Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Seven Years

I posted on Facebook that my computer conked out after 5 years of faithful service. When I opened it up in the hope of probably salvaging it, the dates on the parts told me that my computer was actually SEVEN years old. Amazing. I gave up on the idea of salvaging it. It's just too old and probably really wanted to go. Cash is tight at the moment so I had to find ways to get a new computer that wouldn't set me back too much. I didn't need to buy a new monitor, a new mouse, a new keyboard or even a new OS. I planned on sticking with Windows 7 so I can continue using my old Mustek scanner, which I hear doesn't work with Windows 10. Speaking of that scanner, it's even more amazing because that thing is now TWELVE years old. And it still works perfectly. It's an A3 scanner so it's much harder to replace than a regular sized scanner.

It's an unexpected dent on the budget so it's going to be really tight the next couple of weeks. I hope I get paid really soon! I probably need to add more pages to my art for sale page now that I've got the computer working again. I'm probably going to be adding pages from IVX as well as Monsters Unleashed.

A lot has happened the past few days. I had a talk at my museum the other day. There were a couple of strong earthquakes just in the last week. I had some visitors. And the stress and hassle of dealing with the crash. Thankfully enough I'm holding up rather well.

It's almost 2am and I just sent off a couple of finished inks from Secret Empire. I need to go to the hospital early tomorrow so I guess I need to get to bed. Gnite!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

It's a Miracle!

I went to an Orthopedic doctor yesterday and today to finally have something done about the problem I've been having with my knees for quite some time. I've had difficulty walking which severely limited my mobility for a couple of years now, and I never went out of the house without a cane. The doctor recommended a procedure which would remove liquids from the joints of my knees. I asked if it would be painful. He said it would just be as painful as the bite of an ant. So we wouldn't be needing anesthesia, he said.


It hurt like freakin' hell. And since the procedure on one knee took a while, it was a sustained kind of pain which lasted at the very least 10-15 minutes. It took that long because he needed to extract a lot of liquid and there was a LOT. I hardly ever scream when experiencing pain, but I let it all out. It was just horrible. Seeing how much I suffered yesterday, my doctor said he'll do my other knee today, with anesthesia. Thank goodness for that.

Earlier today I went back and he said it looks like the knee that had the procedure yesterday still seemed to have liquid in it so it had to have a second procedure. OMG. This time I came emotionally ready though, and of course Ilyn was there, not to hold my hand, but to be a squeezing bag. I tried very hard not to hurt her, but I was squeezing so hard that it should have been unlikely I didn't hurt her at all.

Two knees. Holy crap. I walked out of the clinic without my cane. The surprise on the eyes of the secretary was quite memorable. You can walk!

YES I CAN! It's a miracle!

I can walk up or down stairways now without much of a struggle. There is still some pain, but I'm not sure if it's just me just being careful because I don't fully know how far I can take it. I'll take it easy though, and take it slowly. I don't want to push it. Over the next few days I'll be sure just how much mobility I got back.

As the needle was winding itself inside my kneecap, I kept thinking about the guys at Komikon, having so much fun. For a brief moment I was envious. I wanted to be there. It's kind of a happy place for me. It's good to think of a happy place when you're experiencing pain. I think it really helped me deal with it a bit.

Hopefully I can be there for November Komikon. It really depends if Kevin and I can finish our project by then. I really wouldn't have anything to promote or sell otherwise.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Going Out

I'm finally OK enough to go out of the house on dates! It's been a while and I really missed it. We tried going out a few weeks ago and it really exhausted the hell out of me. We went out last night to check out this new Mediterranean restaurant and it went really well. The food was OK, but the best thing is I felt good all throughout.

At home it really hasn't been a problem. I've been working steadily for a while and right now I'm inking Secret Empire over Leinil Yu. We started with issue #4. I don't know how long we'll be on the book and how many issues we will do.

The other weekend my dad celebrated his 80th birthday! Amazingly, he's still very strong. He's still actually working, teaching at the St. Peter's Seminary. Here he is surrounded by some of his students:

I'm really grateful for these guys because they've been very generous about donating blood for my benefit over the last year. One thing I haven't mentioned yet about my pneumonia was that it really wreaked havoc with my hemoglobin and platelet, both of which dropped dramatically during that time. I needed blood transfusions and these seminarians stepped up and went to the hospital to donate what they could. I'm very thankful to them for having done this. I'm glad dad invited them all to his birthday celebration.

