We've also been out and about nearly every weekend, starting with the Bayan Knights meeting early in the month. This was our first meeting again after the Summer Komikon and it was one of our most productive too. We're looking forward to sharing the group's upcoming projects soon :) We were glad that Jon Zamar was also able to join us for the first time and the visit of a surprise guest made the meet even more memorable -- Myke invited local comics god Roy Allan Martinez who arrived later that evening with his girlfriend, Paris Imshi :D
The moment the tall, long-haired messianic figure walked in, the Knights fell silent and I swear I've never seen them look so timid, hehe. There's talk now of an Exodus reunion :) here's wishing with all our fan-ardent hearts it'll become a reality.
A couple weeks later, Myke and I were at the UP College of Fine Arts reunion at Club Dredd. Now, I'd never been to Club Dredd before and the life I lived before meeting Myke was so hopelessly square I'd have likely gone through the rest of it without ever having set foot in Dredd. The few times we kicked back for a few drinks in Eastwood though he was reluctant to check out its new home above Gweilo's. On Edsa, whether we're in a bus or a cab, he never fails to turn his head in the direction of the old Dredd to pay homage, reminisce, and then rue its demise in 1998. The idea of his old "home" relocating to ritzy Eastwood seemed to him to be sacrilege of the highest order... until he was back there with old friends and familiar faces and it was like 1995 all over again :)
1995 was the year Myke got into UP as a Fine Arts freshman entirely through his own efforts, and it was also the year I ran screaming from the College of Science (after doing the same from the College of Engineering years earlier) into the College of Arts and Letters as a European Languages shiftee. It was the year we both found the path we were going to be on for the rest of our lives (notwithstanding a few detours and a healthy dose of branching out along the way). That night in Dredd, we were once again where we were on the brink of possibility and Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and the other grunge bands provided one hell of a soundtrack.
The reunion party was high octane from the start with one awesome FA band playing after another. By the time the Intergalactic Butt-Nuggets were onstage ripping through one death metal number after another, I was in my zone with my beer and completely oblivious of Myke's urging to take a photo of him just chilling with Leinil Yu (yep, he's a CFA alumnus too!) I do remember seeing them talking though and thinking, "Aw, they're getting along...great party...great people... oh hey, an unopened beer bottle..."
Citizen Leinil with fellow CFA alumni :)
"Thank you for the beer..." :p
In the midst of all this, my article on the revival of Philippine comics came out in the June issue of Playboy. This was a bloody difficult article to write, as in madugo @#$%! There was the tremendous history of Philippine comics I had to take a crash course in and online resources The Philippine Komiks Encylcopedia and Gerry Alanguilan's Philippine Comics Museum were indispensable in that regard. I also wanted very badly to do justice to the anecdotes and insights my interview subjects willingly shared; these were people I deeply admire and whose work meant a great deal to me. Being a member of Bayan Knights, I've seen first-hand what our creators have to go through just to get their books out so I really wanted to make the most of this opportunity to tell their story.
I had the honor of being able to interview veteran artists Danny Acuña and Clem Rivera, Komikon organizer Jon Zamar, comics pros Edgar Tadeo and Gerry Alanguilan, publishers Boboy Yonzon and Gilbert Monsanto, indie creator Gener Pedriña, multimedia guru Jonas Diego and Metrocon/Sketcpad Studios top honcho Ernest Hernandez. The article was also made possible by the assistance of artists Heubert Khan Michael and Jann Galino.
There was so much I learned from them that I wanted to put in the article but I kept trimming details away in order to make the 3000 word limit :( Maybe next weekend if we're not rushing off to another event I can make a separate blog entry for the stories I could no longer include in the article.
For now, Myke and I are just so very grateful for the opportunities that have come our way. Yesterday, we also celebrated our 20th month together by staying home and just cuddling up before the TV.
We raise our glass of iced Fit 'n Rite to whatever the rest of this year may bring :)