Friday, December 09, 2011

A Tribute To My Dad

It's been 40 days since my dad passed away. This is pretty significant in Filipino culture. Tonight, we are having a mass and dinner for my dad. There will be quite a few friends and family there. I've been asked to say a few words, which has caused me to stress out a little bit. But it reminded me of a piece I wrote the day after my father died. This was meant to be more cathartic than anything else, but I find it appropriate given the significance of the day. I also allows me to put a little bit of closure on the open-ended blog post from a little over a month ago.

I will not be reading this at the event tonight, but I felt, at the very least, this tribute should be read by those who would like to read it.

So, without further ado, here is the tribute I wrote for my dad: Dr. Demetrio L. Peralta Sr.


I’ve been asked to write a tribute to my father. I will attempt to do the man justice, but I feel out of all the family, I am the least qualified to write about him. Being the youngest child, the baby of the family, I have obviously known Dad the least amount of time. I do, however, have a bond that no one else has: I was born a mere hours after his forty-sixth birthday. We will forever be linked in this way, as will my daughter be linked with me. (She was born on Dad’s seventy-sixth birthday). As I write this, all our birthdays were this past weekend, with my father passing on All Saints Day.

Over the past four months, I have spent more time with my dad than I have in the past four years. I’m not particularly proud of that fact, but then again my dad was not an easy guy to know. Sure, for the past decade, he and mom were gone most of the year in Las Vegas. But he has always been a man of few words; stoic, usually sitting near the picture window in our dining room looking out on our wooded backyard. Occasionally, there would be bursts of absurd silliness that did not jibe with the rest of his personality. (My dad attempting to hypnotize lobsters, for example, would be near the top of that list.) Obviously, meeting dad later in his life, close to his 50s, my view of him is vastly different than some of the other folks in the family. But here is my recollection...

I will perpetually have this image of my father wearing his straw cowboy hat and using his riding mower to cut the grass at his office. I remember his sneezes - yes, sneezes - always coming in threes and loud as all get out. I will remember the way he pulled up his pajama bottoms - a small twist and a pull up, the same way I do today. I’ll remember the funny way he would deal with wrong numbers, yelling the word “NOBODY!” into the phone, leaving my brother and I wondering what the question could have been to elicit that answer. I remember him devouring macadamia nuts by the jar. I remember flying kites and tossing Frisbees in our backyard. The way he packed his luggage months in advance for a trip. I remember watching him interact with friends or guys at a hardware store or repair shop. The way his voice would raise an octave when he spoke to them and how his jokes always seemed a little bit off. I remember him watching Big Time Wrestling, sitting forward in his seat and miming the body slams ever so slightly by raising and lowering his shoulders. I remember traveling through Europe with him and mom, thinking back that I was totally unappreciative of it at the time. Being seven, all I cared about was getting a new toy from the marionette shop in Paris or a metal train set from Austria. I remember him leaving a wake up call in Monte Carlo and in his thick Filipino accent asking the front desk to be waken up at “Pour o’ clock” and getting increasingly annoyed when they couldn't understand him. I remember doing the rounds with him at Southwest General on Saturday afternoon and then heading to a matinee of a movie that was I’m sure a penance for him to watch. I remember him getting lost between the over-sized punching bags at Sea World’s Capn’ Kids World.

And I will always remember the look on his face whenever he interacted with one of the grandchildren, most especially my own children. His demeanor would change, his face would light up and he would instantly become a young man right before my eyes. I’m heartbroken that I won’t be able to experience that with my new child due in the spring.

This was the Dad I knew.

This marks the first time I have had anyone in my immediate family has passed away. Over the years, I’ve always wondered how I would deal with it. Would I be scared? Would I feel ridiculous or embarrassed as if I were part of some cheesy Lifetime flick? Looking back, I am glad I was afforded the luxury of going through the dying process in this way. Dad gave us so many memories in the last days of his life, so many moments to look back on. I am thankful beyond measure for that. I am grateful that Dad allowed us time to accept his departure and process it. I am also thankful that he allowed me the opportunity to share the experience of the death of a loved one with my own children in this loving and peaceful way. Dad has taught me that there is nothing to fear of death. That death is simply a transitional period that can be full of love and light. I am somewhat envious of him as he begins this new exciting journey without us. I can only imagine what he may be thinking, what we would want to tell us and what the look on his face would be.