Right now I'm pretty much back to how I was before I got sick and it just feels great. The first thing I'll be doing publicly is to give a talk here at the Komikero Komiks Museum for the National Book Development Board's National Book Stop Tour. I'm glad they chose the museum as the venue of one of their stops so when they invited me to talk, I didn't hesitate. It won't be so difficult for me because it's practically next door and it's an opportunity to talk about komiks, which I love to do, but I have painfully little opportunity to do so lately. This will be on Satuday, April 8 around 2 pm or so. I really am looking forward to that.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hoping I Make Sense

Me reading this many years from now I hope I'm making sense. It's probably cliche to say that everyday is a struggle, but it's so true for me. The thing that divides those who last and those who fall by the wayside really is will power. Sometimes even something as simple as getting up from bed. Sometimes it's something more simple, like just moving your arm can be a struggle. But you move your arm. You get up from bed. And you just keep going. Your mind has to be stronger than your body. You need to use your mind to blot out the aches and pains and weaknesses and just. keep. going. The last few months have been like this. But I feel a whole lot better now than I did last January. End of January and early February was perhaps the worst. In the middle of all that I just had to keep going.

The bigger struggle is going back to being creative. Sometimes all your effort goes into just surviving that you just have no time or energy to think of creative things. I think I've done the surviving thing so now I have to get into creating. And I think it's about time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What a Deadline/On Selling Art

I just got done meeting this crazy deadline for IVX #6. Leinil Yu had already started with the book as I was recuperating, but I did manage to ink at least 9 pages of it when I went back to work. But the deadline was crazy. One of the most challenging I've ever had to face. Actually, to be completely honest, the deadline was a few days ago and I just spent the next day sleeping and the next day goofing off just to allow some time for me to rest and recuperate (from the deadline). And as I usually do after a deadline not knowing when we'll be starting the next book, I've had my technical pens cleaned of ink. I think that anyone planning on using tech pens should think about.

Today I went over my stack of original artwork, selecting a bunch that will go up in my art sale page. There's no particular financial reason for it. I figure that there are some people out there who just might want to own original art from a published Marvel comic book that's not as expensive as one might try to get at Ebay or other places internationally. There are pages here and there from selected titles that I have chosen to keep for myself, but I think I will sell most of them eventually.

Superior #3 Page 8 (Sold!)

Original art from my own creations like ELMER are a different matter though. Obviously, every single page is special to me and for a long time I didn't want to sell them. But I have decided to do so anyway because there might be people out there who might want to own a page from it. But I really can't offer them at an inexpensive rate. I call it the "I don't want to sell this" rate. It can be very prohibitive. But if anyone wants it at that price, I can let it go. I've already sold a few, specially when I went on a mini signing tour of comic shops in Paris a few years ago. If DSO ever reads this, I want to thank him specially for buying a page from Elmer. I know it cost a lot and I know how hard you work. Let me just tell you that I appreciate it and won't forget it.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


It's actually not that hard for me to stay at home all the time. A lot of the time I prefer it. If ever I'm arrested for a crime and held for house arrest, I would not mind. I like staying at home and not go out for long periods of time.

Aside from my regular visits to the hospital, I really haven't gone out of the house in two months. Readers of Crest Hut Butt Shop #4 would be aware of a chronic condition that I have that I have to deal with for the rest of my life. It's a condition that probably weakened me enough to get pneumonia over the end of the year. This horrible time of illness has forced me to seriously consider something I've been thinking about for the past few years. I have to withdraw from a lot of comic book related activities that would require me to make trips to Manila. Travelling has really become not only very expensive, but exhausting.

Expensive because I can no longer commute as it would be too physically difficult for me that we have to always rent a van. Exhausting because well, it's just exhausting for me.

That means far less comics events, no more seminars, talks, interviews, panels, consultations or meetings of any sort that require I be there in person. I really have to conserve my energy and my strength to just stay home and do my work. Right now that's inking for Marvel. That's the only way I can do the work and finish the pages in a timely manner. A single trip to Manila would wipe me out for several days. And several days off doing work is something I can't now afford.

I felt it last year when I had to cancel an appearance at Komikon after I had already paid for my table. This year I've had to cancel an appearance at Komiket after my pneumonia episode.

Will I get better? Hopefully I do. I've had my chronic condition for a long time now and in that time I was able to travel to other countries and participate in lots of activities. I guess right now I'm at a low point physically that I really just have to withdraw and conserve my strength and concentrate on working and getting better.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sleepless and Tired

It's 1:30 in the morning and I should be sleeping. But lately for the past several weeks I haven't been able to sleep well at all. I'm not sleepy. Just tired, and that's a big difference. Being really tired doesn't ensure I'll fall asleep.

I've slowly been getting back into the groove of working. I've had a really slow start but I feel I'm getting faster. Early today I started a page which I finished around 11 in the evening. I was so tired after that, but no matter what, all I can do is stare into the darkness of the room, tossing and turning. I really want to fall asleep so bad.

I've tried playing music in the background. A nasty attack of allergies even gave me an excuse to take an antihistamine the other night and it actually did help. But I don't want to get used to that, my God. I take enough maintenance everyday as it is.

The good thing is, when I do get sleepy at odd hours of the day, sometimes 10 in the morning or 2 in the afternoon, I take that opportunity to sleep. I hate sleeping in the afternoon though because it just screws me up. Upon waking up I feel so terrible that I regret sleeping.

I'm gonna go and try again.