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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Champurado

What a difference rest makes! I just skimmed over my last entry, before starting up this one, and suffice to say, the tone of this post will be in the opposite direction! The main reason? I'm on vacation!

Production is still pretty insane at work, but my boss was kind enough to let me take some time off so that I can visit my family in the Philippines; I haven't been back home in 2 years. I get to spend Christmas and New Years with my family. Today's my third day here, I've met up with my brother and sisters and their respective families already; however there's a lot of catching up to be done still!

I find everytime I go home it's this odd mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar. I get so used to living in the United States, the first few days coming back usually throws me off. I'm glad to be home though! I feel like I trap myself in work mode so much in the states, that when I come home to the Philippines, it's snaps me out of that funk, and resets my world and brings me back down to Earth. It's good to be home.

My favorite food when I was growing up was this dish called "Champurado". It's chocolate rice porridge. Sometimes, you can add little dried fish (called "dilis") onto it to give it a little texture and contrast. While the rest of the planet will probably find that utterly disgusting (and show case it in an episode of Fear Factor or something) , I absolutely love LOVE it. My mom told me when I was young I wanted her to make my birthday cake out of it! This morning my mom made some because she knew I was craving it, and I tell ya, it was great to wake up to it's smell! I scarfed down copius amounts of it (She made it using Ghirardelli chocolate too, to boot)! Here's my mom and dad modeling my beloved foodage.

Coming home also brings back a ton of memories and nostalgia. My mom actually kept a lot of the old comic books I used to collect when I lived in the Philippines and in Hong Kong. I was just rifling through some of it today and it's actually kind of fun to see what I was reading back then.

Back when I was growing up in the Philippines, comic books were really expensive (at least for my allowance). It was hard to actually get books in sequential order, and on top of that it was also hard to get books of the same title. I'm guessing the comic books that got exported here, were overruns of some sort or books that didn't get sold in the comic book shops. From my point of view it just seemed like some dude randomly grabbed as many comic books as he could, shoved them in a box and shipped them to the Philippines. It was really hard for me to keep track of any one storyline. So I have a bunch of random titles in my collection, not rare mind you, just absolutely disjointed.

So, I'll try to spotlight some of these books with my entries while I'm here in the Philippines. First up at bat is Jack Kirby's Mr. Miracle. In my older post I mentioned that I didn't understand "the King Kirby" when I was younger. But I have to admit this book left an impression on me (as well as his "Sandman" book). I loved Big Barda and the Female Furies! I think that may have been one of my first exposures to women superheroes being so kick butt. Literally! I mean "Stompa"! C'mon how cool is that! Anyway, the whole concept of a super escape artist was very different to me too, something new.


Also, I believe Mr. Miracle's mask, served as a subconscious inspiration later on in high school when I created this bad guy called "The Gatler" (I'll see if I can find a copy of that character somewhere)! In hindsight, it's funny how Kirby seemed to have left a pretty distinct impression on me when I was young even though I didn't like his artwork at the time because it made me nauseous!

This issue is actually a reprint: the 'Philippine' print. Apparently, a bunch of comic books were reprinted in the Philippines back when I was growing up there. All the original adds were pulled out and it was sold for a much cheaper price as well. While in hindsight that's actually really awesome, back then I didn't really feel these were 'cool' because they weren't the real deal. I was kind of an import snob (though I do have a lot of these re-prints in my collection in the Philippines).

Another interesting tid bit: I believe a majority of these re-printed comics usually featured a filipino artist in them (of course not Mister Miracle!). So I got exposed in some way or another to Alex Nino, Alfredo Alcala and Tony Dezuniega's works. I remember the comics were some fairly old titles too: GI Combat, House of Mystery, House of Secrets, Tarzan and Plop! being a few among them. I remember picking up a Phantom Stranger with a back-up of Doctor Thirteen in it and thinking that was the coolest thing ever. I'll try to see if I can dig that up!

Anyway, that's it for today! I leave you with a jet-lagged, and yet a well-rested God Bless and Good night !

*Side note: I'm actually posting this on the 21st of December. I thought I'd be blogging like a maniac during my vacation, but my parents computer is so amazingly old I can't even post up any pics (a Pentium 3)! I'm at my brother's laptop now over at Manila International Port with my nephew, passing the time as my brother finishes up a project (he's got a much faster computer!). Anyway, I think it's probably safe to say I won't be blogging quite as much as I'd like!
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