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summerkomikon2014pic
Photo by Jonas Diego

I think I’m still feeling a little dazed from Summer Komikon. It was probably the most physically stressful time I’ve had at a Komikon. My allergies were pretty bad that it’s embarrassing, specially since I had to talk to people a lot and do a couple of interviews. My bad knee also didn’t spare me and I had to walk around with a cane. People started calling me “Don Gerardo”. I hope it doesn’t catch on. I think I will be using that cane more often from this time on. It’s also embarrassing that I forgot the names of a couple of people who were, at some point, closely acquainted with me. I feel really bad about it.

Bad vibes out of the way, it was also one of the most spiritually rewarding Komikons I’ve been to because we launched “Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby” and we sold a lot of copies. At a rough estimate, we sold around 300 copies, plus 100 copies of Wasted. The early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. It feels just great knowing Rodski came alive in the minds of people. That’s what I really take away from this. That things I create find a life of its own outside of me.

Rick Olivares reviews Rodski for the Philippine Star. Thanks Rick!

Bad knee notwithstanding, I did try and manage to snaggle up a few things from other creators, a few of which was given to me (thanks very much!) The output this year has been very impressive. The quality of writing and art, and the quality of formats just keep increasing with each passing year. Here are the stuff I got, which is only a fraction of what was available at the event.

I post comments on titles I’ve already read (or are currently reading).

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“K8″ by Jay and Jim Jimenez, published by Black Ink.

I’ve only read like 15 pages of this so far and I’m really liking it. Jim’s art is very impressively detailed and the story by Jay is very easy to follow. Unlike a lot of the Black Ink titles available, this one seems like it’s complete in one book, which makes it a nice, compact package that can stand on its own.

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“Time Machine” by Apol Sta. Maria

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“Kuatro Kanto 2″ by John Nano

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“Abangan” The Best Philippine Komiks 2014
Edited by Rob Cham, Adam David, Carljoe Javier and Elbert Or
Published by Visprint

“Best Philippine Komiks” is a pretty bold claim. Thankfully enough, with names like Manix Abrera, Budjette Tan, Kajo Baldisimo, Bong Redila, Emiliana Kampilan, Paolo Fabregas, Elbert Or etc contributing to this book, it more than lives up to it. This collection is definitely some of the truly best Komiks to come out of the Philippines in 2014. I haven’t read it through and through, but the variety in this book makes it a perfect cross section of the best the Philippines has to offer.

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“Sumpa” Chapter 1 by Paolo Herras and Brent Sabas

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“BuhayHabangBuhay” and “Noodleboy” by Paolo Herras and Tepai Pascual

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“Adventures Inside the Glory Hole” by Carlo Valenzuela

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“Enter the Dragonfly” by Noel Carlos N. Caragay

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“Alamat ni Manila Man” by Mike Ignacio and RH Quilantang

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“Frequency One” by Andrea Catrina Tolentino, John delacruz, Tyrell Tan, Nate Piekos

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“Lagimbal: Saving the Messiah” by Rawwrr Enrique

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“Caution: Drugs/Sex/Rock ‘N Roll” by Rawwrr Enrique

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“Komiks!! Atbp. Ultimate Edition” Edited by Jon Zamar, Artists: Various

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“#CheesyFit”, by Mel Casipit and various artists.

Not strictly a comic book but a joke book with artwork that accompanies each joke. It sports a really nice Bong Redila artwork on the cover (Bong is fast becoming one of the most excellent Filipino cartoonists around), plus other art by guys like Macoy, Freely Abrigo, Randy Valiente and Mel Casipit himself on most of it. It’s actually very funny.

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“Puso Negro II Part 1″ by JP Palabon

JP continues to offer some seriously uncomfortably funny stories, plus a character that will probably sear into your memory and haunt you in your dreams. I’m still going “OMG” whenever I see a visual image of it.

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“Minkowski Space Opera, Chapter One” by Aaron Felizmenio

This is a very surprising comic book because it’s so different from anything else other local creators are currently doing, and it’s a huge departure from Aaron’s previous work, Gwapoman. This universe seems well thought out and very complex. Presented in full color, this is a very ambitious piece of work that’s a pleasant surprise to witness in local comics. I knew early on Aaron had the potential to be one of the big talents in the future of Philippine comics, and with this comic book he starts to fulfill that potential.

It’s also worth noting that the last two titles presented above have been printed and in full color. Local comics is definitely leveling up.

