Friday, July 30, 2004

Last night's SaGuijo gig was fun. SaGuijo itself is a very nice place, very comfortable and welcoming, well-ventilated and best of all, no smoking allowed. Neva and I had their choco-banana crepe and it was good. Their walls have wonderful paintings, and the upstairs is a kind of exhibit area, so I guess it's kind of like Big Sky Mind in that regard. It was just Ciudad & Boldstar, so we were treated to lengthy sets from both bands. At the beginning of Ciudad's set there were only a few of us there. Of course, while I'd rather more people were enjoying such great music I sometimes cherish these instances because it really feels like we're sitting in on a Ciudad practice session. They'll play songs that you won't hear often (4 covers last night: Pavement's "Cut Your Hair," a re-do of Smashing Pumpkins' "Zero," and the Lemonheads' "Dawn Can't Decide" & "It's About Time"). And they'll play as if no one else is in the room, looking only at each other. Especially at one point, when they were all facing Mitch. It was terrific hearing Boldstar again. It feels like forever since I heard them last. They played one of my favorites, "Pork Siomai," and it was the first time I heard "Semi-Quaver," which I also enjoyed very much.


The nice thing about movies as bad as Catwoman is checking out how The Onion will savage it in their reviews. And they did not disappoint. The full review can be found here, but here's an excerpt: "Sent to a watery grave, meek graphic designer Halle Berry washes up on an island covered in cats. One of them, of the breed commonly known as "CGI," climbs atop her chest and breathes into her mouth. Rather than getting a whiff of half-digested Cat Chow, Berry is filled with the spirit of the Egyptian cat goddess Bast. Able to leap around with feline grace, wear revealing leather outfits without shame, and improvise cat-themed puns, she is Catwoman, even though she bears little resemblance to the Catwoman from the Batman universe. It's like naming a movie Spider-Man because it's about a guy with eight legs who shoots silk out of his ass."

And this choice line: "The film could have turned out worse, but only via the addition of a Tom Green cameo, or an accident in which the actors caught on fire."

The Batman Begins teaser's out! Damn, those shots are sweet. Next to nothing with him actually IN the suit, though. There's maybe a split-second you can pause.

While you're at it, you might wanna take a gander at:

The new trailer of Sky Captain & The World of Tomorrow, which kind of loses that retro charm of the teaser. I guess they feel it's bad for the box office.

Zhang Yimou's follow-up to Hero, House of Flying Daggers, also an action piece. I guess it's called Lovers in Japan. Saw some clips on a French site, and the fight scene in the trees outdoes Crouching Tiger on every level.

A film I really want to see, from the UK, Shaun of the Dead. Be sure to watch both trailers.

An interesting trailer for a Julianne Moore flick, The Forgotten.

John Waters's latest, the NC-17 A Dirty Shame.

Michael Winterbottom's latest, Code 46.

E. Elias Merhige's latest, Suspect Zero.

And I recently came across this article, which had these pics (click on each for bigger versions):

So okay, I will now allow myself to become a little bit excited.

I wish they showed Miho, though, who is played by Devon Aoki.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

You know, I really thought Catwoman would be a turgid piece of offensive offal.

Damn if I wasn't right.

Next to Catwoman, I, Robot is 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's not the so-bad-it's-good kind of movie, like Anaconda. Or the so-bad-it's-actually-offensive, like Batman & Robin. It's so bad it's embarrassing. From the terrible one-liners to the cookie-cutter plot to the comic relief best friend, everything stinks. The dialogue is truly something else. All those cat-puns had me gagging. Frances Conroy, how could you agree to this role? Why does it say based on characters created by Bob Kane? And Neva pointed out something: Patience Phillips is Warner Brothers' attempt at Peter Parker. Notice all the times she gets bumped on the way to work, the unappreciative boss, the loser status. Somehow Pitof, whose first film Vidocq I enjoyed, got Thierry Arbogast, Luc Besson's DP, to make one of those annoying style-films, all dizzying cuts and intentionally nauseous movements. And why do the French keep shooting action so up close and personal? Two scenes in Catwoman are confusing because they just HAVE to have the camera in the characters' faces, ass and breasts. I remember that Jet Li flick Kiss of the Dragon also suffering from this. If you check Rotten Tomatoes, its rating is 10%, possibly the lowest I've seen since Roberto Benigni's live-action Pinocchio. And The Bourne Supremacy kicked its ass on opening weekend. In fact, it looks like Catwoman's going to bomb. Well, it deserves it. You have to keep wondering, preferably in the loudest and angriest Lewis Black voice, "Who greenlights this shit?! Didn't they READ the script?!" And Denise DiNovi, I'm disappointed in you. You used to have taste.

