“We’re more carny than most”

(previous entry here)

Now:

“Remember what I told you during your first interview with me?”

“We’re about to die and you’re asking me that?! What the hell.”

“No, seriously. You remember what I told you?”

“…”

“We’re more carny than most. Now do what I’m going to tell you quick.”

Continue reading

Posted in fantasythings, Serials (Works in Progress), Themes | Leave a comment

Drop Dead Dangerous Issue #1 at This Year’s Komikon!

A few months back, our buddies at Comicgasm previewed Drop Dead Dangerous, an independent comic project from creators Chad Cabrera and Mike Banting. Issue #0 showed a lot of promise – the scripting was tight and witty (better than most independent projects I’ve read) and the art had the dynamic feel of classical action manga mixed with contemporary aesthetics. Fast forward to now, and the duo is proud to be launching Issue #1 in print for the very first time at this year’s Komikon.

Colors by Sam Gungon

I find Drop Dead Dangerous more ambitious than some other indie projects in the sense that it veers away from local trends; there aren’t any rehashes of 90s superhero costumes or bits of Filipino folklore entwined into the storyline. It’s a murder mystery taking place in what the creators call the weird, weird west, in which a knife-wielding serial killer resurfaces after seemingly dying a year prior. Cabrera does a great job of balancing the more macabre scenes with some snappy humor in the scenes between, without betraying the whodunit feel of the piece. Banting’s pencils and inks do a marvelous job of keeping the tone of each scene, seamlessly switching from dark dread in an attempted murder, to the lightness of an awkward job interview, to the horrifying splash at the end of the preview. You can check it out yourself at Drop Dead Dangerous’ Facebook page (make sure to “Like” them, too!), scribd.com, or drivethrustuff.com. You can also buy an old-school, gloriously handheld printed version of Issue #0 via indyplanet.com.

If that whet your appetite for some locally-created goodness, drop by this year’s Komikon. Chad and Mike will be selling the very first issue of Drop Dead Dangerous there! Make sure you head there early, since supplies are pretty limited. Komikon happens this Saturday, April 16, 2011 at Bayanihan Center, Pasig City. Here’s a map to the venue if you’re unfamiliar with the area. The event runs from 10:00am to 7:00pm.

How can you not want a piece of this awesomeness? See you at Komikon!

Posted in Promotions | 7 Comments

Theme Prompt: Game shows

The game show is perhaps the one place someone can consciously face lady luck. When the stakes are at their highest, it takes its effect on people: it rewards, it robs, it mesmerizes. Even smart people are rendered dumb in the heat of the moment.

So, run with it. Write something centered around or inspired by a game show. It doesn’t have to be strictly socially relevant. You can write about the people in it or who seek to win it, you can have someone win the moon and the stars.

Poetry, fiction, prose-poetry, scripts are welcome. All genres acceptable.

HARD MODE: You can tell your story via the format of quizzes, Q&A and game instructionals. Feel free to think out of the box with this one. Challenging but fun!

DUE DATE: April 24, 2011 – two weeks from now.

RECOMMENDED READING – because the moar you know…

-“20 Questions” or the novel that Slumdog Millionare was based on, by Vikas Swarup.

Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood

Good luck! Looking forward to reading y’all!

Posted in Themes | Leave a comment

H.P. Lovecraft and Why We’re Here

Back in the day, long before Fonzie jumped the shark and loaves of bread came out of their packages pre-sliced, our grandparents and great-grandparents read pulp magazines. It was a really affordable form of mass entertainment to produce – the pulp paper from which the magazines took their name was of very low quality, the stories plentiful, and the writers worked for peanuts. They were the spiritual successor to penny dreadfuls, banking on cheap thrills and tawdry covers to sell, sell, sell. As such, the yarns inside pulp magazines were usually awful; mind-numbing tales of mysteries and horrors that had prudish grandmothers hiding them away while young adults looking for blood, booze, and babes gobbled them up.

