Monday, June 30, 2008

J.G. Jones: Comics' Most Wanted

Hey, check it out: the first issue of the free, freshly-redesigned official Fully Booked magazine! (Or, The Magazine Formerly Known as 'In Print'.) The cover doesn't really look like that, btw. I 'negatived' it, because I think it looks cool that way, and because this is my blog and I'll do what I want. (Not that the real cover doesn't look cool.) If your computer can display .pdf files, go HERE right now to read it. If your computer can't display .pdf files, I feel sorry for you.

Lotsa good stuff, such as articles by Yvette Tan (yay!), Cris Ramos Jr, and Tals Diaz on subjects like Kurt Cobain, the Kindle, and other things that do not necessarily begin with the letter K. (Fellow typography geeks will love Miguel Mari's "Top 10 Letters of the Alphabet and the Font They Look Best In.")

And yes, the cover story is by yours truly. Probably the best assignment I've gotten in recent memory: to interview comics creator J.G. Jones himself. (Thank you thank you to Editor-in-Chief Gabbie!) The very thought still sends me into paroxysms of fanboy glee. :D My favorite bit: when he talked about his upcoming creator-owned projects. They sounds inneresting.

FULLY BOOKED: Tell us more about the creator-owned projects that you're planning to do.

J.G. JONES: I need to finish Final Crisis so that I can quit talking about it and just do the thing. Both are period pieces, but about five hundred years apart. One is a horror thing and the other is more of a thriller. No spandex, I'm afraid. I also have worked out an adventure story set in the 80's and an idea I'm working on that involves a lot of religion and weird physics. We'll see how that goes.

Night Monkeys, Night Monkeys / We Know How To Show It

"The Night Monkeys, Tahanan Books' much-anticipated collection of Palanca prize-winning stories for children, will be launched on Monday 30 June, from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. [NOTE: That's TODAY] at Mary Grace Café in Serendra, Fort Bonifacio Global City. The public is invited to attend. Ten stories and full-color illustrations from the country's best and brightest talents in Philippine literature appear in this charming edition featuring entries handpicked from Palanca archives from 1998 through 2005.

"The book is the long-awaited sequel to The Golden Loom, Tahanan's critically acclaimed first collection of Palanca prize winners published in 1997. The new anthology celebrates the exciting diversity of writing and illustrative styles that have vitalized the face of Filipino children's literature in the last decade. The genres of fantasy, social realism, and historical fiction illuminate this eclectic mix of tales ranging from a haunted old aparador to a magical chicken to an unusual World War II friendship between a Filipino child and a Japanese soldier. Lauded by children's book critic Carla M. Pacis as a collection that "raises the bar for Philippine children's literature," The Night Monkeys is a book sure to delight boys and girls (ages 8 to 12) as well as parents and teachers."

Word. And who are these "best and brightest talents" mentioned in the press release, you may ask? Ahem ahem! My story "Mico and Friends" is included (illustrated by the insanely talented Marcus Nada), as is Yvette's story "Kulog" (beautifully illustrated by Brian Vallesteros). Then there's Cyan Abad-Jugo's "Behind the Old Aparador" (wonderful art by Lala Gallardo), and Nikki Alfar's "Menggay's Magical Chicken" (art by Conrad Raquel). Artist extraordinaire Joel Chua did the cover image, based on the title story by Bing Sitoy. Other authors are Herb Fondevilla, Raissa Rivera-Falgui, Natasha Vizcarra, Celeste Flores-Coscolluela, and Honoel Ibardolaza. Plz to behold the illustrations here!

Hope y'all can drop by! :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gaze Upon These Comics And Weep -- Or Laugh, As The Case May Be

"God, why is Napoleon eating cookies so funny?" These, and many other questions you have never thought of, are addressed in an online collection of utterly hilarious, wonderfully drawn comics with subjects that range from family and friends and childhood to fishing and dancing and pooping. You must go to now and thank me later after you laugh your ass off. (My favorite sections are "Maybe It's a Journal," "People and Places" and "Nonsense.") My thanks to, where I first read about Ms. Beaton and her comics.

