I'd like to show to you all these hilarious series of strips that my friend has been making, his second spoof of the Ring for the series 2 & 0 (you can view the first installment of the spoof here which I think he did about a year ago). These are the same characters but he recently changed their appearance to suit his taste and besides he thinks it's time that the characters grew up and graduate from College (the change in appearance prompted some mixed reactions from the fans but I liked it from the start).


My cartoonist friend Lyndon and I got to talking about comic merchandising (which we plan to enter into this year) and we got to sort of a "philosophical discussion" as to its purpose. Questions and suggestions were tossed around but we never really resolved the problem. Then when I got home and I was having some quiet time before I went to sleep, I was reading the book of Matthew and when I got to Chapter 23 (this was the part where Jesus lambasted the Pharisees for outward actions that contrasted with their real motives), the idea that good works are not the end to itself suddenly dawned upon me. Is this not the same thing with merchandising? Good works are not an end to itself since it's supposed to point back to God, in the same way that comic merchandising is not an end to itself but rather it should point back to the comic. The purpose of both is not to call attention to themselves alone but run a U-turn back to the source. It's a promotional tool! I sent my cartoonist friend a text message regarding this realization and he told me that even the comic is not the end to itself but that both comic and merchandise should contribute to the elusive experience that any comic fan is after.

I'm not confusing you here am I?

It was a valid statement but there's still something missing in the picture. So I prayed to God for a complete picture in comparison and contrast of what a Christian's experience with him is like. Prayers were immediately answered and everything clicked into place. I drew this diagram (you have to login to yahoo first to be able see it). It shows that the whole experience is a result of personally relating to one or all of the characters via situational humor or character humor which drives the reader to loyally follow the comic series.

In the bigger scheme of things, the Christian experience is a direct result of having a personal relationship with Jesus via the work of the Holy Spirit which facilitates an understanding of the Bible. It's a bit complicated but you'll get the whole idea once you see the diagram.


I'm managing my cold with lots of tissue (one roll of bathroom tissue to be precise) and Vicks Vapor Rub right now. God bless the makers of Vicks. I'm also having a weird thing here, whenever I feel a sneeze coming on it would be suddenly interrupted by both an aborted yawn and a burp! That keeps happening to me right now and I hate it.

Well anyway I'm browsing through this website called Little Rocket and it has these fascinating (ie. weird) artworks rendered in a way that reminds me of Dave McKean and Tim Burton combined. This is one of those that I found really cool and funny, it's titled Happy Couple. I'm thinking of ordering a print online, would cost me $13.00 but I know he's here in the Philippines so I wonder if he would charge me the same?

Speaking of weird art, check out Dreamline for more of Dave McKean's art. In the meantime I'll be taking care of this runny nose.

I feel crummy. I think I'm coming down with a cold and it's not good. My face and parts of my body are itchy and it seems to be reaking out in hives. My gums are itchy and I can't even scratch them, my nose is clogged and running. I feel real crummy.


It's almost February and I'm nowhere near to completing my book! Me and my supposed self-imposed deadline... BAH! Strangely though I'm still calm and relaxed. Weird ba?


Ideas are being floated around the Alamat mailing list about an independent creators' comic anthology. The main idea goes that each contributing artist does about seven pages of work so that the production could be kept to a manageable cost for each artist. This set up is similar to idea Lyndon told me about last year. Hmmm... I wonder when we'll start getting down to doing something like this?


We already watched Mano Po four days ago and I was sorely disappointed with how the movie turned out. To think that I was more interested with watching this film rather than Dekada '70 at the start of the film festival. The movie started very promising with the story of the clan's patriarch and matriarch sojourn into China in 1949 (just a few years after the second world war). The patriarch was the only son of these poor Chinese farmers and he brought home his Filipina bride to his parents who quickly disapproved of their union. After a few days of living the bride couldn't live anymore with the indifference that her in-laws were showing her and she moved back to the Philippines in a huff. Fortunately her husband chose her over his family and they got out of China just in time before the communists took over the land.

