Friday, July 8

No Man's Land

Cowboys and Demons.

WOOHOO!!! Got a copy of the awesome No Man's Land from Seven Seas, by the uber-artist and K.I.A. alumnus Jennyson Rosero. Better yet, I got it free! Thanks, Jen! The art of course is DAMN awesome, as always, with Jen's incredibly clean and precise lines bringing this supernatural western to life. My one single gripe is that there are about as many babes in the book as there is water in a desert. You have to keep practicing on drawing women, Jen, or you may get your babe-drawing skills dulled. Draw Kai every now or then, okay? Heheh.

No Man's Land is available now in good comic book shops in the Metro (or you can ask for it at Comic Quest). The book is written by Jason De Angelis and drawn by, of course, Jennyson Rosero. Check it out for some awesome western manga action.

Thursday, July 7

My Hero!

It's a bit early, but here's my idea for our group's upcoming comics endeavor, Project: Hero (tentative title).


When young archaeological buff Sissy Sobek accidentally breaks a mystical seal, she unleashes a horrible force from antiquity into the world. But soon after, she finds herself possessed of the powers of the Warrior Goddess Samuraisis, patron of love and war (eh?)! But can this fledgeling goddess, even with powers over Sky, Earth and Sea, have any chance against the Horror of Ra Men Ho Tep, the Japanese Mummy?!

Mixed-up mayhem, action and comics fun and archaeological absurdity ensue! See it in the pages of Project: Hero, later this year. Heh.
Country Angst

A funny, albeit very true e-mail was forwarded to me today by a co-worker. It was a letter of disgust by some person named Jawbreaker who describes himself as an average worker and taxpayer who just doesn't want to pay taxes anymore. The title of the e-mail is "Walang Kwenta ang Pilipinas" or "The Philippines is worthless", and he goes on to cite the recent ills of corrupt politicians and the economic crisis that is plaguing the country. But that's not all. He also goes on to berate elements of society that don't pay taxes- including the 'masa', NPA rebels and insurgents and so on. It's true, actually- why do politicos always cite 'the Masa' as the most vital part of society, when tax-paying people and the ordinary Juan are the ones who are keeping this drowning nation afloat through their hard-earned pay? The letter is very angry and fiery, and sad to say, I agree with every single word.
It's sad, but if I was the one to write that angry letter, it would be entitled not 'The Philippines is worthless', but instead 'The Filipino is worthless'. We're a crappy race that does horrible things to our own country and people. And the worst part is, the silent majority who just want to live well and let live can't do shit about it since we're too busy working and tired at the end of the day to protest or go rebel or make a commotion in the news.

At least, not yet. We'll see what happens when the boiling point is ultimately reached.

Anyway, DAMN it to heck that my Vanishing Ray isn't working. DAMN.

Yep, despite my saying that I wasn’t going to watch The Fantastic Four, I found myself getting a ticket and heading into the theater. Perhaps it was just that I had some time and I was in Gateway Mall, which is a pretty neat place to watch movies. So, instead of watching War of the Worlds again, I instead chose to watch the latest Marvel Comics movie.

And guess what? I actually had fun.

Surprisingly better than I thought and easy to get into, the FF movie generally follows the same route as the original, with quite a few liberties. Anyway, the performances were okay. Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffud) was kinda sorta ‘just there’, though the character gets cooler and better towards the end of the movie. Jessica Alba gives in a decent performance, and is hot as always (which never hurts), and while she seems to young to play the wife of Reed Richards, she is younger and single in this outing. Chris Evans’ Johnny Storm AKA The Human Torch is pretty much spot on, as is Michael Chiklis’ The Thing.

Julian McMahon’s Doom is suave and cold, starting off as seemingly good but revealing evil underneath- kinda like his own Cole Turner from Charmed. Yeah, turning him into a corporate mogul who turns into a cross between Colossus and Electro is pretty iffy, as are the circumstances around his rise to power (why the ‘Norman Osborn’ template again?). But he’s a pretty good villain and if they make a sequel, I hope he comes back as Doom with all the Latverian trimmings (and he will, judging from the ending).

The CG and effects are pretty cool, and better than in the trailers. Most of the action is in the latter half and end of the movie, but thankfully the pace is quick for the most part. All in all, this wasn’t a painful watch at all- in fact, I enjoyed it and even had a chuckle or two, thanks in most part to a very receptive audience which was laughing at all the slapstick antics of a clumsy Thing and a prank-happy Torch.

How good is Fantastic Four? Surprisingly, I rate it just as good as the debut X-men and Spiderman films. Better than X-men United, but not as good as Spiderman 2. FAR better than Hulk, Daredevil, Elektra and The Punisher. Sadly, Elastigirl is cooler and slicker than Reed Richards though.

All in all, surprisingly good and not a waste of time to see in a good theater. Grab three friends and watch it in theaters now for some good-natured, easy-to-watch superhero fun.

Tuesday, July 5

The Last Angel Ace Story

It may come as a shock to some of my readers and longtime Angel fans, but yes, this is the theme, if not the actual title, of the next Angel Ace issue and the next comic book/graphic novel I will be producing. Given how long it may take to conceptualize, write, draw and fund a big project (take a look at K.I.A.), expect this to appear sometime next year.

Angel Ace was my first real comic- my first original character that I actually flew with (pun intended) and the one that earned me readers who await each issue and installment with unfailing fervor. Would that there were more of them.

