Komikero Page added

I've added a new page here on the Garage called 'Komikero'. It's all about our little comics/komiks conclave that we have been attending to for the last 8 years.As it was years before and hereafter, we are a group of men and women gathered for the love of comics/komiks and all the complexities of the art form.

Look for the Komikero page link or click on here to go directly to the Komikero features page.
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Otaku,Then and Now Part 3: The Internet

I remember being at the dawn of the Internet. Well not exactly. It's been here since the 1970's but I remember things started to get moving around the 1990's.

I was a college sophomore then, looking for a part-time job around the campus. That is when I happened upon an 'internet cafe' "(Let's call it the 'University cafe' for now). Luckily they were looking for extra hands to work for around 2-4 hours a day so I went in and presented myself for student assistantship. I got hired and got paid around 300 pesos a week, which was a princely sum back then.

As for my tasks: Me and my partner for the day would clean the cafe' (it's a small one so it was easy), serve snacks, troubleshoot, keep track of the time and well basically do everything around the cafe. And my schedule ain't bad also. 2-3 hours after school was managable for me. On the plus side, we get to use the units to surf around the net for quite a bit.

In the '90's, the internet was not that as intensive as it is right now. Surfing was pretty darn expensive at around 80 pesos an hour believe it or not. There's no YouTube, no Wikipedia, no social networking sites, no manga and anime streaming sites and blogs were not called blogs yet. Practically nothing much but chatting on the IRC and look at anime shrines full of pics and whatever information the fans have at the moment. An otaku like yours truly would spend the day looking for and downloading anime jpegs on floppy disks, and that was already the BOMB. I could spend the whole day reading and looking at anime shrines and web rings (remember those?) and we'd be content. And there's pron too, but that's another story.

These days the Internet (or the 'netsu' as most of us fondly call it) is brimming with content than it was a decade ago. Web ring gave way to blogs, wikis were collated into an online encyclopedia and there are dozens and dozens of social networking and video sites out there. And who can forget the phenomenon known as online gaming?And heck, these days you can practically download almost everything from the 'net. Well almost. And the rates are cheaper, don't forget that. Suddenly, us otaku have a new frontier in which we can explore.

Alas, its not all roses. Chatrooms and online forums today gave rise to memes which most of us find amusing but socially degrading for others. 'Trolls'(the online version of bullies) abound causing a call for setting up morals on the internet.

But, as they say: It just keeps better and better...

Who knows what they will come up for next.

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Doctor Who anime?

Not quite. But is an awesome thought nonetheless.

Below is Part 4 of OtaKing77077's (also known as Paul Michael Johnson in real life) fan-made Doctor Who? anime. This is really quite something, given the fact that OtaKing770077 put this all together all by himself. You got to hand it down to this guy.

Check out his YouTube channel for more production notes and progress of this marvelous piece of animation.

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Project TARDIS part 2

It's been delayed time and again, but don't fret! I'm still working on my 1/20 scale TARDIS.

The 'siren-thingie' is up, made with plasticard, wooden rods and a ball pen end:
Next, I had the side panels carved out of even more plasticard. This is taking up the bulk of the work time for the model as the panes are (pardon the pun) a pain to cut and put into place as they are very delicate.
So, in the end it'll look something like this:
There! Gimme as little more time and this thing will be completed by the weekend.

To be continued...

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1:1 Gundam in 360 degrees

Wanna look at the 1:1 RX-78-2 Gundam without spending a buck to go to Japan?

Then go over here at the official Gundam.info website and try out their Flash-based 1:1 Gundam viewer. A sample of what you'll see:

A few instructions before you carry on:

1. The first button on the bottom of the flash player toggles the main view of the statue. Choose from: full body at day, full body at night or torso view at day.

2. The 2nd and 3rd buttons turns the model left or right.

3. The 4th button toggles full screen. Press 'Esc' to return to normal view.

And there you go! A totally enjoyable and safe-for-work flash viewer of the Shizouka/Odaiba Gundam in all it's glory. Enjoy!

