Hey everybody! Merry Christmas! Yes, MERRY CHRISTMAS! Because that’s what it is, isn’t it? Yes, it’s a happy holiday, but WHAT happy holiday? Valentines? New Year? Hanukkah? No, it’s CHRISTMAS! Why deny it? Why hide it?
I continue to be flabbergasted that the evil claws of political correctness would have me reduce Christmas into something generic. All because of what? Other people don’t celebrate Christmas? Other don’t people don’t believe in Christmas? Other people are offended when they’re greeted by a holiday that they don’t believe in? I’m sorry, but if you’re offended, then to me then you’re nothing but a selfish self centered baby. Oh yeah. Intolerant. I’m sorry, but YOU ARE.
How? Well, here’s how. Do you even know what’s happening when someone greets you a Merry Christmas? What do you think is going on? Do you think that when I greet you a Merry Christmas, I’m forcing you to swallow my beliefs? That I’m forcing you to celebrate Christmas? That I’m trying to convert you and belittle your own personal beliefs?
You know what? That’s just absolutely STUPID.
It’s nothing more than a gesture of goodwill from one human being (me) to another human being (you). I’m not asking you to celebrate Christmas. I’m not asking you to believe Christmas. All I’m asking is you kindly accept a simple gesture given to you with no other intention than to wish you happiness at this particular time. Is that so fucking bad?
Americans greet me “Happy Thanksgiving!” all the time. Do I ever say, “Oh no, I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving! I’m offended! Go away! There ought to be a LAW banning people from ever mentioning Happy Thanksgiving in public!” I never do. Because if I do that, it’s like slapping the other guy in the face, when all he wants is to share a little happiness on that particular day.
This is tolerance. This is respect for other people’s beliefs, no matter what your beliefs are whether you have any or not. It’s simple kindness between human beings.
So the next time someone greets you a Merry Christmas, don’t slap that guy in the face with your intolerance, just say THANK YOU. I promise you, it won’t KILL you.
All right, now that’s out of the way. I want to share something from one of my old notebooks from 1985. Click for larger images.
That’s page 1 and page 10 of a comics story I was working on during a time I wasn’t particularly a comics fan. Let me explain. You see, this was 1984. You can see this on the pages because I marked on the side the exact date I worked on that specific panel. In 1984 I was a freshman in college, taking up Architecture at the University of Sto. Tomas. We moved to Manila around 1978 and there I finished my grade school and High School at San Beda College along Mendiola.
When I left San Pablo for the big city, I left all my comics behind. I thought I had gotten too old for them and it was time for me to move on to more “adult” stuff. NO more kids stuff! I pretty much gave all my comics away.
What’s strange was I continued writing and drawing comics even though I wasn’t reading them anymore. I remember doing one complete Star Wars inspired story in High School, which I seem to have lost. I did a lot of silly strips in my notebooks and the pages above were part of a third story I was trying to complete. It’s untitled. I don’t have a title for it even now. But it did involve time travel in a huge huge way.
The cross in the second page was supposed to have been my timey-wimey paradox thing, the same way Christopher Reeves’ pocket watch was timey-wimey paradox thing in “Somewhere in Time”. If I had completed it, the story would have been completely and hopelessly romantic.
Basically, the idea there was that Mars was once an earth like planet whose inhabitants destroyed themselves in a nuclear war. That’s why Mars is RED you see. It’s all dried blood and radiation. Some were able to get out in time, rocket to earth and repopulate.
As I worked on page 11, my brother brought home a copy of “Uncanny X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga”. This was my first exposure to comics since I chucked them all out of my life in 1978. The last time I saw the X-men they were fighting Black Tom and Juggernaut in a castle and Storm was freaking out from her claustrophobia. I never heard of the X-men again until I read Dark Phoenix. That moment was a life changer. My life literally changed from one moment to the next.
One moment I’m this perfunctory comic book maker doing comics when I’m bored, and the next moment, I’m a hardcore comic book fan once again. Living, breathing, reading comics every chance I could get.
I could no longer continue this story I was drawing because when I looked back on it, I cringe at how utterly silly it is. How crap and stupid it is. I couldn’t even look at it for a long time.
However, the notebook is still with me today. It’s been with me for 26 years. Not only does it include this comics story, it also includes school notes on Theology, Psychology, and Building Materials, various comics strips, character lists for New Mutants and X-men, a list of comics I had collected at the time, sketches, story ideas and lyrics to “Eve of Destruction”.
I find the notebook so fascinating today. It’s practically a time machine. What if it had been a computer I placed all this on? They would all be gone now. All the stuff I wrote in my brother’s computer in 1989 are now gone, but all the stuff I wrote in this notebook in 1985-1987 are still all here, clear as day.
Looking at this notebook, it reinforces my faith in things hand written on paper. It’s why I still keep paper notebooks today, refusing to trust any of my sensitive information like passwords, contact numbers, story ideas, sketches, scribbles, drawings, to any electronic/digital “gadget”.