Saturday, May 03, 2003

What I've Been Doing for the Past Hour or So

Ha! An article on cosplaying from someone who doesn't cosplay. Read at your own risk...

The Filipino Cosplayer: Performing at Conventions

Read more!
Free Comic Book Day

I don't know why this year was different. I mean last year, I was also at CCHQ during Free Comic Book Day. I wasn't impressed at the titles being given away (especially since there were only a few choices). Sure, there was Ultimate Spiderman, but the editing of that edition wasn't exactly the best.

And I usually don't buy my comics at Comic Quest, so I don't know the whole process. Do you get a free comic when you purchase another comic?

Anyway, at 10 am, there was a long table outside CCHQ. Around a dozen or so titles were displayed and it was difficult picking only four (unfortunately, they didn't have Keenspace but oh well, you can't have everything). The one I want to read, The Best of Dorkstorm, is currently with Elbert, which hopefully he won't lose.

On a side note, there was a huge crowd of people at the FBR building, mainly because of this event.

All-Star Cast

I mean people like Carlo Vergara, Quark Henares, Ruey de Vera (did I spell that right?) dropped by, as well as some not-so-famous-people like Ramon de Vera, Chris Costello, Fero Benedict. That's not mentioning the rising artists like Elbert Or, Andrew Drilon, and Chito Esguerra.

Enough of the name dropping though. Got introduced to Fero who gave me a free copy of Questor's Mangamania, surprised that Ramon remembered me, had Carlo sign my copy of Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah (because I was too shy when I dropped by their offices yesterday), and made future plans for people's careers.

OST - Original Story Theatre

I don't know why Elbert chose the European spelling of "theater". Anyway, that was Comicol's second comic launch for the year, which is 32 pages (cover included) of b&w art and text which was given away for free. There were thirty copies at CCHQ and when we left, there was something like three or four left. I wish we could have distributed more but alas, misfortune struck the other day which put a strain into Comicol's budget, at least temporarily.

On a good note, I'll be rereleasing OST sometime in June or July. It'll still be in b&w but will now fit in a CD slipcase as well as containing a whopping 60 pages (that's more than Grafic!) of comics and illustrations. That's 32 pages more (since we're not counting the cover) than the Free Comic Book Day Edition, and yes, Comicol members will actually make up a bulk of the content. Hopefully. =)


I'm not sick but people are catching a cold left and right. Of course we're all hoping it's not SARS. And I managed to drop by Megamall (and the Podium) today and a lot of people were at the malls (it's a sale!) despite paranoia of the virus. And well, a lot of shops were on sale as well, such as Comic Quest.

Financial Burdens

Didn't buy anything though since I'm trying to save money for future publications. Which means I'll be publishing another comic before the end of the year but right now, I'm battling between the idea of producing 100 copies to be given away for free, or have the financial problem of producing 500 copies and selling it. Oh yeah, the said comic will be in manga tankoubon format, which means it'll be 184 pages long (b&w, as usual) and bound. It'll feature works from Andrew, Chito, and Elbert, each having 60 pages of unadultered creativity.

Read more!

Friday, May 02, 2003

Wear and Tear

I tend to ruin my bags and shoes quickly. On the average, it takes one year before things start falling apart. I remember because each school year, I come to class with a new school bag. Other people can boast that they've used the same bag for x number of years. I can't.

On a side note, I now have a new bag since the last one's strap snapped. What I like about my new bag is it has lots of pockets. You can never have too much of those.

Delivery Boy

And it's a good thing too that I have a new bag since today, I've been acting delivery boy, dragging Comicol's publication for free comic book day. They'll be available tomorrow at CCHQ and at Comic Quest. There's only thirty copies circulating so...

Feature Creep

Did I get that right Dean? Anyway, it's the term for "features" that aren't in the original contract but the employer asks anyway and the employee agrees to do. Of course too much of asking "could you add this" and "could you add that" eventually add up to a pile of modifications that might differ from the original product written on the contract.

Now if only someone wrote us a contract to begin with...

"Labor Day" Booksale

Oh wow. From May 1-4, Powerbooks and ADB/Ink and Stone will be having a sale.


Aside from the book sales, a lot of malls have their own sales. It looks like people are braving the streets despite SARS.

And I won't be needing SARS to kill me, since there's a party at home (dad's birthday celebration) and my room is acquiring a smell from the smoke and the beer.

I wanna go out!

Read more!