Beaton has made a name for herself doing funny comics based on historical fact, and those are great, but my favorites are the little personal and/or nonsensical ones (see: the magnificent Kate Beaton Stop Being So Hard On Yourself), the stuff involving writers, and anything and everything to do with Pope John Paul.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Oh, yay: yet another way to fritter away my hours! See that image above? It's my short story "Tell the Sky" in word cloud form. (Click on it to behold its full niceness.)

"Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends." Go to Wordle now and make yer own!

And now, the first page of my blog, word-clouded:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Imagine the Future

Who's that gigolo on the street, with his hands in his pockets and his crocodile feet? That's right, it's Imagine magazine!

As some of you may know, I'm one of the contributing editors of this shiny beast, this thrice-yearly fashion-forward publication -- I wrote two short short stories and a feature on Arnold Arre for the first issue (which, btw, won the Gold for Best in Magazine Cover Design at the Asia Media Awards 2008 -- congratulations to EIC Joyce Fernandez, and Yonina Chan and the rest of the staff!). For the second issue, Imagine: The Future, I interviewed May Jurilla about the Philippine Book.

You (yes, you) are all invited to Capone's Bistro later tonight, June 26, Thursday, at 10 PM, as Imagine celebrates its second issue with "music, drinks, freebies and fun aplenty"! Artists and fashion designers will be exhibiting their visions of the future. Poptronic hiptastic retrofuturistic band Bagetsafonik will be playing. See you there!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

'Chilla in Manila

Now that it's raining more than ever/ Know that we'll still have each other/ I can has a baby chinchilla?/ I can has a baby chinchilla!/ Illa illa, ay ay ay/ I can has a chinchilla/ Illa illa, ay ay ay

Cute little sucker, huh? No, I'm not getting one. I don't even know if you can get them here, except perhaps in coat form. Besides, they don't seem as low-maintenance as hamsters. And while they're very cute as babies, most of them grow up really fugly. You know, just like humans. Their big advantage as pets seems to be that they can live for twenty years or more with proper care (which is ten times the projected lifespan of my hamster Burroughs).

I only got curious about 'chillas when I saw this one on I Can Has Cheezburger. ;) The photo above, btw, is from the Chinchilla-Lexikon.

Chinchilla is also, apparently, the name of a power metal band. That band must kick so much ass to have the confidence to name themselves after a tiny fluffy animal.

Okay, just checked out the songs on Chinchilla's MySpace. Wow. Major nostalgia trip. Check out "Fight" and "Take No Prisoners," especially the solo. It was like I was in the 80s again, listening to Whitesnake and Lion and... Hey. They're all named after animals! That's it. I'm forming a metal band called Death Hamster.

Living With Music

My favorite regular feature on the New York Times Paper Cuts blog ("A blog about books") is Living With Music -- "A weekly playlist of songs from a writer or some other kind of book-world personage."

Recently they featured William Gibson. His selections were surprisingly... organic. (What, no tracks from the Johnny Mnemonic OST? Har!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thrown Down a Well

"This goes out to all you folks who seem to think that admitting you’re an asshole somehow makes you less of one. (Hint: it makes you more of one.)"

Read the all-too-short Thrown Down a Well Comics. (Link from Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Rock Yer Frock

This is fun: PAPERMAG's 25 Most Stylish Songbirds. Yay especially for Jenny Lewis, Karen O, Zooey Deschanel and Chan Marshall a.k.a. Cat Power (pictured above)!

"From Stevie Nicks' billowy dresses, to Grace Jones's power-suits, to Madonna's Gaultier bra, to Björk's swan get-up, female musicians have a long history of making fashion statements. These days, the current crop of songstresses, both up-and-coming and fairly established, are carrying on the tradition..."

