Thursday, May 28, 2009

"ang maskot" at sputnik in cubao

"ang maskot" @ sputnik comics, cubao expo

you can't miss the store, it's melting.

note the store hours: 4-10pm, closed on sundays

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

fail whale goes to japan

i don't do twitter, but this just killed me:


Tuesday, May 26, 2009


bookstore clerk 1: hanapin mo sa youtube!
bookstore clerk 2: wala daw yan sa youtube.
bookstore clerk 3: hanapin mo na rin!
bookstore clerk 1: type mo, "katrina".
bookstore clerk 2: walang h!
bookstore clerk 3: pwede na yan!
all: aay, wala nga.

Monday, May 25, 2009

brillante mendoza wins in cannes--but at what cost?

Fact: Most film festival programmers are interested in movies about the poor. They are less likely to invite comedies about middle-class Filipinos mulling over the meaning of life than dramas about the proletariat struggling to survive.

So when your aunt in Tarzana, California or Slough, England complains, ‘Palagi na lang yan ang ipinapakita abroad! Puro mahirap, marumi, mabaho, wala man lang mall o Boracay. Baka akala nila lahat ng Pilipino ganyan (All the Filipino movies shown abroad show poverty, filth and squalor; foreigners will think we all live like that),’ explain the situation.

jessica zafra nicely sums up the current condition and immediate foreseeable future of independent pinoy cinema here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

monica belluci went to the palengke

... with her bayong from dior.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

break the blockade '09

if you read local blogs you've probably heard of the "great book blockade of 2009" (if not here's a good place to start, and there's a timeline here).

besides being outraged by the greed and temerity, etc. etc. i also have a kerascoet book that should have arrived weeks ago that i think is among the books being held by customs. so i thought i would try and do my part as a visual person, and made this:

you can download the full editable file for free at my deviantart. use it for posters, signs, even merchandise, if you like. anything to help spread the message.

Friday, May 22, 2009

ang maskot... sa tiendesitas!

"ang maskot" is now available at stall 49, novelty village. look for the shop with replica guns displayed outside--it's along one of the upstairs rows fronting the pet stalls. price is P50 per copy, digest size, 52 pages. black and white.

the owner, donald gonzales, is looking for more local/independent/self-published comics to put up for consignment at his shop. you can reach him at 0922-881-1618.

thanks to heubert khan michael for blogging about mr. gonzales' shop.

u-thought police

you know the type. purveyors of false on-your-sleeve nationalism who make a freak show of themselves at the slightest perceived injury to "their" country's good name. they hijack conversations, spark media circuses, make a general nuisance of themselves.

think desperate housewives. chip tsao. most recently, roger ebert.

i tried to think of a dignified way to deal with these people without letting myself get dragged down to their level, failed, and finally decided to just drag them down to my level:

paste this image in the appropriate message board, comment thread, blog, etc., wherever the Philippine Insecurity Force rears its pointy little head.

you can also download the badge as a scalabe vector file here to use as you wish, commercial or otherwise.

Monday, May 18, 2009

summer komikon '09: the hourly comics

so i tried doing the hourly comics thing at komikon... i cheated on the first couple of cartoons because i only got the idea at eight forty that morning.

click on the image to embiggen if you can't read 'em. and also please excuse the poor scanning. if it helps, the originals didn't look much better :P

the girl next to me was with i-north comics--they had like a hundred titles for sale and hogged all the table space. not that i hold it against them or anything.

for the record, nakahanap ako ng tabo.

it was not destined to be mine.

here's the sketch i made of the little girl:

what's wrong with it?! i made her look like a hayao miyazaki heroine fer cryin' out loud! yeesh.

the guy was chapel from silent sanctum manga. he's a marketing geeeniuss!

i finally got to walk around and buy stuff when cherry watched my table for me. she even continued the hourly comics! guess i should've told her abstract art doesn't count, though. he he

(edit: cherry says that's a view of her head and shoulders from behind... tinubuan na raw sya sa kakahintay sa aken.)

we left around six pm.

more random sketches next post.

summer komikon '09

it was my first time on the other side of the exhibition table, and i'm still a little high from the experience. whew!

thanks to all the people who bought ang maskot, especially the folks who told their friends about it, or even better, came back later with a friend in tow, going, "that's the one i was telling you about," right in front of me, thus shaming the friend into buying a copy. you guys have a special place in my heart.

at the 'kon i was thrilled to be able to talk to manila bulletin cartoonist norman isaac, who complimented my work and had many questions about being a DIY comics-maker.

the versatile kc cordero also came by and bought a copy like he promised, and we got into a brief discussion on the use of an entirely black page as a transitional device.

zero point comics creators michael david and jon zamar were my first two customers, for which i will be eternally grateful. they also sat across from our table, so, according to bearkdowns creator josel nicolas who was seated next to me, we may possibly have benefitted from the foot traffic they attracted.

heubert khan michael gave me a signed distributor's copy of unstoppable #1, which says on the cover: 1.) not for sale (yayyy!), and 2.) over 10,000 copies in print (aaaaaw).

by some freakish coincidence, filmmaker zack behringer (i'm taking a guess on the spelling of his name) is making a short film about a guy stuck inside his mascot costume. he promised to invite me to a screening, but i forgot to ask him if i could take like forty friends and relatives along to see what could be the closest thing to a film adaptation of my comic as i'm ever going to get.

and finally, to help pass the time did some hourly comics and random sketches, which i will upload soon.

