Batman Begins - A Review

15 June 2005 | Hisham | | Movie Review
 

It took more than 10 years, but I have a new best feature length Batman movie to replace my old one.

Among the new generation of Batman movies (by new I mean, post-Adam West) I caught the first one on video, saw the second twice in the movie theater, raised my eyebrow at the third once on the big screen, and saw the spectacular train wreck that was the fourth on TV, and even then I wasn't too eager to watch it through to the end.

So I was very cautious approaching Batman Begins earlier today. And I left the theater more than 2 hours later very, very satisfied with Christopher Nolan's final product.

Spoilers shall thrive beyond this point.

 

Old Blue Harvest Fanzine Art

14 June 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork, Star Wars
 

When I was studying overseas back in the early 90s... very early 90s... I became acquainted by snail-mail to one Mary Jo Fox who was, with her friend James Addams, the publishers of the Star Wars fanzine Blue Harvest which ran for 21 "episodes", another fine way of saying "issues". They had a plethora of articles that you can read from, such as an interview with Michael Stackpole and A New Hope Special Edition review from way back when the EU was cooling down from its initial Big Bang.

Although it ran for years, I only provided art for the fanzine in its early days, mostly for its back cover right below the "Next Episode On Blue Harvest" blurb they usually have there. Here are two of the black and white artwork that were featured in the magazines:

 

The Game Mechanics Update

12 June 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

It was official last week, Stan! of The Games Mechanics has thrust upon me another 1.5 pages of illustrations to be done for the d20 Future Player's Companion. I'm very excited about this, and like the previous batch of work I'll do my best to give them their money's worth. To clarify: TGM will be publishing short three e-books in a series in the middle of this year. Later this year, Green Ronin will be publishing a hard copy book consisting of the three e-books. Imagine that. My science fiction artwork on actual printed pages that people will have to buy to see.

I can't wait to add these illustrations to my gallery. Hopefully I'll get consistent work from other publishers as well. Another thing I have to look out for is an efficient way to transfer funds from the publisher to me, that wouldn't be difficult to manage for both parties.

 

Sila Blogging?

07 June 2005 | sila | | Recent News
 

Hisham has officially invited me to be a co-blogger on this site! Thanks Yope!!!

 

Daniel Falconer Fan Blog

06 June 2005 | Hisham | | Friends
 

When I first joined the Holonet Forums and SWAG, I met one Daniel Falconer online. Eventually I learnt that this well-mannered, down-to-earth, and extremely talented man worked at quite a respectable place, to put it mildly. His SWAG gallery is nothing short of impressive!

Now it seems that he has discovered that there exists a fan blog on the internet dedicated to himself! Check out Daniel Falconer Forever. If anyone deserves a fan blog, it's Daniel.

 

My First Freelance Job With An RPG Company

06 June 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News, Role Playing Games
 

TGM

Ever since I got this computer right here four years ago, the one I'm using to type in this entry, I have been developing a portfolio and sending them to companies for freelance work. An industry I have always wanted to work on is the role-playing game industry. There is a list of companies that I send my portfolio to every year, in a cycle. Most ignore my e-mails. Some like Chaosium wrote back with polite rejection letters. Very rarely, I get an e-mail asking for a quotation like the one from Final Sword Productions. But so far, I've not gotting any hits from any of the gaming companies.

Last week, it all changed.

 

A New Location for the Blog!

05 June 2005 | Hisham | | Hishgraphics.com, Recent News
 

So, here we are at the new server. To be precise, at http://www.hishgraphics.com/blog/index.php. Okay, now why did you just hit the link? You know you'll end up right back on the blog's index page.

Now I have this webspace all to myself, what (you might ask) am I going to do with it? Watch this space for the news in the near future.

 

KLIA June 2005

03 June 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Their time in Malaysia had come and gone. Vin and Sila left the country, back to their own lives in the United States last night. It had been a fantastic month, and we were all saddened by their having to leave. Irfan, on the other hand, took it well. Even after the evening claiming his Ayah Cik's luggage as his own, Irfan waved his goodbye to my sister and brother-in-law without any fuss. Even this morning, when I asked him, "Ayak Cik mana? (Where's Ayah Cik?)" Irfan cheerily replied, "Ayah Cik naik kapal terbang. (Ayah Cik got onto an aircraft.)"

Here are pictures from last night sad event.

