Friday, February 27


Later this evening we'll all be heading for Glorietta in Makati for the Siglo: Freedom Grand Launch. There will be regular softcover and limited hardcover editions available, as well as an exhibit, auction and dance number (kidding). Most of the Siglo people save HAI and Arnold will be present to sign copies, chat and mingle. See you there.

I came to the office and found it in ransacked. Work crews were taking out the computers, shutting down e-mail and internet servers and basically carting it all away for transit. Basically, the place was dead. Most of my department didn't even bother to come in (thanks to the recent Overtime sessions, as well), but I was expecting a meeting, so I was there. Anyway, that was that. Goodbye, Ortigas Center.
I'll miss the walks to Megamall after quitting time. The leisurely taxi rides to work. The nearby Ministop and Karimans and crispy wontons. The Quickly store at the ground floor. The view from our office window. The general peacefulness of the area. Sigh.
Monday brings Makati. A new age begins.

But for now, I'll linger with grief for the passing of the old.
Gotcha Covered

Check out our Bloody Magnificent Masthead.

I've more or less finalized what K.I.A. will look like, from the outside. Both front and back covers will feature the stunning art of Jennyson Rosero (he also designed the K.I.A. masthead). I'll keep the back cover a surprise till the release; just let me say that the art Jen cooked up reminded me of my fave manga, Blade of the Immortal. COOLNESS. Heh. Anyway, pinup artworks are almost all in, though we are expecting a couple more entries to come in very soon. As for the interior pages, all the artists have committed to our schedule, so we're looking good. Wait for it... It's coming.

She, er, He's coming. Very soon.

The latest issue of Questor Extreme, the first issue of the mag's 'Volume 2' line, is now available. Why is this extra-special? Well, the back cover has a teaser ad for my very own Kunoichi Boy, that's why! I've been told that the publishers are going to fast-track the production, so we might actually see the next QE issue shortly, and Kunoichi Boy might actually start, oh, in about a month's time. Coolness. Yikes... I guess this means I have to actually start working on the next installments... Gah...
So grab a copy and support QE so we can look forward to many, many issues of ninja-fighting, demon-hunting, cross-dressing action. Heh-heh.

Breakfast of Champions

Dean, Elbert, Jamie and Andrew talk Freedom with the hosts of Breakfast.

This Thursday morning I came home from doing overtime at the office, just in time to catch Dean, Elbert, Andrew and Jamie Bautista talk about Siglo: Freedom with the hosts of the morning show, Breakfast on Studio 23. It was quite a nice segment, with liberal views of the book and the pages (with a lot of HAI's pages being focused on by the camera). Dean kinda looked like he had taken a valium before the show- he was all calm and smooth and hypnotic; Elbert was perky while Jamie talked about the advantages of black and white printing. Luckily, Andrew was able to get in a word instead of just sitting there silent as a Buddha. Heh.
Nice segment. Hopefully, a lot of morning-watchers saw this and will attend the Grand Launch tonight, at the Glorietta.

Thursday, February 26

My new superhero

His name is... Kariman!

Yep. Whenever poor souls are ravaged by hunger, whenever the pain of stomachs reverberates in the city, this lovely, satisfying bread roll filled with saucy, savoury meat will bring salvation. No waiting necessary- the buns are available and warm for the taking at anytime, any hour of the day. There's beef (which I have never tasted), pork barbecue, chicken and tuna variants (the Kariman Force). For extra-large predicaments, Kariman can call on his sidekick, Crispy Wonton. Trios of crunchy, meaty morsels that come to life with toyomansi (soy sauce with a hint of kalamansi).
From the Ministop Hall of Justice, these superheroes await for the next pang of hunger... Go, Kariman Force!!!
Savouring the Old Office...

... or perhaps 'Wallowing in' is a more correct term? Still at work, still doing overtime as we finish the stuff that's due in... oh... a couple of hours. Most probably, I'll be seeing the sun shine over the city in a while.

Well, I guess it's fitting that we all get SICK of seeing and being in our office, since we'll be off to the skyscraper-laden expanse of Makati next week.The bosses have been pretty secretive about the new digs... rumor has it that the new place is awesome. Well, seeing is believing. Next week.