Public Facebook Summer Komikon 2014 Photo Gallery by Jonas Diego.

Thanks and congrats again to the organizers of KOMIKON. Inspite of the bad traffic, inspite of many Manila residents have already left for the provinces for Holy Week, I think this year’s Summer Komikon still pulled off a decent sized crowd. The event itself seemed to have proceeded without any visible problems. Security has been vastly improved. Great job all around!

It’s 4:22am as I write this. The Wasted Box sets are not yet done, but they will be at some point in the day. Rodski books are all set downstairs. We’ll be bringing 600 of those, 100 will go to Comic Odyssey for them to sell at their stores. I know 500 copies is optimistic, but that’s how I prefer to be, just in case! I’ll also be bringing 150 more copies of Wasted, along with a bunch of original artwork for sale.

I slept at around 10:30pm and woke up at around 1:30am. I’ve been drawing the Wasted sketches for the box sets as well as doing the letters. I printed out the list of Rodski pre-buyers as well as the Komikon ingress form. I’m still trying to think of what I may have forgotten… I’m sure I’ll forget something.

I still have to do a Wasted commission I’ve owed to someone since November. I still have to price more original artworks, cut the certificates of authenticity for the box sets, look for the reserved copies of Batch 72, and maybe a blog entry. Oh yeah, here it is.

All of a sudden, I’m nervous. I have absolutely no idea what kind of reaction “Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby” is going to get at this Summer Komikon on Saturday, TWO DAYS FROM NOW! I’ve always said I have strived to satisfy myself first and foremost, and if I was able to do that (satisfy myself), then I’m sure it will find satisfied readers as well.

But Rodski is a huge, HUGE risk. It’s the first full color book I am self publishing. At 2000 copies on it’s first printing, the cost of printing it was extraordinarily high. I could have bought a new car with that kind of money. Thank goodness the printer allowed me a deal that would make paying it much more easier. Would I break even? Would I make enough money to actually pay Arnold? Would it make enough money to pay off all my other debts?

I’m relatively confident that we will sell all of that eventually and if we do, I’ll be able to fulfill a lot of my financial obligations. I’m confident because it’s Arnold who’s drawing it, and he’s done a spectacular job. I think people will see that.

The book arrives here at the house tomorrow, and I’m very excited to see it.

While Rodski is a huge risk, I think RIZAL would be a much higher one. But that’s a story for another year. I’m already psyching myself up for that one!

Right now, Ilyn and I are busy putting together batch 2 of the Wasted Box Sets. Ilyn more than me because I also have an inking job to think about. So I’m inking, and doing the hand written letters and Eric sketches. Sara is helping out with the reproduction of the photographs and Wasted extras booklet.

Browsing Facebook I see a lot of other comics folk burning the midnight oil trying to finish their own books. It’s amazing to see such creativity and drive over something that’s driven by the love of something. So much new Philippine comic books coming out this Saturday. It’s truly a great time for Philippine comics. I’m so glad to be part of it.

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Arnold Arre and I will have a new book coming out at Summer Komikon on April 12, 2014. I wrote and lettered it, and Arnold Arre illustrated and colored it. Arnold’s wife Cynthia Bauzon-Arre provided us with the title design.

It’s eight inches by eight inches (yes, it’s a perfectly square book!), full color, and a hundred pages.

Arnold and I will both be at this coming Summer Komikon to launch it and sign copies.

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I will be there pretty much the entire day from the opening at 10 am up to 7 in the evening, just to make sure everyone who drops by who would like to get a copy would get a copy. I have no fears of copies running out because we printed a lot. Ok, Komikero Publishing is printing 2000 copies!

I was scratching my head about how to fund this book because everyone knows doing a full color book in print is insanely expensive. Kickstarter isn’t available to project creators based in the Philippines so I thought about just asking online for people who wanted to buy the book before it even came out, as a kind of pre-selling thing. Lots of people did, thank goodness, and we were able to raise something like P20,000 from that. But that is just a small fraction of how much the book cost to print. Even when we added the money made from selling the Wasted Box Sets, it was still a fraction of what we needed. Hair fell off, my BP shot up, but in the end, the book is finally coming out!

Nevertheless, I am thankful for those who bought the book without having it in their hands, without knowing a single thing about it. I am very grateful for that trust and appreciate it very much. I hope I don’t disappoint you guys!

