Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31

All of a sudden I'm not doing so good again. Which is frustrating because last Wednesday I felt good enough and energized enough not only to change the design of this blog, but do two blog entries. The day after that I couldn't get out of bed, burning with fever. Today I'm somewhat... just somewhat better. So this will be short. When I lie down in bed often my wife is there keeping me company and I see Bugel on the floor and I'm happy. Simple things make me happy. I hope to feel much better soon. Please.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Getting Better

I posted this image on Instagram last week when the pneumonia was starting to creep up on me and I was feeling it big time. I was feeling insanely cold I had to sit under the noon sun just to stop from shivering. It was an interesting sensation, feeling so mind numbingly cold but you're afraid you're going to get sun burnt.

For days I couldn't sleep. I just lie down staring at the ceiling listening to the crickets and Bugel's quiet shuffling. At 3am I would stand, a morbid shadow looking over the street below. I actually want people in the neighborhood to think our house is haunted, so nobody thinks of stealing from us. If there was anything to steal that is. Today I'm feeling much better. I can sit in front of the computer much longer without having to rest right away. I honestly think I can go back to work tomorrow, which I'm looking forward to. I won't push it though. I'll probably work 2 or 3 hours and I'll give it a rest. If I can continue working later in the day, I'd probably would.

Oh yeah, Instagram. There is something I want to say about that. I'm such a horrible poser. Yep, I'm a despicable Instagram poser. I have to make a confession that I don't use a smartphone. I don't intend on getting one anytime soon. So how can I Instagram? I use a program I downloaded online. Yeah, I'm such a heel. But I really like the platform. I like posting photos there. So that's it.

By the way, Ilyn and I are celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary today. I'm so sad we can't go out. We'll try tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

End of 2016

Here I am facing the end of 2016 straddled with pneumonia. I think, at least I feel like, I'm getting better. With pneumonia, you really don't know. It's not like the flu which lasts a week at the most. This just goes on and on. Although the worst symptoms have burned themselves out within the first two weeks, you feel bad for a long time after that. With a danger of recurring, which is exactly what happened to me this middle of December. I first had it October of 2014. I didn't feel 100% OK until around July 2015. This on top of my other current medical condition. It may sound like it's so miserable, and to be honest, the first two weeks of pneumonia is really just that... miserable. I'm getting out of that two weeks right now and I find I'm well enough to write a blog entry. I haven't been to FB much. I'm on Twitter a little bit more and hardly on Instagram. I'll be getting active again there soon, i hope. I know people have messaged and emailed me and sorry If I was unable, still unable to reply.

Superthanks to my wife Ilyn for being the super wife and super friend for taking care of me in this time when I could not. Our relationship is certainly proving our marriage is truly through sickness and in health. I hope to share lots of the latter with her soon. I think we've both just had enough of the former.

Thanks to my pal Leinil Yu for having my back, for being understanding. Thanks to my editors at Marvel for letting me continue inking our current book, allowing me time to recover. That really means a lot.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Finally! A Bricks and Mortar Komiks Museum in San Pablo!

When I started collecting vintage komiks and komiks art in 2002, it had always been my dream to house them in an actual museum. As I planned and thought of ways of making that happen, I opened the online Philippine Komiks museum which you can still view right here. Right now there are thousands of scanned artworks and komiks you can browse from the 1940's up the 1970s. I haven't been as good at updating it in recent years but my dream of having a real museum never wavered.

Not too long ago, I was approached my our friend and follow architect Bimbo Barte. He and his wife Maryrose acquired a residence near their home that they wanted to convert into an art gallery and cafe, featuring artwork by artists in San Pablo City. And Bimbo wanted to devote an entire room to my artworks. I was extremely flattered of course, but I had to think about it for a while. After a couple of days I responded that instead of just featuring my artwork, why not turn the room into a mini museum of Philippine komiks art? Bimbo was intrigued by the idea, and said that it would be OK with him as long as it features my work and the work of other San Pablo artists. I said that would be great!

We started by choosing what artwork we will be featuring first. Of course, there would be my work, as well as fellow San Pablo komiks illustrator (and my father in law) Rudy Florese. I also insisted on featuring Francisco V. Coching prominently though he's not native to San Pablo, because he's the first National Artist for Komiks in the Philippines.