And this ain't no rickroll btw.

This is :)

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Indie Review Trifecta: Dra. Yap, Magiting and No Parking

I was at SkyCable's Gamer vs. Gamer event last Saturday to cover the event for Joystiko, read all about it here. I had the chance to rub elbows with the Komikon people most notably: Lyndon Gregorio, Hazel Manzano, Andrew Villar, Gio Paredes, Syeri Baet and hubbie Jon Zamar.

I was lucky enough to score copies of Hazel and Andrew's new stuff even before the Metrocon. Here's what I think about them (Don't worry, read on. Guaranteed spoiler free):

First up is Hazel's Dra. Yap. You might be familiar already with Hazel's Callwork comic strips and by far this is one of her first forays out of the series (the first I believe, was a story from the Komikero Anthology). The cover explicitly says: 'A true story about a doctor who unknowingly joined Satanism' and that alone is enough to get somebody's attention. I should know, I was reeled in, hook line and sinker into buying this. And I was not disappointed. I'm pretty sure there would be people who would think twice on reading a story about Satanism, but once a reader gets past through that,  Dra. Yap unfolds into a very real and solid eye-opening  story. Hazel gave her signature autobiographical style out on this one, which will have anyone who will read the comic something to relate into. Also, despite the subtitle, there's none of the morbid stuff associated with comics containing one of the Devil's names here. Give this one a spin, trust me.

Now here's two from Core Studios: Magiting and No Parking Comics. Let's have Magiting: Throwdown with Ado Aparentado doing the writing chores alongside Andrew 'Ambush' Villar's art and Gerry Alanguilan doing the first issue's cover.

Magiting: Throwdown's art is standard Andrew Villar with lots of action happening about page after page evident in his stand-alone series Ambush and Hari. The plot seems typical super hero fare though, too typical at times. The dialouge is an English/Tagalog mix which is awkward at some points in my humble opinion. Although, I have to say,  this is still the first issue and I can't say much up until the series progresses.

Also from Core studios comes No Parking Comics an anthology from Amos Villar (Andrew Villar's son) and about more than a dozen collaborators. No Parking has a lot of variety going through it, with each story presented in just a page or two which seems to be the limit for each artist or collaboration. That aspect makes it brilliant, as most of the stories presented were justified into whatever limited space they are allotted. And the cover's cool, slightly embossed if I'm not mistaken ( I forgot to ask Andrew about this one, maybe next time).

So the lowdown goes: Dra. Yap: must-read, Magiting: needs a little push, No Parking: good for a first effort.

Reading through these three just made me more impatient for Komikon 6. Don't forget, it's on November 13, 2010 at Starmall Mandaluyong. See you all there! 

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Otaku,Then and Now Part 2: Otaku video gaming back then

Video gaming is an essential aspect of being an otaku. And for most of us, this is where our fascination began.

And the console of choice: the Nintendo Family Computer a.k.a the Nintendo Entertainment System in North American territories. The Famicom as it was fondly called, was responsible for bringing us games like Super Mario Bros., Legend ofKage, Ikari Warriors, Contra,Rockman, Ninja Gaiden and the lot. Those games were simple yet brilliant, looking back they were the games that shaped not only our otaku fancy but the whole video gaming industry itself. I remember playing some of these straight out of Japan and thus, were untranslated. English versions of early games were uncommon, but due to the stright-forward nature of most of these games, figuring out the plot and finishing them were relatively easy.

Then came the Sega Mega Drive, which was a revolutionary system for it's time. Sega introduced us to Sonic, Golden Axe, Killer Instinct and a slew of other next gen games. Suddenly, the industry was abuzz, prompting Nintendo to step in with their Super Famicom rivaling Sega's machine supremacy. For a few years, Sega and Nintendo were tooth and nail with each other. Companies like Atari and 3DO came up with their systems, but were not able to cope up with the two's dominion.