I’m really excited for this book because it’s a rare thing for me to have an all ages book out there. It’s not by far my first because Arnold and I collaborated once before on Lastikman. That wasn’t published by me though, but for me and Komikero Publishing, RODSKI is definitely my first all ages comic book!

People have been asking for previews but I’ve been hesitant to post any because I want the book to be a complete surprise when it comes out. Nobody has an idea of what to expect from this thing. I like it that all my projects are wildly different from the other. Wasted is nothing like Elmer and that is nothing like Bold Star and Rodski is nothing like any of those. People always come with some sort of expectations based on my previous work, that can’t be helped, but still, I hope people get that I don’t do things twice.

But anyway, as a small preview, as in very small, here’s a video ad created by blossoming animator and filmmaker Arnold Arre (who also happened to draw this book!):

All right, then! See you guys at Summer Komikon at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig on Saturday, April 12, 2014!!

How to get to get there!
http://www.komikon.org/map-to-bayanihan-center/

Hey, this is my April fool’s joke for 2014. It’s simple and a bit obvious, but I couldn’t believe I still got a few people! Until next year!

I’ve mentioned it several times in the past, but there is, in fact, another “Gerry Alanguilan” who resides here in San Pablo City. He’s in fact my cousin. He’s a construction worker, a mason, specifically. Right now he’s working on building this house just next door to where I’m living.

Perhaps it’s fortuitous for him to be in easy access right about this time. You see, It’s starting to look like I might not, unfortunately, be able to attend Summer Komikon this April 12. I’m sorry I can’t say why, except to say that’s it’s purely for personal reasons and it cannot be avoided.

However, my cousin Gerry Alanguilan has agreed to go in my place. He will occupy my table, sell Rodski, Wasted and original artork, and he can even sign your books for you. I mean, he’s also Gerry Alanguilan, and in many ways, he’s more officially qualified to use that name because that’s the name that appears in his birth certificate. Gerry isn’t really even my name. It’s Doroteo, as you all may know. So yes, he’s more authentically Gerry Alanguilan than I am, so he isn’t exactly lying when he signs your books. And he’ll be very glad to, I’m sure. Say hello, take pictures with him, and just generally be nice. He’s kind of sensitive.

I’m truly sorry for my absence, but you can count on me to be around on Free Comic Book Day. See you then!

Sometimes I wish I still lived in Manila. It’s not that I want to live in the big city because I actually don’t. It’s just that there are so many activities and events I wish I could attend and participate in.

Over the last week I was invited to two events, one a cosplay convention thing by Kit Perez and the other a talk on Philippine comics by Paolo Chikiamco on April 6. There’s this zine thing that Adam David is involved in. I think I attended one of the very first of these things back in 2001. I really would like to attend one of those again. There’s signings by my friends in comics like Leinil’s signing at Glorietta last Saturday. So many more. I wish I could attend them all.

If I was in Manila I definitely would. I think it’s just one of those things I have to let go after deciding to settle here in San Pablo City. It’s not THAT far to Manila, but you guys have no idea how much of a hassle it is to make the trip, specially for me and my bum knee.

If I do decide to attend an event, it’s not just simply a matter of going there and get back home and continue working. I have to set aside an ENTIRE DAY even if the event is just a couple of hours. The trip going up to Manila, then take a connecting ride via jeep or bus or cab to the place, then the same thing going back. That all ads up. Ever tried hailing a cab at 9pm in Makati? GOOD LUCK.

Public transport in Manila, as you guys know, can just be a nightmare. I mean, just look at how insane riding an MRT or LRT right now is. The metro buses aren’t safe and it’s not just because of the hold-uppers. It’s the drivers and their lack of discipline.

If I was younger I could have easily dealt with this, but I’m not so young anymore. My bones aren’t so young anymore and it’s really difficult for me now. More often than not, I would just rather stay here in San Pablo away from the craziness that is Manila.

How can I explain to people that this is one of the big reasons I decline invitations? It’s just too hard for me. As I mentioned previously, one of my knees is giving me trouble and walking for long distances can be excruciating. That’s the bottom line. I really don’t want to leave San Pablo and deal with that.

But if I really have to go, like if it’s something important like KOMIKON, I don’t take the bus. I rent a van. It’s not cheap, but it’s very convenient, and it circumvents a lot of the hassle dealing with going to Manila and back. So I reserve van money specially for those events that’s important to me as a creator, and that’s the two Komikons within the year, FCBD at Comic Odyssey and a couple of signings here and there. That’s it. That’s also why I don’t go to Manila that often. Because it costs me a lot of money to go.

