War Buds

From the journals…

It’s the year 2000, and I am making a war movie with thirty-nine high school classmates. We are filming in Video8.  The closest thing we have to digital are the crappy ten-second clips our phones can swallow before choking.  The boys are making a movie about killing each other, and I’ve got a camera.Directing is a funny thing.  The designated literati have gifted me and my cut crew with a face full of script while we manually record gunfire exchange from Saving Private Ryan.  Someone presents the idea of ripping the sound off of Counter-Strike games, someone sees through it and reminds everyone how tight of a deadline we have.

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We caravan to the woods up a mountain, as well as down south to film in a beach.  Ralph has a lame battle cry.  Andy throws a molotov cocktail.  Raymond stabs Julius in his styrofoam chest.  Alfred serves us water when we create the UN.  I kill George.  Forty people.  Forty credits.

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Filming ends with urban battles shot at the campus on a lonely Saturday afternoon.  The light is yellow.  It is quiet today, and my skeleton crew is smiling for the approaching end to the project and a good day’s work, equally.  We made something today.  For all our bickering and bullshit, we finished something with all our names on the best-before seal.  School is out in a couple of months and we’re all off to college.  Different colleges.

Someone nameless kicks the knob off our classroom door.

I keep it.

Sober Musings

Downtown Cebu at Dawn

It’s easy to get lost in the tumult of polished and finished art sometimes, which might be why I like the grit and visual noise of street photography.  Urban soul-stealing, one might say.  Carlo Villarica has been a good friend of mine for as long as cutting class has been fashionable.  He plays guitar for a band called Rescue a Hero and makes us stare at street signs a little longer.  You can view more of his work here.

The Urban Animal

Almost ten years back, when I was still in college, I somehow got it in my head that a snotty little punk with animal powers would make for an amusing read.  Because I had been involved with local comic movements that had then just hung up their hats, I needed an outlet to at least keep the juices flowing.  BEAST BOY JOE was a semi-autobiographical comic which drew a lot from my days in UP.  It was a personal project that I had drawn up to 66 pages for (with script assists by my good friend Eric Menguito), but none of it ever saw print… mainly because it was really something intended just for me…  but also because I had no clue who would want to publish it.

Earlier this year, manly men Rey Siasar and Tom Perez from Big Ape Design approached me and asked if I had any material I wanted to develop into actual titles, and I jumped at the chance to resurrect Joe and hopefully finish the story.  I’ve been redoing  the dialogue since June, on and off, as my other projects remain top priority, but issue number one looks like it may very well be ready for the Cebu Comicon this September 25th.  The book will still have the same art from all those years ago, with touch-ups here and there, but with an all-new script, so as to update the jokes and shit.

Simply retitled THE URBAN ANIMAL, my pop-culture mash-up description for it would be The Catcher in the Rye meets The Incredible Hulk.  With some Archie thrown in.  It’s a 4-issue black-and-white original graphic novel that’s literally just been waiting almost ten years to get published — a fun little romp I can’t wait to violate you people with.  Give me money for it.

Medium View

We are not smart people.

The night of the Watchmen premier, one of my friends asks the table if any of us thought all this knowledge of Star Wars, Marvel continuity, Mass Effect side quests, and Chuck Norris jokes actually meant anything.  There were about six of us, with a beer tower in the middle.  It was as close as we got to quarterlifing, and that tends to shake me pantsless.  “No,” I said.  Coz this stuff is important to me, sure, and I love it… but by no stretch of the imagination does it kick our IQ levels up any.  What we are, are a few of many kids hanging ten on a mortal wave.  I remember tossing the term Creative Zeitgeist out… but I don’t remember why.

See? (Read first sentence)

Been having fun lately.  Got to travel with my girl up to one of the country’s highest peaks to help shoot her music video.  Hummer was a bit cramped with crew and tech, but the view and how the music carried up there was well worth it.  Don’t get a lotta chances to do that, y’know?

PLUCK won Zuda’s October competition, so now Gabe is working like an animal for you people, making sure we give you a story well worth following.  I’m on creature design duty for the next week or so, that’ll probably gimme an excuse to update the blog. Also… FUCKYES!!!

Local comic scene has been gaining steam, and monthly Drink n’ Draws (bastardized DnD for you paladin-types) are proving fun and energizing, to say the least.  Never hurts to be around fellow fanboys to help you feel like a real person. Oh snap. Related to this, in the Public Validation Department, I recently got talked to by a local newspaper about working in comics and the scene in general.  Managed not to curse too much, so I’m fairly proud about that.  Interview should run near the end of the month if they don’t misplace the transcript amid post-Manny fight analyses and 2012 reviews.

Need to see that movie.

Looking to wrap up JUDAH and a coupla other projects and commissions by year’s end, as January is already looking busy.  Not quite ready to talk about the new projects yet, but it’s all pretty exciting.  Haven’t gotten to finish that Glutton God piece either, but it can wait.

*****

Wolfgang Parker is polishing the knobs on a previously discussed project.  Be afraid.

*****

Finally, shopping Tres Komikeros around to find it an FM radio home.  Each podcast episode runs for roughly an hour, which is way too much geek talk than is healthy (trust us, we know), so we’re looking into making only the half-hour review portion air-friendly, while the rest is online bonus stuff that’s bad for your children.

Bonus.  What a funny word.

Intervoo

bastardsGot together with some friends over the weekend to help some Fine Arts majors out with a paper on Sequential Art Professionalism, or some other equally oxymoronic misnomer.  I just call it that now for lack of a better… uh… nomer.  I can only guess we were selected to be interviewed to add some sense of volume to a subsection about how not to go about becoming overnight successes.

Good times though.  Julian and Isteb (I still say that’s his ninja name), the fine arts guys in question, certainly knew how to get us talking what with the free beers and crap.  It was the shutting up that took a bit of doing.

Right!

Back to work.