Sunday, September 29, 2013

Off to Algeria and France

Above is the poster that won a contest held to celebrate the 6th Festival International de la Bande Dessinée à Alger (FIBDA), or the International Comics Festival of Algeria. Through Laurent Melikian, I was invited to attend the festival, which begins October 8 and ends October 12. There, I will unofficially represent the Philippines, bringing our comics and our history to the attention of the International attendees. I will be exhibiting artworks from some of our greatest artists, and I will also be doing a talk on the history of our comics.

It all sounds nice and I’m crossing my fingers that I do get the chance to be able to do it. How can I not be 100% sure? I’d like to dial back a few months back when Laurent, this really cool French gentleman I met online and eventually at the Komikon in 2011 (he came all the way from France to check out the local komiks scene), had gotten me an invitation to attend the Algeria comics festival, which has the complete backing of the Algerian government. They would be willing to pay for my travel and accommodations. I thought that was fantastic, but I told them that I can go only if I can bring my wife with me. I think I’m at that point in my life that I want to share everything I experience with my wife, and anywhere I go, she would come with me. I risked not going at all, but if I couldn’t bring my wife, I’d rather not go at all.

Surprisingly, they agreed! So we were all set. Preparations were made to make the trip possible. Somewhere along this time my French publisher, Serge Ewenczyk of Editions çà et là, offered to extend my trip by bringing us to Paris after Algeria for another week. I thought this was just too much, too awesome to be true. I’m like, Paris, wow. That was the dream city me and my wife always wanted to visit, more than anywhere else in the world outside of the Philippines.

I guess right now (today is September 29), I’m around 90% positive my trip will push through. Everything is actually all set. We already have a place to stay, we have our tickets, we’ve prepared all that we can possibly prepare. But there’s two complications. One is that we don’t have Algerian visas. That’s simply because there’s no Algerian consulate or Embassy here in the Philippines. I was assured by the Festival organizers not to worry about it as it’s common for a few festival delegates not to have visas. We will simply be issued visas when we enter the country. I’m assured that Algerians are actually very glad to receive visitors and that the lack of visa will not be a problem. Including me and Ilyn, there are 10 other delegates to the festival who do not have a visa. Right now we’re just waiting for an official letter from Algeria’s Ministry of Culture that we can show to immigration to facilitate matters.

Second complication is that today, September 29, we are still not sure if we are going to be granted our French visas. There was some difficulty during our interview. Apparently, they are very strict about completing their list of required documents, unlike when you got apply for a US visa. We had emailed in some documents later in the day to complete our requirements, but the nature of the interview left us not entirely confident of positive results. I’m 90% sure that we did get it. We eventually completed all the requirements after all. We find out Tuesday when we retrieve our passports.

So yeah! Fingers crossed all around.

As to what we will do in Paris, as far as I know, I will be doing signings for a few comic book stores. Once we make sure that our visas are in place, I will post more detailed info about signing dates and venues and other activities.

All in all, I’m very excited, and just a little bit nervous.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

For Sale! Indestructible Hulk Original Inked Art!

Yep, I’m letting go a few more original inked art to Indestructible Hulk! Just so you know exactly what you’re getting, Leinil Francis Yu emails me the pencils, which I then print out on Marvel Art Boards using blue ink. I then ink on that. I scan the finished art, and that’s the inked artwork used to publish the comic book. I’m letting go a few of these, and once they’re gone, they’re pretty much gone. Each page is really just one of a kind.

If you’re interested, click on the gallery of photos of pages for sale HERE. Link Void.

If you are interested in any of these pages, just email me at gerryalanguilan at yahoo dot com. Although these are offered primarily to buyers here in the Philippines (and the prices reflect that), I’d be willing to sell these to people from abroad as long as you would be willing to add for shipping via Fedex. Fedex only, unfortunately. I cannot send anything via the local post office because to be honest, original art like this I cannot trust to them. So shipping will be quite a lot, and depending on where you are, it will not be lower than 50 US dollars. I know it’s a hassle, and that’s why I really don’t prefer to sell abroad, but if you’re willing to shoulder that, I’m game.

At any rate, there are a few pages of Indestructible Hulk, the really kick ass ones, that are also for sale via my agent KIRK DILBECK, who is based in the US. You may find it easier to deal with him, if you’re based there as well. Check out the gallery of Indestructible Hulk pages (along with Supercrooks) here at this gallery. Link Void.

Today is September 25, and I will be able to offer these pages only in the next two weeks. After that, I will have to put a hold on selling artwork. That’s because I won’t be home starting October 6, and I’ll be gone for two weeks. I’ll be back October 20. So if you wish to buy any of the pages that I have, you can do so within two weeks, or wait until I get back.

From October 6-12 I’ll be at the FIBDA, which is the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Alger, an International comics festival I had been invited to attend in Algeria. I’m really looking forward to this trip because I will get to give a talk about the history of Philippine comics, and I will get to exhibit artworks from some of our greatest artists.