So I guess I’m pretty lucky that I have a job that I can do at home. I can do everything from my work desk and computer and I don’t even have to go out. With this kind of arrangement, I just continue on working even when I’m sick, even when I don’t feel like taking a bath. And I’m thankful for that!

signing
Photo by Comic Odyssey

Last Saturday’s signing at Comic Odyssey went pretty well. All the copies of “Where Bold Stars Go To Die” that the store ordered were all sold out even before I arrived. Admittedly, I arrived a bit late, which is frustrating because I’m never late. Thing was, the van we rented ran into problems and it took a couple of hours to fix.

But anyhow, I’m glad people stayed around to get their books signed, and pick up the first 10 Wasted Box Sets that were finished.

Signing Photo Gallery 1 (Danry Ocampo)
Signing Photo Gallery 2 (Comic Odyssey)

It is the Wasted Box Sets I wish to talk about here. That box set is the ultimate expression of Komikero Publishing’s reason for being, and that is to not only share stories and art, but to give readers an EXPERIENCE. That experience of actually holding a comic book in your hands. An experience that is slowly but surely being eroded by our transition into the digital age. More and more comics are now being downloaded and read on screens. That is now a fact of life. And I for one won’t stand on a pulpit frothing at the mouth railing against it. Everyone else can go digitize their comics and that’s perfectly cool.

My stories, however, will remain in print and some of my work will ONLY be available in print. I feel that touching comic books with your hands, physically flipping the pages and reading is an experience too valuable for us humans to do away with. And that is an experience everyone can still count on with Komikero Publishing for as long as I’m alive.

The other day I saw a comment on Twitter by a fellow pro. I won’t mention him anymore because that isn’t really the point. He said that two page spreads in comics should be abolished because it does’t work with digital. Deep inside my heart I just had to laugh. I didn’t want to argue so I didn’t, but I thought I’d talk about that here.

So because it doesn’t work with digital, it HAS to be abolished? From my point of view, for print to survive, there should be MORE 2 page spreads, because as it turns out, there are strengths in print that digital comics cannot possibly replicate. And one of those are 2 page spreads. And that is true. The magnificence of opening a comic book with a 2 page spread is quite an experience, and it’s one of the things that make comics such a pleasurable reading experience. I remember Alfredo Alcala’s Voltar 2 page spreads… oh man… or how about those glorious Jack Kirby two page spreads in his comic books for Marvel and DC? How about Frank Miller’s 300 where every single damned page is a 2 page spread? Even better… how about those multiple page spreads in Jim Lee’s Wildcats? In Alan Moore’s Promethea? In Frank Miller’s Ronin? Or how about those multiple page drawings by Alex Niño that, put together, form one gigantic panel? Digital can never hope to replicate the experience those kinds of things print comics can do. It’s something print comics can do best, and it’s something that will help keep it alive.

At Komikero Publishing, aside from keeping my comics in print, we also produce specially made box sets in cooperation with my wife’s paper crafting business.

In 2009 we made box sets of my comic book ELMER:

Each box set contains a hand bound hardcover of the comic book, original artwork, photographs and facsimiles, a certificate of authenticity, a CD with videos, all packaged within a special hand made box.

Check out my original post about it:
http://gerry.alanguilan.com/archives/1332

A close up of the hand made hardcover from my wife’s blog:
http://paper-basket.blogspot.com/2009/03/hardbound-elmer.html

It’s our version of an Absolute book or Omnibus, but much more special and lots more extras.

This year, we’re releasing a box set of my comic book WASTED:

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box01

This box set contains a hand bound hardcover of the comic book in a slipcase, original artwork, photographs, certificate of authenticity and a handwritten letter. The letter is a real life reproduction of a letter that figures prominently in the story. Each box has one of these.

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Check out my wife’s post about the Wasted box sets:
http://paper-basket.blogspot.com/2014/03/wasted-box-sets.html

We do these boxes because as we previously mentioned, we want to share an EXPERIENCE when people read my comic books. It’s something that’s important not only to me, but to my wife as well who has devoted a significant portion of her life creating art from paper.

How in the world can you digitize this? The answer is YOU CAN’T.