I also gathered artwork from Nestor Redondo, Alex NiƱo, Alfredo Alcala, Ruben Yandoc, E.R. Cruz, Larry Alcala, Tony Velasquez, Dell Barras, Hal Santiago, Jess Jodloman, Caguintuan, Jesse Santos, Steve Gan,  Elmer Esquivias, and Mar Santana as the first featured artists. Since the space is small, I'll make sure to rotate artwork regularly so we can feature even more artists in the future.

The opening will be this Saturday, August 13, 2016. For more details on the event and location, here's the Facebook event page. See you guys there!

I wish to thank Dennis Villegas, Cristina Martinez, KC Cordero, Matt Caruso, Romeo Tanghal, Tony and Tina DeZuniga, Steve and Simon Santos, Orvy and Elrik Jundis, Fermin Salvador, Deng Coy Miel, the Rudy Florese family, PlsburyDoughboy, and the many other generous people who have donated and/or helped acquire material for the museum. If anyone else donated to me in the past, please let me know so I can include you in the acknowledgements. Thanks guys!

Thanks also to Ar. Laurel Manuel Barte and Maryrose Barte for their friendship and the generous use of their space for the museum!

Saturday, January 23, 2016


The other day me and Ilyn had a quick dinner at David's at Puregold here in San Pablo. As we were entering the place one of the servers opened the door to let my wife in. I was following closely behind her in my cane, but as soon as my wife was inside, the server let go of the door, closing it almost in my face.

Curiously enough, similar events happen at restaurants. Sometimes the servers would get my wife's order only and leave. Sometimes when it's me that asks for the bill, they always give the bill to my wife and almost always only talk to her. When I ask for the menu, they always give it to her. It's like I'm not there at all.

I don't think I'm being ignored because I'm mean... I'm never mean at restaurants or anyone who works there (unless they give me reason to). So I'm scratching my head whenever this happens. What could possibly be the reason?

Am I really just invisible? Like I'm not there? Am I so really visually insignificant that I'm easy to ignore?

It also happens a lot elsewhere, like when I line up for something. People always go in front of me like I'm a post or a part of the building. Like I have perfectly no reason to be there.

It happens professionally too. I'm a comic book creator but I spend a lot of my time as an inker. I've been inking for either Marvel or DC for almost 20 years. That's a long time, man. But up to this day I'm not sure if anyone actually knows me for it. I really haven't gotten any emails as far as my inking is concerned. I've never been invited to US conventions in my capacity as an inker. The comics press seems completely uninterested in what inkers have to say. Add to that inkers are no longer included in solicitations and only occasionally appear on covers. When I didn't get invited to the Darth Vader Annual signing at Greenhills last December, it really made me feel bad. It felt like my contribution was inconsequential, unimportant, non-essential. Invisible.

In spite of that, I still very much enjoy inking. It is the job of the inker to disappear anyway, and help the penciller reach the full potential of his or her work. I like to think I do that for Leinil and I hope to continue to do so in the future.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016, First Post

Happy New Year! If you're feeling happy that is. I guess you can say that I am. Although as I get older, I find that I like firecrackers less and less. I used to be so gung ho for New Year's Eve when I was a kid. I loved firecrackers. I prepared my own for hours just so I can blow them up with glee come 12 midnight. I looked forward to New Year's Eve much more than I did Christmas because it was so much fun.

The fun started to go when people started making stronger and far more dangerous firecrackers. It seems that with each year they really pushed the limit. The firecrackers became so strong that they were practically mini dynamites. Fun for them, maybe, but not for me. Fun for crazy people. I'm an artist. I can't afford to lose limbs over this so I've stopped playing with them. I have already stopped many years go.

So many people, specially kids get maimed, hands and fingers blown off every single year. People die from stray bullets. Houses burn down. People just don't learn. That pretty much took the fun out of what should be a very happy, very celebratory time of the year.

I've also become much more sensitive to what dogs go through. I don't know. I guess it's Bugel. The damned dog is probably the most loving, most affectionate, most intelligent dog we've ever had. I started to think of dogs differently when I got to know Bugel. And to see her so tormented by the sound of firecrackers is heartbreaking. It's like she loses all sense and just goes ape. It's painful to see and experience. We try to comfort her as much as we can, but we can only do so much. It's a torment that we can't save her completely from.

Would I welcome a quiet New Year? Yeah, for once I guess I would.