The truth is, each comic I release is a big undertaking, and financially exhausting. It is my passion, and I will definitely continue to work and create comics indefinitely, but I have to say that a continuing, sustained title like Angel Ace is far too difficult to carry out in the way that it should. That is, having to put out many, many episodes or issues, side stories and what not and slowly build up to the epic endgame and the Mother of All Confrontations waiting at the end. I see the road from Angel Ace Next, the latest issue, to the Finale taking oh, at least 12 or so issues.

Even if I were to put out an issue of Angel Ace twice a year (which I cannot), it would take six years. A more realistic run of an issue a year would see us finally having Angel’s final destiny coming after 12 years of waiting.

Now, while as much as I’d love to see myself still doing indie comics 12 years from now, I think that this is just not going to happen.

And so, I would like to say that I am going to give the finale a little bit earlier.

Yes, it will be a bit rushing it since after the first story arc, we only had a interlude issue before the endgame issue… but then, I guess it is fitting that Angel Ace Next is indeed a bit of a rest issue. It all comes with the one that’s coming after.

But, longtime readers, do not fret. This is not just any issue. To say it now, I will be handling this project all by my lonesome. I'll be drawing it myself, every panel and cover. This thing has to be done by myself and myself alone.

The Last Angel Ace Story will be big. It will have a mammoth page count, perhaps even more than K.I.A.. It will be a self-contained book, so new readers can actually pick it up and read it and have a complete story. For longtime fans, it will flash back to all the previous releases, fill in the gaps between the issues, and have sufficient build-up to the inevitable reveal of THE BIG PLOT and the final battle between Angela Gale and her nemesis, Mondebaine Gallowglass.

It will reveal stuff like- who IS Angel really, where did she come from, why she has her powers, who GMI and Baine really are, the link between them and the SIVA and the details of Angel’s life before the first book (Lone Wolf and Cherub), the first story arc and the last book to the finale. We’re filling in all the holes.

And awaiting the end is a big resolve- the Big Bad taking their plans to fruition, and the heroes taking up their guts for their stand. There will be action, there will be big explosions and fighting, Kai gets back at Seta and we’ll finally see Baine do evil stuff.

And someone very important will die. (and no, villains don't count, and no, it won't be Kai with her regeneration powers).

At the end of all this, I hope that the point of Angel’s existence will finally be revealed and her destiny fulfilled.

It was not an easy decision to make, but I think the readers and the characters have been waiting far too long. This story has to be told, and it will. After this, I can walk away from Angel and be happy in the knowledge that I did not leave her life incomplete (compressed, maybe, but at least not untold).

But will it be truly the last time we see Angel? We’ll just have to see.

Next year. Promise.
Thank you, Captain Obvious

Sometime last week, I was with Vin on a weeknight at Comic Quest. We had dinner, talked about this and that, and then at the stroke of nine-something, Vin got ready to shut down the shop.
As always, I got my stuff and looked about as Vin closed all but the back-room light in the store. He did his orasyons, paid homage to the frog diety and gathered up the receipts and stuff he was taking home. We exited the half-closed entrance and I stood back beside some guy who was browsing the stiore window as Vin pulled down the metal grate cover. Vin took out his two mammoth padlocks and clicked them into place, sealing shut the Blood Bank for the night.

At which point, the guy standing next to us asked, “Closed na kayo?” (“Are you closed?”)

All together now… Ngeh.

Okay, Vin, being the shopkeep and the guy being a potential customer, politely answered ‘Yes…’

If I was to answer though, I may have responded more along the lines of…

“Noooo… We’re just going for a coffee break for the night. If you want anything, please wait here and we’ll be back to service you in an hour or two…”


Monday, July 4


The ol’ PC died over the weekend, forcing me to scramble and replace the most vital innards of the beige box. Now, while I do have the spiffy Powerbook, there are certain things that a PC can give that a Mac cannot- at least, not inexpensively. So, to retain my stuff for video capture and conversion to mobile media, as well as the use of a scanner and other irreplaceable functions, I had to spend quite a bit. I got the full bit- a new Pentium 4 chipset motherboard, with a new power supply and memory to match.
Perhaps after I get my cash flow going well again, I’ll get a new CD drive and perhaps a DVD-burner and some other stuff.

Anyway, my PC’s now more or less on track with the times and has a new lease on life… I wish I could say the same for my budget though. From now on until next pay day I’m going to have to watch the spending and resist any splurges and unnecessary expenditures. Darn.

Well, on the good side, If I make it to next payday without begging for a loan, it will be cool and maybe a sign that I’ll be able to save more. And another cool thing is that I’m ready for Age of Empires III if and when it arrives. Heh.

Sunday, July 3

Alter Egos

Last night, we talked about our latest comic project as a group. The theme will be about 'Superheroes'. Despite this probably being a cheap photocopy or risograph comic, it will be pretty big at about 70 or so pages (given all the contributions of the various members). I'm hoping that the stories and art will be good enough that we can pitch it to a publisher to do it justice and print it nicely. A sort of Siglo: Super Powers? Well, we'll see what happens when the art and stories come piling in. Hopefully, we'll see the book by late this year or early next year. I've got quite a bit of time, but this early I should start thinking of my future superheroine (yes, I'm gonna go with a sexy babe), her origin, powers and nemesis. Heh. This should be fun.