Not all the stories were horrible, mind you. In fact, pulp fiction helped introduce the world to one of the most influential creative forces in recent history: H.P. Lovecraft. The author, whose work has inspired minds like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Alan Moore, jump-started his career by writing fiction for submission to pulp magazines. Mainstream publishers were hesitant to print his work, as the fiction inspired by his infamous night terrors was often deemed too weird and too unusual for public consumption. This, of course, wasn’t too much of a problem for pulp magazines like Weird Tales, who thrived on such bizarre material (although some pulps still did have issues publishing some of his work). Continue reading

Posted in Inspirations | Leave a comment

Habits

August 14, 2003

“Do you remember what we used to call you back in high school?”

Lando hated that Jen asked him this, on tonight of all nights. He hated the memories it brought back even more. He poked the broccoli on his plate around for a few moments before sheepishly answering, “Rolly Polly.”

Jen giggled. “You were so cute then! Such a little ball of a boy!” She puffed her cheeks and wiggled an imaginary ball in her hands.

“It’s Lando now,” he remarked, quietly shoving a piece of beef down his mouth.

His date for the evening suddenly fell silent, realization dawning on her face. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she sympathized, “Did I say something wrong?”

“It’s fine. We were all stupid kids then,” Lando assured her before adding, “And I was pretty heavy back in the day.”

“But look at you now! You’re so lean and muscle-y!” Jen wanted to add “sexy”, but couldn’t bring up the nerve. She took another sip of her wine.

Lando, on the other hand, just felt awkward. He was never good at dealing with emotions, and was worse at dealing with awkwardness. He shifted his attention to the meal before him: beef with broccoli, steamed garlic fish, honey-lemon chicken, fried rice, and a steaming bowl of eight treasures soup, courtesy of the city’s finest Chinese restaurant. He cleaned off the last of the beef on his plate, filled the dish back up with rice, and put an assortment of meat on top. He grabbed another bowl of soup. Jen quietly ate along with him.

She broke the silence a couple of minutes later. “Where does it all go?”

Lando paused. “What does what go?”

Jen pointed at his plate. “The food. You eat so much, but you don’t seem to be gaining any weight.”

Lando shrugged. “I dunno. I guess my metabolism must’ve caught up with me?” He took another bite of the chicken.

“I envy you,” she said, looking at him straight in the eyes. “You get to eat anything you want, and you never get any fatter.”

Lando gulped down rather hard. He hesitated for a second, then decided it was time to say what he’d been holding back since the evening started. “To be honest, I really only eat like this when I’m nervous.”

Jen was a little confused. “Nervous?”

“Well, remember when I asked you here?”

“You called me last night.”

“Yeah, well, I called you ‘cause I liked you. I’ve liked you since high school. You were – what’s the word – radiant back then, and you haven’t changed a bit. I always wanted to talk to you but, well, you were too busy calling me ‘Rolly’… ‘Rolly Polly’.” He face sank, a mixture of shame and anxiety clear in his expression. He was disgusted at himself for eating like a pig.

Jen put her hand over his, “You know, I think ‘Lando’ suits you better. It’s a handsome name.”

Lando looked up. She was smiling. He smiled back.

*** Continue reading

Posted in horrorthings | 9 Comments

To-do: Think of an awesome name ASAP

See, the goddamn Batman got it wrong. Insert mental fuckyeah fist pump GIF here people. Yes, I just had to use Frank Miller’s line for that.

No disrespect meant, OK? Bats will always be my hero. But I figured Man is not really driven by fear. We’re driven by hunger, hunger of all kinds. Who cares if the skies are having a massive lightning diarrhea on the flat field I call my land? I want that gazelle running across the just-mentioned flat field for dinner later. Who cares if that downright-scary woman-beating drunken brute of a husband will come home soon? His hot and abused wife needs some er, caring support from their friendly neighbor during her time of need. Don’t get me started on that damn blue-balled president of ours.

