Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Going Out

For the first time in a long time, I'll be going to Manila for a signing. It's for the work Leinil and I did for Secret Empire #4. It's most likely the first time I went out like this since Komikon last year, which was a very long time ago. I think I'm ready. I don't think it would exhaust me too much. I just hope Fully Booked's elevators are working because there's no way I can climb 4 stories of stairs. At the very least, I hope the escalators are working. I think I can deal with that.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Crazy

Whew. That was all I could say for a few days. WHEW. I came out of a really tough deadline and I still can't believe I managed to pull it off. After almost literally dying, I learned I had to finish not 5 but NINE pages in just a few days. Needless to say I got pretty rattled. But I just closed my eyes and just jumped into it. I felt I just had to finish it, there was no question about it. It felt like a small victory when I finished everything... perhaps maybe a day or so late, but I finished it. And I think I'm pretty happy with myself.

Sandy of Comic Odyssey wrote to me and told me we have a signing for this book we've just finished sometime next month. And I think I'm OK enough to go. It's been a long time since I've been to any kind of comic book thing. I really kind of missed it.

After that crazy deadline, I don't think any other deadline could ever be as scary or intimidating. I know now that I can meet it, no matter what. And that feels really good to know.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Thankful

I'm thankful I'm even able to write this now. I almost died this morning. I'm not even joking. I was at the hospital for a regular procedure but a nurse made a mistake, a rather big one and it nearly killed me. My blood pressure plummeted, I started to sweat profusely, I had difficulty breathing and my eyesight was slowly going dark. Ilyn was panicking and crying. It was so hard to breathe and speak and reassure her, but I couldn't even reassure myself. I was scared too. I knew what had happened and how possibly fatal that mistake could be. I didn't want to go, I thought. I still had pages to ink! I had a deadline! But that was me trying to find some humor in the situation, but it was dead serious. I could really go. For real. I fought really hard to stay because I didn't want to go. I still have so much to do. Ilyn and I still have so much life to share. But I also realized that there are things that are just beyond my control.

Thankfully, a senior nurse came in and practically saved my life. I'm so thankful to him. Thankful that I'm still here. Thankful that Ilyn and I are still together. I spent the afternoon resting and by the evening I was well enough to do some work. It seems that this deadline won't get the better of me after all.

Thanks Wendell Desaluna. I owe you my life. Thanks to Rizelle Serrano for the emotional support. I'm really lucky to have you guys in my life.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Together

I saw a crime documentary on You Tube once. There was a married couple who had been together for more than 20 years. When the husband decided to work at home, within a few months they decided to split up because they "saw too much of each other". I read an article about long time Japanese couples who finally live together after a lifetime of working hard at their respective jobs.  They split up because they realized they really didn't know each other.

I really don't understand, specially the first case. "Saw too much of each other" as a reason for splitting up? Me and Ilyn have rarely been apart in the 15 years we've been together. We spend almost all our time together. Sometimes we'd spend weeks just in the house, specially our room. We talk. We Internet, we work. We talk some more. We talk a lot. We never run out of things to say. When we're apart it feels like there's a part of my own body that's missing. Other people wonder what the hell we do in our room that we spend so much time in it. But that's just it. We're pretty boring to other people I guess. But to each other we're not.

I think Ilyn is stronger than me. If I go before her, I think she'll be strong and go on. If she goes before me, I think I'll just waste away. I really believe that. Spending so much time together... if somehow she's no longer here it's like someone took a sword and split me in half. I can't even begin to imagine what it's like for my dad and my brother, who both lost their life partners. It's been years and they're still both hurting. I don't think I'll be as strong as them.

I wish we'd be together, you know, FOREVER. I know there's no such thing as forever. I scoffed at the word "forever" when I was younger. Every time I heard that in a song, you'd hear my snort from a block a way. It's juvenile. It's irritatingly idealistic and unrealistic. There comes a time in your life though, when "forever" takes on a new meaning. When you want to embrace it and live in it, hand in hand with someone who means the most to you.

Take it away, Rick.


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.

HE WAS LYING.

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.