However, I’m not completely closed off to the idea of digital comics. My comic book Wasted can be read completely for free online from this website. It can be read in various forms: html, cbr, mobi, pdf… it even has a special digital edition complete with videos from me.

So yeah, it’s best of both worlds.

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Click for Larger Image

I’ll be having a comic book signing this coming Saturday, March 15, 2014 at Comic Odyssey, Robinson’s Galleria from 1-4pm. The signing is specially for the Philippine release of the SLG Edition of “Where Bold Stars Go To Die“, but please feel free to bring any or all comic books I’ve worked on and I’ll sign them all, no limits! I’ll sign it even if it’s already signed! I’ll sign it even if it’s by Rob Liefeld! (If you want).

I’m currently raising funds for the printing of my next book “Rodski Pototski: Ang Dalagang Baby” (for release at Summmer Komikon on April 12), so there will be a few things I will be offering for sale.

I won’t talk about the Wasted Box Set anymore because sorry guys, it’s all sold out! But thanks to everyone who reserved a box. It’s very much appreciated! As previously mentioned, 20 of those things will ever be made, and I’m saying right now not all of those 20 boxes will be available on March 15. We’re trying for 10 boxes. I will get in touch with you soon if you will get yours on March 15, or on Summer Komikon.

I’m also bringing original inked comic book art from Avengers, Indestructible Hulk, and various other books I’ve worked on. I will be offering a lot of the pages for less than the usual price. So I would only ask that no discounts are asked for anymore. To be honest, I’ve never liked discounts on artwork. I feel it devalues me and my work. And it develops hard feelings in me every time I see you. And if you never asked for a discount, you will have my goodwill forever! I’m just being honest. I could go on about it, but maybe another time. Look for my assistant Zara in the store. She’ll be handling all the original art sales. Thanks in advance!!

See you guys Saturday!

EVENT PAGE at FACEBOOK!

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To further raise funds for the printing of “Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby”, Komikero Publishing and Paper Basket will be releasing a limited collector’s edition Wasted Box Set!

Each box set will contain a hand crafted Wasted hardcover and slipcase, original Wasted artwork, a hand lettered letter from Eric to Jenny (from issue #8), a booklet of all extra material from the original photocopied Wasted, photographs, and a certificate of authenticity.

Only 20 of these box sets will be made. Each will retail at P2500. If you wish to get a box, please send an email to gerryalanguilan@yahoo.com. First come first served! Because I would need to see who reserved first, I would be able to only receive reservations only through email at that address. I would prefer I hand it to you personally so if you can make it to the Bold Stars signing at Comic Odyssey, Robinson’s Galleria on March 15, the better. I’d rather not ship it because of the delicate nature of the material, but if there’s no choice, I can ship it via courier at an additional P250 for proper packaging and shipping.

Because of the limited nature of the box set, only one box per customer will be accepted.

I have to say that probably only 10 will be finished by March 15. I can go up to Manila again at the end of March for the rest.

I’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth reiterating. I can definitely see the future of comics as being predominantly digital. It’s inevitable, I think. I’ve had so many offers from local and international companies to digitize my comics stories for distribution on mobile gadgets. I have made my concessions with digital by offering a lot of my work online, mostly for free. Wasted remains free to read online, along with a lot of my other work.

I’m no longer interested in debating the issue. I’ve had my fair share of “discussion” about this in the past. I’ve heard all the arguments and you know what? I throw up my hands and say all the arguments for digital comics are completely valid. You wont find me ranting and railing against it, because that would just be counterproductive. And futile.

But as far as Komikero Publishing is concerned, I will continue to do comics in print, and I will continue to resist translating most of my work into digital.

I know that the goal of any storyteller is to share his stories with as much people as possible, and digital is certainly a big way of doing it. I reach a far greater audience online than I do with print.

But you know, to me it’s more than just sharing stories and art. It’s about sharing an “experience”. That experience of holding a comic book in your hands. I think that it’s an experience that’s valuable and important, and that as human beings, it’s something that we should never lose.

As the world speeds hastily into the digital age, that experience will become even more rare and valuable. I want to be that publisher that gives people that kind of experience. I don’t care if I end up on the losing end of the financial stick. It was never about the money for me.

I don’t need to further explain myself. Those who don’t understand this never will. But those who understand it will understand perfectly. I’m not here to sway anyone to my way of thinking. I’m just laying out my publishing company’s reason for being.

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To help fund the printing of “Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby“, we’re now accepting pre-orders!