From October 13-19 I will be in Paris, France, at the invitation of my French publisher Editions çà et là (who published ELMER in Europe), and I will be doing several signings at stores in the city.

I’m selling some of my artwork in the hopes of having some pocket money for my trip. Although my accommodations and 75% of my travel expenses will be shouldered by the Algerian Festival and my French Publisher, it would still be nice to have something that will keep me from being financially paranoid in a foreign country.

Leinil Francis Yu and I will also have a signing this Saturday, September 28 at Robinson’s Galleria from 1-4pm. I will be bringing along more artwork, this time from Avengers, specifically pages from issues #18 and #19 to sell as well. No scans as of yet, but you’ll see which pages are available on Saturday. If you wish to get any of that or any of the the Hulk art and you wish to get them personally from me, Saturday would be the best time.

If you purchase some art from me at this time, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks in advance!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Broken Facebook

The Internet certainly has changed quite a lot ever since I went online in 1997. From that time forward up to now, I consider myself a pretty heavy Internet user, open to trying a lot of new things. I did the Geocities, I did the Friendster, I did the MySpace, I did YouTube and DeviantArt and Blogger and Twitter and even the now forgotten ones like Comicspace, Flixter, Buzznet, LiveVideo, PinoyTube, Vloggerheads, etc.

And then, there’s of course, FACEBOOK. I’ve been pretty active on that site for many years. But swiftly on the heels of me quitting YouTube, I’ve pretty much quit Facebook. Well, not entirely. My account is pretty much still there. But I’ve massively pulled back my activities. Once I used to post several things in a single day, now I hardly post anything in a single week. More importantly, I no longer browse the “Home” newsfeed. There was a time I thought I could not live everyday without going to Facebook, but it’s really just not true. After removing myself from it, I’ve realized I didn’t get as mad as often as I used to, and I don’t get stressed out as often as I used to.

I’ve been trying to figure out why that is, and maybe I can write it all out here.

I’m thinking I’ve pretty much broken my Facebook early on, and it grew broken for years and there’s nothing more I could do about it. What do I mean by “broken”? The idea behind Facebook is that you only add people you actually know. That way, all your contacts will be assured that you personally know each one and can vouch for them. But I’m in a peculiar business of creating comics which has that side effect of me being known by a number of people who I don’t know and have never met. I also do videos on You Tube and because of those things, people get a perceived familiarity with me. They get to know me, at least a particular aspect of me. And so if they see me on Facebook, they want to add me. And because I don’t want to alienate those people who read and appreciate my work, I add them. I have added quite a lot of people who I don’t know and have never met.

I don’t know who they are, what kind of people they are, their beliefs and opinions and life, who their friends are and so forth.

So naturally, my “Home” feed is filled with posts from people I don’t know. They post their photographs and statuses and links, and more often than not, they post their opinions about politics and religion and things like that, and I often feel offended or pissed by what they say because in many instances I don’t agree, specially when opinions are baseless, not backed up by facts, and sometimes just downright STUPID.

I made the mistake once or twice of engaging in arguments, but I’ve been on the Internet long enough to know that it doesn’t really do any good. Such issues have been debated about for years or even decades without resolution. Why do I delude myself into thinking resolution to years old debates can be settled with one God damned Facebook post?

Opinions of my close friends, no matter what they may be, I can stand. I can even engage in debate about it in a nice way. But the idiotic opinions of strangers? I got no patience or time for that.

Of course, I can “unsubscribe” from them or even defriend, but I just don’t have the time. My contacts list has grown to Facebook’s limit of 5000. I don’t have the time to individually “unsubscribe” from people I really don’t want to hear from. I tried to start doing it, but wow, it was just too much work.

That’s why I think my Facebook is broken.

Early on I didn’t know I could have used a PAGE right from the start, but back then they were called “FAN PAGES”, and I detested the idea of me creating one of those for me. Remember those times? Instead of “liking” a PAGE, you had to to “Become a Fan Of”. And that didn’t sit right with me. So I stuck with a personal profile, adding only real people and not groups, characters, businesses etc.

I can always delete my account, but I don’t think I can do that. There are legitimate friends on my list, friends who I wish to remain in contact with. Plus I still need a forum on which I post announcements with regards to my work. Facebook is still very useful in that regard.

Not all of the strangers on my contacts lists are like that of course, but there are quite a few. There are more people who seem to be OK with me than not. And there are a few people on Facebook who I met through that site who are now my actual friends, so it’s really a two sided thing.

So on Facebook I remain, but not like I used to. I can still respond to things here and there only if someone tags me and makes me aware there is a question for me. Otherwise, I would completely miss it. I do still visit individual profiles of my close friends to see what they’re up to. Nowadays, I do all my posting on my PAGE, which is set up differently from a profile. I don’t get to read posts by people who “like” my page, so that’s great. I get to share stuff and engage people there which is just perfectly fine.