Jumaat, Disember 31, 2004

Let’s see.

I am not entirely a fan of 2004, really. It seemed sort of strange and awkward but I like it at various points...

And I just realised I probably will post some interesting stuff coming 2005, so this is by way of being a New Year's greeting to all of you out there who read this. May your 2004 be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you all had an amazing year and met someone(s) who thinks you're wonderful, and not to forget to make some note --- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in 2005, you’d surprise yourself.

My own new year's resolution? I want to write more. There are too many stories not told, and a limited amount of time to tell them in ( but I guess the ‘malas’ factor did kicked in ). Some people who follow this blog from the beginning said they wanted less stuff around. I've spent 24 years accumulating stuff, and now can't remember why which is rather wonderful. The best thing about living, I thought, when I read my own version of a so-called ‘diary’, some years ago, watching me change, with time from the dumb old-days to the ‘restoration era’ : watching me discover how the world works ( to which I slowly become wise … wise ke? ), watching me grow and reinvent myself. The other best thing is that, confiding in that coded diary, I gradually becoming unutterably honest, and thus human, sometimes shockingly so.

I experienced a journey into manhood. *WHOAA*

I suspect that my god-given talent made me a somehow remarkable wonderer of hope, dream and the impossible. Now, if I was being somebody else, I would have be a lousy blogger, but luckily none of the people I’m writing about are going to be reading this blog whihing and claiming how vain I am.

But of course, whatever the obstacles and challenges and critiques are, I still keep
this journal. If I interpret the figures correctly, there are about less than 10 people reading it every month, which is very much predictable ( …Hmmm,aku pun taktau sebenarnya, ada ke orang baca benda-benda mengarut yang aku tulis selama ni? ). Some of you don't read my fiction and article and just like the journal. Several of you ( mostly my loyal comic buddies ), use it to try and keep track of where I am and what I'm doing.

I suppose that looking it over, it’s not that bad. I mean, I did a lot of things in 2004. There just wasn't, with the possible unevitable exception of many uneasy memories or experiences. That’s one big thing I can point to for the past 365.

Haven’t finished any books or novella yet though, ‘cos I kept reading it half-way and lost the book somewhere over unwanted distractions. Which should have been omitted on the 2004 resolution list. So I’ll stop typing this, and go and try to finish some titles ... later ... i guess ;p

2004, hoping everyone else had a safe past year.

Now 2005. Now that’s another brand new story.

A brand New Year.

Wishes and prayers to everyone out there who support, believe and still putting on that hope in me. That is something I will never forget ‘till the day everything stops and the time abruptly halts.

Khamis, Disember 30, 2004

( Made a giant list of everything I was committed to doing over the next 12 months. Some people call it RESOLUTIONS… Ooohh! Such big word it is. Never fulfill even half the list I made for the past 5 years. Then made a list of all the comic books I want to buy and read, trying to leave nothing out )

Not sure that I could have done anything had I tried, but I didn't try. As I was saying, no one's really leapt into ‘the breach’ yet, so if any of you have any favourite local comics’ you want to see burst into our market, tell me that you'd choose to support and buy them. And yesterday went in a kind of a blur. I got a bunch of workload and surprisingly, my studio manager asked me to follow him to KLCC and advised him on some comics at Kinokuya. First on the list is Alex Ross’s ‘Kingdom Come’. There were setbacks however : the title was sold-out. For an exchange, he bought ‘Superman : Red Son’ ( what if Superman landed in Soviet instead of Smallville during World War II ) and a ‘Smallville’ trade paperback. On the way home we had to stop for a bite and watch some fine looking gals walking up and down the food court. I am, on some things… a world class ‘gawker’ and when it comes to getting some absolute sightings, I'm actually travelling towards them in a car or a train or a plane made in dreamland; just shrug and go, I'll get there on time or I won't. Nothing I can do about it either way. And I don't worry. I just dream of it.

So, we made it to the office later in the evening and the whole of yesterday was not at all blur but mostly fun. And now I'm back in my cubicle, ditching my digital photography course earlier… which is more or less, a bit exhilarating and an enormous relief.

Eight years ago, I made much of my living reviewing books. As a school librarian, I haven't done it in a long time ( although I've recently seen a few quotes from my sixteen-year-old self reviewing stuff on my school magazine and gazettes, surfacing with my by-line as if they're current blurbs, proving, I suppose, that they are not entirely forgotten ), but was recently asked to review few comic books for my new magazine and this is what I felt : An obscure sense of déjà vu. I suppose I thought that book reviewing was like driving a kancil or surfing the net --- something you never forget how to do, no matter how long you don't. In reality, I'm finding, it's more like speaking a foreign language or playing a musical instrument : if you don't do it for a long time, you lose it. Not completely, and it comes back to you after a bit. But that easy, unthinking facility is gone.

So, now I just have to turn a bunch of books into an article ( ! )

And I'm in here, and they say some very nice things about my stuff ( if you're coming in late, we're really at the tip of the tail here ). Which left me really puzzled. I mean, I thought I'd be… at least to me, if not to the rest of the world, more recognisable than any other elusive comic book reviewers out there.

Apparently not.

How odd.

Rabu, Disember 29, 2004

There's some people out there who’d do anything to cross me. But some of you are really true to thyself. The fact is : that’s all the thing we need. In my mind is where I live and my mind never sleeps. No matter how much fortune or misfortune and fame or despair, by the end of the day --- all you have is yourself and no one else. I seldom questioned my existence in this life time. The more questions I ask myself, the more confusing and lost I got. Living life questioning life is a complete waste of life!

I hate hypocrisy and hypocrites alike; people proclaiming to be perfect and number one. People thinking that they're invincible to critiques. People who judged and label me by my outlook. I despise being labelled by people. Get to know me is getting to understand me.

( I'm starting to feel faintly cursed )

Got up this morning in a fine mood and Malaysia winning the 1st leg Tiger Cup semi-finals is the main factor, to be exact. Scribbled a few things in my notepad on what to write while blogging later. It was long, informative, useful and funny. I even wrote an impromptu short-essay on how to be ‘a local superhero’ and other lacky stuff. I recommended things. I philosophised. It was one of the great Blogger entries.( Oh!... aku mula terasa riak,maafkan aku).

Arrived at work around 8.15 am.

I set it to post and publish and walked into the cafeteria to grab something to eat. Then, like a character in a bad Hugh Grant flick, my friend ( three weeks old ) walked in to the office, carefully read the on-screen window with the journal in it ( but none of the other windows ) --- before it had even posted, let alone published, the entry I'd just written --- and got away with it. Then he/she wandered off, probably vaguely happy to have done something 'useful'.I ate cheerfully, crossed the hall to the office, sat down at the computer, saw what had happened, and started to express my feelings.

" Invasion of privacy," said me, wandering back. " It sets a bad example "


I'm going to have to print all the useful stuff I’ve done before. The rest of it is going to have to wait until I have some time.

So... am still waiting for 2005.

Isnin, Disember 27, 2004

( Saturday was a friends' wedding and Sunday was an event solely dedicated for kids. Fine experience from both outings; weekends never felt like weekends for the past few weeks. And 'Smallville' tasted a bit like 'The X-Files' for the last three episodes. No surprise there as the core crew are from the latter. )

PRELUDE TO 2005 : A New Year Resolution Preview

It occurred to me recently that if I were now to meet myself at the age of 12 – the age, as some know well, that has been called the Golden Age of my Comic Book collecting days – I would, I have no doubt, be an extreme fanboy to my twelve year old self.