Rodski is being released in FULL COLOR on matte paper, 100 pages, 8″x 8″ dimensions and perfect bound. It will retail for P450. If you wish to reserve your copy now for pick up at Summer Komikon on April 12, you can send your payment to my BPI account. Send me an email at gerryalanguilan at yahoo.com so I can send you the information. If you are not attending Summer Komikon and you would prefer that we ship it to you via courier, you can just add P150 for shipping and handling. We will ship the book in between illustration boards via LBC or Air 21. Send me an email at gerryalanguilan at yahoo.com for further information. Unfortunately, I can only accept orders from the Philippines at the moment. But I will make it available for international orders once the book is out.

Don’t worry that you won’t get your copy. We plan on printing a lot… as in a lot of copies!

To everyone who will help out with the funding of the book by pre-buying it, you have my (and Arnold’s) utmost thanks and appreciation!

The cover above is illustrated and colored by Arnold Arre. Title design is by Cynthia Bauzon-Arre.

For information on what this book is about, click here!

Being in comics one thing is for sure: I spend a lot of time just sitting down in front of a drawing table and computer. That part of my body getting the most exercise are my fingers. I’ve put on a lot of weight ever since the late 1990s. I think I topped at around 91 kilos sometime in 2010. Look at this. This is me at my fattest during one of the conventions:

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I started to recognize back then that I needed a change of lifestyle if I ever want to be healthier and be around longer. I started using less salt and sugar in my food. I dramatically decreased my intake of pork and beef. I started to generally eat much less. I didn’t starve myself, of course. I just started eating smaller portions. We stopped having pizza and other stuff delivered for snacks completely. No more midnight snacks.

I also started to regulate my work hours strictly. I would work only up to 12 midnight or at the very most 1am. I no longer went on all nighters. I had to get my 8 hour sleep every day. I’d probably take 6 hours at night and another two in the afternoon.

Exercise is my one last hurdle. Because I’ve developed a really bad knee, running/jogging is out of the question. Even walking for long periods of time is out of the question. I might start using a cane very soon. Holy crap. If I do I’ll make sure it will be one kick ass cane. With snakes and everything. I went ahead and got a pedal exerciser, something prescribed by a physical therapist, which I now use everyday.

Right now I’m down to a more manageable 76 kilos. I never veer too far from it anymore. I’d still like to go lower than that. 68 kilos is probably a more ideal weight for me. Because I lost all those pounds, I’ve actually stopped snoring, which is great. It’s something I was always deeply conscious of whenever I would sleep over at friends’ places.

I do still eat meat maybe once a month. I still eat everything actually, but in strict moderation. Mostly it’s just fish and vegetables and chicken. Fruits are awesome, but even that I’m told by my doctor that I need to keep in moderation. I love mangoes and melons. Those two are my favorite fruits of all time.

This is me today:

medan
Me and my childhood friend Dan Yatco. Photo by Benjie Jacinto.

I feel better than I did a few years before. Which is great. I have to be around to keep working, keep writing and drawing. I just really have a lot more stories to tell.

Where Bold Stars Go To Die“, a comic book I wrote that my late friend Arlan Esmeña illustrated was finally published in the US via SLG Publishing. If you’re in the US or anywhere outside the Philippines, you can just order it directly from the SLG website here. If you’re in the Philippines, this edition is being sold by Comic Odyssey, which you can pre-order at their website right here. Just use their handy form to place your order. It will be available February 26. After February 26, you can just buy it from their stores in Robinson’s Galleria, Fully Booked at the Fort, Greenhills and Robinson’s Malate.

Since this is published by SLG Publishing, I don’t control the stocks of it so I myself don’t have copies to sell. You won’t be able to buy them directly from me. It will be a bit more expensive than the Komikero Publishing edition, which has since been sold out. Content wise, there’s very little difference. The new edition has a new pinup by Harvey Tolibao and an Arlan Esmeña tribute, but that’s it. Format wise, I actually have no idea yet how different it is with regards to printing and paper. I will know only when my complimentary copies arrive.

I will be having a Bold Star book signing at Comic Odyssey, Robinson’s Galleria on March 15. I will also bringing a lot of original artwork with me, plus a surprise release (more details soon). This is to raise funds for the printing of Rodski for Summer Komikon on April 12.

I will most likely reprint Bold Stars through Komikero Publishing later in the year. I’ve written a lot about the book on this blog. Just click here to read an archive of posts.

