Friday, March 7

My Hero!

Yesterday I finally got my copy of Jet Li's Hero. I actually got my hands on a bootleg copy before, but it wouldn't run properly. The version I have now is an original Chinese/HongKong disc that is apparently, as of right now, the only legitimate version of the movie available. Anyway, we checked out a few scenes at Comic Quest, and the sound is razor-sharp. Haven't watched it yet... I will most probably watch this with the family over the weekend.
Along with this I kinda splurged and bought a DVD of The Ring (The US remake). The visuals and sounds are creepy-clear, though there are no extras except for a 15 minute short film feature by director Gore Verbinski (made from deleted scenes and snippets from the actual film) and a trailer for The Ringu. I guess I really like the spooky film.
Ah, a Friday. No shoots or anything set for the weekend, so it looks like I can relax finally. Gotta catch up on some art requirements, along with more pages for Angel Ace and Immacolata. I also may start writing and designing stuff for a new fantasy epic storyline that's been mulling about in the brain box for a while. Well, it's all going to happen soon.
I'm in Newtype!

The DOAX girls take a nap after a hard game of... pillowfighting?

WOOHOO! A fanart I made for Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball has made it into the fan art pages of this month's Newtype USA magazine! Woohoo! My fifteen minutes of fame. Heh. Anyway, my artwork, Pillowfight Aftermath, is also on the homepage of Team Ninja, the development team that handles the Dead or Alive franchise in Japan. Nice! If you can't get a copy of March's Newtype USA, you can still find a hi-res version of the artwork here.

Thursday, March 6

Thundercats, WHOA!

I’m sure a lot of us here remember the cartoon Thundercats. The first and most popular of Rankin/Bass’s animal-themed superteam cartoons (Silverhawks, Tigersharks), The Thundercats is all about the adventures of the titular group of cat-themed characters. Refugees from the doomed planet of Thundera, the Cats (and later their rivals, mutants from planet Plundarr) are stranded on Third Earth (which may be a past or future earth). There, they must survive, preserve their code (Truth! Justice! Loyalty!) and protect new friends and allies from enemies such as the Plundarr mutants and the evil undead sorcerer, Mumm-Ra.
As in a sort of mold or template, the Cats of course include a young, main hero (Lion-O); a strongman (Panthro), a tactician (Tygra), a hot babe (Cheetara), and two kids (Wilykat and Wilykit). Oh, and don’t forget Snarf, the comedy relief mascot. Since most of the episodes (of which there are about 130 all in all in the 4 seasons of Thundercats) generally focus on young Lord Lion-O (the other cats usually only support him or appear at the end as backup when the Sword of Omens calls them), you don’t get to know the supporting cats too well.
In fact, often the villains get the meatier lines and parts; we actually know more about the Plundarr mutants and evil Mumm-Ra than the cats. As for the other denizens of Third Earth, from the amazon Warrior Maidens to the mascot-ish Berbils, they are little more than caricatures and archetypes.
Well, you can’t really ask for too much depth in a cartoon like Thundercats, I guess. The series delivers in cool action, lots of laser-blasting and totally bloodless fighting. And of course, LOTS of leaps in logic.
Why can’t the Cats just eradicate the THREE Plundarr mutants when any one of them could probably take down the flea-bitten scum? Is the samurai Hachiman really the ONLY human male on Third Earth? If so, how do the all-female Warrior Maidens breed? Why is Snarf given so much screen time when there are other, cooler Thundercats?! Is there anything the ubiquitous Thundertank CAN'T do? Isn't it strange that Tygra rhymes with lycra?
Another thing that strikes me from Thundercats is the voice acting; MANY characters, especially the females, sound WEIRD (the young and beautiful Willa the Warrior Maiden sounds like an old granny). Well, the reason for this is that in the ENTIRE series, all the characters are voiced by only EIGHT voice actors. ALL the mature females are acted by one woman, so naturally she had to give them weird, distinct voices. Talk about twisting your tongue.
Anyway, despite all this and more, I LOVE Thundercats. It had style. It had grace. It was sexy and furry at the same time. It had a GREAT anime-style opening animation (well, all the Rankin/Bass animal series had great intros). I'd give a lot to have DVDs of the episodes. Mmmm.
It’s great that Cartoon Network is re-airing episodes of Thundercats everyday after midnight, so I have my retro-cartoon fix. Also supporting the Thunderan resurgence are recent releases of Thundercats comics, from Wildstorm (Transformers). While I didn’t really find the initial releases exceptional, the recently-released Thundercats Return has piqued my interest. This 5-issue miniseries has a darker tone than the usual storyline. Apparently, Lion-O got trapped and exiled from the planet, disappearing for several years. When he finally escaped, he finds his home, New Thundera, ravaged and conquered by Mumm-Ra! With all of his friends and allies either dead, captured and enslaved, Lion-O must fight to undo the evil that has transpired in his absence.
With cool art and the fresh direction, this title has me intrigued. I guess I’ll this and see where it goes. Anyway, seeing a grown-up (and HOT!) Wilykit is worth the cover price. Heh.

Wednesday, March 5

The Matrix, Samurai-style!

The second Animatrix episode, Yoshiaki Kawajiri's Program, is now online and available for free downloading and viewing. Program focuses on a young rebel fighter as she battles her way through a Feudal Japanese-themed combat training program. Among digital bamboo groves and palace rooftops, she must choose between her lover or the human race. Featuring incredible fighting sequences and the awesome, stylized art of Studio Madhouse (Ninja Scroll), this is one action-packed episode you cannot afford to miss!
The Animatrix anime collection will be released on DVD and video in June, right after and around the showing of the Matrix sequels. Can't wait!