Next week... Have to see about getting past the next hour, first...


Wednesday, February 25

Final Fantasy: Advent Children

Old friends reunite, old wounds reopen in this CG movie based on the most popular Final Fantasy chapter.

This summer, FF7: Advent Children will see release on dvd. Fans of this mega-popular RPG will be able to see their favorite heroes, such as Cloud, Barret and Aeris in realistic CG rendering (instead of the blocky little SD avatars of old), and find out just what happened to the world of Midgar after the events in the game. Screenshots have hinted at a possible return of the awesomely evil Sephiroth, and perhaps more closure in this beloved classic. A trailer to Advent Children can be found included in the recently-released Final Fantasy X2: International + Last Mission for PS2.
The Last Overtime

... in my present workplace, I mean. There will be other days when sleep won't come easy, when work spills into the wee hours of the morning... it just won't be here in our soon-to-be vacated office.
We're working on a major pitch, which means we'll be working even today, though it's an announced holiday (People Power Anniversary). Work will continue on until the presentation later this week.
The various departments have been packing up their stuff, disposing of excess materials, papers and files, and boxing everything that still has use in them for storage. By week's end, even the computers and the network they function on- the lifeblood of the agency- will be gone.
It'll be a busy weekend, with the SIGLO: FREEDOM launch at the Glorietta. Gotta work on K.I.A. pages over Saturday and Sunday. But I am, actually, looking forward to seeing our new headquarters in Makati. Sigh. Gonna miss Ortigas.

Tuesday, February 24

Street Fighter Figures

Are you man enough to play with them?

Toymaker SOTA will be releasing a new line of Street Fighter action figures this summer. The figures will feature over 30 points of articulation, much like the earlier-released Marvel Legends figures (in fact, the SF toys will be on scale with the ML figures). The figure designs will be much influenced by the popular new Street Fighter comics being released by Udon Press. The first wave of toys will include wandering fighter Ryu, Interpol agent Chun Li, evil Shadowloo leader Bison, Muay Thai champion Sagat and Mad Gears' gangleader Sodom. Future releases will hopefully include characters from Streetfighter 2 and 3 as well. Gimme my Ibuki figure!!! Now!!!

Monday, February 23


When I started on K.I.A., I knew I'd be looking for contributors. I initially drew upon longtime collaborators, and those I had recently worked with on Angel Ace Next, such as my cousin Jeremy and Honoel Ibardolaza. However, for some reason, the desire to get more people to contribute grew stronger. Soon, I was inviting people left and right. People I met at the C3Con. Other comics personalities. People I haven't met but was impressed by through their art. Artists I only heard about. No one was safe!

Right now, there are almost 20 people in the K.I.A. group, giving in pin-up art or doing actual story pages, or writing scripts. Unlike a similar project I intended for the main Angel Ace title, K.I.A. worked since Kai's story is more free-flowing and mission-based, rather than Angel's more rigid and fixed destiny. I could afford to give people freedom to do almost anything they wanted within the context of Agent K's missions.
And so far, I have had no problems, no frustrations, no headaches with any of my wonderful pool of contributors.

Well, almost none. There's one guy who just has to be a prima donna, who just has to be perfectly satisfied with every frame and page and word, who refuses to be content on one thing and is constantly nitpicking and driving me crazy.

That guy is... me. GAH!

Seriously, I've been constantly battling myself on how best to begin the book, how best to end it. Do I show Seta from Angel Ace for a suitably shocking prologue (and a link to Angel Ace) or do I keep her out and thus preserve the book's stand-alone factor? Do I end the book with a cliffhanger or status quo? Or a tantalizing precursor to something wild in succeeding issues?
Do I continue to do the Frank Cho-emulated style I was eyeing when I began? Or do I slightly shift to try and approach the spectacular cheesecake of Birds of Prey from Ed Benes and Cliff Richards? Or return to a more manga-ish bent, such as that of Blade of the Immortal's Hiroaki Samura? Damn, I wish I could draw babes half as sexy as these pros do. With awesome artwork coming from guys like Gerry Alanguilan, Taga-Ilog, Wilson Tortosa and Jennyson Rosero (who can draw Kai better than I can!), I'm up against the proverbial wall to come up with the best art that I can. Somehow!