Serge Ewenczyk, my French publisher of ELMER sent me this image:

chicken
Click for Larger Image

Now I don’t know what it says, but it seems to be a feature/review of Elmer in a French chicken magazine. He seems to have found this very amusing for some reason.

I’ve noticed I haven’t been able to access the Bleeding Cool Forums for quite a while now. I don’t know exactly when this started, but it has been a while. This is the error message that I see when I try to access it:

************
Forbidden
You don’t have permission to access /forums/showthread.php on this server.
************

I mentioned it on Twitter today and I received a lot of responses from other guys based here in the Philippines who couldn’t access the forum as well, leading many to conclude that the entire Philippines (and not just me) is blocked from viewing the forums. I wonder why.

I used to post there a lot back when Bleeding Cool was new. In fact, the website still sends me automated birthday greetings every year. Over time though, I’ve noticed a lot of really ignorant posts from some of the most vocal commenters on the site. It was quite off putting. It’s one thing to have an opinion (which everyone is entitled to), but if those opinions are uneducated and ignorant, well, that’s a whole different bag of chips.

The last straw was a few years ago when Mark Millar announced that he would be doing signings here in the Philippines. All of a sudden I saw such ignorant comments like “why is Mark going there they don’t even have running water”. It gets worse than that actually. It really pissed me off. So I went there and posted about why I never post at the forums anymore, and that’s because it’s populated by such ignorant and stupid people. And left.

Did that help me and the rest of the country get banned? Common sense tells me that it shouldn’t. I was just defending the Philippines from idiots.

Whatever the reason was for us getting banned, it really doesn’t matter. And it’s probably just as well. I really don’t want going to a place where there is such stupidity and ignorance. I wish I could tell Rich Johnston to tame his pets but I doubt even he can do anything about it.

Rich, if in the off chance you get to read this, you don’t have to unban me. It’s all right. I might still read the news from your website from time to time, but I’ll never again visit the forums.

I’ve been inking comics professionally now for like well, since 1995. You would think I’d get tired of it, bit I’m honestly not. Admittedly, there was a time that I quit. This was back in 2005. That was not because I didn’t like to ink anymore, but because I wanted to expand my creativity to other things. In that break I did things like Humanis Rex, Timawa, and most specially ELMER. I’m really proud of Elmer. I still can’t believe I actually did that, and I still can’t believe all the doors that thing opened.

I’m back to inking but now I’ve made an extra effort to continue doing my own stuff. That’s why there’s “Where Bold Stars Go To Die” and there’s “Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby”. It’s been very difficult juggling inking and the other things, but I can’t help it now. I just have to do it.

Speaking of “Bold Stars”, it was picked up by SLG Publishing, the same publishing company that published ELMER internationally. It can now be ordered through their website here. If your local comics store ordered this when it was previewed in the Diamond Catalog last October, then your store will most likely have copies.

Arnold Arre continues to send in finished pages of “Rodski”, and he’s blowing my mind with each page. Maaaaaan. I’m really pleased how the art’s turning out. Arnold made a Rodski poster specially for Summer Komikon so be on the look out for that when Komikon starts to promote the event. That will be on April 12 by the way. So save the date! We will be launching the book right there and yes, Arnold will be on hand to sign books.

Both Arnold and Leinil Yu will be special guests at Summer Komikon, and they intend on positioning me right between them at the venue. I think it describes my position in the industry quite well. One foot in independent Filipino comics and another foot in American comics. I think it’s a great place to be in.

Speaking of inking, I rediscovered this piece online:

darkness_11_cover_portacio

It’s unsigned, but it’s pencilled by Whilce Portacio and inked by me, sometime in 1998. This was a cover for Darkness, I think, for TOP COW. I still remember exactly the circumstances in which this was inked. The studio in Manila was located somewhere in Horseshoe Drive, QC. At the time I was no longer staying full time at the studio. After training with Whilce since 1995, he had let me go to stay and work from home. I dropped by that day for a visit. Whilce was working on this cover and he asked me to ink it. But I had to work on it at the studio because the deadline was tight. I thought that would be OK. At the time I think Edgar Tadeo was still staying at the studio, as well as Gilbert Monsanto. I didn’t have my tools with me so I went to nearby Cubao to buy a Rotring Technical 0.1. That’s the tool I used to ink most of this cover, plus maybe a quill or brush I must have borrowed from Edgar. I ended up staying overnight.