Friday, May 30

Quitting Cold Turkey

In order to finish some comic projects and obligations, save money and raise funds for Angel Ace Next's release, I am resolving to... to... to cut down on expenses. AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!

This means, starting tomorrow and for the next several paydays, no Greenhills forays. No DVD or gaming splurges. No more expensive, frivolous impulse buying (But... doesn't that negate the principles of this blog?!). I'll keep expenses to a minimum; though I do have to make exceptions for CQ bloodletting, particularly the upcoming Animatrix DVD and that Powers: Supergroup TPB I wanted last night but couldn't get because the darn ATM machines were on the fritz (and debitted money without giving me the cash, at that!).
If I can save up most of my money for the next few weeks, I can have the funds to publish Angel Ace Next, as well as the finished pages themselves to publish. Can't lose in that arrangement, right? Sigh. This is going to be tough. Maybe I should tie myself to the mast like Ulysses in Homer's Odyssey when he passed by the sirens. Except the sanctum has no mast. DAMN. Gotta get a mast.

Thursday, May 29

Discovering Meridian

I finally got to read the travel-sized trade paperback of Meridian from Crossgen comics. I bought the thing weeks and weeks ago, and I only now got an opportunity to actually look inside. Funny that it happened in a taxi in heavy traffic. Heh.
Anyway, the story of young Sephie in her world of treacherous uncles, floating islands and ships and powerful sigils bears many elements similar to another favorite of mine, Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaa (flying craft, flying heroine, semi-midieval setting, political intrigue). The character of Sephie herself reminds me of my own character, Angel Ace, in that she is very innocent but daring, brave and capable, and possessed of awesome powers she doesn't fully understand. Ilahn on the other hand is a good villain, not entirely evil but very, very dangerous. I have to say that the rest of the cast is still of no consequence at this point, and I can only recall Jad, Sephie's boyfriend, among the multitude of Meridian rebels.
As for the art, it's quite rough and unspectacular at the start, though progressively getting better. I've seen later issues so I know the comic will indeed look awesome eventually. I find it kinda comforting that even these high-profile titles go through awkward growing pains. Heh.

Nice story. Should pick up succeeding trades when they appear. Should always have good fuel to power my own creative fires.
Death and Taxis

I got up late today, and so in order to get to the office earlier (and to get there more comfortably) I rode a taxi. BIG mistake. Nay, let me rephrase... costly mistake. Thanks to the fricking traffic, the meter racked about a hundred pesos just getting me to EDSA. That's less than halfway. AAAARRRGHHH!!!
Well to lessen the injury I got off at Santolan near Camp Crame and decided to go the rest of the way on a far cheaper bus. I was late enough as it is... better to not be poorer than I needed to be. Before I got on my next ride I had a little light meal of some squid balls and gulaman... which unfortunately is nowhere near as delicious as my usual fare at the Farmer's Plaza MRT terminal. Oh well. Anyway, I have good stuff to show later tonight at Comic Quest, where I expect some blood to be spilled as the new comics will hopefully arrive (Eh, VIN?). Grey day like yesterday, minus biting rain. I like it. Heh.

Wednesday, May 28

Grey Day

It's a stormy, rainy, gray-cloaked Wednesday. I got up at 7AM and since there are things to do at the office I had to resist the urge to just cover up and sleep because it is STILL raining cats and dogs outside. Luckily I was able to hitch a ride with my sister to work, so I was spared the inconvenience of riding a full MRT or bus through pouring rain. On the way it was all the same; heavy rain and gusts of wind. On the radio, a very late announcement by Malacanang came informing all that government employees did not have work today on account of the storm- cold comfort to the thousands already in transit or at the office.
As for me and the throngs of privately-employed workers, work is dictated by load and by supervisor; basically for us, as long as you have something that demands your attention, unless the apocalypse is occuring outside your window... you have to work. Heh. Well, actually it's not that bad but just the same I envy government people. Oh well.
Hopefully after my obligations here I can slink away back home as soon as I can. Of course I will probably pass by Comic Quest later, if only to submit my pages for our group's little comic book project. Didn't see anything particularly inviting in the week's comics to shed blood for. Just want to go home and sleep... and get warm. Warm. That sounds good...