He might be impressed by the fact that I’m a writer – but then, he knew he was going to be a comic book artist, or cartoonist. That I’m that one of a relatively rare clan, a writer who makes his living writing, would make a slight difference to my 12 year old self. He is, after all, convinced that the simple action of writing a short story and getting it published is like winning the grand prize at the end of a Quiz Show on television.

( My 12 year old self has not met any ‘real’ people at that time )

As I said, he knows he wants to be a writer at some point of his life. And, with a 12 year old arrogance that is utter and absolute, he knows what kind of an author he wants to be. He wants to be the kind of author who will someday wins recognitions and awards.

Which is to say he wants to grow up to be a fantasy or science fiction or comic book writer, and a writer of a particular kind. He wants to grow up to write the kind of story that changes how the people in Malaysia see the world. He knows there’s a difference between writing ‘locally’ and ‘internationally’, and he likes the way that some books have both of them. He wants to be H.G Wells, Asimov, or even Cricton and Aziz M.Osman(?). He wouldn’t mind being a copycat or a rip-off of somebody else. He wanted to learn. He wants to be a writer.

And I would have disappointed him. I didn’t grow up to be a writer, except possibly in the loosest most ‘story doesn’t stand for pleasure, passion and satisfaction, it stands for anything we damn well please’ sense of the word. Understand, this came as an enormous surprise to me. I was sure I was going to be a writer, as sure as anyone can be of anything. I just didn’t turn out that way… exactly as I earlier envisioned.

Most writers of fiction are dreamers, to some degree or another. We learn to teach ourselves what we need. We get in there fast and shallow and we suck the life and the juice from the subject in our own way. Then we manage to give the impression that we know everything about the subject in our writing.

I feel sorry for all the teachers who attempted to teach me the rudiments of subjects that I had no interest in. If I’d known that I’d need history and maths(fobia yang paling aku geruni!) to write with, I would have studied much harder, just as I would have paid more attention in Maths if I’d known that one day I was going to have to make sense out of my salary, KWSP, EPF, SOCSO, and other confusing financial statements.

The subject I paid most attention to in school was either BM, English and arts ( and for some particular reason, Pendidikan Jasmani ). They made a difference. It was what I was studying. I was reading all the things that was published and available, and, having finished that, I was reading everything I could find that was out of print, dusty, forgotten. I enjoyed the good books, and I enjoyed the bad books. I read everything. But most of all I looked out for and hunted down and read things that had won my heart. Because I knew it was going to be good. Not just popular good, but well-written, and wise, and that it would stretch my head into places it had not been before.

I am over 10 years older than that boy, and I have become both more blaze and more cynical about getting passionate of things that I like. I’ve won more than my share of achievements. I’ve been a critic, and have learned that some critics, like the makers of quality well-written books, do their business behind closed doors for a reason. I’ve learned that popular and democratic books are too often fickle, and easily manipulated, and no guarantee of lasting worth. Still, as individuals and as a group, writing and reading is a wonderful thing. It’s a fine thing to be a REAL writer. It’s a finer thing to be someone or achieve and win something in the long run – at least until the next morning, when you have to face a blank sheet of paper, and you find the writing no easier than it ever was – and, often, it’s harder.

But the real importance of awards is being appreciated from the people out there ( known or unknown ), I like to think, as in telling, and, more importantly; claiming that the next generations of writers, where to look, where to go, where the best writing and the coolest ideas are to be found. And after all, this is what I am are here for the whole of 2004. And let me tell you this : It is the most challenging year since ever. Ever.

Hoping that 2005 will be even bolder and more tantalizing than I'd foreseen.

I am ready for tomorrow.

Jumaat, Disember 24, 2004

( Found my Raya shoes, it seems that I misplaced the item for an undisclosed reason. But prior to the point --- praise God the Almighty : Alhamdulillah ! )

Well, yesteday was fun. Lots of happy people around, an enjoyable ( …but long ) working period and reading and answering questions from obvious source and similar resources. Now back at my desk and ready to write for a ‘ few ’ more hours, then off to the masjid for Friday prayers and lunch. I have to buckle up first for another ‘exciting’ day at work, of course. You know …if I were more ‘ awake ’, I could probably make the above sound much more interesting, and the answer to that conundrum : propose my idea for remixing passion for writing comic story or articles and working beyond the stretch of any ‘ corporate flunky ’. What I thought worked and what I thought didn't, and all that sort of stuff, but I'm still a little punchy so I won't.Oh! all right. I do whine a lot lately. And I wish things will be set in order soon and my quest to save the world a bit at a time.

You know what, I need to explain this to someone. Someone who is ‘ connected ‘ to the real world. I felt like there is someone ( ? ) That individual have exactly all the answers I wanted. I just didn't quite understand why I hadn’t make that effort to seek that person.

But then again, you never know.

If ever I get inspired into looking for that ‘ someone ’ … of course I'll post it up here in plenty of time. So far I've succeeded in saying no.

p/s : an emotional and ‘ distractive ’ Friday morning.

Rabu, Disember 22, 2004

Yesterday was the day I lost my pair of shoes ( Yup! … the shoes I specifically bought for Raya and for work ) . But don’t worry, I will not going to loose my senses. I am not under orders to mention this, and then again I’m still frustrated by the unfortunate events.

The work by the way, thus far is .... quite tiring but interesting. It wasn't just the air-conditioning and free internet connection. As an experiment, I am seeing if I can blog in-between working hours . I am using a computer which; in a few months had to be taken away from me ( … its gonna be used by other up-and-coming reporters in my department ) . Have just entered ‘the working zone’ lately, wishing devoutly that the web server will soon pick another time to misbehave. Loads and tonnes of writing to be done.

I set off very early to work from Mondays to Fridays. Karangkraf is about a stone throw away from home, so I don't expect to get there late or to be specific… intentionally late; then of course that will be a disaster for me ( have to work hard – I’m not getting any younger each time I stare those dreadful face of mine ).

Well, I think it's probably a bit early to write off a new year resolutions (… come to think about it, I better start a list right-a-way ). Which tells me that a lot of my act, and makes me suspect that finding a monologue is something limited only by my imagination. If any of you have any ideas why it's happening ( and how it can be fixed ), please let me know.

Got to get work again and find out who’s my favourite superhero of all-time.

p/s : Sometimes it can be really rather wonderful to realise that people who were your heroes when you were just a kid remain your heroes until you’re twenty-something. Thanks to all the people which tried really and very hard to understand me.

Rabu, Disember 15, 2004

( Went to the National Stadium last night : Malaysia won 2 -1 over Thailand yesterday after lagging 1 – 0 at halftime and made it to the semis; but to be frank I did not mind if Malaysia lost that match. The fight, the crowd, the drama, the “ F.R.U ” effect, the atmosphere - totally shocked and tantalized me by surprised ... one of the best in my many outings watching a football match. TEMPUR TERUS NEGARA KU MALAYSIA !!! )

Am writing like a mad thing currently, and keeping more or less up with everything except e-mail, Tiger Cup, sleeping+eating and comics. Yesterday I somehow managed to squeeze in writing a few testimonials for a few friends in Friendster. I have no idea how I did it. Maybe time is rubberier than I had thought.

