I hold a copy of Urban Animal #2 open on my sweaty left palm, trying to balance it as I sign Budjette’s introduction page with my right. I ask for the kind lad’s name twice before I actually put pen to paper, scared of futzing it up. You’d be surprised how many variations seemingly common names can have. And I don’t remember the last time I actually hand-wrote a full sentence. Sorry if I fucked up your comic, friend.
Cousins Jason and Carlo are on-site, along with high school buddies. Makes the day feel a lot like a friendly reunion. Zerothreetwo is a e-zine that showcases the destinations, events, and personalities of Cebu. I wander to their booth evry now and then to shoot the shit. Jason keeps bringing up “No Other Woman.” I make a note to download it or something. I take it all under advisement.
I don’t notice until after, but I walk under a buncha dudes on a ladder setting up a zip-line demo as I go back to my perch. That probably wasn’t very smart. I sit at the tambayan lovingly called “Stone Henge” with Vinzon “Bleedman” Ngo and colorists Ian Areola and Cristian Sabarre. Close to noon, the steady influx of nerds, dresser-uppers, and just plain lost people slowly turns into a comic convention. Rey offers to take care of my bagful of comics for me, probably noticing my misery. Freed of the weight, I hit the Comic X Hub booth in search of new burdens. Lawrence, easily among the friendliest guys around, sets me up with a buncha DC firsts.
I’m sitting on pavement with JP de la Rama and his girl near the UP oblation, scanning the strangely self-conscious and subliminally apologetic Aquaman #1 , when Kathryn and Brian Lewis show up. The whole lot of us head to lunch at a pizza place I’ve been missing since I’ve moved away. Leandro catches up to us there.
I grab a beer to loosen up a bit, maybe in anticipation of the afternoon crowd. Comic fans or not, crowds don’t sit with me too well. Caulfield in a bottle. Brian and I chat about Batman and ponies. It all makes sense in context. We head back at a little past noon, bellies full and brains akindle. Artists in the alley.
It’s been a bit of a headnoisey day, comic work-wise, so I’ll just drop some notes about a side project and may seem a bit more schizo than usual. Starting to type this just as I hear Brubaker say to Siuntres that he loves the fact that whoever follows him on DD is fucked. I’m loving the Thunderbolts, but good luck, Diggle. Just saw the season finale of Entourage and still can’t buy that Sloan’s marrying E. No. Planetary #27 just came out and I want to re-read the whole thing all over again. Yes.
As I’ve probably spilled once before, I’ve been slowly piecing together this flash-animated online RPG with Tres Komikeros accomplice Alex Cipriano; and it’s taken months to get to the place we’re at now, but I can honestly say that it’s been a fun and interesting experience. It’s a breath of fresh air, literally just being given lists and write-ups of creatures and environments to design, with free reign to just go nuts with every detail. Hell of a fun gig. I’ve never been much of a gamer though, so Alex has been indispensable in helping me understand just what the client’s been asking for. We’ve worked out a sophisticated system of chirps and grunts to suit my specific comprehension skills… or lack thereof.
Half way through the creature design phase though, it dawned on us that we simply couldn’t still have lives and do this well… so about two months ago, our buddy Leandro Panganiban came on board as a colorist, with Michael Dizon following shortly after. So what started out as two guys pooling Mignola and Madureira influences spread out into this Falcoon and Phil Noto mishmash. Between the four of us, we’ve magically got everyone believing that we know what we’re doing. Go us!
Naturally, it’s a bit of a pain playing the wrangler in any bunch, and this herd can wander like nobody’s business, but seeing the work just come together is just a thing of beauty — certainly not bad for my first experience in game design. I hope to be allowed to share actual designs from the game soon, but until then it’ll have to be vagaries and hush-hushitudes.
Got 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.