So as I begin this new day, one without my father, I think to my own family, my own mortality and how this pattern of loss and sadness will be destined to be repeated again. Surrounded by my loved ones: My children, keeping watch over me, perhaps to the point of pulling their hair out from frustration. There would be frantic outbursts of emotion ranging from doubled-over laughter from unearthing some long forgotten memory, to unquenchable sadness, realizing that an end was inevitable. My wife, somewhere in close proximity, would be sighing and wringing her hands, mentally reviewing the ornate tapestry that we have woven together for over half a century. And even though I won’t necessarily be able to react and interact like you would all like me to, the love will be palpable. If I could speak, I would tell my children all the lessons my father tried to impart to me: to be good to one another and to other people. To take care of each other. To have confidence in themselves, always. To work hard and live their lives honestly. Most of all, I would remind everyone to pray for one another and to pray for me.

I wish I had used my time more wisely with you Dad. But I am thankful for the time I was afforded. Thank you for everything you have done for all of us over the years. I love you and we will all miss you immensely.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Condolences and Congratulations

This weekend is my dad’s birthday, my oldest daughter’s birthday and my birthday. I am trying to maintain some joy around these events. However, I am currently watching my dad succumb to cancer in a hospice facility.

To add to this, as I am watching one life end, I am also preparing for a new life to enter the world. My wife, Nora, and I recently found out that we are expecting our seventh child in the spring. Unfortunately, the first trimester is usually pretty rough on my wife, and this pregnancy is no exception. She has been battling some serious morning sickness most of the past month, meaning I have had to pull some double duty around my household to keep things in order. It also feels like most everyone I have been dealing with recently has been in a horizontal position.

It is not lost on me - the symbolism between this end and beginning. I was able to tell my dad about his impending grandchild and even in his diminished state, he was able to communicate that he thought it might be a boy. He also sounded happy about the news, which was good, because I think if this were a few years ago, he may have thought my wife and I were insane and been overly worried on our behalf. Believe me, there is enough worry to go around.

It’s a good thing I draw pictures for a living, because all this art has been very therapeutic for me. I certainly appreciate how busy you have all kept me over the past few months. Thank you for that. Also, keep going! With another child on the way, I will definitely need all the help I can get. (You don’t know how much my wife and I dread being beholden to the diaper and wipe industry yet again.)

I don’t have much else to say except thank you on behalf of me and my family for the support you have given my art. It fills my days and has enabled me to make a real living, something my dad always wanted for me. I know that he didn’t really “get” what I did for a living. Occasionally I would show up at my parent’s house with a new book I had illustrated or a deck of cards with my art on it or my computer open showing them how many people were ordering monsters or superheroes or whatever the heck I was drawing that week. They remain puzzled, but at the very least my dad knows that I’m not sitting at home pretending to be busy.

That’s it. My update. I’ve struggled with the issue of letting complete strangers know what is going on in our lives. I don’t know why I feel obligated, but I do. Maybe it’s my coping mechanism; talking to the people inside my computer. I’m off again, for who knows how long, to try and “get the big contract” as my dad told me to. Wish me luck. With everything. And say a few prayers for me as well.

Lord knows I need it.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

In Search Of...

Hello. First off, let me apologize for the lack of podcasts. It's a lame excuse to give, I know, but "I've been busy." Once you read this post, maybe it will shed some light on why I had to take some time off from Jawbone Radio.

If you have following me on Twitter, you may know that I am currently in the market for a Business Manager/Brand Strategist. I've been searching for a person like this for over a year now. Someone to help rudder the Len Peralta brand. I've had spots of luck here and there, but for the most part, I've been doing everything on my own.

I had been reluctant to post anything formal because I was unsure about the type of responses I'd get from taking such a scatter-shot approach on a major social media platform. Also, to be honest, I wasn't completely sure what I was looking for. I've talked to other brand strategists and managers for some friends in new media and they have all given me valuable advice. (I would hire any of them given the chance) However, none of them really do exactly what I'm looking for. Not to sound self-important, but I feel in some ways that I am creating a new category here. This person would not be an artists rep. This person wouldn't be an agent. In a perfect world, this person would help me build and extend my illustration business and help me navigate through projects. I'm sure this person exists, but I can't for the life of me seem to find them.

What follows is a document I've been working on that was helping me clarify what I've been searching for. I admit when I was writing it, I felt like I was trying to write a personal ad. I have to admit, this is sort of tough for me to share. In some ways, taking a step back and admitting I need some assistance with my personal brand goes against what I feel I should do. But I think it may be time for me to take this step forward, if I have any chance of moving past where I am right now.

Take a look and if it sounds like something you can do, or you know someone who fits this bill, please pass it along. I'm willing to talk to all sorts of people, providing they are serious about helping me out.

Ok, Here goes nothing...



I am currently looking for someone to assist me in building my personal brand.

Over the past 10 years, I have worked tirelessly to help forge a strong brand identity for myself. I have had the great fortune of being able to work on some high-profile projects and the opportunity to work alongside well-known IPs and growing franchises. I am at a point now, however, where I feel I have done most of what I can do on my own. I am looking for someone who will work in tandem with me to help bring my brand to the next level.