Download Animatrix: Program here.
Immacolata Pages Preview part 2!

I'm on a roll! I have finished the final two pages of the next Immacolata update. In one, we see for the first time the nuno named Penduko, one of Imma's engkanto allies. In the next, we see our heroine once again... taking a dirt nap. Uh-oh. Anyway, I was also able to ink FOUR more pages, which is set for the third update. Suffice to say, we're getting into the action part, and the fun's just beginning. Anyway, enjoy the preview. Hi-res pages will be coming to the Hinirang website soon.

Tuesday, March 4

Immacolata Pages Preview!

Here are four of the possibly 6 new Immacolata pages coming in the next update at I will be submitting them for uploading later this week. Enjoy!

Monday, March 3


I woke up with a BAD pain down there at my waist, making walking quite an excruciating and slow process. It hurt so bad I decided to stay home and rest, and take some pain relievers. Good thing that I was able to get in some coloring, managing to finish and letter four Immacolata pages for the Hinirang website. I'll finish two more pages or so before submitting it for uploading. Will have to be better and go to work tomorrow. Can't afford to miss out too many days. Sigh. Now, gotta rest again... OUCH!!!

Sunday, March 2

Saturday Group

I left before noon today to go to a production house where I attended an offline-edit of our new TV commercial. 'Offline' means a kind of preview version of our spot; no effects, rough edit, quickie music... offline. It could have taken from a couple of hours to... a lot more. Luckily, it didn't take the whole day away from me. In return, I was able to enjoy a free Sukhothai-catered lunch with thai rice (which came with shrimp, pork and delectably sour green mango strips... YUM!), thai beef steak, a noodle dish and thai shrimp soup. Afterwards there was leche flan and Cathedral gelatin for dessert, which I had in more than adequate portions. Heh. Of course, eventually we had to get inside the studio and see the edits. They were for the most part well-done, and it meant that we didn't have to stay the whole day and night for it. I took the production house service car to Greenhills, and I was free.
I ranged around the usual haunts, and disappointingly there was little in the way of new anime stuff for me. No Gatekeepers 21 2nd DVD, no new Rahxephon, no Inu Yasha movie 2. Arrgh. On the gaming side though I picked up quite a lot; The Disaster-Survival game Disaster Report, the new Biohazard: Gun Survivor game and the RPGs Dragon Quarter and Galerians: Ash. No Xenosaga yet, or any new Xbox games (Outlaw Volleyball is still several months away, but Tao Feng should be out later this month). I looked around for DVDs and picked up the quirky retro sci-fi movie-in-the-making film, CQ. Lots of cool extras, and the film looks both sexy and funny.

Anyway, I headed for Comic Quest and soon after arriving showed off the new pencilled pages of Angel Ace to Mike, as well as the inked new Immacolata pages. I had brought the whole kit and kaboodle along with the intention of drawing pages if I was forced to stay at the production house. Well, since I was at the shop now and had already expended my funds on doo-dads, I sat down and started drawing. I was actually able to do at least three new Angel pages. As I was sketching the panels, a customer walked over to the counter and took a look at the somewhat rough pencils. He then asked, 'Is that Angel Ace?'
I said yes, of course, and I found out to my pleasant surprise that the guy was an Angel Ace fan. Mike and I told him to bring his copies when he dropped by the store next, so I could sign them. He was quite pleased to learn that a new Angel Ace issue was in development, and was even musing that he would be telling his friends that he actually saw the Angel Ace artist drawing a page in front of him. Aww, shucks. That made my day. Heh.
Later, the rest of the gang arrived and we made plans. Since most of the other people already ate, the hungry souls (me, Gig and Mike) had the power of choice. We eventually decided on going to nearby Podium, and dining at Nina's (formerly known as 'N'). I had eaten a couple of hash browns from Potato Corner earlier, so I settled with a Caesar's Salad and some empanaditas. As I waited for my food, I drew on the large white paper placemat some drawings of my new Immacolata character/villainess, Del Sol Camorra. Jason and I talked about her as we waited for our orders, and while we ate.
The Camorra family, a powerful and wealthy clan in Hinirang, is composed of the father (Don Roberto), the adopted son (Gilberto) and the daughter, Adele Solera (Del Sol). Each is a powerful and dangerous individual. Don Roberto's primary power is the ability to bestow/cast curses (which alludes to his family name, Camorra, which may be read as Ka Mura; Mura being the Filipino word for 'curse') and affect reality. As his blood daughter, Del got some of this ability, though it has manifested in the girl's ability to animate and create constructs and puppets/golems. She has her own workshop in their hacienda where she creates these automatons, which she calls manica (a play on 'magical-mechanical', and the filipino word for doll, or manika).
Given their sinister powers, the Camorra are feared and respected, and use their powers and resources to get their way. They run a fleet of ships that transport goods, farms and mines. Off the record they also sell arms, support evil creatures and slavers and burn down forests; the latter being the primary reason that puts them into conflict with Immacolata. The first Immacolata story arc will pit Imma against this sinister clan, and serve as an introduction to the illustrated world of Hinirang.

After the meal at Nina, we headed down to UCC Coffee and spent the next couple of hours nursing drinks and talking about stuff from sex techniques and exercises to what a writer should and shouldn't write. What a spectrum of topics! Someone should film this and turn it into a short film. When we finally got up to go, I was able to hitch with Cams and Jason and Flim.
What a day. I am tired. Want to just vegetate tomorrow at home, draw some more pages, enjoy some Vanilla Coke and watch my one Kim Possible episode for the week. Ah, simple pleasures. They will be mine.