So yeah, hunger. That may explain why I’m wearing a basic black ghillie suit padded with Kevlar-wrapped, interlocked iron plates on places that may be hit with bullets (chest, back, neck, forehead, groin, etc. and yes, I tested it and so far they can take an Uzi burst at pointblank range) and that may hit other people (elbows, knees, shins, forearms. MMA fan here yo), and only plain Kevlar otherwise. That may also explain why I’m about to rappel Australian style down a twenty-six story building with only a can of mace, two mil-spec Tasers (double-wield oh fuck yeah) and two Asp batons tucked in my utility belt and maybe a month’s worth of rappelling experience in the nearby mall tucked in my other (and figurative) belt. That may not explain, however, this… fan-shield thingy I created that’s now strapped on my forearm. Imagine that shield used by Escaflowne’s Van Fanel against dragon flame in the first episode, only this time it’s bulletproof and has more fancy etching around it. Awesome, I know right? Very functional too.

Hunger. Hunger for approval from dear ol’ military-born-and-raised Special Ops dad who was downright disappointed when his only son decided to study Fine Arts, majoring in Metal Works and Sculpture, instead of joining the Green Berets. Hunger to one-up those motherfucking artsy-fartsy illustration majors with all their big talk of being the next Alex Ross and that condescending attitude towards us sculpture majors.

Your son, even though he’s a nerd who’s into art, is not a pussy, dear sir. All that beatings you gave me, all that surprise self-defense lessons I had to go through just so I can have dinner, all that talk on what’s right and wrong and standing up when you have to, they taught me a lot. Because of those I know that being hit on the groin is not a fun experience and that a Taser shot there will paralyze someone AND make him/her pee. Thank you for those, no sarcasm meant.

Your classmate will own all your collective asses. You are cursed to draw comic book heroes that will never be yours. Heck, after I’m done here you will draw ME.

Back to rappelling down this building and on to that pair of drug dealers. I really should’ve thought of a name first. Tss, too bad “Kickass” was already taken. Feh. At least I have the logo I’ll spraypaint on their asses after I’m done beating the crap out of them.

If I beat them up, of course. Fuck this noise. Let’s get this party on.

Posted in fantasythings, Themes | 6 Comments

Not the Time nor Place

Meg was usually very attentive in meetings. Especially meetings as big as this one. But right now she just can’t seem to sit still. She fiddled with her brown curls and shifted in her seat; the area between her legs growing more and more restless.

Her boss stood in front of her, an air of superiority followed him like a cloud. He was the type of person who adored the sound of his own voice. He loved emphasizing certain words by raising his voice higher. Interrupting him would set him off like a bomb.

Meg tried to concentrate, to ignore the brewing sensation in her lady parts. But the urge came to her in tidal waves.

“The project is running slowly enough as it is without our competitors COMING FROM BEHIND!”

Meg almost fell off her seat. Wait, what? Did I hear that right?

“Meg, is there a problem?”

“Uhm, no… No sir.” She blushed.

Her boss continued to talk about the importance of meeting deadlines and how the team was performing. Each word that came out of his lips assaulted Meg’s senses. She looked up and the white room seemed to be collapsing onto itself; crushing Meg under its weight. She struggled to keep her head on straight but when she looked at her boss, at his long torso and then down to his shiny belt buckle, the urge to just suddenly drop her panties and–

POUND them! Drive them to the ground and hammer them. We must be aggressive!”

Meg blushed even more. The nagging sensation was clawing at her insides.

“We will lead the race and shove our pride DOWN their–”

Meg crossed her legs. Control Meg, this is not the time nor place–! But it was all becoming too much. Too much. Her mind reel could only make out keywords from what her boss was saying.

“Pound!”

“Down!”

Release!

“EXCUSE ME SIR!!!” Meg suddenly stood up. Without letting her boss say another word, she pushed him aside and bolted out of the room. At that point, the potential of being scorched to death by his wrath didn’t matter. Nothing else mattered.

Her legs seemed to move in slow motion as she desperately sprinted towards the restroom. She jumped into one cubicle and could barely lock the door. Her body was aching for it. It had to be done.

Her trembling hands pushed her panties down and then, while holding onto dear life, she peed.

It was one of the most satisfying moments of her life.

Posted in Themes | 5 Comments