Like I told Neva when the credits began to roll: "Now THAT'S what I call female empowerment!" I keed, ladies, I keed.

I really enjoyed Imelda. It was an interesting structure to juxtapose Imelda's self-delusion with comments from journalists, Fr. Reuter, etc. I didn't like that scene with the drag show, though, especially with the parallel editing of what should've been an emotional touchstone: Ninoy. Still, there are scenes where Imelda pauses, or finishes a sentence, and the film is silent. Ramona Diaz doesn't ask questions, I guess. I kept thinking that Errol Morris would shoot back with a "But what about…" question.


Last night's Smashing Pumpkins tribute gig was fun. Unfortunately it wasn't, as I thought, an all-SP night. Each band performed only one SP song. Though the first band didn't, I think, perform any at all. Or maybe they played it before we arrived. Ciudad played a terrific "Zero," and as Kathy mentioned it was a small thrill to hear everyone singing along to "Emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is Godliness and God is empty… just like me…" Twisted Halo did "Siva" from Gish, a surprising choice that they pulled off well. Cousin Ed did a cover of "Hummer" from Siamese Dream, and it was pretty fucking tight, I must say. And Gay's haircut rocks.

Gab mentioned he'd like to see that kind of all-SP night happen, so I hope he pulls it off.

It was my first time at Peligro, and it's not a bad place; small and intimate, I was reminded of Oracafe for some reason. Maybe the fact that there's no elevated stage. Sadly, the Fried Mozzarella we ordered was bland and tasteless, tasting more like egg than cheese. We didn't even finish half of it. Hope their other dishes are good (and less expensive).

I must say, though, that I absolutely loved that no smoking was allowed. It was such a refreshing relief to watch a gig and not have my eyes stinging. And I wasn't coughing or sneezing, and my lungs weren't being poisoned. And when you go home, your hair and clothes don't stink of cigarette smoke. I have friends who smoke, but I'm sorry, I wish the smoking ban was enforced everywhere. About 3 weeks ago I read something online (Yahoo! News, I think) about a study of the incidence of lung cancer in people who worked at bars/restaurants and the result was an alarming 80%. Sadly, half of them didn't even smoke.


For some good reading, and some thought-provoking insights, I highly recommend you read Alan Moore's recent Salon interview, which doesn't even promote a new book of his; it kicks off because recent events have been mirroring stories he wrote in the '80s. You have to watch an ad to get a day pass for Salon, unfortunately. Thanks to Jomz for bringing it to my attention.

And this link is for Joey Antukin, in case she's looking for more info on Sin City. Seems Quentin Tarantino showed up and directed for a day, and Robert Rodriguez was able to win him over to digital filmmaking.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Just click.


"Pink Ribbon Scars"
Smashing Pumpkins Tribute Night
9 PM July 28, WED at Peligro
(Peligro is in the Republic Glass Building which is on the corner of Salcedo Street and Aguirre Street in Legaspi Village, Makati)

Cousin Ed
Twisted Halo

(info stolen and edited from Gab)

I will be there, with some copies of our Hey, Comics! anthology for sale. But it's all hush-hush, so you have to come up to me and say "Hey, you got the stuff?" and I will go "Yeah man, what you need?"

Friday, July 23, 2004

If you want to see something TRULY inspiring, check out Pia’s amazing story. It begins here, and then she set up this LJ to document the good deeds. Alexis and I both think it would make an excellent documentary. I feel really bad about not being able to post about this soon enough, but I was really busy. Sorry, Pia! At the very least, she already met her target, can you believe that?


Neva’s last 2 posts are great: one on poetry and another on diving.

Did you know that Tim Burton’s currently shooting Charlie & the Chocolate Factory? And that Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s Sin City has already finished principal photography? Man, I used to be up-to-date on this stuff.

