Thursday, August 11, 2016

The PokemonGo! Murder Mystery

Things haven't been the same since Chris was stabbed in the face while playing PokemonGo! He used to be buff all over but you can clearly see the effects of the injury. His upper torso lost all its muscles and he gained weight in his stomach. There was a somber mood in the air with a couple of instances here and there where he seems to forget what had happened and make light of the unfortunate turn of events.
People keep saying you're lucky you should take advantage of this situation, because the story is broadcast worldwide from Vietnam and to outlets like Telemundo. But the story is more or less than that. At the end of the day, I think Chris really just wants to get back from the abyss of flashbacks, the horror, and get back to the Chris that everyone knows, i.e. The Man, The Myth, The Legend.
Chris Perguidi: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

I've been in this position myself. This point where someone violates you in a way that it makes you sick to your stomach. I turned to Facebook and reconnected with friends I haven't seen in years to get me out of the abyss. So I knew what Chris was feeling, although it might not have hit him as hard as it did me. He can take anything. Even though I wasn't sure if he got over the attack, I insisted he come with me to the Fremont Bart Station to meet up with my other partner in crime, Adrian Age Scott, to go over the Superhood project we're relaunching after my extended time off to complete my finance degree at SJSU.

You could see the life come out of Chris when we had this meeting
Adrian Age Scott, Chris Perguidi, and me
 Adrian was late because something went down with the train and I told him I was with Chris. Adrian texted back saying "Chris the Legend?" While we were waiting for Adrian, Chris showed me how to play PokemonGo!
Chris showing me how to play PokemonGo! at the Fremont Bart Station

I don't have time to play games and this was my first at ever playing one on my iPhone, and I got to tell you I can get addicted to this!

He told me the meaning of Pokemon. How it's derived from pocket monsters and how some of them are bad and good and the leader was Pikachu. I told him I only know of Pokemon from the many toys I collected via Happy Meals. Ironically, those toys were discontinued because it was dangerous to children.

As the day progressed, he urged me to go see our friend Frankie Franco who had a show at the Fremont Arts Festival which was, ironically, next to the Bart station we had a meet up. I wasn't privy to walking around in the hot sun, but my friend just got stabbed in the face, so I relented without hesitation. Frankie was great, man. His jeans were torn and he bought a sewing equipment to sew it back on while he was talking to us. Again, I can see Chris' spirit being lifted.
Francisco Franco Studios at Fremont Art Festival

After that meeting Chris decided he wanted me to take pictures of him promoting our projects at AKA. But before that he wanted to go to an event posted on his Facebook called #blacklivesmatter. I said sure, I'm always down for a good cause. It turned out to be a photo shoot event where people who participated became the subject of this photographer who really cared about bringing the topic of inequality into the forefront and who really wanted to make a positive change in the world. I saw young people of different races and whatnot talk about their point of views. I was awestruck by people's commitment to making some kind of positive change through art.

I was kind of surprised having my picture taken as I thought, I was going to photograph some mayhem or some sort of protest, not the other way around. But I was down. I was actually fond of my pic. It was raw and I liked the way I posed. I reminded myself of Frida Kahlo, an artist who herself endured physical pain.
My drawing of Frida Kahlo.
During the shoot, James and his brother (Chris' longtime friends), stopped by to get their pictures taken and then Chris wanted to do publicity photos at AKA, the place where he trains to become a professional wrestler. I took some shots with him and his character Erika America

 and off we went to Jamba Juice, because Chris wanted some protein shake. I can't drink anything with sugar but I said sure. I kept hassling him about reading my script the PokemonGo! Murder Mystery the entire day. Actually, I've been bugging him to read it for a week!
At Jamba Juice, the entire group finally got a look at my script The PokemonGo! Murder Mystery, but not before Chris got a discounted protein shake because of being seen on television as the man who got stabbed in the face playing PokemonGo! James laughed a little bit after a read through of my script, which was a good sign according to Chris, because it meant he approved. I knew that I wanted to do something, a project that would encompass what Chris loved -- which was social media, comic books, action, etc.  But would also make him laugh and see the absurdity of such a horrid event.

Later on, I had a long conversation with James and his brother about film ideas, because I didn't realize there were people out there like me who loved cinema. I told them I got the PokemonGo! Murder Mystery title from Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery-- a brilliant piece of filmmaking.

I'm going to make this comic book that will hopefully put a smile on Chris' face and help take him out of that darkness where we all end up at one time or another. Like when I logged back on Facebook and reconnected with friends when something bad happened to me. People's art was what kept me going. I wanted to be there, just as Chris was there when I had been encroached upon. I kept telling Chris, if people are ambivalent to how you're feeling, it's because they've never been in pain or had anything remotely tragic happen to them.
One of the preliminary drawings for The PokemonGo! Murder Mystery comic book

All of these occurred in the span of about 6 hours, that went from East San Jose, to Fremont, to Morgan Hill, to South San Jose. Upon bringing Chris back to his place, I told him, "You know this was SoulFood." That, "I didn't realize that there were so many people like me who loved filmmaking!" Chris said, "It's because you've been hanging around finance students too long." I think I know what that means, but I realized as I tried to make Chris forget the trip to the police, the flashbacks and utter disbelief of this horrid incident, that I may have been pulled from my own darkness. Seeing all these artists and passionate people was inspirational. It reminded me of having those artistic aspirations and passion to make a contribution to the world through my art .

The next day he wanted to come with me to a boxing class seeing as he found a place nearby, just a few minutes drive from my house. He couldn't quite keep up with the cardio and couldn't complete the hitting regimen. He told me, he still felt the sting of the stabbing and had to go to the bathroom because of flashbacks. Our conversations are really entertaining because we get each other's sense of humor. While sparring, he was saying how I could be the next Manny Pacquiao, and I said, "Pick someone better like -- Ali!"
James' brother, Chris Perguidi, and James

Writing this blog has made me realize how lucky Chris is. He's got buddies that get him. A group of men in their 20s dancing around a barren water fountain and me obsessed about getting the scene right, but they were just playing. No wonder he's such a Michael Jackson fan. He really is like a Peter Pan. Hanging with these bunch reminded me of never letting go of my dreams and of the joy art brings to my life.
Chris in the early years as Peter Pan


  1. Wonderful article about #pokemongo, #peterpan and #chrisperguidi . Hope you make it a three part series

  2. Randall Vogel ... Wow comic book artists have to be tuff...;)❤

    1. yes we do ! they always try to kill us or pu as in jail as you know !