To that point, I am not looking for someone who can just answer e-mails for me and free up some spare time (although I’m sure to start, there may be some of that, but this is not a secretarial position). I need someone I can throw the ball to, and they can throw it right back to me and challenge my expectations. I am looking for someone who can represent me in a positive light to potential clients. Someone who can run interference when negotiating and help set an equitable rate standard for my services. Someone who can be proactive in identifying, pitching and securing upcoming projects. And finally, someone I can trust completely to help rudder my brand amidst growing competition and uncertain financial times.

I am looking for someone who can assess the sub-brands under my main brand and build and maximize their earning potential.

The ideal candidate must:

Be fearless and be willing to work outside their comfort zone.

Be flexible.

Possess proven skills in marketing and branding.

Be able to think quickly on their feet.

Possess impeccable communication skills.

Have a broadband connection with current communication tools and ability to conference.

Current contacts in the entertainment, publishing or animation industry are a plus, but not mandatory.

I am looking for someone to keep in step with me throughout the entire process. I promise you, this will be fun. I won't settle for less. Does this sound like you? Write me at monsterbymail at gmail dot com. Please use the phrase “Business Manager Inquiry” in the subject line. Please provide a phone number for contact.


Phew! *fingers crossed* Let's see what happens.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

DragonCon 2011 Schedule

Wow, this place is dusty.

Sorry for the lack of updates. Lots has been happening on the personal life front, and it's been hard for Nora and I to dedicate anytime to the podcast. The good news is that my other podcast "Geek A Week" will be returning this week! Hooray! I am launching a second season of the project at DragonCon this weekend in Atlanta. If you're going, see you there! If not, watch Twitter, Facebook, etc. for all sorts of updates.

I'm on a few panels this year, more than last year for sure. In addition to my Geek A Week panel and flash card signings around the Con, you can catch me at these following places. I also plan on trying to do at least one art battle if I can. Once again, watch the Twitters (@jawboneradio) for updates.

Here's my official schedule!

Geek a Week Podcast Reunion
Description: Join artist Len Peralta as he talks with geek superstars that were featured on the Geek A Week Podcast.
Time: Fri 01:00 pm Location: Regency VI - VII - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

The Walking Dead Fan Panel
Description: The Walking Dead isn't just a great TV show, it's a great comic too! Come get your geek on as we discuss both mediums of this great universe.
Time: Sat 02:30 pm Location: Atlanta C-D - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)

Apocalyptic Art
Description: Discuss with our panel of artists the pros and cons of creating images of creatures/events that only exist in our imaginations (for now√Ę€¦).
Time: Sun 11:30 am Location: Atlanta C-D - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)

Hope to see some of you this weekend! Hooray!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jawbone #286: Back In The New York Groove

New show! We talk about the lives we have led since we last met. BU and U Rant. Trees falling on you while camping and where that event fell on the death scale. Enjoy! Also sorry about the echoing in the middle of the show. That was totally my fault.

Download now.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Original 50 vs 50 Pen and Inks - AVAILABLE NOW

Whoa! It's been a while, I know. We are planning on recording a show soon, for those of you who are still with us. There is certainly a lot to talk about and the next show will be jammed packed. But in the meantime, I want to talk a little about my art project called 50 vs. 50.

For the past two months, I've been drawing heroes and villains for people with the hopes of making enough money to make it to make it to San Diego Comic Con. The good news is that I was able to sell all 100 drawings. The better news is that I am making the original pen and ink drawings available for sale to all those who purchased!

Unlike some artists, I still haven't made the switch to all digital yet. I still draw all my artwork on Bristol board, scan it in and then color digitally. This means after I scan in the drawing, it just ends up on the floor of my office never to be seen again. I'm a big fan of original art because I feel it tells a story. You can see the pencil sketching, the mistakes, and the notes to myself about what to fix in post online. Occasionally, you will get a failed sketch or two on the back of the bristol board that didn't make the cut.

I am making all 100 pen and ink drawings available for sale today. The drawings will be signed by me and can be personalized if you specify it. When you order, just let me know the name of the drawing you are interested in and I'll package it up and send it off to you Priority Mail.

If you would like your original signed pen and ink 50 vs 50 drawing, simply use the paypal button below to purchase. Make sure you list which drawing you would like in the special instructions field.

Got a question? Leave it in the comments and I'll do the best I can to answer it.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Jawbone #285: Pickle Pincher

We're back with a new show! On this episode, we talk about pickles, frozen quetzels, Emerald Wednesdays and a wrap up of Geek A Week. Also, PAX East this week! Thanks for sticking with us! Enjoy the show!

