Stitch goes around the house on wheels.


The Pugmobile, a.k.a. Stitch’s Wheelchair





My mother, Nicanora Torres Badelles passed away last October 2 after her condition worsened brought on by complications from her stroke of January 2009. I thought I was prepared.

I feel like a kite. I can’t reach the sky anymore because my tether to the earth is gone.

We never are prepared for a death of a parent.

My kite is falling aimlessly as it slices the air in a zigzag motion back to the ground.

This is one of the aimless projects I had been working on for the past few days after my family buried my mother.

Stitch my 8.75 year old pug is slowly losing the use of his hind paws. Sometimes he drags his behind while his strong front paws crawl forward to follow me.

I remember when he used to run circles around me.

He hasn’t ran circles yet with this one but at less than 1.5 kilos, the Pugmobile could make Stitch a speeding doglet. Constructed from PVC pipes, recycled straps from old bags, velcro, and garter strings, with the wheels and velcro straps as the only parts I purchased, it cost me less than 1500 pesos to make.

Today we will visit our favorite Jesuit.

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

Twelve years ago, I illustrated a Filipino translation of Oscar Wilde’s “The Selfish Giant”, translated by Danton Remoto. After doing the layout (I was also book designer) and submitting the files, not much happened. Apparently, the UK publisher of Oscar Wilde retains copyright of all of Wilde’s stories despite the years that have passed which have put Wilde’s work into public domain.

Nonetheless, I’d like to share my approach as an illustrator.

If you remember the story, a giant had a beautiful garden. He had been away for years, so children from the neighboring town would come every afternoon to play at his garden. One day, he returns, flares up upon seeing scrawny children playing in his beautiful garden, drives them away then builds a wall to keep out his neighbors.

In this illustration done on CorelPaint back in 1999, I wanted to show what one of those children (albeit an artistically precocious one) would draw in chalk on that hateful wall. Reminiscing about their days on the other side of the wall, he would draw/paint images of himself/herself playing with his/her friends in the garden.

Below is how the wall would look like with more graffiti. The children draw what happened when the giant drove them out. The yellow rectangle would then be typeset with the infamous “TRESPASSERS will be Prosecuted.”

The influence of Japanese picturebook-maker Seizo Tashima is still apparent here, with the weird dislocated neck positions of the children’s heads as they read the dreadful poster. I love it. For me, it is more expressive than realistic.

I wish the translated works will be published someday. The Filipino translations by Danton for Giant, DM Reyes for “Nightingale and the Rose” and Jonathan Chua for “The Happy Prince” are heart-wrenching. Joaquin Hernandez did marvelous oils for Nightingale while Martin Honasan’s aquarelles for Happy Prince are exquisite and sublime.

Copyright © 1999 by J. Torres Badelles