Sunday, December 30, 2007

Edible Memories

Coming back home always triggers so many great memories. I was leafing through some old photo albums my mom and dad have at home, and I spotted one that collected a few pictures from when we were living in Hong Kong. Here's a pic that pretty much sums up just how big of a nerd I was back then (and now!). I remember my Brother shoving the comic books in my back to add just that nice amount of dorkdom into the picture. I was quite the chubby kid back then.

I loved to eat! In fact, I think I tie so many good memories I have to food (if you couldn't tell from my previous posts). Anyway, more nostalgia abounds as my parents pulled out one of the old shirts I made from my old HKIS (Hong Kong International School) days. From the looks of it, I had a lot of John Byrne influence going on in this drawing from High School. See that ammo strap? Those are really little pencil-bullets! Genius. A calculator gun and ruler sword? Avant Garde!
And speaking of High School, I met up with an old friend of mine from HKIS, who has since moved back to the Philippines. John and I used to play basketball together with our 'crew' called the MTBA (I'll leave that acronym undefined: let your imagination go wild). Ol' John played Shooting Guard, while I played Power Forward. We went to Fort Bonifacio's High Street area and hit the local arcade called Timezone.
Of course we had to play the b-ball arcade game for old times sake! We played 3 games and suffice to say, I got pwned hardcore by John. But my saving grace is that I grabbed a lot of rebounds from when my shots bricked hard off of the rim.
We also hit some other spots, like the newly opened Mall of Asia, a huge mall built on reclaimed land on Manila Bay. It's a nice gigantic mall, and John and I got lost in it a bunch of times.We headed out to the 'Baywalk' area after going through the mall and were gonna check out the nice sunset but unfortunately it was too cloudy for that. It was great to see the Bay. My country is such a beautiful place, it always awes me how amazing and picturesque it can actually be.

But then I'll look at the bays' garbage infested
shoreline and it makes me sad we don't take better care of it. There were tons of these weird insects skittering about that John and I have lovingly dubbed 'sea-ipis'. "Ipis" means "cockroach" in Tagalog. Sigh.

We headed over to BF Homes Paranaque for some Brother's Burger for some dinner. I grew up in this subdivision, so it was quite startling to see all the progress that's been made since I've been gone. Anyway, the Burger was great. 'American Style' but it stil
l had a slight filipino taste to it.
And for Dessert we hit Conti's and I had a slice of Mango Bravo. Conti's management used to run this place my family ate at called Dates and Nuts. So eating there was nostalgia city.
Tangent: The Philippines has a lot of pirated goods that the government has been cracking down on, but still there's a lot of places that still have it. I never even knew this stuff was illegal until I moved to Hong Kong (which has it's own fair share of the pirated stuff, too). I always thought that was okay! I've even been to one where they had it's own security guard in proper uniform and everything. (I didn't buy anything though! Honest!) I did find it awesomely odd to see they had a pirated copy of "Zapped" starring Scott Baio. End Tangent.
Okay! Comic book time! Here's another comic in my collection that was re-printed in the Philippines: Plop #16. It's a comedy, satire-ish comic with a slight EC-eqsue twist. It features stories like a guy who turns into a frog when kissed or a dude that falls in love with a dandelion. Yeah, mull that over a I think I really liked the art when I picked this up as a kid, and I'm glad to see that I actually had some taste back then! Lemme give you a line up of the art inside, and see if you can disagree with me! The cover is done by Wally Wood with a Sergio Aragones collage/border! The pages that bookend the interiors I believe are also Aragones but since there are no credits on it I can't really verify that (They look cool though!). Sidenote: These first and last pages introduced me to DC's Cain, Abel and Eve, way before I saw them again resurface in Neil Gaiman's Sandman.
Then comes a short by Ric Estrada called the "Make-out Queen of Lord Byron High!" I don't think I even understood what "make-out" meant back then! Those crazy Americans! Anyway, I remember enjoying a lot of the characters Ric Estrada had drawn in that short, especially his depiction of the impossibly untouchable make-out queen herself, Sylvia Glutz.

I remember not quite understanding the dark humor in the next short called: "Love is a Dandy!" back then. It featured a guy who fell in love with a dandelion and ends with a punchline of him killing his uber hot/health-conscious neighbor for cook
ing his flora-and-fauna-flame for dinner. Yep, "The Magazine of weird humor" indeed.
Still, I remember enjoying that tale even if I didn't quite understand that humor back then. I remember liking the art a lot, and this is where I can pat myself on the back for having great taste even as a young, chubby, comic book nerd; I recently discovered who the artists for this short were. The credits list the artwork done by "S. Ditko and W. Wood"! Awesome! Melody, the plant loving main character's (Hubert's) friend definitely looks like a Wally Wood girl. However, Huberts' poses look straight up Steve Ditko. I just watched a great BBC documentary about Steve Ditko recently and realize that mr. Ditko is very particular about his artwork. I wonder if he liked his collaboration with Wally Wood?Anyways, I really liked the art in Plop #16, hope you enjoy some of the scans I've posted up! That's all out of me for now! God Bless and have a Happy New Year!
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