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: Is taking a few pickles (or in my case, thinking about taking pickles) stealing? Post your answers in the comments.

Download now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

An Update Of Sorts - An Update!

In case you were wondering why we haven't done a podcast in a while, here's what's been taking up all my time recently:

Geek A Week Trading Cards A Reality

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Online Art Classes - Show Of Hands

Last week, I tweeted about the possibility of me doing an online Pay-Per-View art class. In the interest of full disclosure, I got the idea from internet musician and friend, Mike Lombardo who is doing something similar with online music lessons. (Thanks Mike!)

So, in order for me to get a handle on how much real interest there is in me teaching online art classes, I am soliciting some responses from you. If you are interested in doing a Pay Per View art class with me as your teacher, send me an e-mail at artclass AT lenperalta dot com. Make sure you use the Subject Line: PPV Online Art Class. When I figure there are enough people interested, I'll make another announcement and give you all the details. For time being, the age limit would be 18 and over. If there is enough interest for a kids class, then I'll give it some thought and offer that in the future.

Also, rather than put up a survey, and because I want to elicit some back and forth response on this endeavor, feel free to write in the comments of this post what kinds of things you'd want to learn, what techniques you think would be interesting to cover and if you'd want to do all digital illustration. Because of technical limitations, it might just be digital illustration, but I guess it all depends.

Thanks for your input and I look forward to (perhaps) being your online art teacher!

Monday, February 14, 2011

An Update Of Sorts

This is just a post to say that we know we haven't done a show in a while, and we apologize. But when you see what I've been working on in the off-time, you'll understand why we've had no time to pull together a show.

Stay tuned. Something awesome is coming next week!

BTW, you can still purchase the art prints that are listed on the main page of the site. Current numbers are reflected and I'll update as they sell.

That's it for now!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Art Sale: Vampire Waitress

This is one of my favorite prints. I didn't think I had any more of them, but lo and behold I was able to dig up four of them! It's called Vampire Waitress and was a lot of fun for me to draw.

Vampire Waitress

Because these are so rare, I'm pricing it at $45.00. I will post when all four are gone. So order now! Also, copies of the canvas print "Zombie Trick Or Treat" are still available!

Art Sale: Rare Monster Art!

I've got a very interesting package of rare monster art that is up for grabs this time. Some of this art are the ONLY PRINTS AVAILABLE. I had one printed off and then I never did another one. Here's what I have. First up, The Mummy Returns:

The Mummy Returns
Remember in the earlier paragraph that I said this was the ONLY PRINT AVAILABLE? Well, this is THE ONLY PRINT AVAILABLE. It depicts a mummy coming to life a la Jack Davis style. It's beautiful and you must own it.

And now, The Creature Walks Among Us:

The Creature Walks Among Us

There are only three of these prints that I know of. One is framed and hanging in my basement. The second was given as a gift to Joel Hodgson of MST3K. And the third can be yours! I don't know why I didn't get more of these printed up. They were very influenced by "Horror At Party Beach."

Because of the extreme rarity of these prints, I am pricing it accordingly. But come on, you'll be one of only 3 people who have the one print and THE ONLY PERSON who has the other. I'm going to let these rarities go for $130.00.

So go forth and buy! As soon as it sells, I'll close this post. Good luck!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Art Sale: Marian Call Posters

Ok, here we go again folks. Here is the next item up for sale. I have 20 copies of this exclusive Marian Call Poster ready to go. When they are gone, they are gone. I will update this post when they are sold out. ON EDIT: 16 LEFT! I drew this especially for Marian's first Cleveland appearance in Cleveland. Each one is signed by me (not by Marian, but you can get it signed by Marian when she goes on tour again.) Cost is $20 which includes shipping and handling.

Marian Call - Cleveland Poster

Art Sale: Monster Cereal Triptych

These are one of my favorites prints and I have exactly three of these available. As soon as they all sell, I will update this blog. It's The Monster Cereal Triptych:

Frankenberry UnchainedCount ChoculaBoo Berry

This set of three prints includes FrankenBerry, Count Chocula and Boo Berry, drawn as real monsters. These are signed, numbered and ready for framing! I have five sets of these ready to go. When they sell out, I will post here. I'm letting these go for the low, low price of just $135.00 (plus shipping and handling). What are you waiting for? Buy one now!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Art Sale:Zombie Halloween

I've got this canvas print entitled "Zombie Trick Or Treat". I created it for Halloween 2008 and it's available again for $15 +$5 S and H.

Zombie Trick of Treat

Help me out! More coming this week.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jawbone #284: No Soap

First show of 2011. Time is Running Out. No Soap. Facebook. More. Enjoy!

Download now.