I, Robot: I wanted to like it, because I haven’t seen Garage Days and so this is the first Alex Proyas film I’ll be seeing since Dark City. But what can you expect when it was merely “suggested” by Asimov’s book (yet keeps the name) and was written by “Touch of Death” Akiva Goldsman and the guy who wrote Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within? And I’m sorry, Bridget Moynahan; you’re pretty but when you cry (or try to look like crying) you look like crap. Chi McBride, I’m sorry you have to be a stereotype whenever you’re not doing the principal thing on Boston Public.

Sunday, July 18, 2004


This is Khristine, one of the proprietors of the beloved CCHQ, who was nice enough to let us give out our anthology during their Free Comic Book Day on July 3. That's our anthology on the lower right corner, on the table along with all the other free comic books they gave out that day. :)

Again, thanks to everyone who showed up, said hi, got a copy, read it. Hopefully some of you have joined the mailing list, and please feel free to give us feedback on the issue.

Thursday, July 15, 2004


2 friends in NY, one in his first week of graduate school, another back to being a freshman for a second degree, and Neva off to Iloilo for almost a week.

Have to keep myself busy, and it's not a difficult task these days thanks to a whole bunch of errands.


I didn't know the Incredible Hulk was so active these days. I wasn't aware he had a blog, for example. But I did catch and enjoy his recent article for The Onion.

If there are 2 commercials you must see this season, it's this one and this one. The first is slightly horrific, but the second one, ah... the second one is the gem. And note that all the women are cute. They're part of a clever ad campaign in Japan, whose ads you can see here. This article helps shed some light on the gem.

And while you're at it, check out this hilarious, lovable ad for Kikkoman sauce, which we use here at home, and which I will never see with the same gravitas again... it's got a horribly-clad "superhero" Kikkoman who has a fish for a head, and there's a lot of homoerotic posing, and the music is wonderfully tacky, and the voice is horribly charming, and he drives a ridiculous motorcycle, and he smokes! and there's a cat who commits suicide! and he has sex! and-- and-- just go. It must be seen to be believed. You will thank me, and thank your lucky stars, that Kikkoman is there for us all when we need him.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Hello. I am back.

Suggest some Cinemanila movies naman o. I've only seen Zatoichi & Vibrator, which apparently won the Lino Brocka award for some reason. It had some interesting points but I felt it didn't fulfill the potential it promised at the beginning. The festival's been extended to the 20th, by the way, and last I checked the website they actually had today's schedule up so here's hoping it'll be updated throughout the remaining days.


If I may be a comics evangelist again for a moment, I just wanted to show this picture, from the New York Times, of some of comics' best creators. Clockwise from top left, Seth, Chester Brown, Adrian Tomine, art spiegelman, and Joe Sacco. Here's the article it's from. They are all great; buy their books. All but spiegelman are published mainly, I realize, by Drawn & Quarterly (check out their website featuring Chris Ware art), who are definitely one of the best independent publishers out there. Spiegelman's latest work, "In the Shadow of No Towers," his first graphic novel since the Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus, will be coming out September 7 in the US, from Pantheon. From the title, you can probably guess it's about the aftermath of September 11, and I can't wait to read it. It was serialized in foreign newspapers, if I remember correctly, because he couldn't find anyone in the US to carry it. Needless to say, it's a little incendiary.

I believe this is the cover:

Which calls to mind his cover for the first issue of The New Yorker post-9/11:

which I mentioned before.


Angry Alien have a new condensed film: Alien in 30 seconds (re-enacted by bunnies). I also hadn't seen the Titanic one before.

Apparently Lav Diaz wasn't finished editing Ebolusyon, so it didn't screen today. And it's at 10 1/2 hours and running... dear God.

Thursday, July 08, 2004


If you have a half-hour to spare I heartily recommend playing the Anti-Bush game. Particularly if you hate Bush, or are curious as to the evils and atrocities that have taken place during his administration. From the guy who brought you the Emogame.

An interesting list of the Worst Comic Covers ever. Not, by any stretch of the imagination, definitive. That one's my favorite.

I should've plugged this before: Nautilus Comics is having a series of free comics workshops. You should go. They're free. Schedule here.

EVERYONE MUST WATCH THIS! It's really cute. Lego Spider-Man. Yay!