 

A Stay At The Hilton: Another Photojournal

01 June 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

For the last year or so, after sending Irfan to day care, we drive to work together. After the construction of Hilton KL Sentral, we drive past it every morning. Sometimes we wonder if we would ever get a chance to spend a night at the newest and state-of-the-art hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Then suddenly last week, newlyweds Sila and Vin booked us on what would be a 2 night stay there. After their honeymoon in Redang we were to rendezvous with them at KL Sentral. Soon after, we were enjoying the air-conditioned, luxurious rooms of the hotel.

 

Revenge Of The Sith Review... Sort Of...

26 May 2005 | Hisham | | Movie Review, Star Wars
 

After having been released for exactly a week, I finally saw Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith today. Well, not me alone, I was accompanied by my cohort, Irfan! Yes, true believers. There was a 2 years 8 month old child today in the theater watching a movie that was rated PG-13 by the MPAA, but "U" by some sleepy guy in a drab office in charge of rating English movies in Malaysia. Bite me, you oversensitive, politically correct whiners!

So, I guess it's time of me to review this movie. Before you let out another collective "not- another- internet- review- of- ROTS" sigh, I am very much aware that almost every guy with a blog and their one-legged puppy has reviewed ROTS this past week when I was in Sitiawan, so I'm not going to review ROTS.

Instead, I will review the experience of watching Irfan watching ROTS on the big screen!

 

Batman: Laughing at the Joker's Boner

25 May 2005 | Hisham | | Comics, Humour, Trawling The Net
 

Taking a break from Sila's wedding, let us now read on the subject of comics. Specifically, DC's Batman's comics. It's nothing to do with the Warner Animation's excellent animated series, nor will we be talking about Christian Bale in the upcoming Batman Begins...

Instead, let's take a look back at the time when Batman and most probably the entire Gotham City laughed at Joker's boner.

Yes, you heard me. The Joker's boner! (By way of the Accordion Guy.)

 

Sila's Wedding: A Photojournal

25 May 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 

Herein lies a selection of pictures of Sila & Vin's wedding.

 

Prelude To A Wedding, Part 2

21 May 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

So on Tuesday Vin had to be at PERKIM for a crash course at 10 am. At the same time, Sila's Marriage Course cert has to be retrieved. With Ain at work, we sent Irfan to day care at his Opah Cik Timah's. The remaining members of the squad split up. I drove Vin & Sila to PERKIM while Emma went to get the certificate. At PERKIM, we met Arab-born, Indian educated Brother Sayid, whom Sila & I thought would have made a better Islamic studies teacher than most of the ustaz we had in secondary school, and especially boarding school.

 

Prelude To A Wedding, Part 1

20 May 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

The last seven days have been a great experience.

Sila and Vin were in Kuala Lumpur maneuvering through some red tape and purchasing wedding items. Both were of course ably aided by Irfan, his Aunt Emma, Ain and I. We were like a squad of soldiers moving through military maneuvers timing each other, splitting up at some points to cover more ground.

Thus we were kept busy and on our toes at all times.

 

Have I Ever Told You That Wil Wheaton Has A Fantastic Blog?

13 May 2005 | Hisham | | Trawling The Net
 

Wil Wheaton is a fantastic writer and storyteller, a fellow geek, a funny guy to boot, and as far as I can tell, a wonderful father and husband. Plus he's also Aqualad on the Teen Titans. Here's the first paragraph of his latest post:

When I was a kid, and I or my brother or sister would get sick, our mom always dropped everything and took care of us. We'd usually spend a day or two on the couch, where mom would bring us all sorts of herbal teas, feed us massive amounts of vitamins, and let us watch whatever we wanted on television. Before VCRs, when I was sick, I'd watch game shows until ten, then whatever was on PBS (usually Electric Company or Zoom) until noon, then Twilight Zone until one. After that, TV pretty much sucked for the next two hours, so I'd read a book or take a nap, depending on how lousy I felt. After we got our first family VCR — a top-loading monster with digital numbers and woodgrain accents that weighed about 70 pounds — I would spend the day watching Star Wars (taped from ONTV) over and over again.

Click here to read more and go on to the rest of his blog.

 

Hishgraphics: The Name

12 May 2005 | Hisham | | Hishgraphics.com
 

Why Hishgraphics?