Sigh. Thankfully, I've managed to pin down what I have to do in terms of the stories. As for the art, I'll just have to see what comes out of my pencil as I churn out the pages.

With all the brain matter I am devoting to K.I.A., this baby should hopefully find it's mark with comic lovers when the book (fingers crossed) comes out later this year, by June. We'll see.

Wait for it.

Sunday, February 22

More Killer Art

Here are a couple more artworks for K.I.A.. The first one is from Jon Mallari, a longtime contributor to the Angel Ace series and the creator of his own comic, Variable Edge. The second is from none other than Wasted's Gerry Alanguilan, internationally-known comic artist and creator extraordinaire. I can't wait to show off these masterpieces in full, but I'll hold back all the goodies for the finished book. Add to this a very promising development on the production side and I am truly excited to see how K.I.A. comes out, in a few months. Wait for it.

Nice... suit. This sexy pic of Agent K loosening up is from Jon Mallari.

The detail on Gerry's K.I.A. masterpiece is amazing. And this isn't the only piece he's given in.

Absolute Power(book) corrupts absolutely...

One of the best things about the coming move and changes at my job is that instead of getting us desktop computers, we're all getting brand-new laptops. And not just any laptop- our entire department is getting outfitted with uber-cool Mac G4 Powerbooks- without a doubt the best laptops available. Can you say... combo and DVD super drives? Gigs of power and data storage? Wi-fi and Bluetooth? Portable power absolute. DAAAAAAMMMMNNNNN!!!!
Everyone's anticipating getting our new, aluminuim-wrapped, 15-inch Powerbooks within the next week or so, just in time for our move to our new digs in Makati. Gotta think about getting a cool laptop bag.

Of course, it's not all about having a cool laptop. It's gonna mean a whole new world of responsibility, of course; of being able to manage my time and flexibility and being able to use the fact that my workplace isn't limited to just my office spot anymore. And of course, it will mean me ALWAYS watching my new tool like a hawk. After a couple of years, it'll be paid for and MINE, but till then, it's an office thing that I have to account for. Yep, it's not all fun and games.


Backpack or shoulder bag? Gotta decide soon. Heh.

Last night, in celebration of Gig's birthday, the gang hied off to a condo for a night of roleplaying. To get prepped, we bought provisions at the newly-opened Ministop at Pearl Drive. Then, so loaded with chips, beer, more chips and soda, we were off.
I've been to a few RPG sessions, but never quite like a one overseen by soon-to-be-bonafide-internationally-published-writer Dean. No simple Swords and Sorcery scenario this, but more like a present-day/near future horror/suspense/action/espionage movie that you become a part of.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to join since I was leaving just after midnight; me and Jason contented ourselves to be kibitzers on the side as Gig, Carl, Vin, Dino, Andrew and Vin's friend Marc took the roles of archaeology students on a seemingly haunted dig in Angola, and then later as members of a Catholic super-spy squad complete with the powers of patron saints.

Wild, eh?

Maybe next time I can actually play a game. We'll see. Heh.
Ninja Gaiden

I was finally able to play the demo version of this much-anticipated and long-awaited ninja action game from Tecmo, thanks to the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine. Basically, the game puts you in the tabi boots of Ryu Hayabusa, part-time Dead or Alive competitor and full-time ninja hero. This time, he trades in wrestling with Kasumi and the DOA girls to battle hordes of evil ninja, demons and other mystical adversaries in his own title.
Anyway, the demo only has one level, and has Ryu entering a ninja fortress. The controls are pretty awesome, with really responsive controls and quite impressive acrobatics and moves you can accomplish with your ninja avatar. The attacks and swordplay/weapon use is quite flashy and the gameplay rocks. My only gripe is that the camera can often get you into trouble, though a simple tap at the camera trigger should remedy it.
Looks great, and the graphics and gameplay are up to Team Ninja's standards.

Ninja Gaiden is set for a March release, though delays are anticipated. This game may just live up to the hype. We'll see soon once we get our own copy.