Hmm. Sometimes I know when I'm writing that something's good -- there's a wonderful bubbly feeling as it hits the paper, and often it didn't exist even a moment before. Mostly I have no idea -- when I'm done I'm incredibly nervous. Sometimes I write something I like very much that utterly fails to set the world on fire, and sometimes I write something that I think is deeply flawed that many people love. Sometimes I write something that really doesn't work, and everyone else thinks it doesn't work too. Mostly I don't mind. I'm already trying to write the next thing.

p/s : … Faris ( my little bro’ ) is regaining his strength and momentum so rapidly after “ berkhatan ” last Friday; that my father asked him to stop playing football momentarily this morning. Remind me of me back then, heh!

Selasa, Disember 14, 2004

Just saw and having an exclusive sneak peek that I considered preliminary concept sketches and character design of " Kapten Malaysia " by the ever undisputable Mr. Gayour ... breath-takingly original and supremely powerful work of art.

Fascinating. People keep sending me news and well-deserved praises about the afore-mentioned “ Karangkraf Comics ”. Thank you. All of them have been supportive, sometimes in details, often in the big picture. Nik Nadzru was in the frontline with me all the way : taking virtual notes, changing ideas, arguing facts, disputing figures on countless comic reviews and previews session. He is factually correct all the way through, most of the time … I guess ( some people have had trouble with the both of us for being so fanatical - I'll see if they really mind us linking to it some other way now,heheh! In the meantime, you could try registering and telling if you like comics and seeing if that helps after the release of the comics in 2 – 3 months time ).

Never got anything to oblige at this point. I've been an avid fan and follower of Karangkraf's “ Kapten Malaysia ” since before I absolutely knew that there was really an “ original ” Malaysian superhero . I used to buy copies of Mingguan Kanak-Kanak in primary school and suggest them to my childhood clicks ( something I also used to do back then as my passion for comics starts to kick-off slowly ) until I couldn't find them any more. To be honest I think that LIGHT really got me all the attention I need. It's way out beyond astonishing. Lots of over-the-top blurbs from local comic book creators since they cancelled him but it turned out to be a “ déjà vu ” moment when you suddenly went to the place where you got to settle down and work. Its incredible I tell you.

I suspect this is going to be far too cool, and have absolutely no idea what its gonna be like …so I just have to keep my mouth shut on certain matters.

Also, an extra-ordinary meeting at Karangkraf today : all the writers, editors, staff, etc assembled for a “ confidential and top secret agenda ”. The problem seems to be that while they can “ do ” it as much as they like, it only stays OK until the next time I post something, at which point it just reverts to its natural entropic not actually working sort of state. Ah ... This of ‘course would already be telling. CRAP!!!

Oh. Right. That's a completely different matter. ( The answer, of course, is still elusive or part of the question momentarily )

Isnin, Disember 13, 2004

Meanwhile ... ( Metropolis awaits for the return of its prodigal hero! )

One of the co-writers of the next Superman film says the team is far more on track than they were when writing the " X-Men " movies. Bryan Singer is already supervising construction of the Metropolis set for " Superman Returns " in Australia. They are building a portion of Metropolis, like a major backlot that's amazing. It's, like, three intersecting city blocks, and everything is four stories tall.It will be like a permanent New York City-slash-Metropolis. He's writing the script with Michael Dougherty, recreating the team who scripted " X2 - X-Men United ". Superman film has derailed involvement with an " X-Men " sequel for the moment. Instead, the team is working on a Superman story which other writers and directors such as Kevin Smith, J.J. Abrams and Tim Burton took a stab at, but failed. The next installment of Superman on the big screen, which will star relatively unknown Brandon Routh, is expected to begin shooting in March. Meanwhile, Mr. Brian Singer is not sure about doing another comic adaptation after this mega project because Superman is his one " ultimate dream " since being a director in Hollywood.

Now that Brandon Routh and Kevin Spacey have been announced as " Superman Returns " hero and villain, the world of movie-fandom eagerly awaits for Bryan Singer to announce the casting of love interest Lois Lane. The two top contenders in recent weeks, Natalie Portman and Evangeline Lily, both had to drop out of the race. Portman because she's not interested, Lily because of her commitment to " Lost ", an ABC serial. A website produced a new list of top choices, all of them potentially interesting. " Under the Sea's " Kate Bosworth, who was also among top contenders to play Sue Storm in " Fantastic Four ", is said to be interested and considered. Elisha Cuthbert, from " 24 " and " The Girl Next Door ", who might be a little young , is also looked at. But most surprising is Romeo's Juliet, Claire Danes. Her star is on the high rise again after getting an impact on " Terminator 3 " and acclaimed indy movie " Stage Beauty ". Of course, Brian Singer might also come up with an unknown for that role as well. But you have to admit those aren't bad choices, and Routh himself must be hoping for one of those three. For those who didn't know, " Superman Returns " is eyeing a 2006 release and the title for the movie is still tentative.

p/s : so, anymore questions?...

Jumaat, Disember 10, 2004

( ...I have to admit, I am all impressed with the new BATMAN BEGINS teaser poster. Its' better this time around to be a Batman fan )

Well, we're officially looking forward to 2005. One of the most anticipated films of next year is Batman Begins, and I am excited about it as same as waiting for ' Revenge of the Sith '. With the fan's choice for director and lead ( Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale for those who have been living in a bat cave for the last year) , as well as one of the finest ensemble casts ever seen ( Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, to name but a few ), this has every hope of erasing the stain of that oh-so-lousy Batman and Robin from our collective minds and making next year the Year of the Bat for fanboys everywhere.

And, just to prove that Batman Begins really is on its way, there's the official international teaser poster. Now you may have seen another rather dramatic picture of Batman ( ... that's the US Teaser version,guys ), staring at his toes in front of a sunset / oilfire, but this is the one that will be gracing our fair shores in the next few months. And very nice it is too : plenty of darkness, lots of menace, and more than a few flying rodents. Check out the full-size image on its' official site. And roll on Friday June 24, 2005 !

Khamis, Disember 09, 2004

Today is Induction Day for me at my new place.

Lunch with the GODFATHER of Karangkraf ( ...TUAN HAJI Hushamuddin, and that’s no spelling error! ) and with other new recruits, during which I learned many things including the joys and tribulations and current status of almost the whole company. The unexpected side effect of having a lunch with them is that I'm getting a LOT of ideas to be put inside ‘ here ’ : in my head. The induction session in between that is going very well, thank you for asking. Am in a lovely house of brainworkers, where I write in a Fox Mulders’-like-basement-level-cubicle, which is the one room I can get warm up in the morning and rock ‘n rumble... Today I also learned something about listening to other people...(after loading a few things and stuff from my ‘ bedroom office ’ to my ‘ real office ’)I wrote a story once back in 1996. I showed it to a couple of people whose opinions I respected. One sniffed and said it was facetious rubbish and he thought I should try to grow up, and one said that it wasn't very good and that he couldn't think of anywhere that would publish it. So I put it in a drawer and forgot about it. When I thought about it, which was seldom, I remembered it as facetious rubbish, and felt faintly embarrassed to have written it. It wasn't bad. The plot bits were pretty funny, the style was solid, some of it prefigured things I'd do in a story if I have the chance to publish it. It's about what fantasy is, and why I write it, and what it would mean to write fantasy if you lived in a Gothic universe. It contains lines and tales like no other. So today, after re-reading it, I ran it through the computer. It wasn't the big rewrite I'd expected to do --- some tweaking here, and tidying there. But mostly while I typed I was just proud of the nervous young man who wrote it, and wished I could have gone back in time and told him not to listen to two people who didn't like it. That he'd just shown it to the wrong two people (It was better than many things from that period that did get published.) Not sure that there's a universal lesson to be taken from that but I realised that, if I was fairly happy with what I'd done, then listening to someone who disliked it for reasons that had nothing to do with what I was trying to do and whether I actually got there or not was a deeply silly thing to do, as was deciding, because two people didn't like it, to shelve the story for ever. So now I have a fantasy story to write for a book. If a new story gets done in time then there is more work and talking and negotiating and discussing and confirming while waiting for it to hit the market. If not, it will be another pending project for me. For now, tawaqal is a good word to be put in use. Either way it'll see print maybe for the next few hundred years, a bit late for me I reckon.