It's a given that my name is Hisham and I do some (if not an unholy amount of) art in the last few years. Why not "Hisham Graphics"? Or "HishArt"? Or as was labeled on my old extinct e-mail marketing flyer, "Khairul Hisham Illustrations"? (Or my perennial favourite Exploding Toilets Sdn Bhd... don't ask.)

I chose "Hish" specifically because I've grown fond of what the guys over at the Holonet and SWAG usually call me, over instant messaging. (I have no idea how it will sound if someone verbally calls me that; no one has ever done so.) Graphics, because... because.... honestly I have no clue why I chose "graphics".

I've used "Hishgraphics" on two occasions in the past: the GeoCities site where my general artwork is on display, and this free hosting site at orgfree where you're reading this article, and I've grown used to it that I think future projects on the web will also be under the Hishgraphics name.

What projects, you ask? Gimme a couple of months to plan and implement it, then if all goes well you'll find out what here at this blog.

In the meantime, here are some ideas for a Hishgraphics logo I'm throwing around. If you have opinions, I'd be pleased to hear of it.

Hishgraphic Logo?
 

Battle of Yavin Avatars

12 May 2005 | Hisham | | Star Wars
 
Upon some free time, I've cooked up some more avatars. This time they're all the X-Wing pilots during the Battle of Yavin in Star Wars Episode IV- A New Hope. Nothing spectacular; you've all seen them before here and there in the last three decades. Right-click and save them for your own use, if you want.

Red Leader - Garven Dreis



Red Two - Wedge Antilles


Red Three - Biggs Darklighter


Red Five - Luke Skywalker


Red Six - Jek Porkins


Red Ten - Theron Nett
 

Platinum Grit

12 May 2005 | Hisham | | Comics, Trawling The Net
 
Platinum Grit

Kris Vanderwater, a great web programmer and 3D modeller, introduced me to Platinum Grit, a awesome Australian webcomic by Trudy Cooper and Danny Murphy. There's no fantasy some elements of fantasy, no science-fiction a weird alien abduction issue which just defies description, no breaking-the-fourth-wall humour, and no references to video games at all ;-) ... just stories about normal (but quirky) relationship between three main characters, Kate, Nils and Jeremy and some hints a fair bit of neuroses (especially masochism on Jeremy's part).

The issue which chronicles Nils and Jeremy's first meeting features a good deal of turtles exploding, laying waste to a zoo, and breaking the sanity of a zoo-keeper which will return to haunt Jeremy in a later issue. Supporting characters include Jeremy's wrinkly Aunt Lottie (a far bit of perseverance needed to decipher her thick Scottish brogue), a Jamaican-accented cupboard, Arthur the pig and Zeigfried.

I'm still reading through the issues, and I can't wait to resume reading them
. I'm done reading them all, and there is no possible way I can describe to you the experience of reading this webcomic. All I can say is that it's linear, it's funny, it's shocking, it's got weird characters, and I like it very much. Macromedia Shockwave is a requirement to read them.
 

KLIA May 2005

11 May 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 
11.15 pm was Sila and Vin's arrival time at KLIA from Cincinnati, by way of LA and Incheon. We went with two cars, because Sila's message was quite explicit: "Need empty car boots, we got lots of bags"... or something to that effect. Here are the pictures of the KLIA excursion, which was a fun excursion.

Heading back home, all the cars experienced various technical problems... at about 1.00 am. My car tyre's sidewall bulged threatening us with a flat in the middle of nowhere, Abah's car's radiator redlined and driver's door window got stuck in the down position.... Those weren't fun.

 

Irfan As A Star Wars Planet

07 May 2005 | Hisham | | Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 
Page One of Article Irfan has a planet officially named after him in the Star Wars universe. Specifically, a gas giant in the Vaxal system. Third planet of the system, with seven moons orbiting it. How did it come about, you ask? Thanks to a friend of mine in California named Gary Astleford, a freelance game writer. He landed a gig writing a Star Wars RPG article for Paizo Publishing's Dungeon / Polyhedron Magazine (Issue 106, cover date January 2004) and he asked me if he could use Irfan's name in the article.

So, now Irfan is an official planet in the Star Wars universe, since Paizo Publishing at that time is a Lucasfilm licensee for Star Wars RPG along with Wizards of the Coast for the d20 incarnation of the game. Yay. Here's the scan from the magazine with his name on it.

Thanks Uncle Gary.




Planet Description