Thursday, April 27

Tidings of War

It's begun. The countdown to Marvel's Civil War comic. Probably gonna get this. Yeah, they probably kill of the New Warriors which sucks, but what can you do? Anyway, the art looks good and the storyline intriguing. Will it be as big as DC's Infinite Crisis? Probably. Maybe. We'll see.

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Silent Thrill

I finally got to watch the Silent Hill movie. Based on the hit survival-horror videogames by Konami, this is all about the story of a mother's search for her daughter as they both get trapped in the mysterious, haunted town of Silent Hill. Far more visceral and twisted than the more conventional monster and mutant-infested Resident Evil series, Silent Hill is all about curses, demonic dimensions and nightmares made real, and spirits that are anything but silent.

On the good points, the movie at least gets the look and feel of the games right. The titular town... a bleak, ruined, ash-covered and seemingly deserted (at first) array of endless shops and facades, is a character in itself. The various creatures- some CG, some not- are pretty impressive, twisted depravities that seem ripped from the actual game... or from someone's hideous nightmare. There are a lot of homages to the games which fans will surely recognize and appreciate, though the script takes a lot of liberties with the movie version. As for the music, a lot seems straight from the game, and the sounds... darn, you'll learn to dread the sound of sirens after you watch this movie. Creepy.

As for characters, I'm glad they put in the character of lady cop Cybil Bennett (Laurie Holden) into the story, although I'm not at all happy with how she ends up. Not totally sold on the replacement of original SH main character Harry Mason with a new female hero, young mother Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell). Sean Bean plays Rose's husband, Chris, who had the better sense to check the websites before foolishly driving off to find some mysterious town to cure their adopted daughter's sleepwalking malady.

Some bad points too... the character of Rose is a bit irritating; yeah, she's a mom and we're supposed to care for her as she goes on her search... but she's darn difficult. Sometimes you can't help but feel "YOU IDIOT!!!! YOU BROUGHT THAT ON YOURSELF!!!" Heheh. There are also some weird dialogue choices or sudden changes in character that seem... off. Like, right after a particularly fierce monster attack on the two lead heroines, Rose (who was screaming her head off the whole time) then turns to a creeped-out Cybil and calmly says "We're going to be okay." Really? On the whole, the script could have been better written and the performances less chilling. But what the hey. We're expecting scares, not Oscar performances here.

The movie is also a bit on the long side- not terribly dragging but you do feel the length... which you'd probably expect from director Christophe Gans, who also megged Brotherhood of the Wolf, which also could have done with about a half hour chopped off. And while for the sake of clarity, a lot of things are explained ala exposition in the movie, perhaps some things shouldn't have been said, just implied. It kinda takes away the mystique and the secrecy of what's really going on in the story... something that the games themselves always maintained.

I have to say that on the whole I appreciated the movie for what it was at best- a very close translation of the game's mood, imagery and storyline into a motion picture. But while I appreciated it, I can't say I really enjoyed this that much. Perhaps because maybe going into it I kinda expected more of a scary adventure film... what Silent Hill turns out to be is more of a straight horror movie, and I'm not really a horror buff. Not the sort of thing I'd watch again and again, but I'm glad, as a fan of the games, to have seen it.

Silent Hill is now showing at cinemas all around the Metro. Get caught up in it, if you dare.

Wednesday, April 26

PLDT Sucks, Part Tres

It's been almost two months and STILL no DSL. No word from PLDT.

I've given up calling them up. I've decided to try out Sky Cable DSL. Trouble is, they'll have to see first if it's available in my parts, which I can probably find out in, oh, a couple of weeks. Gah. On the upside, their service seems worlds better than the fucking PLDT, which leads you like a mouse through a maze just to get to a damn operator. I hope I get Sky DSL. Damn PLDT DSL to Hell. FEH...
Getting Drawn into the Web

There have been some developments in the local comic scene lately (as from my previous post) that I guess made a bit of a hullaballoo here, and people have been nicely chiming in some solutions. One of the more popular ideas is going the way of the web through Internet-based webcomics or downloadable pages.
Certainly this isn't the first time that I have been in a situation where going webcomic is a possibility. Prior to doing Angel Ace Next, I certainly did think of just continuing the Angel Ace series online. Eventually though, the lack of a webmaster/website designer made me just do what I knew (more or less) to do- just do it in print. Yeah, if I knew then what I knew now about how Angel Next would pan out (sales of Next were the worst), I'd have just gone web straight from there.

Anyway, that was then and this is now. If it's just about doing comics and getting stories out, I can either find a webmaster who can make me a site where I can feature ongoing titles- perhaps in the vein of Homanga which is certainly a smashing site for comics. Failing in that, I can just do a blog-type of format and update as I go... that's at least something I can do on my own I guess.
If I do something like this, I'd probably feature several titles- not just stuff that's already been seen like Kunoichi Boy and K.I.A. (though certainly these two titles would be there at the very least). I would also probably try out some new ideas I've been mulling over... It sounds like fun. We'll see, I guess.

That all said, I am still pushing for a published Last Angel book, and more K.I.A. releases. Thankfully, both books may have a built-in solution for getting out there on shelves, including space in Comic Quest. And so the good fight continues.

More on this as it happens. Thanks for all your inputs, people!

Tuesday, April 25

Indie Ka na Pwede (Translation, "Indies no longer allowed")

I just found out yesterday via El's blog that Comic Quest is no longer accepting consignments from local publishers unless they can furnish official receipts. This seems to be a heavy blow especially to the makers of xerox-copy or 'indie' comics, which probably don't have ORs. Apparently this was all caused by the BIR's recent crackdown (which got Comic Quest involved) on shops and retailers. One more reason to hate the fricking government, people. One of BILLIONS.

How does this affect me? I don't yet know for sure. Surely, Comic Quest is a major outlet for getting to comic lovers, and it simply will not do to just abandon it. The only way is to have an Official Receipt, or to be distributed by a recognized publisher/distributer with ORs. This may already be in place for at least K.I.A. and the upcoming Last Angel story, though I still have to get confirmations.

This pretty much kills Kunoichi Boy AGAIN. Back into hiding, Jin. Oh well.

Whatever. Adversity is the local independent comic creator's bread and butter. We'll survive. Stories always find a way to break out, somehow. FEH.

Sunday, April 23

End of the Road

I finally finished Suikoden V the first time yesterday. I got the 'True Ending', which means I was able to gather all 108 Stars of Destiny and choose a particular option. The ending was suitably satisfying and leaves a nice, warm feeling in the tummy. Easily the best ending of the Suikoden series (If Suikoden II had more animation or stuff shown, that would tie with this) yet.

BUT that doesn't end my time with the game. I'll be playing to watch the other 'Good' Ending, and I'll also probably try to see the Not-so-Good Endings as well. It's this kind of replayability that makes these games so great.

After that, who knows... maybe I'll try to play Suikoden III again...

As a note to my previous post about Silent Hill the movie, apparently the opening was pushed back from last week to this week. I'll try to catch my ticket for the town of Silent Hill within the week, or over the weekend. Reviews are trickling in at Ain't It Cool News. Mixed stuff, but the general sentiment is that it kicks the crap out of previous videogame-to-movie translations. Well, I do consider myself a Silent Hill fan so I'll be seeing it when I'm able.