Lots of interesting questions emerged in my mailbox, and no time right now to do more than a tiny handful ( ...nanti esok-esok aku jawab la ok? )

p/s : I enjoy doing this, which is the main reason for being ‘ me ’.

Selasa, Disember 07, 2004

( … read something on the papers today; commuting - on my way to work. )

Merriam-Webster Inc. said last Tuesday that blog, defined as “ a website that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks,” was one of the most looked-up words on its internet sites this year.

Blog will be a new entry in the 2005 version of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition. The complete list of the words of the year is available at www.merriam-webster.com/info/04words.htm

Out of there and back on the road to my office at the crack of a bit after dawn early today, and I see that my soon-to-be editor has helpfully sent me a guide in magazine/comic making and talk to me about it. There have been a lot of requests lately from people and friends online and offline to let everyone know when the new issue of the afore mentioned Karangkraf Comics comes out. And to answer that; it is safe to say it is still on a tentative date to confirm.

So yesterday I noticed; slightly surprised that I'd not posted for a couple of days, and thought that putting a journal post would be a fine thing to do of a Tuesday evening, and it would have, if only Blogger had been working but it wasn't, so I didn't ( Arghh!!! … pening aku ). I seem to have a few brain cells back, which is good, and the writing is working, and I can get warm up again ( having no head for anything except my upcoming book means getting into the “ Matrix ” realm again,which I quote-unquote from a friend. )

Someone, as usual like yesterday and the day before asked me a question.

He asked : I was just wondering what you felt was more important, the story or the writing. It seems that sometimes authors who are known for their writing style get more respect than authors who are known for their storytelling ability.

HAHAHA. ( laughter explodes! )

I think it's like asking which part of a song you like best, the words or the tune, to be honest. In a perfect world, you shouldn't be able to take them apart. I like different styles of writing (and I like writing in different styles), but if the writing's being used in order to tell a story, then I'd rather it didn't get in the way of reading the story. But then, I like to be able to hear the words of songs ... like M.Nasir for instance. I discovered, he practically didn't take that long to make any of his songs, but he still got a lot of actual song writing done, and also did most of the melody and lyrics draft for an album. ( … its been quite a while since I last hear any of his songs, the last time was “ Suatu Hari di Hari Raya ” ). Hope that explain things a bit ( tak paham, cuba la try tanya lagik. Aku cuba bagi kau lagi tak paham,kahkahkah!!! ).

Feeling rather like a circus juggler right now : too many things to get done, too many deadlines being pushed as far as they will go and a hair beyond, and I just wind up concentrating on finishing things, one project at a time.

Later … later.

Khamis, Disember 02, 2004

What an odd thing to tell people ( A story of a ' lost ' counterpart ).

I’m sure it’s true for him, mind me; but deciding that it’s true for the rest of the world is a leap of faith I wouldn’t have made, much like deciding that everyone in the world needs to write using my lucky brand of pen or it won’t be any good. In my experience people need different things to write. I like comics. I more or less need comic. Its my drug. Given the choice I wanted something with a very,very interesting package, and I like comics with vision as it is. The first time I ever realised that other people weren’t like me was in conversation with this friend I met way back ’93 when I was in form one, about ten years ago, when he mentioned that he had to have comics too, but couldn’t have anything fully satisfying in a single issue.

I know him as a fanboy who need comics, and a dreamer who need silence, and a self-proclaimed geek who don’t honestly care what’s going on around him ( hehe!… sorry about that mate ). We often use comics to set the mood we wanted, and I use our so-called ‘addiction’ to make the place we lepak pleasant enough to get us to hang-in there and talk and debate and argue and fight for hours and hours ‘till the wee hours of the morning ( Hah!Those were the days ). We used to do this almost everyday and at that time : jobless junkies we are. For extra company, there's his brother which I dubbed “ Sloppy Joe ” ... still hanging in there I hope. I don't think I could get that to work any longer now.

Ten years and I screwed up.

It's started to make me wonder and smile with regret (?), and I like spending time with an avid fanboy and a total comic freak. And feeling like I'm the one person ever to regret the stupid things I did to all my friends --- from the beginning ‘till the end. This has an easy, conversational sort of style, and I'm learning things. Having said that, I'm not yet through. You'll know when I am. I'll let off fireworks or something.

We finally did it, man! : … and I send my regards and kudos to you as a true and sincere token of respect for our friendship.



Selasa, November 30, 2004

( Woke up this morning having, I assume, popped a blood-vessel in my left brain while I slept : the colour of my eye can't no longer be classified , and I look quite scary. Wondering if I'll go to work tomorrow with a beard or not --- I've had this thought since forever. )

There are days I am are purely myself. Today is one of them because tomorrow I am starting a new chapter of my life : the OFFICIAL day-one at KARANGKRAF COMICS after a long awaited-overdued days and dates.

A couple of notes on the above; finally getting a REAL job is an amazing thing, out-of-this-world experience at any point ... it's a huge, gorgeous, fantastic feeling that was made and given to me by a thing called rezeki. Actually after years of wanting to write for a local comic publication, but not having a local-only idea, I've had a local-only idea that makes me really happy, that I'm excited about, that has to be ' live ' local by definition, and that I really want to write. With luck I'll get time to write it in the next few years of my life.

Full confirmation of this, along with regards and any other details that may be relevant will go up here as soon as I have them. But for now I thought it might be a good thing to post this so-called ' career profile ' resume of mine, back when I first came for that pulse-pounding interview confronting the five head honchos' of KARANGKRAF COMICS :


I am an amature freelance writer ; specializing in comic books, copywritings, blogwritings, internet-articles and critiques - currently living in Subang Jaya, Selangor.

I actually started my quest for a career in comic books or creative writing more than a decade ago when I became hooked on American mainstream comics. I originally wanted to be a comic artist / cartoonist, but as time went on; my drawing skills progressed rather slowly. I was also having a difficult time finding people to write stories for me to draw, and I had to write my own. I eventually found that I liked that much better anyways.

I still continue to draw for my own benefit and freetime, and I would like to eventually sharpen my skills to showcase my art in the comics I write. But for now, my focus is my writing.
I read comics constantly and update myself on latest news and previews from the internet or related magazines and comic periodicals.

Through it all, I will always like to continue the pursuit of my comic book career and goals. Like some writers, I created a weblog - http://sandmanreborn.blogspot.com , and several other online critiques and commentary. I had plans to conquer the comic book industry; however reality would eventually set in.