Then came the 'portable console wars' which started with the Nintendo Gameboy which was an instant hit among otaku gamers as they can take their games practically everywhere. Sega, never far behind came up with their Game Gear, a colored portable system that seemed to give Nintendo a run for its money. But the Gameboy was proven to be the better system all because of one game: Pokemon. But that is another story altogether reserved for another time.

Then came the Playstation era, giving us beautiful games such as Final Fantasy VII, Tekken, Ridge Racer 4 and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to name a few. Playstation games undeniably paved way to better content not only in terms of graphics but also in a game's plot.The Playstation was so revolutionary that disc based systems were made the norm up to this day (with Nintendo shifting to mini-DVD's just recently. Metal Gear Solid for example, was dubbed as one of the most successful games in history not because it was finely strewn together thanks to the Playstation's hardware.

More on the otaku lifestyle then and now on later parts of this series.

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Otaku: Then and Now Part 1

I have considered myself an otaku ever since the term came into public consciousness. For those not in the know, an otaku is the Japanese equivalent of a geek or a person that is too passionate towards his or her hobbies. So you can safely interchange toy geek, comic geek and car geek with toy otaku, comic otaku and car otaku.

I've been hooked to anime, manga, tokusatsu, sentai and practically anything Japanese since I was a kid. Although back in the 80's and early 1990's, the words anime, manga, tokusatsu, sentai was not in anyone's vocabulary yet. We referred to giant robot shows such as Mazinger Z back then as 'Japanese cartoons' or 'Japanimation' (check out old anime and manga magazines and you'll see). But more importantly, there's no such thing as an otaku here back then.

VHS was king back then...

Me and my buddies would watch anime in little old VHS tapes that we prop up in those bulky VHS players. Stuff was hard to come by and we treated our own little would-be-subculture as part of the geek 'underground'. Very few people know back then knew anime and manga beyond Voltes V, and watching Macross and Devil Hunter Yoko, even Urotsukidoji, back then was our trip. In a good sense at that.

Now for manga, we usually get them at a thrift shop that sells obscure stuff. Tankobon (manga collected volumes) were cheap but then again, we don't have manga translation sites or translated graphic novels back then. We had to come up with our own stories for everything that we read. And it all felt just right. Ah, the things we do during our pastimes...

Back then there were still no cons, no cosplay, no video streaming sites. People don't gather to discuss the latest episode of Sailormoon for fear of being branded as 'weird'. Anime and manga sites were known as 'shrines'. Playing Japanese video games is like having an alien give you a cartridge to play with out of whim. And model kits back then require glue to build.

Every bit of anime is rare and golden and that was I and a lot of people growing up in the 80's and 90's remembered it. And those were good times. But things change, we all know it.

More to come!
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I'll be going here next week

Oh, pardon I don't mean into the geek universe...I'm already there.

What I'm talking about is Sky Cable's Gamer vs Gamer event as Joystiko's correspondent. The Komikon guys are also going to be there, so it's going to be a geekastrophic event that's for sure. Click on the links for the lowdown on the events.

So who's with me?

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Been around town lately...

...and I finally got my mini air compressor for my airbrush!

It's not much, just a Kawasaki tankless TC-310 suitable for some light airbrush work. I'm currentl practicing on handling the airbrush and getting the feel of it.I've yet to do actual painting with it.

So far, I've tested it with water-based acrylics and inks. I'm satisfied on how it turned out on inks but it might need a little more work on the acrylics though.

And another good thing over the weekends though was this little get-together I had with some of my gunpla building friends (and good geeks in all). I've been with these guys since high school and its been quite a few long years since we've all gathered like this. That and we all met in the same mall that I've acquired my new compressor even.

Oh before I go, I'm going to leave you with this. It got left out from the previous post:

A 1/1 Optimus Prime from China made from scrap!

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