Thursday, May 01, 2003

On Reading

I'm a fast reader. At least faster than most people I know (except for Filipino, in which my reading speed is cut in half). But I don't equate reading with comprehension. The latter doesn't always occur with the former.

The discrepancy between the two, at least for me, depends on attention span. If I manage to retain it, the words, and sentences, sink in. If not, well, they're just individual words that flicker in my mind without grasping the concept of the entire sentence.

Of course lack of attention not only arises from boring text but from other factors as well, such as prevaling thoughts that preoccupy my mind, noise, my surroundings, and sometimes, just plain sleepiness.

Read more!

I've seen better days. And I know people who've had worse circumstances than I for the past few days. Anyway, still have to cram James Joyce's Ulysses (especially considering I only got 1/10 in the last quiz).

Utang ng Loob

I don't know. It just seems these days (especially in the Philippines), you can't do a good deed without others expecting others to return the favor.

Case in point, I loaned Leo a book (Dragons of a Fallen Sun) and then he suddenly offers his list of books for me to borrow. I declined but he still kept asking me if I wanted to borrow anything.

Labor Day

Well, despite it being a holiday, duty calls. A lot of shops were closed in Katipunan, which made getting things done difficult.

Found out that they were giving free MRT rides today, and when I got off at the Santolan/Annapolis station, armed guards were everywhere: sleeping on the floors, leaning on the walls, hanging by the rails... and their shields were pretty intimidating.

The Comicol

Well, me, Elbert (who's in a bad mood), and Adrian (who finally has some credits) had to cram the layout for our comic to be given away on Saturday. Oh wait, only Adrian and Elbert were doing the layout. I was just there watching them do stuff and help carry some of the expensive computer equipment.

And since a lot of shops were closed, finding a workplace was hard (apparently Starbucks Katipunan disabled all their electronic plugs) and photocopying the comic posed problems (no printer, no photocopier place open nearby) of its own.

Read more!

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

There Goes My Evil Reputation...

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)High
Level 2 (Lustful)Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Very Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Low
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

Read more!

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Ragnarok Convention

Sometime in early October I think. And it'll be at Glorietta. Ah, who am I kidding? Only Arcina's interested in this info, and I don't think she visits this blog as of late...

Anyway, there'll be cosplays and the selling of Ragnarok doujinshi is highly encouraged...

Read more!

Ack. I'm not expecting this. Anyway, my sister is currently celebrating her birthday party at the garden and I can hear them from my room. One of the things I'm hearing them rant about is Meteor Garden. I don't know. I guess it just surprises me that my sister's friends uses the words "live-action", "hana yori dango", and "meteor garden" in the same sentence. The next thing you know, I'll be seeing them in the anime convention...

On a side note, I need to confirm when they're actually showing Meteor Garden. I was checking ABS-CBN's schedule and so far, it isn't there. My sisters friends are saying that it's going to show on May 20 or something (beleive me, eavesdropping from my room isn't my idea of stalking since they're making too much noise!).

To digress again, the Lifestyle Network stole Fushigi Yuugi's ending song for one of their ads of the month.

Ack. I think I hear the girls talking about "yaoi"...

Read more!

Monday, April 28, 2003


Don't you just hate it when you have the ball rolling and then you suddenly get interrupted (or people get distracted)?

On the Comic Collective

It's an org in its beginning stages. And well, we're learning the hard way how an org actually gets set up or gains accreditation. Amidst all the paperwork and diplomacy required, there's the internal conflict within the group as well.

One of the biggest problems is that the org in itself is something new, having no precedent before it. Lately, it's been acting as a publication, much like a university's school paper or literary publication. But the org isn't just that. In fact, when it started out, there wasn't even a publication (but there were plans for one). The only time we came out with an actual anthology was last year (badly done as it was).

The other focus of the org was in the development of the member's skills, either in writing or in drawing. And finding the time for workshops such as those that fits with most of the member's schedules seems to be get harder and harder by the year.

The third focus of the org, which technically hasn't been implemented yet, is for the place of members who neither have the talent nor the skill in comics creation, but share in the love of the comics. In theory, they will be handling the deliberations of what works gets published in the magazine, as well as provide critic during the workshops and seminars on other people's works. But time constraints, publishing schedules, and member needs seem to be hampering this, at least during this point in time.

Leadership is also a delicate matter. For one thing, since there really is no precedent for the org, finding such a leader is not only difficult (and scarce) but training one is hard as well.

For example, finding a leader for the school paper isn't as difficult, especially in a campus as large as Ateneo. For one thing, there's immediate prestige involved in being an "editor". News and feature writing is something respected. Creating and honing comic skills isn't. I mean I've heard members complain that their parents don't allow them to participate in org activities since it takes up their time for such "frivolous and inconsequential" activities.