Monday, May 11, 2009

drawing comics in adobe illustrator - part two

earlier i described my process for drawing my comic "ang maskot". you can read that here.

so now i have all 48 pages done in individual adobe illustrator .ai files, and the next step is to get them ready for the photocopying shop.

not having any desktop publishing software (and not knowing how to use 'em anyways), i did some common-sense improvisation: taking fourteen pieces of scratch paper, i folded them together in the middle to make a mock-up pamphlet, numbered the pages using a ballpen, and then took the pamphlet apart gain. now all i have to do is replicate the ordering of the pages on the sheets using the same program i started with, adobe illustrator.

i open a new document 11 inches wide by 8.5 inches high in illustrator.

based on the mockup's page numbering, i paste the two appropriate illustrator files onto the new document. here it's the front and back cover-- the outer face of the first sheet.

i then arrange them by hand, leaving a bit of margin along the outer sides and also in the middle. because i gauged eveything by eye, i screwed up the margins. but i only learned this when when the comics had been printed and cut.

repeat the process for each side of all fourteen sheets, and then save. i used pdf because doing sample printouts on my inkjet at home, i thought the tones looked more accurate. i was wrong. when i took the files to get printed (laser print, P5 per page at UP shopping mall) the tones looked washed out. i don't know if it was the printer's fault or mine. oh all right, it's mine.

last step: photocopying. above are samples of the P0.75 copy, P0.60 copy and P0.50 copy. i went with the best one. each sheet is photocopied back-to-back and then folded and stapled in the middle, and finally the edge opposite the spine is cut to make it nice and even (i paid an extra P1 per book for all this). i felt quite flattered when i discovered that they'd printed out an extra copy and was passing it around. when i came by to pick up my stuff, one xerox machine operator was reading the comic with one hand while flipping a textbook on his machine with the other. he read it twice while i was waiting.

it's interesting how the photocopying added texture to my flat vector graphics. some of the night scenes actually looked better on paper than oncreen; too bad a lot of the very light tones practically disappeared. lesson learned.

well, that's it for this quasi-tutorial. i have a hundred copies of the finished comics for sale at this saturday's komikon. hope to see you there!

comics-making process animation

five days to go before komikon!

i made a crude sldeshow of my comics-making process for "ang maskot" described in my earlier post.

but blogger doesn't seem to support flash animation, so i had to upload it to my deviantart.

click here to see it.

drawing comics in adobe illustrator - part one

this is a sample page from my self-published comic, "ang maskot", which i created entirely as vector art in adobe illustrator. the techniques i describe below were essentially made up as i bumbled along, so they may amuse and/or tick off any comics pros reading this.

so let's start off with brainstorming.

"ang maskot" began long ago with an overheard conversation about a friend who may or may not have dressed up as a mascot for a children's party--i'm a little fuzzy about the details. but eventually ideas started coming together in my head until one day i finally sat down and started drawing thumbnail sketches (if you can call 'em that):

just quick scribbles on the cheap mini-intermediate pads i favor as scratch paper. plot, layouting, pacing, a smattering of dialogue... i lay things down so i won't forget later. and since i'm both writer and artist, the drawings only need to make sense to myself (but even there i've failed once or twice).

revisions start happening even at this earliest stage, and don't stop practically until final inks and colors. you shouldn't love your work so much that you stop trying to make it better.

but then sometimes you get lucky on the first try. the first couple of pages went through hardly any changes at all!

here's the method: i start drawing in adobe illustrator on a blank page 5.5 inches wide by 8.5 inches long-- the size of a sheet of letter-size bond paper folded in half.

i use the grid as a guide and draw the panel borders by hand on my beat-up old wacom tablet. rulers are for pansies!

then i open up a separate layer and make the rough sketch based on the thumbnails. nice and sloppy, just the way i like it.

i lower the opacity of the sketch layer to about 20%, start a new layer and re-draw the lines with a little more effort. i prefer the 3-point brush tool with pressure sensitivity and zero smoothing. and if you think that's cheating, don't get me started on "undo", heh heh.

finished line art. i cheated on the moon. i drew a circle using the circle tool first and then traced over that with the brush.

then i add the shading. i use the rectangle tool to fill entire panels; all else are hand-drawn shapes. i can use solid colors or gradients for any of the shapes. and since everything's vector i can move, resize and edit every stroke, shape and object to my heart's content.

(a view of just the shading, without the lines. )

all that technology at his fingertips, you ask, and his drawings are still so crappy? well that, my friends, is another story.
edit- i made a crude animation of the above steps and posted it to my deviantart because blogspot doesn't support flash. you can see it here:
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