Is anyone going to watch Lav Diaz's 9-hour Ebolusyon? It's closing Cinemanila on, if I got it right from Alexis, early Monday morning. As in, from midnight to 9 AM. With 15-minute intermissions, and free coffee and beer. I think he could make some money by selling shirts at the end that say "I survived Ebolusyon." I am morbidly curious about trying it myself (but likely won't). Just to see if I could make it, you know? I mean, how can you not go hungry or need to use the bathroom in 9 hours? You'd have to wait for the intermissions, and bring baon because you'd have to walk far to find an open 7-11 or Mini Stop.


I'll be out of town until Sunday night.

Monday, July 05, 2004

I REALLY enjoyed Kill Bill Vol. 2. But I have a suspicion that many people will be disappointed, especially if they're coming into the theater thinking it's going to be more of what made Vol. 1 great.

And Gordon Liu rules.

My sincere and deepest thanks to everyone who went last Saturday to CCHQ and picked up a copy of our modest anthology! Love and kisses to those who helped spread the word through mailing lists and their blogs. :) Thanks must also go to the lovely proprietors Tin and Katya who tolerated our squatting. I know I had a lot of fun. Most of the time was spent sitting and talking with friends, some who I haven't seen in a while. There were a lot of nice free comics to be had. All in all, we got rid of about 80 comics at CCHQ, and we gave 40 copies to Comic Quest earlier in the day. So about 120 copies all in all. Better to have overestimated than under-, I guess.

It was a bit of a photo finish. The night before Saturday, Neva and I were overseeing the copies being stapled and folded, from 830 to 11 PM. Thursday night was when I picked up the dummy, having visited Elbert and Jamie's offices. Seeing everything together was a treat. It's the nature of anthologies that there will be stories you like more than others, even speaking as the "editor." But for the most part I'm genuinely HAPPY with what we've come up with.

Since we were rushed the issue's not perfect. Some typos were spotted after the fact, and I'm still not satisfied with my intro, so I think I'll change it for the next print run. Still, content-wise everything seemed to go off without any major hitch. It was 60 pages all in all, when I was expecting something around 48.

I saw the bulk of the work on Sunday night at Megamall, where El and Jamie were exhibiting at the Toycon. I have to admit that when I saw Arnold and Ate Cyn's pages I almost cried. It was the first significant time where I felt it was actually coming together and not just an intangible project I would've liked to see happen. Especially since I was expecting shorter work from the both of them, what with their busy schedules. To see a full 8-page story from Arn and Cyn's 3-page double-tier story (her first comics work EVER!) really surprised and touched me.

Though the whole week has been exhausting, when I was watching all the copies being stapled and folded, and knew that I wasn't going to be making money from this, the feeling I still had was I wanted to make more. Is that strange? I don't know. Certainly, I don't think we'll be giving them away for free next time. But those were the 2 things most in my mind: I want to see more, and I really should've done this sooner.


Over lunch on Saturday we started talking about future issues. I realized that if I counted all the stories that weren't able to fit in the first, and all the late stories that are already in progress but just didn't make the deadline, I'd have the bulk of the next issue already. Which was a bit of a shock, but also a good feeling. I've also had good feedback from the people who DID contribute, and though they did it for free (for which I'm forever grateful), some were actually EXCITED about the prospect of submitting for the next issue, which is probably the best compliment you can get. I'm also hoping that people who join Hey, Comics! because of the anthology will also begin appearing in future issues. It's also a good way to force us to become more productive, and on a more selfish note I just want to see more good comics from people I'm a fan of!

We started joking about themed issues, too. If we're more disciplined about it 3 issues a year might actually be doable. And maybe 1 of the 3 could be themed. Themes are tricky: marketing-wise they're better for the anthology, and you could get some surprising results from your contributors. On the other hand, you could also get surprisingly BAD results from your contributors, who either don't like the theme or found it restrictive or just couldn't come up with something they like. But one idea we toyed with was having the themes be the uncommon kind. Ones without any necessary social value. To kind of force everyone to be creative and see what they come up with. Ridiculous suggestions were made: "Girls in red skirts," "Missed call," "Haircut," etc. One of Le Sexy Mark Lavin's genius suggestions was the Rob Liefeld tribute issue.

At the end of the meal I realized the second issue kind of has a theme already: "Late." ;P


This is 7-year-old Alexa Kitchen, who had 2 books debut at the recent Museum of Cartoon & Comic Art Festival (appropriately called The Early Years: Ages 5 & 6). She started cartooning when she was 5.

I'm fucking pathetic.