Finding a protoge in a school paper is also easy since there's prior training involve. I mean chances are, it's members who were editors during their grade school and high school years that end up aspiring for the editor position in college. As far as I know, there aren't any official (or regular) orgs or clubs in grade school and high school that have the focus of releasing a comic regularly.

I mean a plain editor won't suffice since comics is more than just text. The same goes for recruiting just an artist. And of course, there's some public relations and managerial skills involved (which I think is necessary for leaders of any organization), even if it's just a little. With the Comic Collective publication, the ball just gets dropped. Fortunately, Elbert was up to the challenge. But how many Elbert's are in this world? Or more specifically, how many people share the love of comics and possess all the necessary skills involved, not to mention interested in joining the Comic Collective and enrolling in Ateneo?

Maybe we could make do with Elbert. But he's on borrowed time. One of the big differences between a school organization and professional work is that the latter has a longer time investment. You're not just editor for one or two years (unless you're horrible). It usually lasts for a much longer time. School publications work on the reverse side of things. One year as editor is the usual term (handed often to either juniors or seniors). Hanging on for two years is long. Three is a prodigy. Continuity wise, that's a hurdle any school org has to face.

Another factor in leadership is the particular drive one has. I mean for big changes to happen (or sometimes, just for things to happen), the leaders (and members as well) must have a strong drive for the project that will carry it to the next level. What this next level is usually depends who's in charge. Like a person who's interested in output or getting published might drive at the publication. Another might want to organize the system and structure of the org. One more accustomed to human relations might want to focus more on the relationships members have with each other. Whatever the case, a particular drive will push the org forward and revolutionize a new idea.

Of course budget constraints, lack of accreditation, and dwindling membership hampers this factor. I mean people with strong drives (and leadership skills) are hard to come by. More so with people interested in comics and joining the Comic Collective. Sometimes,the torch gets passed on to less ideal people. At that point, the best one could hope for is that the leader at the very least maintains the org or preserve its current success. And hopefully, when it's time for them to pass on their torches, someone innovative might come along.

These are the ideals vs reality colliding with each other. Almost always, it ends up with a compromise. For example, structural integrity and cohesion of the org might come at the cost of actual output. The heirarchal values of any org in such a case must be prioritized.

Read more!
Things I forgot to Add

Any bag I own usually lasts for a maximum of one year or so. My usual bag bit it last Saturday. As I was walking home, it gave in to the weight and one of the straps snapped, just like that. Of course this was when I left Elbert, and I still had to trek Makati to meet with two brothers. Had to improvise but it put a strain on my right arm.

Also, during the cosplay, there was a tragedy. During the group cosplay catwalk, one of the Angel Sanctuary characters tipped over and sprained her leg in the process. It doesn't help that people started crowding around her (I don't know why people are drawn over to disaster... if a person fainted, they'd probably surround that person and deprive him/her of air). The bouncer had to carry her off and her fellow cosplayers were later updated about the situation.

And of course, an update on the K-Zone anime con. I heard that there were lots of kids that attended, and it was full of Beyblades and the like. Looks like it succeeded in its target audience.

Read more!

Sunday, April 27, 2003


I was actually indisposed for the past few days. Friday was the only time I spent the evening at home, while the following two days had me elsewhere from morning 'til the wee hours of the morning.


Since I was left with one pair of working shoes (which happens to be my yellow rubber shoes) because my leather shoes lost its soles, I had to bring out my "new" shoes last Saturday. I mean "new" because although I bought it two years ago, I've only worn it once before and it's been inside my cabinet ever since.

What I dislike about new shoes is that you're feet aren't used to it (or vice versa) and it soon hurts. And since my life consists of walking several kilometers a day, well, my shoes would either be comfortable or my feet would be in a lot of pain. Unfortunately, it was the latter since my rubber shoes had to be washed (it's been raining for the past few days).

The fact that we went shop-hopping during the morning Comicol meeting didn't help, and neither did strolling around the Podium (although Elbert's mom and dad did bring us there with their car). Of course that was only half of my journey so far. Had to go all the way to Makati to meet up with brothers Justin and Jasper, and then we were headed to San Juan for our D&D game. Feet... hurt...

Don't Make the Same Mistake Twice

Which is why the first thing in the morning before I went to the con, I asked if the rubber shoes were dry (and clean!) already. Fortunately, they were, which mean my feet had time to recover from their blisters.