Tuesday, May 27

Coming Storm...

No, I'm not talking about the present conflargation in our atmosphere. I actually like the damp, cool air; the pitter-patter and steady swish of rain; the cloudy curtain of grey... I'm talking about the stuff at work I have to catch up on tomorrow. Work goes on despite the storm and the fact that the office sent the staff home early in the afternoon. Have to get in early tomorrow to finish some copy sheets and jobs that have to be presented tomorrow. Sigh.
The Return of the Cat 2 Resolved (I Smell A Rat!)

After bearing a night of dead air, I finally was able to inform my mom about the stink in the ceiling. Luckily we found someone who could go up into our roof and see what's stinking. It turned out to be a big, dead RAT. Funny that cats and rats smell pretty much the same, though fortunately for me this time around, it hadn't yet reached the charnal proportions of last year's feline fetidness. After the man took out the rat, he scrubbed the spot with cleanser. On my end, I opened the windows, had the fan on full blast and lighted several sticks and cones of incense. BEGONE, Foul spirits... BEGONE!!!
Next I'll have to have my sheets and pillowcases changed. And maybe take a bath later. I'm just glad it's over... for now...
The Return of the Cat (Or, Stink of Dead Cat 2)

No, I am NOT talking about the latest Miyazaki animated feature of the same name... though I wish I was. Longtime readers of SRM will probably remember The Stink of Dead Cat that once permeated my room from the ceiling. To refresh all our memories, last year, a big old cat crawled inside my house's roof and just DIED near my room. The result? After a while the STUPID cat's body began to rot, and the smell slithered down into my sanctum. GAAAAHHH!!!
Well, that telltale stink is back. This happened after a few nights of scuffling sounds from the ceiling. Without a doubt the noise was made by cats; now WHY is there a stink again? Did some old cat crawl up and die there again? Why the HELL are these stupid beasts making my ceiling a graveyard??? It's insane! Are they drawn by the smell of that first dead cat? Is there something I don't know? Is my ceiling an ancient cat tribe's burial ground? BAH!
Now I have to convince my mom (who has no sense of smell) to get someone to climb up and remove the fricking corpse. And hopefully bar up the entrance. Damn, there it is again. GOD that reeks. Tomorrow can't come soon enough...
DVD Picks

There are a couple of cool DVDs I want to pick up soon. One is The Animatrix, the compilation of anime short films based on the universe of The Matrix movies. There will be about 9 episodes at 10 or so minutes each, ranging from the Noir-ish Detective Story to the samurai swordfighting Program to the CG eye candy-rich Matrix Reloaded prequel, Final Flight of the Osiris. Special features on the DVD include commentaries, a 'Making of' feature and a History of Anime documentary.
The other disc I am intrigued in is Double Vision, a HK film starring HK actor Tony Leung and US character actor David Morse (who came out in films like The Green Mile and The Rock). Leung plays a burned-out detective who is investigating a series of baffling (supernaturally-laced) deaths; Morse plays the FBI profiler brought in to assist the investigation. Their probing soon puts them in collision course with a fanatical cult worshipping immortality and... demons. Can you say, creepy? Anyway, Double Vision was one of the films hyped on AXN (like So Close, Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and I really want to see it.

Soon, very soon. The Animatrix should be available in June, while Double Vision should be on racks in a few days. Swell!

Monday, May 26


I am a veteran at having food delivered. I have to be, or I'd probably starve to death since I hate cooking and get these heavy cravings sometimes. The best food for takeout is pizza, IMO, though sometimes you want something else for variety. Well, recently on Sundays my mom would just order food since she's not in the mood to cook. Recently we've been trying the new delivery services of Jollibee and McDonald's near Katipunan.
Well, I have to say they SUCK.
Jollibee has the annoying penchant for taping the styrofoam packages so tightly and clumsily, you will need to have a cutter handy if you want to eat anytime soon after getting your food. Plus, you'll have to get used to the taste of scotch tape glue with your chow. AARGH!!! And I have to say that these restaurants seem to employ their most incompetent people on the phones. Jollibee Katipunan has consistently gotten orders wrong, with some items missing and undelivered. Often, we just shrug that off, but last night's order from McDonald's Katipunan really got me MAD.
My mom gave the order on the phone, and even repeated the order twice. We waited, and when the delivery finally came, we were missing one sandwich. MY SANDWICH.
Well, we called back and the fricking manager had the gall to say that we had to order the minimum order of 150 pesos if they were going to send another rider to our house. THEY WERE AT FAULT BECAUSE THEIR MORON OF A PHONE OPERATOR DIDN'T TAKE OUR ORDER CORRECTLY!!! AAAARRRGHH!

