West Side


I originally planned to have them talking in one of the umbrella-covered tables of Starbucks but I couldn't get a good angle that wouldn't either seriously affect the size of the characters in the panels or at least show their reaction while talking to each other. A lot of other factors posed challenges in creating this one but I think I managed to hurdle over them quite nicely without much hitch.

* This strip was published March 15, 2006.


That's just cruel. I edited the dialogue from the original strip that sees print this week. I didn't get the point across clearly in that one and I think this one finally does. I'll be telling the back story between these two later in the books. I just hope I'll be able to tell it in an amusing but mostly poignant way possible.

* This strip was published March 8, 2006.


As I was previously saying there was supposed to be a heated debate between these two regarding Ben's ways of raising up his kids prior to this (see the description in the previous strip). The Flanagans then fly to their scheduled vacation in Palawan (south of the Philippines, great people, beautiful province really) where Grace finally opened up a discussion about cutting their former son-in-law some slack. This leads to some flashback during the time when their daughter was still alive and she often stood up to her decision to marry someone not of their race and a Catholic at that. I haven't really fixed that part yet but that what was supposed to happen before this one. Right after they arrive from their trip, Ben asks Tom to go out for a talk and here they are.

* This strip was published March 1, 2006.


I lost the original english translation when I wrote over the original version by accident. I was editing bits and parts of the drawing when I absent mindedly saved instead of copy-pasting the edited portions over it. Grrr... I hate it when that happens. I had to translate the whole thing over again and I don't think this one's as hilarious as the original. But enough of that.

February 2006's storyline ends with this one and I was planning to carry the story over to March with the local TV showbiz programs picking up the incident and blowing it out of proportion for the sake of gossip. Then BJ's dad and grampa would wind up watching it on TV and they would have a royal debate over the way the dad raises his kids leading to a discussion about the two grown-ups' relationship and how it's high time they tried to patch things up. This would merit a good storyline by iitself but the problem was the Flanagans were set to leave by the end of March in time for the end of winter at the East Coast and it's virtually impossible to squeeze in two storylines in one month without sacrificing a lot of details. Anyhoo, stay tuned on how things turned out in the next installments.

* This strip was published February 22, 2006.


I practically grew up with limericks thanks to my dad who supplied us with shelves and shelves of books ranging from science and history to arts and fairy tales. And it was there that I first discovered the quirky verses penned by artist Edward Lear. I never realized that they were poems by themselves at the time. I just enjoyed reading them over and over. Then around a decade ago I penned some of my own, they were some of the finest free verses that ever came out of my pen. They were a paean to some local professional basket heroes I looked up to at the time (the 90s were the golden age of Philippine basketnall for me) and fortunately, or unfortunately, they're now either lost or just buried underneath all the junk I keep in my room. It was only recently I discovered that the creation of these limericks were serious art, kinda like comic strips (many people think it looks too easy and cheap to do but there are hours and hours of work poured down into these when you think about it).

Bill Watterson makes writing poems looks so easy, I struggled with the words in the second panel for hours and days on end. It was only now I was able to edit the whole damn thing to a semblance I'm satisfied with. Sort of. Ech!

* This strip was published February 15, 2006.


Click to view the strip

Nothing like a good foot massage to make her feel good about her gift. The book is not really not such a bad thing actually most especially if you get one of the earlier works by Frank Peretti. Like this one, for example: "Piercing the Darkness" is the sequel to one of the most awesome novels I've ever read, "This Present Darkness." You want suspense? This one's got suspense! You want action? This one's got loads of action! You want a good round of characters? This one's got a whole gaggle of them! You want a great climax? Hang on to your seats 'cause this one's a page turner! Rumor has it that Director Steven Spielberg considered making the first book into a movie but passed on it later to make "Jurassic Park." I'm not sure how true that story is so don't go around quoting me on this.

The purpose of this one was because I had to justify why she was reading a book in this one since the round of new strips for February started with this one. Also, since there are no more strips left to be edited or redrawn we're well on the way to getting things back on track around next week. Yay!

* This strip was published February 8, 2006.


This one never saw print in Philippine News during the first week of February for reasons because I was debating with myself whether I should break up these two or not. Deadline came and I submitted one of the edited strips that I did in place of it. Almost a week passed after that and another deadline was looming in the horizon and either because their breaking up wasn't meant to be or maybe because I couldn't think of any good break up lines that wouldn't sound cheesy I decided to let them go on a date and enjoy themselves. The rest of the strips that came out that month were good, at least visually I thought it was a shame I wasn't able to write in a good introduction to it.

* This is a bonus strip in the stead of the new "old" strip published February 1, 2006.


I wasn't sure where I was going with this. Initially I thought of pursuing the storyline well into the next month (which was Valentine's) but I chose not to and now I'm not so sure if I will follow this up with anything. Which is weird if you think the story just ends with this. Maybe I'll do the love angle eventually or maybe I'll come up with something different, of which this will serve as an introduction the same way every Simpsons episodes start with something irrelevant for a story intro. Maybe.

Maybe sometime in July or August if it's still worth pursuing that is.

* This strip was published January 25, 2006.


If there was anything I admired about the Japanese manga-ka's (Rumiko Takahashi and Soubee Amako mostly) do their work it would be the speed lines, exaggerated action and expressions and that's something I tried to capture here. It's largely the influence of anime that pushed me to start doing comics. I wasn't compelled to draw the in the same manner though, but just the same I'm trying capture the essence of all the exaggerations they invented and recreate them in my own work.

* This strip was published January 18, 2006.


I changed and redrew the character of Jay since the first one looked stiff, awkward, and wider than he should be. I was still recoiling from the lack of good ideas resulting in crappy drawing at the time. The story arc for Januany, which saw print in the paper, started with this one which made a lot of sense following the prior introductory strip.

* This strip was published January 11, 2006.


No revisions this time. This I had to do from scratch as I originally submitted one of the revised strips I did to meet the deadline mostly because my brain was still on vacation at the time. This starts a new storyline for the month.

* This is a bonus strip in the stead of the new "old" strip published January 4, 2006.


This is the last strip to be revised from last year. Just need to do a couple more strips and we're back on track!

* The original version of this strip was published in the December 22-29, 2005 issue.

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