Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Patreon!

I decided to open an account on Patreon. This is the link. It's just something I wanted to try out and see how it works. I'll be actively doing my own comics this year and it will take a whole heap of money to have them printed. What I make from my day job simply not enough anymore, what with all the expenses I have here at home.

On Patreon I will be posting patrons only blog entries and artwork (dealing specifically with the projects I'm working on, things I will not repeat post here in this blog).

Further perks down the line include sketches on any book that I publish through Komikero publishing that's been helped by Patreon patrons.

That's just me dipping my toes on funding options for comic book publishing that I have not explored before. If you become a patron, thanks very much! I will offer more perks soon!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

It's 2018!

It's already 11 days into 2018 and I thought I'd write something here. I did finish inking Phoenix #5 over the New Year's holidays and I've been taking it easy since then. I have a big thing happening next week, which just happens to be my 50th birthday. And it's like HOLY SHIT I'M FIFTY. When I was young I thought 50 year olds were white haired grandpas with grand children and walking canes and reading glasses. Although I do have reading glasses. I do have a walking cane. I neither have white hair nor do I have any grandkids. I don't even have any kids. Except for my dogs. Although my body is no longer as energetic as it once was, my mind seems to be the same when I was in my 30s. I still have so much I dream of doing... so much places I dream of going. It's my body that's keeping me because it's all starting to fall apart. And I'm just trying so hard just to keep that from happening.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

It's Almost Christmas!

... and I really don't have a whole lot to say. I wanted to write on this blog since the last entry, but I just couldn't find anything of interest to me to talk about. There has been a bit of fuss about my health when my dad posted my need for a blood transfusion which he made it to look worse than it actually was. Naturally, some of my friends panicked and started messaging us. Times like this you get to know who your real friends are and it's quite touching. Thanks to everyone who posted messages of support and specially to those who donated blood. Your blood is now coursing through my veins, animating this fat bony ass. I really appreciate it.

I'm back to work inking Phoenix. I have a deadline next week, which shouldn't be a problem. It's been really cold lately though, so lying down in bed has been quite appealing and tempting. I guess I'll be working through Christmas, which isn't really a problem for me. I've worked during Christmas so many times before.  A holiday is just a normal working day for me.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

My Health Issues

I wasn't really hiding it. I just didn't want to talk about it. But since my health issues had been apparent during the last few Komikon events, I just might as well talk about it here. Although these health issues are now a constant part of my life, I've learned to deal with it, and continued to work and be productive in spite of it.

In the early 2000s I developed kidney problems and I have been undergoing dialysis ever since 2011. At first I went in twice a week, but I've since gone in for three times a week, four hours each session. Outside of the 15 hours I spend in the hospital (SPC Medical here in San Pablo City), I go about my life quite normally, although I've had to severely adjust my diet and liquid intake.

But I've managed to work consistently all throughout this. I did blow one or two deadlines, but I've pretty much finished what was asked of me and on time. In the time since I started dialysis, I've inked things like Superior, Supercrooks, Indestructible Hulk, Avengers, Axis, Civil War, Inhumans Vs. X-men, Darth Vader Annual, Star Wars, Monsters Unleashed and Phoenix Resurrection. I was also able to come up with Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby, Bakokak and the re-release of Elmer and Wasted. And I'm currently working on other new books.

And since that time I was able to go to Algeria, Paris, Singapore, Cebu, and Iloilo without much problems. All I had to do was schedule dialysis sessions in the locality if I'm staying for more than 3 days.

I was also able to fulfill a dream of putting up a live museum located here in San Pablo City, and I'm currently organizing a new San Pablo Comics Festival for January 2019.

I've also developed knee problems which is totally unrelated to my kidney problems, that's why I go around in a cane most of the time. My face mask and me avoiding handshakes may or may not be related to my kidney problem. But I'm currently taking some kind of medicine to help my body produce blood, but it also has the unfortunate side effect of making me vulnerable to disease.

These health issues are the reason why I most often decline invitations of any sort for talks, conventions etc., because they do take quite a lot out of me. I decided to just concentrate on Komikon, but even that might be out of the picture soon. I would just much rather conserve all my energy to continue with my work here at home. I have a much better chance of doing my job well if I didn't have to go all around the place that just zaps my energy so much.