Now here is the worst part; my mom asked them to reconsider. The manager replied that they would 'call back' if they decided they could send a rider. No call came back for at least ten minutes.

I was steaming angry. I was hungry. An EVIL combination. I went on the phone and gave the degenerates my piece of mind. SO WHETHER I EAT OR GO HUNGRY IS DICTATED BY SOME SCHMUCK AT A FAST FOOD JOINT? DAMN!!!!

Well, whether it was for my threatening rant to report their ludicrous service or a matter of course, they eventually sent a rider with my sandwich, and I finally had my meal (after checking the sandwich for any foreign material, of course). Well, that was the first and LAST time we order from that crappy McDonald's branch at Katipunan. Until I find out they FIRE those IDIOTS from the staff. WIPE THEM OUT. ALL OF THEM. BAAAAHHHH!!!

We should have just ordered pizza. Pizza is nice.
Perfection is...

... a Dencio's feast of hot, crunchy and savoury sisig, wonderfully hot and sour sinigang na baboy, sinful crispy pata and enough garlic rice to accompany it all down to your palates in a satisfying melange. This the gang experienced at The Fort over the weekend thanks to our friend, Dino, who celebrated his Nth birthday. Thanks, Dino!

Sunday, May 25

Staked through the Art

Nice character art, not-so-nice game.

I picked up a copy of Stake for the Xbox yesterday. The game is by Taiwanese company Gameness and Metro 3D, and looks on the surface like a Power Stone-type fighter; four players (human and/or CPU) are thrown into a multi-area arena loaded with traps, bombs and special items and the one to score the most kills wins at the end of a time limit wins. The storyline is pretty simple; The Stake Tournament invites the craziest fighters to battle their way for a cash reward. The character lineup has your staples; good-looking buff male fighters, a tomboyish buff female fighter, a conservatively-dressed female cutie, a half-naked hot babe, an old man, a hulking brute and a knight.
However, aside from having the same gameplay mechanics and several similar character designs, Stake is about as similar to Power Stone as Homo Habilis is to Homo Sapiens.
The graphics are clean, with nice hi-res characters and large stages with good detail and multiple levels. However, even with real-time lighting and nice shadow effects, the game hardly uses the Xbox's power to any great effect. If the characters looked half as good as DOA3, this game would work on looks alone, but as it is I've seen better Dreamcast games. Animation is limited, though kinda smooth; specials lack the flash you'd expect and are limited.
Sounds are horribly weak; limited and repetitive voices, droning music. Muting the TV helps though.
As for gameplay... ARGH. Attacking someone is a losing proposition, since it's pretty pointless to chase enemies (they move too fast). If you wait for them, they usually get the drop on you. For some reason, I can hit an enemy ten times and they hit me once, I die. EH? Combos seem to be non-existent, and moves extremely limited. The arenas are too big, and it is entirely possible for CPU characters to just get lost and stranded in one part of the arena. There are only two modes of play (single and multiplayer) and a USELESS Watch mode. Split screen play during multiplayer makes the view smaller, which is crappy. The camera is ludicrously limited; you can zoom in or out and elevate or lower the view, but you can't rotate around your character, which is WEIRD and makes gameplay even more frustrating.
I played this game and I couldn't progress at all. Can't tell if there are any bonuses or unlockables. The only good things in this game are the character art, which has a nice Capcom anime-ish style, the sexy gypsy/fortune teller Barty Beart (and her revealing alternate costumes) and the clean but unspectacular graphics. Everything else pretty much... SUCKS.

Keep away from this one if you value gameplay. Let me rephrase; If you want your game playable, keep away. This game is a big miSTAKE. Heh-heh.