the first page alone.  Simply put, OSCURO is the story I do for myself.  I know what’s going to happen and I know where the story is going, but I am as much a spectator as everyone else kind enough to visit the site.

A couple of years back, I played a video game called LIMBO — something I enjoyed immensely.  It left such a mark on me that I knew I had to one day do a dark story starring a child wandering through a creepy landscape.  I’m positive everyone who has played LIMBO can very easily detect the influence.  That, paired with my love for Miyazaki and J.D. Salinger resulted in OSCURO.  I of course realize I’m throwing around some giant names here, but all I’m doing is attempting to climb their titanic shoulders, hoping to see how far I can spit.

This comic is an exercise in discovery writing.  While I know where I need the protagonist to end up, and why, the how of it partially remains a mystery to me.  But it reveals itself to me, bit by bit.  As a result, I have absolutely no idea how long it will take to tell the full story.  I might fuck it up, and this whole thing might turn into a butt baby that I should never have bothered with, or it could be extremely rewarding and fulfilling — right now I’m simply enjoying the ride, and I’m thankful to everyone who has come along for it.

Read the webcomic on OscuroComic.tumblr.com

Judas: The Last Days (IDW)

Judas_for-print-cover-659x1000$24.99

TPB • FC • 180 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-214-2

Two thousand years after he betrayed Messiah, Judas Iscariot is still alive, wandering a world he doesn’t recognize. A world where the strangest of fictions have come true: monsters, immortals, gnome-librarians who monitor human history—they’re all real. And all Judas wants to do is kill himself. So why can’t he? The most transcendent story of the year is here in this all-new original graphic novel chronicling history’s preeminent backstabber and his quest for suicide.

Story Notes

“I shut my eyes in the dark.
Silly, right? It’s just a thing I do.
It doesn’t really change things. Still pitch black.
But I do it anyway because I figure…
Anything that shows itself only in total darkness can’t be terribly pleasant.

“So I shut my eyes to avoid seeing what might be out there.
What might have eyes open for me.
And I feel my way through the dark, surrounded by things I don’t want to see.”

— story notes; “Oscuro” (2013)

Noice 3

This is the third in a series of lists in which I share five soundtrack recommendations.  Specifically, these are tunes that I’ve found are great background noise when I’m busy drawing.  I know the Dark Knight Rises OST is already available online, but I have this personal rule of not really diving into a film score beforehand, as it becomes a bit of a distraction when I get to view the movie.  But all that aside, here are some excellent musical scores to some movies I actually have seen.

The Social Network (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross)

Bit of an oldie but still a mainstay in my hard drive, the accompanying theme to the deceptively naive and cutthroat world of software infringement helps me get in the zone when I’m trying to power through layouts at 3 in the morning.  The industrial flavor is just manic enough that you get an extra buzz with your coffee, without distracting from whatever text or research material you need to go through to get your job done.  This OST has gotten a lot of hype from many more eloquent than I, so I’ll mainly just recommend you find out for yourself if you haven’t checked it out yet.

Contagion (Cliff Martinez)

Echoing the film’s ominous mood and fairly large scope, Martinez’ mix of dark ambient electronica and acid jazz results in a throbbing collection of tunes that practically grows into a “presence” in your music archives.  I got a very strong sense of build up from this OST and highly recommend it to anyone still getting started on a day’s pile of crap to do.  That’s right, nothing gets me in the mood to make a living like the sound of people dying (not really, but that metaphor was too good to pass up).

Stand out tracks in this are They’re Calling My Flight, Bad Day to be a Rhesus Monkey, and Handshake.

Deus Ex (Michael McCann)

While we’re on the subject of electronica, there’s no forgetting the soundtrack for Deux Ex.  I’m not a gamer per se (I play around three or four “new” games a year, and don’t always finish them), but I love the cyberpunk sub-genre of science fiction.  With something as niche  as the human augmentation trope, I first thought I was just going to end up comparing this to Ghost in the Shell when I first gave it a listen.  While sharing some flavors, Deus Ex boasts a very unique Middle Eastern vibe to its music, which is something I personally had not come across in this facet of science fiction.

Moneyball (Mychael Danna)

I guess because I’m Filipino, I don’t have a natural love for baseball.  I once cracked a really colonial joke stating that the reason why Americans love the game so much is because it involves hitting things and claiming land as their own.  But yeah, I guess it’s just not my thing.  That said, I enjoyed Moneyball quite a bit, and thanks in no small part to the film’s score.  Equal parts uplifting and tension inducing, it never fails to give you the sense that what you’re doing is waaaay more important than it actually is.  If you hear a crowd roaring in your head every time you finish a chunk of work, this is for you.

The Ides of March (Alexandre Desplat)

Been doing a lot of writing lately, which can be argued takes a little more active thought than drawing.  A lot of times when I’m illustrating, part of it becomes muscle memory, but writing is never quite that for me.  I don’t know if I just haven’t done enough of it, or if I’m simply not very good at it. But that’s that.  The OST for the Ides of March is a nice steady collection of tracks that never become overtly tense or downright boring.  Each track, in and of itself, very richly lends to storytelling that it has very quickly become one of my favorite work themes.  And when all is said and done, I think what we’re looking for is not just music that reminds us of something we enjoyed anyway, but sounds that help us create something special of our own.