Fast forward to the present, the patriarch, Eddie Garcia, is celebrating his 80th birthday in a grand fashion complete with Chinese stage actors in full regalia, big candles, red cake, elevated seats on a golden stage (at this point I could easily see that this movie's moving away a bit from reality). Then the clan's "black sheep" (Ara Mina) made her entrance in a very revealing dress and giving her own grandfather a birthday gift of porn videos. The movie proceeds from there showing the family's rocky relationship with her, and showing how far she dares stretch their patience. Actually hers is only one of the subplots included in the story and it hopes to show the travails of a typical Chinese family here in the Philippines. Only it was far from the truth. The plot was full of holes, the acting too weak, and too Regal filmish. They stereotyped the Fil-Chi community. I'm not Chinese myself but I have friends who are and this is an unjustified portrayal. Never mind if they shot some of the scenes in China, those were the only noteworthy scenes.


I just watched this Tagalog movie based on an old novel by Lualhati Bautista

The story revolves around a family of seven whose lives are radically changed by the tumultous events that shaped the Marcos era in the 1970s. After a series of tragedy coming one after the other, the true pillar of strength turns out to be the long-suffering mother (Vilma Santos) and not the stoic father (Christopher De Leon). I've yet to watch Mano Po which I think won the best picture category in the recently concluded Metro Manila Film Festival, and see if it really lives up to its hype. I'll post my reactions to that movie when I get to watch it hopefully within this week. Back to the movie "Dekada '70" I really loved the way the Star Studio came up with authentic props from that decade from the clothes, the house, and modes of transportation down to the bottles of softdrinks and birthday cake. The 70s atmosphere was really complete! I also liked the way Vilma Santos portrayed her character with quiet dignity as she endured various hardships and betrayals from her husband to her sons and to the situations beyond their control. While Tagalog movies are notorious for exaggerated screaming and crying I liked the way she restrained herself. All the actors revolved in intensity around her, they're really good except for some but that's OK.

I'm really at a loss on what to say. This is a really great movie and I will buy a copy of it in VCD or prolly DVD if and when it's available.


I recently discovered that one of the strips I've been following everyday has an animated card available! How cool is that? You can check out Pearls Before Swine's cards for every occasion like one that says Thanks!, Hello, You're a real Friend, Sorry I hurt your feelings, Congratulations on your new baby, Happy birthday, Congratulations on your retirement, Happy birthday, and Better luck next time. They're done using the Flash program so I can't save it on the PC. You should check out the strips they're pretty hilarious.

Also I'd like to point out two notable old time favorites of yours truly being shown on HBO Asia this month: Radioland Murders and The Three Stooges. What's surprising about the former is the fact that it was written by George Lucas (I dunno how long he had this story brewing in his mind). I like it a lot because of the multiple characters running to and fro trying to make a success out of the premiere broadcast of a new radio station while at the same time trying to make sense of the murders that's going on behind the scenes. While it all looks better as a stage play, I wonder how Steven Spielberg would have handled it? I think he's better in handling complicated situation comedy. The movie will run for a few more days this month so there will be plenty more opportunities to watch it. Not true with The Three Stooges which will have its final broadcast on Wednesday.

I like the way the actors Paul Ben-Victor, Evan Handler, and Michael Chiklis, the Director and the people behind it handled their roles and story with so much sensitivity. It was really good for Mel Gibson to have bought the rights to their story and bring it to the small screen. I loved watching these guys when I was a kid and knowing what they've gone through in real life... Well it just breaks my heart.

The latest installment of West Side came out this week in Philippine News. Too bad the text came out too small for the online edition but I'm so proud the illustration came out really great! To see the past installments you have to click the last week's issue link at the left side menu and always go to the last page of the Life and Entertainment page 'cause that's where they put the comic page. I'd welcome some comments and stuff if you have them.


I just finished watching The Replacements in its entirety and believe it or not it was my first time. There were good character studies in the film but not much depth. I know the film highlighted the victories and defeat on the football field but it could have done better in delineating the secondary characters aside from being obvious caricatures of American football players. Still I picked up a couple of things and it was entertaining to say the least.

Welcome dear reader to the exciting world of a cartoonist. I'll start posting stuff tomorrow just to keep the suspense.