Thursday, April 26

The Next Generation

Last Saturday, I hied off to World Chicken along Katipunan to meet up with fellow grafictionists Elbert Or and Carl Vergara for a little Comics Workshop. The participants/organizers of the somewhat impromptu course in comic-making are all freshmen from Ateneo, about seven or so would-be komikeros and manga-kas maybe. I started off the workshop with some talk about the History of Local Comics- you know, from the debut of the first issue of Flashpoint to the time when comics legend Whilce Portacio came and saw the wellspring of talent brimming in Manila in the mid-90s, asking the many disparate comic crews and gangs to lay down their respective individual banners and go under the single name of Alamat Comics.

Funny thing was, all that history just flew over the young 'uns heads- judging from the Scooby Stares I got in return when asking them if they knew who Whilce Portacio was. It was only when I mentioned that he created Bishop and worked on the X-men that they suddenly went 'Aaaaah!'

Anyways, after my florid speech about challenging them to be creative, different and innovative, I gave over the floor to Carl, who immediately launched into a more sobering series of subjects which included publishing your comic, the prospects of self publishing and how to do comics professionally or semi-professionally even if you have no budget (which is usually likely). Afterwards, we had some questions and answers, and wrapped up the session with some rah-rah talk.

One or two kept notes, all were very attentive and interested, and it was fun to see such energetic youths wanting to tackle graphic storytelling even though they weren't Fine Arts students (I think they were in Business Management courses, for the most part). Certainly, El, Carl and I were one in wanting to impress our own enthusiasm and passion for doing comics to the next generation. While I still think I have quite a few more years of still doing comics, we need to plant the seeds whenever we can.

The sessions will most probably continue for the next several Saturdays, and I will most probably keep contributing as long as I am able. It will certainly help my own need to motivate myself, as I embark on my own comics projects after a long period of inactivity. Thankfully, it seems that I'll be quite busy in comics for the near future. Perhaps the youth and energy of the students is rubbing off on me. Heh.

Anyways, the quest to tell stories goes on. Back to the gutters then, peeps. Back into the gutters.

Wednesday, April 25

Boy in the Hood

This is a pic of an Executioner, another one of the opposition in Kai: Unkillable. The Executioner itself is an amorphous, black oily mass- somewhat like an octopus- which attaches itself to humans, covering their heads and in effect suffocating them to death. Thereafter, the black hood animates the body via electrical impulses sent through the corpse's brain and nerve endings. The Executioner's possessed body typically gets extreme strength and resistance to damage and injury... the only way to stop it is total destruction of the body or striking the creature off via decapitation. This gruesome being is typically sent in as an infiltrator or assassin, since it is highly intelligent and cunning.

I've more or less mapped out The Enemy in the upcoming Kai book, and what can I say... I like them. The Resident Evil-ish group that's churning out these monstrosities and undead horrors is calling itself Dark Avalon, and I'll be threshing them out further in the near future. I'll also be working on new personalities in the KALI side, so Kai won't be entirely alone in this bloody conflict. Later then...

Tuesday, April 24

I am Legion

Here's a first draft design of a Knight of the Rose, one of the enemies that Agent K will be facing off with in Kai: Unkillable. Part Tyrant from Resident Evil, part Witch King of Angmar, part Minaton from Sinbad and The Eye of the Tiger... and a bit of H.R. Giger's Alien. Those are four of the scariest baddies I've ever seen in movies or games- so I think the pedigree is good. As imposing as he might look though, this sweetie is actually little more than a footsoldier, albeit more independently-minded than the more feral cannon fodder to be encountered in the War against Undead Terrorism. The really powerful and scary baddies Kai and KALI will cross swords with will be more human-like, at least on the outside.

More to come soon as it happens. Heh.

Sunday, April 22

Toothsome Treat

A couple of days ago, I passed by Megamall and bought myself a caramel apple from a little stall called Sofan Treats. I've long seen these gooey sweets on TV and elsewhere, and so when I got an opportunity to try one out, I went for it. Basically, it is what it is... a fresh apple dipped in caramel and then rolled in various sweets like candy sprinkles, marshmallows, Gummi shapes and whatever else there is on offer. It looks quite intimidating, and to be sure, it presents quite a bit of challenge to eat.
First of all, it's an apple, stuck on a stick, weighed down by the added sweets. Biting on it is difficult if you insist on holding it like a lollipop- you may either crack the stick or push the apple off it, sending your ball o' sweets tumbling to the ground. The best way to go is to support the apple from another side while you bite, preferably with a napkin to keep from soiling your hand on wet candy. I'd imagine kids' teeth would love the challenge.
Anyway, how does it taste? Well, it's an apple with caramel and candy. That's it. Yeah, it tastes kinda good, but you get tired of it fast, and I'd probably just eat the apple up to where there's caramel, and then discard the sweet-less core. Afterward eating the apple, I had a really big urge to run to the bathroom and brush my teeth.

It's an experience, I guess. I'm not craving another caramel apple, and I doubt I'll ever purchase one ever again, at least, not for myself. It's something to taste, at least, but not a good thing to make a part of my routine. Not like Krispy Kreme donuts. Nosiree. Heh.