Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Unpublished Stories

After thinking about it for a year, I made the decision last night. I'm going to publish Gerry's five finished stories that he wasn't able to release. The stories are finished but they're not scripted. It feels so wrong that I'm the only one who knows them when they're amazing stories that people should know about.

Is it the right thing to do? I honestly don't know. Would Gerry like it? He wanted to be in control of his stories, that's for sure. When I do this, he'd probably visit me in my sleep and express his disappointment, so I don't know.  But like I said, it feels wrong that I'm the only one, and a few people for a couple of those, who know them. I want people to know that he had these stories; had he the time and energy to do them, they'd be out a long time ago.

But here's the thing. They're unscripted and I would I need to find a match. If I can't find a match, I won't do it. And rest your worries because I won't do it myself. I'm not delusional. I know my place. Besides. You've seen my writing; it's just atrociously all over the place, and not made for telling stories. I was an excellent sounding board, though, there was that.

When he started questioning his place in the industry just a few years after we got married, and trying whatever, he was very sensitive about it. So, I was tentative all like, "Hani, your gift is in storytelling, both in words and pictures. I hope you can embrace that and give it a chance." It was like walking on eggshells, but I had to say it. I wouldn't let his shine dim just because he didn't realize what he's really got. If only you guys know just how much more that light could shine if he had the time. That's why I want these stories out. 

I love how Gerry wrote, and I was very open to him about this. I did verbal reviews of his comics and blog entries to his face. haha! I fell in love with his writing long after we got together, though, because I had never read them until then. It's not really the stories; it's about how he wrote them. He was raw, intense and, as overused as it is, authentic. That certain melancholia to his writing, that's what I connected to. If there's humor, it was never self-deprecating or overcompensating. He never tried to impress or preach. They were just... there. And yeah, it was in his comics that he was most honest.  

And that's what I would need to find to have those stories scripted. I have to do research. I realized last night, as I laid down to sleep, that I'd need to read a lot of other people's works to find a match. And another issue altogether to get them to agree. I'd need to fall in love with someone's writing in the same way I did for his a long time ago, and that'd be quite a feat for me. That's for sure.

As for the artists, I would need to find a match as well. I don't know if that's an easier or harder thing to do than finding a writer, but hey. It's Gerry. In the end, this is about Gerry and telling the world of his stories. But like I said above, if I don't find a match, it's cancelled.

This is where I am right now. I just thought I'd share.

by Ilyn Florese-Alanguilan

Monday, December 21, 2020

By this time last year, I was sitting beside his bed in ICU close to eight hours already. I told him everything I needed to say. Of course, he couldn't answer anymore. Didn't matter. Whatever I told him, he knew already. I just talked on and on while I caressed his left leg and hand. I wanted him to hear and feel me there beside him. I opened up YouTube and played videos we both enjoyed, while running commentaries on them. I scrolled through his FB and Twitter feeds hoping for chismis and scandals to tell him. I gotta tell you, guys, you were all so boring that evening. And I told him that. Everything was so normal. Then, some time after midnight, at 54 beats per minute, it stopped. yeah, so. I kissed him, and bid him good night. That was a year ago, but today, it still feels like it was just yesterday.

Leinil... words are not enough to express our gratitude. You being there, showing up every single time, thank you so, so much for everything, Nil.

Because I couldn't do it, I asked our good friend Jonas, to find me photos that I can post on FB for today to remember Gerry. I planned to do it myself, but as the date approached, I realized I haven't had enough strength do it. I'm glad, he came through. Of course, he did. Thanks, Jonas! This is cross-posted over there as well.

To you all who continue to remember him with fondness, my endless gratitude. He went to those last two conventions for all of you, and for himself. He wanted to see you and talk to you, despite the heaviness he felt. I told him repeatedly that he didn't have to do it, that if he wanted to, we would leave whenever. But he was resolute. He said, he wanted to go; that he needed to do it. Despite me playing devil's advocate, I'm glad he did. He actually had fun, especially during his panel at Komikon. You gave him so much love those days, and he felt that. He didn't say much in public, but you all made him happy. He knew how much he was loved. For that, thank you all so, so much!

Honestly, there was nothing in his mind more than local comics. For comic book creators, you were all always on his mind. There was nothing that excited him more than knowing there were new local titles to come out. To new creators, please know that had he still been around, he'd always have your backs. And to the supporters of local comic book industry, I hope you stay steadfast in your support because we truly need you.

Hani, I love you very much. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you. It's not the same without you around. I miss you, but I'll see you again someday.

-- Ilyn Florese-Alanguilan