After several years of slow progress, I decided the best way to break into the business was to focus on submissions and other more conventional methods. With that, I put my creator owned projects on the back burner (where they remains today), with plans to revive them in the near future.

So, in the comic book community in Malaysia, chances are people to read my work somewhere is extremely very rare because I write anonymously.
Today, I write and compile my scripts and articles gradually while also writing for a variety of other job offering and websites.

My ultimate ambition is to work professionally with any mainstream comic book publishers in the U.S.A, such as Marvel Comics or D.C Comics - so that I can uplift the prospects of the comic book industry in Malaysia.

When I'm not working - which is quite common of late - I enjoy spending time with my friends and siblings, surfing the Internet ( mostly comic books, movies, weblogs, webgroups and writer columns ), playing football or just relaxing and watching television or movies.

I think all the wishes and prayers has caught up with me, and I am going to try and sleep off an after-thinking sort of a pleasant headache. But this made me smile ... with joy.

And look, I am somebody now ( I guess ).

p/s : ... Thank you for all the people out there.
korang taulah sapa korang tu! : )
aku terhutang budi dengan semua.

Isnin, November 29, 2004

There. Home on early Monday again, feeling all-lazy and goofy, with deadlines buzzing about my head like wild hornets. I don't think I do weekends terribly well --- I'd rather be writing or watching televison ( although I got to experience a few open houses and a christian wedding; which was interesting). Woke up this morning for a structure of another story in my head, which is probably a short fiction for people who never interact, and ' another ' person who isn't there, which made me very happy. Then I tried to figure out when I'd be able to write it, and with luck it'll be somewhere in 2005. Which seems ... well, silly in this period of time.

Finished reading a book last night. It was a huge success for me after not finishing a single book since UiTM. I enjoyed reading it and revisiting an old favourites' like that is not enough, that I went back down to my folks house and ' selongkar ' the store or library lapok as my mum put it. Lots of odd books I had when I was a kid. Still loving each and every one of them ( ... aku marah kalau mak aku nak buang semua buku-buku tu : katanya ' sampah ' , CHISSS!!! )

Ask a friend about what type of writer should I be. According to him, I'm a " fairy tale " writer. Is that cool? When I was a kid, I really wanted to grow up to write science fiction, and I've always felt like I might have had a chance at being the next H.G Wells or Isaac Asimov or even Philip K. Dick. If I'd only paid a little more attention in Science, and if I hadn't hated Science ( or at least, my Science teacher) quite so much. And if I had a mind that went to those places. I'm very used to being described as a comics writer, a fantasy writer, or a column writer. Or just a writer. But I think this is the first time I've been a " fairy tale " writer.
( a word I find cutely retro, like fables, and, while I'd not use it, not offensive, although I have friends who do not like it at all )

So I'm watching some " Transformers: Energon " today ( with a friend, of course ) and I was reminded of how absolutely cool it is. No wonder I'm so addicted to … I mean, was … how addicted I WAS to it back in the day … when I was younger and of child age and such. Anyway, if you're like me then you're also excited about the upcoming " TRANSFORMERS " real-life movie, especially seeing as how it's been reported that Steven Spielberg is taking an active part in its development. The few things we've heard from the movie, however, have come from what producer Don Murphy has been cool enough to post over at his official site.

That's about it for excitement today, other than noticing in the mirror that I actually now have a beard. I have a theory that no-one can recognise me with a beard and a long hair, which despite no-one ever not recognising me bearded and long haired, I persist in believing, because I surprise myself each time I look in the mirror.

Another boring self-analysis.

Ahad, November 28, 2004

It's madness on the writing front right now, lots of tiny things to do along with the big things, and none of them are moveable. Still undecisive on what type of writer I wanted to be once I started doing it seriously next month. I think I thought I might be a science fiction or a fantasy writer. I don't think all of my stories have been dark and deep and macabre or total " adult fairy tales " --- I don't really imagine that people are meeting up to talk about me. It never works like that. I'm happy to be an excuse for people to meet and drink a beverage of their choice at each other, though. Then they complain about the topic, go off to get something to eat, and, if they like each other, do it again. ( ... unluckily for me, I was with them all the time,*sigh*! )

That's why comics are magic because I can read this thing I wrote and go; " This is so amazing! " I wrote it, but the finished thing needed someone else to draw and create ( I lose that ability to draw a long time ago due to frustration ) and to put things into place. I may write for another hundred years, but I'll never read a prose story I've written with that sense of bemused, parental delight. I'm still that kid back during my schooling years in Subang Jaya Primary!

Long ... occasionally frustrating, eventually rewarding day of battling with computers. I've more or less managed to get the network working again, and to reinstall a few things for the internet, and everything's more or less where it was four or five days ago before I screwed everything up a little, and then, in an attempt to fix it : screwed everything up a lot. Also it rains --- several inches --- and then began to gather up a thunderstorm outside earlier today. Typical November " Pantai Barat " monsoon I guess.

It does seem a bit simplistic, or at least, a bit wrong. You might want to take a look at the list I wrote early in January of what I did last year ( before doing a list of unpractical and unrealistic resolution for this year ). Most of what I wrote was comics -- about nearly 10 pages of comics last year. Much of that will start being published early next year, thanks to Karangkraf and people will go ( ... possibly most of them are my friends here in my hometown ) thinking : Damn!!! He's back doing comics. Although by that time I'll be doing something else like maybe a novel. I think it's about time to write one, it's over two years since I finished something literate to read and I think it's time to try and do a longish piece of prose again ( ... Hahaha! Tiba-tiba rasa nak tergelak pulak ) .

I keep hoping that sooner or later a few more of me will show up, and then I can write some of the things people are waiting for. Maybe they could even even catch up on e-mail or friendster as usual. But currently it's just me. Peculiar, isn't it?


Selasa, November 23, 2004


I recently received a mail that carried a new wrinkle to the old question, "Where do you writers get your crazy ideas?"

I don't want to give the name of the mail writer, because he asked this question out of sincere curiosity, and I don't want people to think that this particular guy is the author of extremely stupid questions. Why hold him up to public ridicule? Basically, he had read a recent story of mine, and asked, "How did you come up with the idea?" The trouble was, the story he read was just pure fiction and fantasy. This is one of those instances where the answer is quite easy : I came up with the idea when I was sitting down thinking and asked myself if I would be interested in writing it. It's the purest form of work-for-hire there is.

I don't know how the mail could have missed this rather pertinent point.

... and of 'course, there are other questions like ;

" What - for you, is a typical day of writing? "

The answer : There are no typical days. Overall I try to get up. Sort out any emergencies, answer any queries on my mail or friendster. Write. Keep writing. Write more. Sort out any emergencies or queries on the 'net. Eat dinner. Read to myself. Write even more, or read. Sleep.This is the plan and it rarely works quite as smoothly as that. Teh 'o panas is also drunk in quantity.

" What types of benefits, royalties, etc ... do you get? "

The answer : Mostly I get a royalty( ... tak tau la namanya tu royalti ke tak ), which is a percentage of the gross (or sometimes, but more rarely, a percentage of the publisher's net profits) on what I write. I don't get any benefits, as a writer of prose or comics, but because I write short articles as well and am a member of friendster and other online community, which is the sought of the best way to ask people to read my story, I got secured, and they will probably come out and bury me cheaply when I stop writing.