The Convention

The P150 hurts the wallet. If it was cheaper, I would have gone there Friday to root for Ria and Hazel in their dance competition.

There were actually few booths in the con (Level-Up games, Culture Crash, Smarty Toys, Corel, and the other subsidiaries/partners of Telesuccess). Which meant lots of empty spaces.

I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. It's a good thing since you have room to maneuver in what frequently becomes a crowded place. It's bad because well, there's no variety. In less than five minutes, you've seen everything the convention has to offer.

There I was, looking at the various cosplayers (there were three to four sets of Final Fantasy cosplayers plus a big cast of Angel Sanctuary, a Gravitation group, some recycled and not-recycled costumes of Saiyuki, and the same people who've cosplayed Weiss Kreuz over the past few years), watching people fail and sometimes succeed at their free throws and slam dunks, and avoid the noise from the loud speakers.

Did see lots of old friends and even new faces, like Jaime who was there catching pictures of various cosplayers.

Me, The Eternal Extra

Well, that is the part I've been playing for the past few years, tagging along with the various cosplayers, helping them with their costumes, carry their bags, or just plain guarding them. This year was no different.

Accompanied Paul as he was waiting for the rest since they were going in as the Rurouni Kenshin cast. It's actually old costumes but this time, they're coming in as a group since during previous cons, only one or two of them would be in RK outfit. Of course the irony there was most of their characters had bladed weapons and there was a ban of such things so many were halted at the entrance and asked to deposit their weapons at the booth.

I guess the bane of all cosplayers is 1) a place to leave their bags and 2) a place to change. Since most anime conventions don't really provide for this, I still have a purpose in life as an extra tagging along. =)

Had to accompany Tanya to her car since her outfit consisted of assembling wings, claws, and other paraphernalia. The fact that she has clawed hands doesn't help either.

Meeting People

That day was a great opportunity to meet acquaintances. Kept on bugging (and spooking) Joan who was with her boyfriend, JM.

Finally saw Rin's boyfriend who bravely accompanied Rin to the con. And stayed there.

Paul: There's Erin. Doesn't that mean Steph isn't far away?

*Steph enters*

-next scene-

Me: Is Chanty coming?

Joan: I think she's coming later pa.

*Chanty enters*

Har har har

Well, the official news is that I don't have a crush anymore. Ever since two months ago actually. And I guess seeing my former crush is an opportunity to test that theory/attitude. I did try asking to take her picture, so the fact that she declined (as usual) helps.

Moving on...

The Winners

Well, mechapinoy dominated the diorama contest. It doesn't hurt that most (if not all) of the participants were mechapinoy members. First prize second prize and third prize goes to mechapinoy.

There was a Corel anime art contest which involved drawing on the computer using their program. Prizes were various programs and even a tablet (a small one, in case you're wondering Elbert). Of course not a lot would know that first prize went to Culture Crash's Taga-ilog since he used his real name and wasn't wearing a bucket.

Jojie made a new record by not just winning first place in the cosplay contest but by also winning another cosplay category: best props. As far as I know, she's the only cosplayer to twice in the same competition. Anyway, she was dressed up as that villain from Shaider (forgot her name). The one with a big head gear and initiates that eerie chant that's etched in every Filipino's childhood...

Best male went to Titus, best female to Lucifer from Angel Sanctuary (although she was cosplaying a male character... so revel in the paradox). Second and third prize went to characters from Final Fantasy Yuna and Lulu. Best group cosplay was Final Fantasy as well (with members winning the other individual cosplay competitions mentioned above) by reenacting the last scenes in Final Fantasy X (Yuna passing through Titus).


Well, Sheila did treat us out to Don Henrico's since it was her birthday (actually, her birthday was last last week). I never thought I'd play the part of navigator to Pablo and company to get to the place. Ack. Street directions aren't exactly my best talents. One reason I don't drive is that the places I know how to go to, I can easily walk to or commute.


*poof* And just like that, it's only after I finished eating the salad, the nachos, the pasta, the pizza, and the chicken that Sheila noticed I was there.

Sheila: Charles, ngayon ka lang? (did you arrive only now?).

Me: Errr...ask everyone else.

Sleep Over

Well, currently Mitz and Sheila are sleeping over at my house. Actually, they're getting dressed. Sheila is mulling over my bookshelf. Sheila's pretty. Her mom is fretting over the fact that she's sleeping at a guy's house. Even I was surprised. My mom didn't freak out. Lalalalala...

Read more!