If I were still EIC of Pulse or an editor on BURN, I would have loved to do something like this, for the local scene. :) We'd have to have different categories though...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Landscape, Raw

Those of you who like art and stuff should go see Raw Landscape, the new show by Pep Manalang, opening this Friday, June 20, 6 PM at the Finale gallery on the corner of Makati Ave. and Pasay Road. Yes, she is my Tita, and yes, she is a genius.

Check out the works she showed at the Drawing Room last year here, and more sheer brilliance here!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Meet Alphabeat

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Alphabeat. I've probably used the word "poptastic" before, but I don't believe I've ever listened to a band that deserved that made-up adjective as much as this one does. They're like Katrina and the Waves, if every song Katrina and the Waves ever released was as fun as "Walking on Sunshine." asserts that “Alphabeat are quite certainly one of the greatest bands on planet earth.” I'm not sure if these guys have their own children's show, but I almost feel like they should. Or maybe even their own TV channel, spewing forth bright-colored smiliness 24 hours a day. "Fascination" is the song that should be playing full blast if you ever find yourself dancing down the street with a crowd of cheerful neighbors, jugglers, cartoon mascots, majorettes, and stilt-walkers behind you, and "What Is Happening?" might be even better. Play loud!

Fascination - Alphabeat

What Is Happening? - Alphabeat

Not Happening

So, apparently, M. Night Shyamalan still sucks. On the plus side, that's one less movie ticket to blow money on, and the very existence of the movie means we get to read a hilarious-as-usual blog post from Jun Lana:

"Inabangan ko talaga ang pelikulang ito. Feeling ko dito babawi si Shyamalan pagkatapos siyang laitin ng buong universe sa Lady in the Water. 11 am pa lang nasa Shangri La na ako para manood. Eh 12:45 pa pala ang 1st screening. OA. Huling beses na inabangan kong magbukas ang sinehan, may career pa si Nora Aunor. Nahila ako ng mommy kong manood ng Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M. Siyempre panay Noranians ang kasabay namin. Tuwing may dramatic moment si Ate Guy, nagpapalakpakan ang fans. At may mga taong pumupwesto sa harap ng screen pag may close up si Ate Guy at nagpapapiktyur. How bakya, sabi ko sa sarili ko. Siyempre feeling ko sosyal ako. Naloka ako nung biglang maglabas ng camera ang mommy ko at gustong magpapiktyur din.
. . .

"Kaya eto depressed ako. Dahil mahirap tanggapin pag pumapalpak ang idol mo. Katulad ito ng depression ng mommy ko nang manood kami ng ’Merika ni Ate Guy. Tatatlo lang kami sa loob ng sinehan. At yung pangatlo eh usher pa. Pero kahit papano may angking ganda naman ang ‘Merika. Eh etong The Happening? Hay. Di ko alam kung saan magsisimula."

Click here for the whole post.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Kidlat's Exhibit

Tomorrow (or today, or last week, depending on when you're reading this), Saturday, June 7, 2008, is the opening of Sleeping White Elephants, Kidlat de Guia's first solo exhibit here in Manila (he had a solo exhibit in Baguio, and a group exhibit with his brothers Kawayan and Kabunyan at Silverlens before). So you gotta go!

It's happening at 3 PM, at GALLERY DUEMILLA, 210 Loring Street, Pasay City. (It's "near the corner of Taft and Edsa. If on Edsa coming from Makati heading towards Roxas Blvd, after crossing Taft Ave, turn right on the second street, PARK AVENUE (after LPG filling station). Then turn right on the first street, Loring Street -- you can't miss it on your right, number 210.")

"Sleeping White Elephants is Kidlat De Guia's photography exhibit showcasing Manila's unfinished high-rise buildings. The images of these concrete monoliths have been reproduced on duratrans and transformed into lightboxes. The cement frames encase concrete images in more concrete, creating a living sarcophagus for the prematurely dead. Video projections on the walls in between the images create an ongoing conversation between the "sleeping" giants and the environment they inhabit."

Seeya there! :D