" What parts of writing do you actually DISLIKE? Why? "

The answer : I don't dislike writing. I dislike lots of the bits that aren't writing, and get in the way of writing. Not getting much sleep on normal weeks, and the way my hand hurts somewhere at the end of the week, for example. The weird sort of trade-offs in terms of publicity and privacy. Not having the time I'd like for old friends. Beside meetings, especially ones over the phone, especially when they've contacted me to ask me to do something, and now want me to convince them how much I want to do it.

" Is there any part of the job you enjoy more than others? A favorite? "

The answer : There's a thing that sometimes happens on the page, where something wasn't in my head -- or anywhere -- a fraction of a second before I got to that moment in the story or the script, and suddenly I find yourself writing something that's making me laugh or shudder or look at it wide-eyed, and I think, "Where did that come from?" That's the very best bit.

( Ehmm ... last but not least, the most frequently asked question thus far; )

" How hard was it for YOU to get a career in writing? "

Oh, pretty easy I guess. I got up one morning in the late 90's and realised I ought to be a writer, because it was all that I wanted to do( beside drawing ), and I couldn't put up a shelf to save my life. Well, not one you'd actually want to put things on. Then I worked very hard for a very long time, feeding and supporting a family on what I could make with my pc at home, first as a journalist, and then ( ... about the point that typewriters went off into history ) as a writer of fiction. I looked around about ten years later to find I was an overnight success, albeit an overnight success with ten or so books in print.

yeah ... rrrright!!!

p/s : It appears Superman has his villian and it's the usual suspect! That's right Kevin Spacey will be Lex Luthor. A reliable source of mine has informed me that Spacey is a confirm lock for Lex. Rumours have been circulating for a while but Kevin Spacey is finally the one. Some reliable sources also recently reported that the actor has tested with Brandon Routh( ... our Superman!) and Spacey himself confirmed he has been offered the part. I can now exclusively reveal that Kevin Spacey has sorted out his scheduling problems and will take time off from his role at any point to shoot Superman in Sydney next year. This will reteam Spacey with Bryan Singer and mean that Brandon Routh will be battling it out with a two time Oscar Winner who is one of Hollywood's most respected actors!

Ahad, November 21, 2004

( That Smile ... )

Smiling is infectious,you can catch it like a flu. When someone smiled at me yesterday, I started smiling too. I passed around the corner, and luckily no one saw my grin. When she smiled, I realized ... I passed it on to the world! I thought about that smile, then I realized it's worth a single smile just like mine that could even travel the entire universe --- MY UNIVERSE !!!

We've been best friends,
For ... oh! so long,
It feels so right, but yet so wrong.
You come to know me,
not since last week,
If only you knew,
You make my knees grow weak.

I tell my friends,
My feelings for you,
All but one, that my affection is true.
The one I can tell is yourself too.
Why does it always have to be you?

The one thing in this world,
That wakes me day to day,
Giving me things in my life,
That use to be a dream to pray.

A fire deep inside my heart,
That pushes me to go,
Even when I want to stop,
It's the one thing that I know.

That one special thing,
The only needed tool,
That gets me through it all
My interest in her is such fuel.

p/s : ... malang sekali perempuan yang senyum itu hanya wujud di dalam kaca televisyen di dalam sebuah program dan saya rasa dia senyum lebih kepada ramai lagi orang selain saya : *sigh*

Jumaat, November 19, 2004

sedang bosan menunggu waktu dan menanti masa ... tiada ada akan kesudahannya bukan?

" selamat datang sunyi "

selamat datang sunyi
kutunggu kau di ruang sudut hati
malam ini kita akan bercakap kembali
tentang cinta yang berkabut, rindu yang berlumut.

selamat datang sunyi
jangan kau tinggalkan sepasang mata itu
yang menyimpan telaga
kerana kita akan mengarunginya
menembus lintasan rahsia.

selamat datang sunyi
mari kita segera pergi
tinggalkan sejenak tangis tanah ini
berkelana mencari jejak-jejak cahaya
dan kau lihatlah kini
jutaan bayang-bayang mengikuti
biarkan saja!
kita tidak sedang memburunya.

selamat datang sunyi
di sini percakapan kita mula
orang-orang kini pergi mencari kemanusiaannya yang tercuri
mereka menangis di lorong-lorong kegelapan
tak lagi punya mimpi.

tentang indahnya pagi sambil terus menanti terbit matahari
tapi malam masih akan teramat panjang.

p/s: selesai saja ini ... lantas terus rasa lapar!

Khamis, November 18, 2004

M. Nasir bikin filem lagi.

M.NASIR akan mengarah dan menerbitkan sendiri sebuah filem bercorak pertarungan awal tahun depan. Filem tersebut yang dijangka menelan belanja sekitar RM1.2 juta itu akan diterbitkan di bawah syarikat miliknya dengan kerjasama sebuah syarikat lain.

Buat masa ini skrip filem ini sedang dalam proses pengubahsuaian dan insya-Allah awal tahun depan akan mulalah proses produksinya. Beberapa nama pelakon telah pun di kenal pasti untuk membintangi filem ini. Menurut M.Nasir, walaupun sebelum ini filem arahannya, ' Merah ' gagal mencapai kutipan box-office tetapi itu sedikitpun tidak melemahkan semangatnya untuk terus mengarah. ' Merah ' adalah pengalaman pengarahan filem pertama M.Nasir. Tetapi dia tidak serik malah ia dijadikan tauladan dan panduan untuk bekalan mengarahkan filem kedua ini. M.Nasir yakin dengan pengalaman lalu dan para pelakon berpengalaman yang akan membintangi filem ini, ia akan dapat membantu menjayakannya.

Sebelum ini, M.Nasir sibuk dengan rancangan M. Nasir: Destinasi Dunia iaitu sebuah rancangan dokumentari yang menemuramah para pencipta lagu seluruh dunia. Rancangan terbitan DDB Sdn. Bhd., dengan skrip dan penyelidikan Saniboey Ismail itu dijangka akan disiarkan di astro RIA tidak lama lagi. Rancangan 26 episod itu telah pun menjalani penggambaran di Turki, London dan Sepanyol selama hampir dua bulan lalu. Penggambaran ini dijangka akan disambung semula selepas Hari Raya ini. Menurut M.Nasir, rancangan yang menemuramah para pencipta lagu yang lahir di bandar-bandar terpencil di dunia itu dijangka akan dapat memberi manfaat kepada para pencipta tempatan.

' M. Nasir: Destinasi Dunia ' diarahkan oleh Khairul Anwar Salleh.

Rabu, November 17, 2004

Nothing exciting to report. I've survived 3 days of Hari raya, and was sort of enjoying it by the end of day three ( a oh-so-simple Hari Raya that is ... ). I am now at my folk's home, catching up on brothers' and sisters'. For Fara Farzana @ Nana's 4th birthday ( the little sister; not the DJ ) she asked me for a Barbie school bag as a present, which she wanted so bad. It's been several months now, and is almost a bit too late, but I'm cheerfully getting it for her. Now, when I'm not dozing, eating, or being dragged around on walks ... I like teasing her a lot ("You like the walks! You're the one who drags people! That's not fair" says Nana ( mind reading this over my shoulder). Aah! ... kids' nowadays!

Right. Hope all of you are having a wonderful time for this whole month of Syawal.

As I've said before ( I think MANY times, so if I keep repeating myself on this, please forgive me. I'm setting these little stories up for those who may not have read any of the previous ones ... ) I like being alone. The reason? Simple : I wanted to see ' me ' ... and that's the best part of the day.

