Filipino Comics– This is a mixed bag as creator-owned comic books are few and far between. I make it a point to support the work of my fellow Filipino creators whenever I can (the only exceptions are when I feel that the material is of questionable worth, either as a read or as Filipino - I may not agree with the sensibilities of everything that comes out, but I do respect the love and effort the creators pour into all they do). My best recent read is Arnold Arre’s “After Eden”, a thick book that explores the nature of love and friendship – a shoo-in for next years National Book Awards given Arnold’s skill at illustrative storytelling. I liked this book enough to put it on my bookshelf along with the Gaimans and Ellises and Moores, which is surprising because I really have a hard time swallowing happy endings – but Arnold’s deft touch reduced my deeply-ingrained non-closure-seeking penchant to a goofy smile.
Other books on the horizon I’m looking forward to reading are the new “Darna” comics (by Yonzon and published by Mango Comics), “Zodiac” (edited by Vin Simbulan and published by Sanduguan), the reworked “Baylans” TPB (by Jason Banico of Dynatica Comics), “Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah” (deliciously crafted by Carlo Vergara of Carver House), “Immacolata” (by Marco Dimaano), “Twilight Empires” (by Vin Simbulan of Quest Ventures), the definitive collected edition of Gerry Alanguilan’s “Wasted” (when it's coming out, no one seems to know, but it ought to be soon, damn it) and new stuff from our friends at Alamat Comics. These various books count as two choices since these books do not come out on any fixed schedule, but rather on an “if-it’s-there-be-thankful-and-get-it mode.”
a purgatory movie?
Rumors abound concerning a movie being planned or already in pre-prodcution based on Carlo Vergara's "One Night in Purgatory", a finalist for this year's National Book Award. At this time, we are unable to get any information regarding the veracity of this news, but it does trigger two reactions from me. First, of course, is how flattering it is to Carl. Second, and more important, is the anger of not being informed. Carl owns all intellectual rights to "Purgatory" and it's only right that he be informed. Of course, the fact that he hasn't been informed reinforces the notion that perhaps there is nothing to the rumor, but still. "One Night in Purgatory" is a story well-told, and if it is to be retold in another medium, the author and owner should be involved (or his permission secured). If all ends well, then I can start posting casting picks.
Something similar happened to me when one of my plays, "Short Time", had two runs in Manila without my knowledge. I felt very insulted. I wasn't even dead yet and lived in the same damn city. It wasn't a matter of being paid, but a matter of being acknowledged. The fact that the manuscripts of my plays are available at the Carlos Palanca library (open to the public) does not negate my essential authorship of them. Besides, I would have loved to have watched them myself!