Saturday, April 3

Culture Crash 14

These beautiful Filipina cosplayers are world-class!

The latest issue of Culture Crash is now available. Aside from the usual mainstay stories (which are all revving up the action in this ish), the issue has an attached mini-mag on the recently-held C3Con Anime/Manga Convention. Of course, as you can see in the pic above, there's quite a bit of focus on the marvelous cosplay competition, particularly on the lovely pair of Rikku and Yuna in their FFX2 'Magic Gunner' costumes. Suffice to say, I have seen lots of cosplay both here and internationally, and I can say quite easily that these two are grade-A. Darn gorgeous... and the costumes are pretty hot too! Heh.
Anyway, aside from the the FFX2 babes, there are spreads for both the Matrix Revolutions APU and FFX's Shiva. Lots of great pics and info overall. Grab your own copy of Culture Crash now before the stocks run out.

Friday, April 2

Body Clock

I spent all of Wednesday working at the office into the early morning hours of Thursday. I went home at about seven, taking a cab and lolling around half-asleep all the way. I went to bed at about 8 AM.
I woke up at 5:30 PM, groggy and feeling like shit. I hate it when my body rhythm goes out of whack. Now it's 3 AM and I'm still awake when I should be in bed snoring away.

At least it's Friday. One day that should by all rights be light and easy. Been working off my butt this whole week, and I haven't been able to pass by Comic Quest for my regular bloodletting yet. Gotta get my comics, pages for K.I.A. from some contributors, and unwind for the weekend. Yep, that's gonna be how it will be. GAH.

Thursday, April 1

K.I.A. Canned

The Nokia 7610. Damn cool phone.

K.I.A., the spinoff anthology starring Kai, the sexy femme fatale assassin/martial artist from the Angel Ace series, is not pushing through. My apologies to all who have been anticipating the release of the comic and to the many talented people who contributed artwork and stories for it.

The reason is purely financial. I have decided that instead of spending thousands for publishing the comic, I instead will use my hard-earned cash to buy the new cellphone that has caught my eye. It was either comic or cellphone, and the cellphone won.

It's the Nokia 7610, the next great release from the Finnish producers.
A 'next step' from the unorthodox 7600, the 7610 will feature first and foremost, a 1 Megapixel camera. Yep, the age of low quality camera pictures are starting to be a thing of the past. It's the start of the reign of megapixel cameraphones.
Aside from the camera, the 7610 will have the ability to take videoclips of up to 10 minutes, and give users the capability to edit these clips into their own mini-movies. And of course aside from the imaging options the phone will have all the requisite organizer/PDA/connectivity features expected of a state-of-the-art mobile.

Yes, I know, I'm a phone whore. And it seems I'm more phone whore than manga ka or comic creator. So, bye-bye K.I.A, hello 7610! WOOHOO!!!

Oh and by the way...

Which means, of course, that while I really am fascinated and looking forward to the 7610, there is no chance in Hell that I am giving up K.I.A., or any of my comics projects for that matter, for it or any other phone. End of disclaimer.
Animaxed Out

I have to say that Animax is one of the best things to happen to TV in a loooong time (the last two great things were AXN, also because of anime, and Solar USA for giving us back professional wrestling and the WWE).
Yes, the lineup of shows isn't perfect- there are a couple of somewhat dated shows, though Sabre Marionette J is still cool to watch after all these years. I get bored to tears by Ailes Grise and the girly-girl shows Princess Sara and Nobody's Girl. No matter how I try, I can't get into the weird Technolyze (though it seems cool). Getbackers, the pseudo Yaoi series about super-powered bishonen hiring themselves out as retrieval experts/fighters is funny and action-packed, with detailed battles and clashing of special skills ala Rurouni Kenshin. However, the series seems to loop endlessly after about half the series, which is annoying (will the Getbackers EVER get to that pesky Makubex???).
Wolf's Rain simply blows me away with the lovely character designs, quality animation and quite possibly some of the most beautiful female characters I've seen in an anime. However, the story is a bit on the dragging side despite the uber-cool eye candy. Still oozes quality though.
Astro Boy (the new series) is quite fun, and seeing ol' Astro/Atom updated with slicker animation and designs is a kick. Astro is as cool and cute and kick-butt as ever; Dr. Elephun/Ochonamizu is still the fatherly mentor/guardian, and little sister Uran looks twice as cute as before. There are new characters such as the lovely Photon-powered robot/nature lovel Epsilon, and the stubborn but skilled robot SWAT leader, Delta.
On the baddies' side, the crime boss Skunk looks a bit older but far more cunning, and a lot less BLUE (still sports the trademark smirk). The role of Bruton from the 'Strongest Robot in the World' story arc which capped the earlier Astroboy series has been replaced by a robot named Pluto- the story is a bit toned down (several of the robots Pluto defeats aren't completely destroyed) but it's still a cool plot. Purists though will be disappointed at the considerable weakening and reduction of the role of Atlas, Astro's 'brother'. Finally, Dr. Tenma, Astro's original creator, is ramped up from being a character who disappears from the series in the original to the new series' main villain/adversary.
Chobits was an instant hit with me, thanks to refreshing animation, heartwarming stories and easily the damn cutest anime robo-babe I've ever seen. Just hearing Chii say 'Chii' makes me go all wobbly (heh).

Overall, Animax's shows are entertaining, and usually make for great background viewing even when you've seen the same episode about, oh, ten times. That's pretty good for a beginning channel, I think.

For the next few months, I hope though that we begin seeing even more good stuff. I wanna see Inu Yasha (which may come true since I saw snippets of the series in an Animax commercial), Cowboy Bebop, Raxhephon, Last Exile, Scrapped Princess, Slayers and more. We can only hope though...

