Wednesday, August 03, 2005

[Plug] CCHQ at the Bookfair

CCHQ at the Bookfair

From Khristine's Blog:

Visit us! (Book Fair News) --

Central Comic Headquarters (CCHQ) will be participating in the upcoming Manila International Book Fair:

Date: From Aug. 31 to Sept. 4, 2005
Time: 10am to 8pm
Bookfair location:
World Trade Center, Metro Manila (Financial Center Area)
Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. (Buendia Ave.) corner Roxas Blvd.
Pasay City, Metro Manila

We are booth #106. 4th row from the entrance I think. A short distance from the dining area. It's a small booth but we'll do our best to fill it with as much stuff as possible. =) We'll be displaying and selling English graphic novels and manga, trade paperbacks, mainstream and indie, and also Japanese manga and artbooks at very affordable prices. =)

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Sunday, July 31, 2005

[Blog Entry] Stress, Comedy Kills


Work is finally taking its toll on me, now more than ever. Mind and body is getting more and more fragile to the point that I want to throw away my mobile phone, but doing so leaves me incapable of doing work (you’d be surprised at how many photo shoots can be organized thanks to a text message or two). The only thing that provides my mind with reprieve are the weekly RPG games I’m part of, but unfortunately, that’s taking a toll on my body as well (when you work from 9 am – 6 pm, and game from 7 pm to 4 am, well, how much time does that leave for food, sleep, and even checking email?).

Ironically enough, the only thing that’s not taking a drop is my spirit. There’s nothing like adversity to keep you praying to God over and over again. Because honestly, there’s not much I can do once all is said and done. It’s left to the other people involved, and the best thing I can do is pray to calm my nerves. When that isn’t enough, I just mention litany after litany of prayers. Some would say it’s a futile gesture, but hey, that’s why it’s called faith.

Comedy Kills

Some people might find this amusing, but as a kid, there was a point in time when I wanted to be a comedian. This can be mainly attributed to my addiction to watching Seinfeld on cable TV, but it’s also due to the constant teasing I received in school, and how I had to make witty replies to lash back at them (which I later discovered only resulted in them giving you a hard smackdown).

Of course to those who know me, this would be a big surprise. I am, after all, the stoic guy who’s silent and says little. Charles doing comedy is like… the joke itself. Lately, there’s my half-hearted attempts, but that only leaves my audience baffled (they obviously didn’t get the joke, and my execution needs improvement), or laughing for the wrong reasons. The only time I remember someone appreciating my work of comedy was a year ago when I was working on a top-secret, cancelled project. It was a collaboration though, and many thought the funny parts came from my collaborator (and I can’t blame them, because my collaborator is talented in making people laugh). There was this instance, for example, when the protagonists were facing this evil army of sheep, and of course, I name their oversized robot Lamb-bot (Filipinos will recognize that the word for soft or weak is “lambot”).

But bad jokes isn’t the reason why I didn’t pursue a career as a comedian. I was possessed by the spirit of altruism (there was a time when I was the popular kid, had lots of friends, and teased everyone else; suffice to say, I changed) and one of the things I didn’t want to do was offend people. Let’s face it, jokes are offensive. Perhaps not to the audience we’re performing for, but certainly to the person we’re talking about. And while not all jokes center around people, the best ones usually do (just watch The Jay Leno Show or Conan O’Brien and take note of which parts you laugh at).

I’m not saying that comedy is bad for people. But rather one should be prepared for it. For every joke you make, be prepared for people who take offense. And believe me, they will take offense. Some might laugh it off, or join in the laughter. But there will also be those who are sensitive to the traumas in their life. Hey, I wish everyone would take jokes in stride. But obviously, not everyone will. Rex Navarette, during a talking show here in the Philippines, once talked about doing 9-11 jokes. He couldn’t successfully do it in the US, mainly because people weren’t ready for it yet. They took offense.

Strangely enough, nowadays I’m made of sterner stuff. A little bit more bold, a little bit more courageous. That also means that I’m not out to please everyone, and my writing will certainly provoke some people (but hey, taking a stand wasn’t always popular). Occasionally, I make a crack like Elbert being gay (he’s not, by the way), but I just end up getting complaints from his friends. Which is why I’m glad I’m not doing comedy (at least not without an anonymous pseudonym).

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[Blog Entry] Battle Royale

Battle Royale

While my grade school and high school was far from perfect, one of the strange practices it had was detention.

Now I’m not saying that detention wasn’t necessary. In the end, the only thing that kept the unruly students from the meek ones was the threat of detention (or rather, informing their parents about the reprimands they received). And it wasn’t even effective at that.

Detention is an age old practice of punishment and reward. Of course what I’m complaining about is what actually happens in detention. I mean it’s not easy to convert unruly students, or simply students who made a mistake (since not everyone who gets detention deserves it, nor do they merit such “extreme” actions). But let’s assume you’re a juvenile delinquent and you’re sent to detention. The program should be designed so that you dislike the experience and reform your actions, right?

Upon reflection, detention wasn’t really scary as it was boring. Detection during my grade school and high school meant spending an hour after class hours, standing up the entire time. Yes, you heard me right. You just stood up. For an hour. Doing nothing else. You’re not supposed to talk to each other, but from the numerous amounts of people who undergo detention, that can’t be helped. In the end, one just feels that it was a very unproductive day.

Or during my grade school days, aside from standing up, we’d be required to squat for an hour or so. Sure, it’s uncomfortable and puts a strain on our legs, but aside from that, what else is gonna happen to us? And to me, isn’t that a very strange practice? I mean you come to school to train your mind, to educate yourself. When you fail to live up to that standard, what does the school do to reprimand you? They train your body. It’s as if they were saying we have two groups of people. The studious ones, and those that aren’t. For the former, they can continue with their education program. For the latter, since they’re not doing well with being educated, let’s build up their bodies. Maybe they can join the military or something. We’ll turn them into warriors due to the extensive training they receive which we merely labeled as “detention”. And half the time, the ones who undergo detention are the bullies, the rebels, the deviants. Gee, standing up for hours or squatting for half an hour doesn’t seem to me as an effective way of curbing their behavior.

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