Yes, it's that irregular feature wherein I tell a story that, for any one of a number of reasons, is not going to see print anywhere but I like it enough to want to share it with an audience anyway ( on the concept that a story isn't a story unless it's told ). What else is there to say? Now, you tell me ...

I have been amazed, amused, and even moved by the e-mails I've been receiving, a number of which I am going to be running over the next several days. Some have been argumentative, some thought-provoking, and a few of them as the result of painful confessions made in the course of it --- is probably few of the most touching and troubling mails that I've ever received. I must admit, sometimes it's a little disconcerting. There's still the occasional person who tells me I don't seem like toxic waste ( which usually prompts puzzled looks from anyone reading this weblog, who eventually aren't related in this column). There are the people who still ask if I'm going to be taking up on the offer of being a full-time actor from being and extra cast ( ... accursed those people at KRU! ). I reiterate : Why whould I want to trade my job now, which is the best thing that had ever happened to me?

And there are the people who ask me questions that relate to aspects of my personal life, and there's always a momentary flash in my mind :

" How did he know this? How does this stranger know my life sucks? How did he know my ideas are constantly rejected? ". And then I realize he must be a reader.

Sometimes, I forget that what I write here, in the privacy of my room, actually goes out and gets read. I mean, I know it intellectually, but the reality of it can throw me from time to time. This column has become such a personal expression of what's going through my mind that in regard to my life and my upcoming so-called " career " in writing; that it doesn't occur to me that I'm sharing it with others. As my friend has said, it's cheaper than therapy. It's also higher-profile. But if there's one thing this column has provided me with, it's a sense of appreciation for free speech, for the freedom that was endemic to this country's creation. And, in the year I've been writing this column, the most striking thing I've seen is the downslide in those freedoms. When I was in high school in some Subang Jaya secondary ( a pit if there ever was one, at least at the time ), one of the few things history teachers taught us that stayed with me was that the socio-political atmosphere of this country is like a pendulum. That, historically, it swings from liberal to conservative and back again. Same thing when I was in Uitm.

I had a great deal of trouble accepting that. Oh, maybe that had happened in the past. But here I was just having come through the '80s into the early '90s, and we had a country that was nothing but freedoms. You could say anything and not fear recrimination. Decision after decision supported a freewill. Men and women had the right to decisions ( bad decisions, granted, but decisions ) about their own self. And people knew that war and slaughter was, by and large, a sad thing.

There is nothing more galling than to realize that a theory you had completely brushed off was, in fact, totally correct. Because if you look now, you will find that every single one of those major aspects of society is the reverse or in the process of reversing. Freedoms and rights, eroding away, in favor of conservatism and arrogant capitalist.

I didn't intend to get so heavy-handed with this. I suppose it's because in the past year I've seen myself change far more than I have seen the world change ( ... generally, i'm speaking of my world ). Although I suppose the latter reflects the former, at least in conservatism : all my friends and foes are becoming more and more cautious about telling the truth about myself.

Almost a year now. I figured I would give up this column no more than a year.

The hell with it. I'll stick around for a while longer. What're they going to do --- tell me to shut up and quit talking?

It'll be interesting to find out,kan?

Isnin, November 15, 2004

RAYA 2004

... sayangnya syawal ini.

kenapa aku berharap dengan semua naluri yang memanas dalam rintihan sukma. kulambaikan tangan jiwa pada bayang-bayang yang terbang diantara bau aroma yang kuziarahi; semuanya dengan cucuran air mata yang mengalir tiada henti. Aku bahkan tak tahu jalan yang ditempuh ribuan awan ketika menyapa. Ketika kamarku terbelenggu dangan gerigi kenangan yang mengarat. Ketika aku terketuk dengan kayu-kayu yang melintang, membayangi setiap lirikan cahaya yang mengintip. Ketika kelembutan sinarmu menyelak jendela. Ketika kau menelanjangi jalinan kelembutan sutra yang melingkar di ketipisan hari. Ketika geraman ribuan awan menakuti aliran kandung kudus yang menjalar. Ketika aku berharap dengan semua naluri. Aku ingin menerokaimu dengan mengikis balutan kenistaanku ... Sayangnya aku pada Syawal ini.

aku memberi langkah padamu untuk datang padaku
daun-daun kering yang berjejak
bulan dicakar ranting
dengusku ...
aku memberi dada hati padamu

hanya tinggal hilang
tidurlah dan bermukim
tunggulah kupu-kupu derhaka pulang
tenggelam bersama bulan di lautan
debur ombak nafas kita
aku memberi bingkai di wajahmu
lidah melukis cantik
selumat bibir.

menitis membasahi
ranum dada.
bulat mengalir dan hilang di rambut
rambut akal menepi bersama buih
buih ombak ... oh kasih!
tubuh ini tak bertuan
engkaupun khabar dibawa petir
menghujan hati menatap langit

menunggumu turun bertingkat
meniti pelangi dan aku tidak ganggu langkahmu
aku jatuh ... cinta pada Syawal!

Salam Aidilfitri buat semua.

Sabtu, November 13, 2004

Well, it looks like it is finally starting to come together on the STAR WARS: EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH front, with its kickass teaser trailer from last week ( let's forget the crappy teaser poster for now ), as well as plenty of cool ( and free! ) new pictures via StarWars.com, including biographies on everyone involved, their profiles, homeworlds, favorite weapons, etc. Lots of neat peeps to check out, including friggin' Darth Vader himself and my new favorite looking baddass : General Grievous. A little intro, courtesy of the film's mania, sets things up nicely below.

" For three long years the Clone Wars have torn apart the galaxy. Despite the skills of highly trained clone troopers led by Jedi Generals, the Republic fails to decisively defeat the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The battle burns brightest in the scattered fronts of the Outer Rim Sieges. As desperation grows and heroes rise on both sides of the war, the Separatists, led by Count Dooku and General Grievous, make an ambitious strike at the heart of the galaxy. Thus the stage is set, and events are put into motion that will culminate in the fall of the Republic, the end of the Jedi order, and the rise of Darth Vader... "

Frame by frame description of the 'Revenge of the Sith' teaser trailer.

00:07 - 20th Century Fox Logo

00:09 - Lucasfilm Logo

00:14 - "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."

00:19 - Luke Skywalker in ANH walks out to view the binary sunset on Tatooine.

00:23 - Obi-Wan Kenobi in ANH speaks to Luke about the Jedi.

00:26 - Qui-Gon Jinn in TPM brandishes his saber before the final duel with Darth Maul.

00:27 - Shot from AOTC of the Clonetroopers walking into the transport.

00:29 - Shot from AOTC of the Clonetroopers at the end of the movie with transports lifting
off in the background.

00:23 - First Revenge of the Sith shot of Obi-Wan and Anakin with their
backs toward the camera, walking up to a window during the day.

00:36 - AOTC shot of Anakin looking evil just before the Tusken slaughter.

00:38 - AOTC shot of Anakin riding the Swoop on Tatooine.

00:41 - ANH Obi-Wan continues his voice-over.

00:42 - Second Revenge of the Sith shot. A hooded Anakin turns to the camera with red and
yellow eyes much like Darth Maul's.

00:50 - Shot of erupting volcanoes on Mustafar.

00:56 - Geonosians ride giant beetles in a Mustafar lava field.