Also in attendance: Moby, longtime comics reader. Michel Gondry, a personal idol of mine, whose 13-year-old son Paul ALSO had a comic debut at the show. Son of a bitch.

And of course, Steph Misa, who texted me saying "Am at MOCCA. Want anything?" Unfortunately, when I woke up and found the message it was 11 PM in NY. Thanks for the offer, though, Steph.

One of my new favorite artists, Stuart Immonen, apparently has an LJ. He has this hilarious series of strips, Fifty Reasons To Stop Doing Sketches (that's not his usual art style, if you're wondering). Go and read. Also found this model of the Preacher character Arseface thanks to him. I'll spare you girls the picture, but men and comics fans, make with the clicky!


And here's Suicide Bomber Barbie:

I'm excited about this bit of news: Scholastic is beginning a graphic novel line called Grafix, launching with Jeff Smith's Bone. Bone is a terrific series I've been following since high school. I've been reading it in collections, and the end is near, and it's been a magnificent trip so far, one of those stories I wish I could get everyone to read, particularly fantasy fans like Mikey and Lia, who I'm SURE would love it. I think I lent Neva one and she immediately bought the first 6. Then she lent hers to Chris and he bought the first 7 or 8. I'm curious about the little tidbit saying it's going to be printed in color. I always imagined Bone in color to be wonderful, but Smith's art is so perfect in black and white that I wonder if my experience with the story'll be different this time around.

Here's hoping it becomes even bigger than Harry Potter. I wouldn't mind having a secret THIS good explode all over pop consciousness.

Scholastic have also approached Scott Morse, who I became a fan of since I read his The Barefoot Serpent.


Here's the list of places we're thinking of approaching for selling the anthology:

- Comic Quest
- Filbars
- Sarabia Optical, UP Shopping Center
- Big Sky Mind

I've also asked Diego Mapa if we could sell through him. He sells a bunch of zines at gigs.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, July 01, 2004


Wednesday night was fun. First, had some silvanas and then chicken skin (thanks to Lia). Then, played all-you-can-play at Timezone for an hour with Neva, Quark, Lia & Chris. Which just sent me back to high school. It was heaven, a gift I would have LOVED to be able to give to myself as a skinny AHS student. We played with reckless abandon, not caring if we were injured or not, because after all, we could just swipe the injuries away. At one point I was letting myself die in Time Crisis 3 because when you restart your grenade launcher gets reloaded. Then feasted at Bubba Gump's, joined by Dead Sexy Mark Lavin. Then Alexis arrived and we caught Spider-Man 2, which is entertaining. I'll try and write more about it later. Then after that, some of us got crepes, and we all ended up at Giligan's, home of the best sisig, and just had severe cholesterol intake. To the point where my body was just starting to shut down and I was getting dizzy. Went home and passed out...

... only to wake up 3 hours later. And then there's hardly any rest: a quick one-hour nap, followed by a rushed, last-minute introduction for the anthology. Then rush to Elbert's office to see the anthology. It's printed out twice; one's a master and the other's used to make a dummy so the photocopy people know what it should look like. Then MTV Pilipinas Awards, which has some of the most arbitrary categories I've ever heard. Then Mini Stop, because I forgot that all of Thursday, up until around midnight, all I'd eaten was a Cinnamon Swirl from Starbucks and a Regular Yum with Cheese I was eating while walking back to Chris's from Elbert's office. Go home and plan to collapse, but no: I have to bring my dad to the airport at 4 AM (a few minutes from now). Did I mention I wake up at 730 to bring my mom to the office, because we have no driver and I need the car she uses because everything else is coding? No? Well, I do. Why, you don't ask? Well I'll tell you: because I have to drive all the way to UP, where the anthology will be reproduced for Saturday. A photo finish.

All that said: I was holding the dummy in my hands this evening and showed it to some friends. I think it looks nice, but I'm biased. Re-reading everything now, I realize my introduction is really bad, and may change it for the next print run (we're initially making 200 copies). Its final page count is 60 pages. Tobie Abad was able to squeeze into the list of contributors at the last minute, after my announcements.

Next thing I have to think about is making a list of places where we can sell it. Any suggestions?

And lest I forget: Mikey is in the new FHM, talking about naughty things. You would've thought they'd have a few more Girlfriends of the Month waiting in the wings before getting desperate...