Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Darth Vader and Yoda : The Dark and Funny Side of GPS

Wouldn't it be cool if we had GPS available in the Philippines? Here are two videos of the TomTom GPS Star Wars videos, courtesy of Kulas (son of my friend/grade school classmate Shaw Brauner who lives in Barcelona, Spain).

I know it's wishful thinking, but we'll get there, as soon as Vader learns how to properly pronounce "Rotonda". Pretty useful too if, after making a wrong turn or beating the red light, Yoda's voice can convince your MMDA traffic enforcer "this is not the vehicle you are looking for."

Monday, May 16, 2011

FCBD close encounters with Pinoy Masters Part 1: Harvey Tolibao

Aside from the free comic books they gave away generously, Comic Odyssey also assembled a formidable line-up of up-and-coming and internationally known Filipino comic book artists, who all gamely signed, sketched and posed for their Pinoy fans. I was lucky enough to have some of my comics signed by three of my favorites: Harvey Tolibao, Jay Anacleto and Gerry Alanguilan.


The man has a gone a long way from his province far, far away, Malaybalay, Bukidnon. His major break was pencilling Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic issues 12, 17 and 18 for Dark Horse Comics.

Since then, he has gone on to work for Marvel on major titles such as Avengers: The Initiative, X-Men Nation, X-Men Revelations, Psylocke and Silver Surfer.

I was able to have Harvey sign my War of Kings: Darkhawk 1 and 2, and found him to be a very likable fellow, with none of the "hey I'm a big-shot Marvel artist" attitude. He was quite friendly and said he missed working on KOTOR. He was willing to accommodate my request for a sketch of any Star Wars character, but he still had a lot of requests lined up (he was working on a mean Wolverine piece) by the time I made it to his table.

From very humble beginnings, Harvey has made the rounds of international comic conventions and art exhibits, most recently in Singapore. He has also lent his talent in of support of socio-civic projects such as the Sketch for a Cause fund raising series.

Here is an old, but interesting GMAnews.tv article on the talented Pinoy artist:

Harvey Tolibao: Promdi artist destined for the stars

Mabuhay ang Force sa iyo, Harvey!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hey Mr. Lucas!

Geekdom wouldn't have been the same without you. 

Happy Birthday Master George Lucas!

May the Force grant you many more birthdays to come!

An Amazing Free Comic Book Day Odyssey - Part 2

Slowly but surely, the queue moved closer towards our coveted prize.

Some of the Pinoy artists came in early to sign, sell some of their indie work and do sketches.

At last, free comics sighted!

A cute and friendly Comic Odyssey staff was also a sight for the fanboy's eyes. Right JM?

Those who came early enough, like us, received a white bag (see those stacks in the background) full of FREE comics, plus a bookmark and sticker. We also got to choose specially printed FCBD comics. Unfortunately, I was not able to get the FCBD Star Wars issue. Instead I got Indies Maximus, Captain America and Thor - The Mighty Fighting Avengers, Elric, and Path of the Planeswalker.

In all, I came home with 57 free comicbooks. Most of these were old issues from the Image heydays, with titles that looked promising then but never really took off (any one remember Fabulous First issue of Vanguard?), and other independent studios like Malibu Comics, Crusade, Defiant, Triumphant Unleashed (gee, I'm now a proud owner of The Chromium Man Unleashed, 6955 of 27,000 printed!)

I also was pleasantly surprised to find Spawn #8, which was written by the legendary (and extremely eccentric) Alan Moore, and titles from Entity Comics/CATS Studios (Aster, Shaiana, Harriers) which showcased the early works of now respected Marvel/DC artists Jay Anacleto, Leinil Yu and Gerry Alanguilan (nominated in this year's Eisner Awards for his opus "Elmer"). It's like owning pieces of comic book history!

My son Gboy sure was a happy with the stuff that I brought home that day.

The good owners of Comic Odyssey did a fantastic job hosting and handling the event. In the end, it was a triumph for comics and comic book fans around the world.

See you again next year!

Monday, May 9, 2011

An Amazing Free Comic Book Day Odyssey - Part 1

May 7, 2011 - Never mind that I didn't have sleep coming off a 7pm to 4am shift. I met up with former officemates and buddies JM and Koach and headed off to Robinson's Galleria an hour and a half earlier than the mall opening time, optimistic that we would be in front of the expected long queue of fans eager to get free comics and goodies. We were worried that another buddy, Matt C, wouldn't be able to make it as none of us had his current mobile number.

As soon as the mall opened at 10am, we half-dashed to the third level and frantically searched for the mecca of FCBD, Comic Odyssey.

To our dismay, there was already a snake of a line and whaddaya know, to make matters worse, Matt, our sneaky bastard of a friend was already there, comfortably placed at number 49.

To give you an idea how long the queue was, I was already number 225. And there were still hundreds of fans behind us. Men, women, kids, teens, gramps and grannies, professionals, students. They came in droves, and I give credit to the organizers for keeping the crowd orderly.

There's Koach in red and JM with the fancy phone.

What a show-off! We wanted to strangle Matt  for getting his goodies way ahead of us.

In the end, all was forgiven and friendships prevailed.

(To be continued)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thank you Mom, you're a real trooper!

To all the mothers across the universe, especially my mom, my wife and my mom-in-law,

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Star Wars Day!

"May the 4th be with You!"  

Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope was released in May 25, 1977, but fans from across the planet celebrate what is unofficially known as  "Star Wars Day" today, May 4, in obvious reference to one the most famous and enduring quotes in the George Lucas saga.

Lucasfilms earlier announced that a major event will launched today, and if you visit the website http://maythe4th.starwars.com you will be taken to a countdown clock to 6am PST that says "ALL WILL BE REVEALED".

What will be the big revelation? The front page of starwars.com shows the Tantive IV scene where Leia records her holographic message with Artoo, the blu-ray logo and the title "Star Wars The Complete Saga."   But is this whole countdown hullabaloo all about the the launching of the new Star Wars Blu-Ray set? Or could there be more revelations, like a new Star Wars movie, the recognition of the Mos Eisley Carinderia, or the execution of Order 66? (Yikes!)

Your guess is as good as mine. Carinderia patrons, we'll have to wait til 6:00am PST to find out. Until then, it's open bar at the Carinderia with guest bartender Wuher and a round of Merenzane Gold on the house!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

United Jedi for Japan: "We are Jedi" Limited Edition Shirts

As Japan continues its rehabilitation efforts after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit their nation, Japanese Star Wars fans are calling on all brothers and sisters in the Force, to support the "We are Jedi" Project. Obtaining authorization from Lucasfilms, organizers have designed limited edition "We are Jedi" shirts for sale, with all of the profits going to the Japanese Red Cross. For more details visit: http://501st.jp/wearejedi/index_en.php

The shirts remind me of the hugely popular "USA for Africa" tees sold in the late 80s, which came out in conjunction with the hit "We are the World" sung by Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Cyndi Lauper and the biggest music stars of that generation. 

Looking at the shirt design above, the map of Japan was cleverly positioned to represent the letter "J".

Our love and prayers to the people of Japan. Force no tomo ni aran kotowo!