00:58 - Black screen with Darth Sidious saying "Lord Vader?" followed by Vader's "Yes Master?"
and Sidious' "Riiiiise".

01:04 - Darth Vader, strapped to a table, begins to rise.

01:05 - A hooded Obi-Wan looks up. He is in a darkly lit area with sunlight seen in the
background. This is possibly a location on Utapau.

01:06 - Palpatine turns to look at the camera.

01:07 - Vader continues to rise.

01:08 - R2D2 on the Tantive IV.

01:08 - C3PO on the Tantive IV.

01:09 - Padme turns to look at Obi-Wan with a terrified look on her face.

01:09 - Mace Windu raises his saber above his head. This shot is inside Palpatine's office.

01:10 - Vader continues to rise.

01:11 - Chewbacca and Tarfful.

01:12 - Yoda, in Palpatine's doorway, opens his cloak to reveal his saber.

01:13 - Vader finishes his rise and locks into frame.

01:17 - Two starfighters speed past the camera during the Battle of Coruscant.

01:18 - Anakin kisses Padme.

01:19 - Yoda, in Palpatine's office, pulls out his ignited saber and points with it.

01:19 - A starfighter in the Battle of Coruscant speeds along the hull of a capitol ship towards
the camera.

01:20 - Mace Windu fights against a red lightsaber in Palpatine's office.

01:20 - A large Wookiee army cheers on the Kashyyyk beach. Republic walkers and troop
transports can be seen in the background.

01:21 - Tion Meddon snarls at Obi-Wan.

01:22 - Flaming capitol ship heads into Coruscant with a fire ship spraying water on it.

01:22 - A very angry Anakin does an overhead slash with his saber.

01:23 - R2D2 in a grimy area.

01:24 - Padme, with a ANH Leia haircut, hugs Anakin.

01:24 - A small Naboo cruiser flies away from Mustafar.

01:25 - Obi-Wan and Anakin, both with blue sabers, fight on Mustafar as lava erupts around

01:26 - Capitol ships fire on each other above Coruscant.

01:27 - Anakin grab's Obi-Wan's neck with his robotic arm.

01:27 - A "Tri-fighter" flies toward the camera during the Battle of Coruscant.

01:28 - Obi-Wan held near the ground by Anakin.

01:29 - Anakin holds Obi-Wan's saber arm as he continues to force him to the ground.

01:30 - A starship hanger door slams shut.

01:30 - A very angry Darth Sidious swings his red lightsaber at something possibly small and
close to the ground.

01:31 - A large explosion on a capitol ship above Coruscant.

01:36 - Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith logo.

p/s : ... the saga is complete.

Jumaat, November 12, 2004

I saw " The Incredibles " yesterday with my brothers and sisters, and I'm still trying to untangle what I think of it.

In a nutshell, I'd summarize it as " The best Pixar film since Toy Story, plus with superheroes. " It's really a Retro superhero film, not another animation flick.

The film completely drops the ball on its premise (superheroes retire en masse - what happens next?). After all, do all the supervillains retire at the same time? Why? If not, how does society handle them? If well, then wouldn't heroes feel genuinely unneeded? If poorly, then wouldn't society want the heroes back? The film also uses one of its best concepts - that the heroes go underground and form a secret,secret identity ( heh! ) - as a blind for the real story, which is unfortunate.

So, it ended up being two things: An animation film with strong comic book effect, which it does well; and a film about family, which would have been more compelling had it had something profound to say. I guess in summary it falls into the category of " original idea executed well ", which seems like the lot of many superhero films in my lifetime ( the first Superman film and Tim Burton's Batman films definitely fall into this category).

( Well, I'll see if I can untangle this further when I write my own journal entry reviewing all the best comic book related film.)

By the way, did anyone see the preview of Pixar's next film, Cars? I presume the preview was a package deal with " The Incredible ". My reaction to the preview was, "Gee, I have about as much interest in seeing that as I did in seeing White Chicks."

It looked that bad. Ugh!

p/s : please ... more comic book animated movies.

Isnin, November 08, 2004

Sorry about this and that. Half-way through puasa, feeling stressed-out and irritated ( ... its not the hunger but something else more complicated ). I decided to take my own advice. As a solution to various problems you and I may encounter upon the way, let me suggest this :

Make good Art. It's very simple. But it seems to work. Life fallen apart? Make good art. True love ran off with a better life? Make good art. Financial disaster? Make good art. So, that's what I did. Mostly I'm writing a novel now, but that's such a mountain-climbing-or-ditch-digging sort of a thing to do that I stopped working on it for a few days and I finished a short story I'd started a couple of years ago ( it was to be for my ex's 24th Birthday. I now have moved on. Further questions are prohibited). In the past two years I'd written about three pages of it --- say 1000 words. And between now and buka puasa time yesterday I wrote another five thousand five hundred words ( it rains lately ... its the best time for me to write! ), until I put the last one down and suddenly there weren't any more to write. It's a very odd story.

Now ... if my mind serves me correctly today, I am pretty sure as much mystery about what " Phase II : life after UiTM " has transmuted into something else.

So for any of you who are wondering about it (or even if you just want to see what I looked like as a 24 year old journalist, with the possibility of wearing a borrowed suit and a black second-hand sneakers from uptown flea-market, in some awkward interview with an unknown), you'll want to click on this site more regularly. And there will be another installment in a few days' time.

for now, just play safe guys!

p/s : 'transmute' ??! ... hahahah!! I stole that line from 'Battle of the Planets'.

Khamis, November 04, 2004

... telah aku relakan kepalaku sebagai sebuah ketulusan mengusung cakerawala, kerana langit selalu lupa dengan warna awan. Pertikaian mendung kerap kali jadi sebuah pertukaran nurani, sampai penolakan gerimis selalu bersekutu dengan keingkaran angkasa. sesekali kegetiran angin mendesir merapatkan gigil bersama aroma kesaktian kata-kata di kesyahduan ranjang mimpi - membiarkan jendela cinta terpana, kemudian pintu kedamaian terkuak seluas sabana rindu yang senantiasa mengetuk-ngetuk pintu keterbatasan dengan jemari ketabahan.

sementara, kerimbunan akal menebal lantai memasrahkan maya dan ilusi menumbuhkan ruang-ruang kekekalan. membebaskan keperihan semata sebagai ketulusan pengorbanan. maka, kesabaran tidak lebih hanya pelengkap kemungkinan.

aku tunduk diam melihat harapan itu.

Khamis, Oktober 28, 2004

aku bercakap seorang diri ... lagi.

aku terasa bergerak seperti bulan dan matahari
tapi aku bukan bulan dan juga bukan matahari
aku mencari titik api
aku laksana resi
sendiri tak bertepi
aku bergelut dengan api
ditemani haba dan pikiran berapi-api
benarkah aku manusia perang?
mata tembus pandang,
jiwa bergambar pedang dibungkus baju kemenangan.
Ataukah aku batu karang?
diam menahan angin dan gelombang pasang?


Aku pelukis khayangan
Aku melukis sendiri
meracik warna seorang diri
di belakangku pembuat batu mengawasi
di sampingku pemahat kayu teriak:"dungu".
Aku tak peduli
Lukisanku belum jadi.


aku memenuhi janjiku untuk menjadi salah satu bahagian kehidupan kecilku
aku menuangkan ilhamku untuk menjadi pelayan dalam waktu
dan aku tak pernah terpaksa untuk itu.

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