Finally, I may try to pass by and check out the Animax Carnival that's set for this weekend at the Glorietta. Cosplay, anime creators and good stuff all around's for the taking.

Overnight at the Salt Mines

I'm blogging from the office. We've got a big pitch in, oh, a few hours. Yikes! Well, our stuff is pretty unorthodox and wild, so we're hopeful that something comes out of it all.
Anyway, it seems that all the creepiness of ghosts and hauntings have vanished- we're all too tired and busy to worry about any restless spirits. Heh.

Wednesday, March 31

Cheers and Fears

Today was a pretty cool day.

I went off to client for the first pre-production meeting I've had since joining the company, and it felt great. FYI, a pre-prod is the big meet with clients before an ad is executed. In this case, the ad was a TV commercial, so it's a big thing. As always, we went off to client along with the production house people and the film director who would bring our concept to reality.
As expected, our client engaged the director with a bit of discussion on the TV commercial, and issues which ranged from the concept of the whole thing to itty-bitty nitpicks like music and talents. Fortunately though it was all more or less smooth, with us leaving with smiles on our faces, satisfied in the knowledge that our work for the past several months will finally bear fruit in the form of a nice series of TV ads.

When we got back to the office, we were pleasantly met by the news that our company just won a pitch for a new client. There was genuine joy and clapping and congratulations all around, something that I had not felt or seen in a long time. It was a great moment but of course after the euphoria it was back to work and onto the next pitch.

Then came the chills again.

Towards the end of the day, talk once again about the office hauntings slithered into our conversations. As we were all doing overtime, it was inevitable. My officemate told me about a bit of the history of our building- of how there were a lot of fatal accidents that struck the place during construction. So it was that the place would be a natural place for restless souls.
Now, the building really doesn't strike me as being a gloomy place, but then I've never really been a sensitive person. But of course, the stories chip away at your supposed disbelief and creeps soon begin to work their way down your spine.

As I said before, the women's CR is supposedly a heavy place for spiritual disturbances, according to my more sensitive officemates. As for the men's room, oddly enough while we haven't had any reports of ghost sightings, the place is continually plagued by out-of-commission urinals and overflowing toilet bowls (which results in literal crapfests) that I'm beginning to think it's CURSED. Or perhaps the ghosts are more into sabotage in that spot rather than outright haunting? Gah.
Anyway, this night had so many continual stories of ghosts that we were all ultimately spooked. We all resolved to call it a night at the same time, and a group of us- four grown men- went to accompany our lone girl to the CR.

The last incident though hit when we got down to the ground floor and out the elevator into the main lobby- the lights suddenly went out for a second. Temporary blackout, or the restless souls in the building giving us one final scare for the night? Oooooh.

Monday, March 29

Haunted Office

Will you dare walk down this hall?

Okay, some updates on the office ghosts...

Apparently one of my officemates is so unnerved by what he's seeing and feeling during late night sessions, he had to ask someone to go with him to the CR last weekend.
And this is a big, tough-looking Goth guy I'm talking about.

Apparently, he keeps meeting an apparition on the way to the CR (which is a dreadfully long hallway to walk into and meet a ghost). Plus, at the Creative Department (where coincidentally we have just taken down our barriers so we can see the whole room now), he's reported seeing shadowy shapes flitting about. There's even talk of sightings of the horrifying sight of a bloodied, battered man- supposedly the spirit of a worker who died in an accident. I don't fancy bumping into this revenant on my way to the Men's Room...

MAD for Mami

Damn I'm hungry. Hungry for noodles, in particular.

Last night I saw Double Vision on AXN, and in spite of the many graphic scenes of murderous cultists, evil spirits and nightmares, what I most remember is a scene where the two leads, played by Tony Leung and David Morse are eating ramen together. There's a wonderful closeup of a bowl of noodles with spicy red peppers that just STUCK IN MY HEAD. Now I want to slurp down a big bowl of the stuff. Mmmmmm... Gah.
K.I.A. D.O.A?

It's the last week for the submission of story pages for K.I.A., and predictably people look to be submitting to the last second, or missing the deadline entirely. Fortunately, the 'D' in DOA only means 'Delayed'- I made it a point to start off the production for Kai's book extra-early, so any hiccups should not affect our projected June release date. At least, I hope not. Heh. It never fails...
Working Ghosts

Thanks to a spooky article by Carl at his blog, I thought of having my own ghost post.

Anyway, the company I'm working in right now just moved into our new building in Makati. It's a fairly new and spiffy building, and certainly not a place you'd expect ghost stories in. But then again, underneath every flashy coat of paint of course is a hidden history and memories of the past... some of which can come back to haunt the present.

We're the only office on our floor, occupying fully half of the ground area. The central part of the floor contains the elevators and comfort rooms, all joined by a sizeable roundabout walk. The other half of the floor is still under construction, and is spookily dark and hollow at night.
That alone would probably chill the spine of anyone with active imaginations- there are two dark doorways where someone heading for the CR could conceivably be grabbed and pulled into the darkness. But of course, that's not what is sending goosebumps up some of my female officemates.
It turns out that there have been some eerie encounters in the Ladies Comfort Room. Strange sounds like voices making hapless women think there's someone in the next cubicle, only to find out that it's empty... of anything warm-blooded, that is. My art director, going into the Ladies Room (he's a guy) on account of the Men's Room being under renovation, saw the infra-red sensor-powered faucets running on and off as if being prodded by unseen hands.
As I've always said before, I have an active imagination but no spirit sense or third eyes at all. I haven't heard or seen anything weird, which I am thankful for. Another officemate of mine insists that it's all just baloney (she can apparently feel spirits herself, and she doesn't feel anything from the CR).
I'm actually hoping that there is something weird there. Makes life- or the unlife- interesting.