Right now I'm in a comfortable place. I found the perfect balance in my diet. And I can work in relative peace and quiet.

I had felt much comfortable talking about these things in comic book form. I put down my experience in dealing with this issue in Crest Hut Butt Shop #4. If you want to get a copy, just let me know.

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I've seen a lot of death in the clinic. People I had gotten to know would just suddenly waste away and die. Someone who I had known for years was yesterday fighting for his life. A lot of these people, once they were on dialysis, just give up, like their lives are over. I wish I could tell them it isn't. That it's a new lease on life. As long as they're good about their diet, and more importantly, regulate the amount of liquid they take, they can live good, comfortable, even productive lives. But a lot of people are just bullheaded. I'll eat what I want! I'll eat what I want! They only think about themselves, and never about those people who stand patiently with them and take care of them.

The last thing I want is for my loved ones to feel relief and be actually happy once I'm gone. That would just be heartbreaking. I don't want to make their lives difficult by just being good to myself and my body and do everything my doctor says.

I really want to thank all the nurses at the Artificial Kidney Unit at the San Pablo City Medical Center because of the role they play, past and present,  in saving my life everyday. Doc Ed, Doc Andy, Dr Caliwagan, Rico, Jo, Wendell, Daisy, Ian, Rizelle, Luzelle, Kate, Johann, April, Lynch, Ara, Iris, Kristine, Camille, Thea, Jenna, Richelle, and Amer. They're practically my second family. Thanks guys!

And of course... much much thanks to my wife Ilyn who stood by me, literally through thick and thin and through sickness and health. She's been a rock, supporting me, keeping me alive spiritually and emotionally. Without her, I wouldn't be here anymore.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Johnny Balbona: The SINTUNADATOR!


For the first time in color! Johnny Balbona: SINTUNADATOR first appeared in black and white in Mwahaha!, published by Mango Comics in 2005. In this adventure, Johnny makes a biting commentary on the current state of SINGING! Click on the image or HERE to read the story!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Fourth San Pablo City Comics Festival Date Announced

It's official. The Fourth San Pablo City Comics Festival will be held on January 20, 2019 at Roño's Place here in San Pablo City. Roño's Place is just around the corner from the Komiks Museum. Here's a map.

I decided to announce it early because it's always good to start planning early and promote it right away. The more people know about this event, when and where, the more people will get the chance to go, specially since this venue is not located in a commercial area and walk-ins are practically nil.

It also helps to announce early to avoid any scheduling conflicts with other similar events. We decided to hold it on a Sunday because it would make it easier for visitors from Manila to travel to San Pablo. Traffic is usually hellish on Saturdays so we wanted to avoid that.

As of now that's the important info that I can share about the comics festival. More information about this event in the coming months will be announced.

Friday, November 24, 2017

My Future Activities

I just posted this on Facebook and Twitter.

"I can see a time when I'll be limiting all my activities to San Pablo City, even comics conventions. That means a revival of the San Pablo Comics Festival. Considering this seriously."

I can delude myself by saying it's to help decongest the traffic in Manila, but it's just me just getting plainly sick of the big city, the pollution, the insane traffic. Mainly it's for self preservation because I want to be where I feel I'm healthiest, and because of mobility problems that make it difficult to travel long distance. A single trip to Manila for one day wipes me out. The last Komikon event was amazing, but I just got too tired by the end of the second day, which actually led to some health consequences that I'm still paying for today.

I will make my final stabs at Komiket and Komikon next year, 2018. But I'm afraid they'll perhaps be the last events in Manila I'll be attending. Perhaps my team can be there to sell my books in 2019 and beyond, but I myself won't be there anymore.

There are currently no comic book related events in San Pablo City, so that most likely means I'll go and have to revive the San Pablo Comics Festival. The first one was held in 2003. A new festival will be the fourth one. With Johnny gone, it will be much harder, but the owners of Tia Maria's Sining at Kultura have agreed to have festivals like this at Roño's Place. It's out of the way, but if the event is held there, it will be much easier for me to manage. This also means the Komikero Artists Group would also need to be revived for additional manpower and support. Well just have to promote it like crazy so people in San Pablo and surrounding areas would be aware that such an event is taking place.

Clearly I have gone beyond simply "considering it seriously".