The past couple of months have been a blur. As far as I’m concerned, yesterday was the end of 2007, and today is a new day, and a new year. It feels very much like a whole new, and whole different chapter in my life.
I worked like mad for the past several weeks just to get a bunch of work done. A few financial options fell through, leaving me in a rather difficult position, specially with the holidays and the ton of obligations that usually come with it. I’ve had to do a lot of work, and be creative with finding ways to fit the budget. There’s still a lot of things left over to take care of, like paying for the printing of Elmer #3, so the work isn’t really finished. In fact, this is only the start of what could be my busiest year yet. Now more than ever I am aware of the responsibilities to the people around me, specially my family, leading me to make some of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make with regards to my professional career.
I’ve had to prioritize what things I should concentrate on, and what things I should let go. I’ve had to be very honest and straightforward with my correspondences, because I’m less tolerant of the cutesy and pussyfooting around.
Friends have asked what am I working on. Right now it’s Elmer #4, and TIMAWA, which will now be four full color pages a month beginning with the February 2008 issue of The Buzz Magasin, which should be available right about now.
Above: Preview of unlettered artwork from Timawa #5. I’m keeping clean unlettered versions of each page to open the possibility of doing an English version in the future. Timawa is written in Tagalog and it’s been very challenging. I don’t write it in English and then just translate it into Tagalog. I find that it’s a system that doesn’t work for me and the story. I find that losing myself in the world and in the story, I can come up with words that I would not otherwise have used.
Having four pages to work with is fantastic because it allows me to come up with 2 page spreads while still coming up with a substantial installation. The work that I did with Humanis Rex!, and the lessons I learned from that experience informs Timawa in a lot of ways. With HR, I consciously tried to make each installment act as a whole, which made it OK to read 2 pages a month. But when read back to back, the entire 48 pages don’t seem to gel as well.
With Timawa, I’m no longer trying to make the 4 pages I have to act as a whole, but as a part of a 60plus page story. Each 4 page installment may end on an awkward panel, but when read back to back, I hope to make it flow smoothly as one whole story.
I have other things I’m working on, but I’d rather not talk about it now.
I’ll be updating this blog more regularly from now on. I’ll start posting vintage komiks art once again, and other things I used to do here.
I’ll also start posting music. I’ve rediscovered my love for early 90′s Pinoy Alternative music, I find myself in heaven after discovering a lot of this music online. The song below is an example.
One of my favorite songs ever. I used to own a casette tape of Grupong Pendong’s debut album, but the tape’s long since gone to crap from constant playing, and as far as I know, this never came out on CD.
I’ll soon begin a series of articles about creating comics, expanding on the curriculum I came up with for my term as Comics Creation teacher at the College Of St. Benilde last year.
I loved teaching. It’s great meeting all these great young people interested in comics and wanting to create comics. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things I’ve had to let go. The real reason I didn’t continue teaching was because it just took too much out of my time. It was only one day, but the time expended in preparing for it, recovering from it, traveling from San Pablo to Manila and back, checking plates, reports and assignments collectively took several days.
And that is I guess, that. I plan on spending more time creating comics this year than ever before. By the end of the year I want to have created comics I’d be proud to say that I did, and that includes comics that my parents can proudly show off to their priest and nun friends. Although my dad has a priest friend who really likes Elmer. But then, the man also liked Transformers. He’s got to be one of the coolest priests I’ve met.
Oh yeah, one more thing about Timawa. If you’re thinking of waiting for the compilation, DON’T. I didn’t even discuss the possibility with editorial. There are currently no plans for it, and it’s not really on the radar of things I would be doing in the future. So please, IMMERSE yourself in Filipino showbiz culture by buying The Buzz Magasin, and get 4 pages of TIMAWA, AUTHOR and DIRECTED by the Philippines’ Official Greatest Illustrator below the age of 40 and above 38 currently residing in Banayo Compound in San Pablo City! In the process, you’re helping me earn some money. So THANK you!
Now as for EL INDIO and HUMANIS REX! compilations… I’ve yet to meet with the potential publisher for El Indio. I’ve got so distracted with urgent work the past couple of months that I missed meeting with them. I’ll try to do so soon. Humanis Rex and it’s release depends on Fudge Magazine now. All the material is with them. I think it’s about time I followed it up.
I’ll be back. Sooner than you think!