And I’m back! Correction: I was finally back. I had been meaning to be for quite a long time, I thought it would never happen again. Several missed events after the last one I went to (I can’t even remember what year that was), I was back at Bayanihan Center last August 5, attending Indieket 2017…Yaaay!!!
I already made the decision to go maybe two months ago, though I was never really sure I would. Blame it on the many times I had to ditch going due to some reason or another. Valid reasons, I assure you, disappointing to me nonetheless. The ongoing disappointment kind of diminished, also due to a valid reason, so I was happily planning again. Despite several negative things happening weeks before the event, I finally really got to go to this year’s Komikon Indie Market.
In fact, here are my lovely loot:
They look like a lot, but they’re not. Don’t let this shot fool you. There are just a few comics there of different sizes and styles, a pad of stationery, a bookmark, one sticker, the event catalog, and the giveaway. The rest are business cards.
I loooove the giveaway! Upon presenting my ticket, I was surprised to receive, along with the catalog, a thick coloring book that I later found out to be made by the MEGANON COMICS Team. I remember seeing some free-for-first-50-goers or free-while-supply-lasts announcement online, I honestly just didn’t mind it enough. Therefore, I’m so glad I got the freebie!
They call it the Comicolor and based on the image at right, there are two covers. It features works from their different artists such as Puso Negro creator JP Palabon, Strange Natives and Tanod illustrator Jerico Marte, and comic illustrator and digital artist Redge Vicente. What makes it better is that I get to color the pages any way I want! Should I let the kids do some coloring on it, too? Uh…I’ll think about it. They haven’t graduated yet from kids’ coloring books.
Anyway, I really assumed it was a comic book and shoved it in my bag to check later at home. Only on the bus did I find out how wrong I was. Well…technically, it’s still a comic book, I guess.
It was still early that there weren’t a lot of comic geeks yet, save from the artists, some of whom were still setting up. I honestly avoided the tables near the entrance, wanting to see works I was more familiar with first. So my real first stop was at the posted set of the same image in various color renditions. It’s a digital coloring contest for Joanah Tinio Calingo‘s Cresci Prophecies.
These were my bets, in random order (Click HERE to see all entries clearly):
The winners were the following: 1st place: Entry 3 – Von Daren Milano, 2nd place: Entry 16 – Rowell Cruz, 3rd place: Entry 2 – Margie Rose Sagadraca. I’m so surprised that I actually got two guesses right…Congratulations to the winners!
Next that I did was to look for the artists I’m a suki (regular patron) of. Unfortunately, there were only a few of them in attendance. Meanwhile, the Indieket introduces new artists and their works that should help them gain followers as well.
It wasn’t hard to find the Alphario: The World Connection Team. You could see their sign from afar. Too bad the light would not turn on…
I had to think hard about which book to get as I forgot which issues I had already; I did guess right. Also, there were no other Alphario cosplayers unlike before *sad* Creator SPLGum‘s partner, artist Stryler, tried his hand on something else, coming up with his own comics titled Burning Love. Thought I’d buy one and see how I would like it.
Nearby were the booths allotted for comic book and merchandise stores. If I were an American comics and/or manga collector, I would’ve gone through the many titles (and stuff) they offered. But I’m not, I wouldn’t know what to look for exactly. Moreover, knowing myself, I would be going through everything–I didn’t have time for that. On some other regular day, maybe I would.
It was announced onstage where to purchase Manix Abrera shirts, so I found the table and finally decided to buy myself a shirt, something I wouldn’t normally do for budgeting reasons. I just could not pass this up. It had been too long since my last Komikon and I wanted to be nicer to and treat myself.
It seemed like it was selling like hotcakes as the woman at the table told her companion they were running out of supplies already. In fact, I think she gave me one of the last–if not the last–shirt of the size I got. The title on the shirt says “Ilang Maaaring Matagpuan sa Komikon” (loosely translated based on content: The People You See at Komikons)
Oh, look, the Sulyap anthologies! Well, I passed those up for now. Besides, Andoyman already gave me a copy of Sulyap 3 and while Ang Sumpa isn’t mine at all, it still gives me pleasure to see it included in the third edition. I feel like a part of it. Well, my name’s there, so yeah, right? Credit by association, ha ha!…I might be actually trying out some things. We’ll see.
Walked some more and spotted Niño Balita, Espiritista creator, together with the wifey and the cutie baby. I was disappointed, though, not to see a single Espiritista issue laid out anywhere. I did purchase his new work Ang Walang Kasing Bangis na Paglipad ni Cotton! (The Most Awesome Flight of Cotton!…sorry for the not-so-good translation). It probably was not new to others, just to me.
There were nice stationery papers there, too, for only P20 per pad. I picked a pad that focused on Espiritista characters alone and had the artist sign the first sheet (I honestly think he forgot my name, LOL!!! He didn’t ask, I didn’t give it). I’m not sure if I’m ever going to use any sheet from it as I want to preserve everything, heh.
Also got an artist-drawn bookmark with a nice quote on it. I chose the dragon design, by the way. It says:
“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” – G.K. Chesterton
Love the dragon, love the quote–win-win!
Beside his table was that of a young artist, Carl Cervantes. I actually noticed him first before Niño because he was smiling and seemed waiting for me to approach, which I fought the urge to do. As said, my priority were artists I was familiar with. After Niño, though, it didn’t feel right not to talk to the kid as I somehow sensed he was a newbie going through the awkward stage (of being new and learning the ropes…At least, that’s what I thought).
There were still a few people anyway so I thought of talking to him instead of going back when the place would already be crowded. Besides, aside from looking friendly, he really looked familiar. I told him that and he said if I watched television, he’s an actor in one of the series. He added that he’s in this certain commercial, which I could not remember at that moment until I was on the bus on the way to Makati.
It turned out that I was right. The actor/singer/host (I Googled, okay?) has now added “comics artist” in his resumé. Needless to say, I had him explain his work. His philosophical approach interested me, which made me give his work a shot, after all, I was also there to discover new artists.
Then I went to another new (to me) artist. From the philosophical, I moved to the poetic. I met Brian Vee. From the get-go, he had me at Kung Alam Ko Lang (If I Only Knew). Well, that’s the title of his work. I honestly was attracted to the whole cover design–love the color, the material, the whole aesthetics. It’s what caught my eyes.
I asked him what it’s about and when he said it’s his message to his mother, I actually asked, “Oh no, is this going to make me cry?” I mean, a message to mom, an if-only title, stars on the cover…I knew already the why. Knowing the pain of losing a parent, I already felt overwhelmed without browsing through the thing. He sheepishly admitted that it could (not that he promised it would). I think he gave me a little background (I say “think” because I’m not sure if he did or if what I remember, I only initially got from reading). All the while, I kept remembering my own mother and tried to gauge my own if-onlys.
Brian said that people found it sad, he had been getting such feedback from others. I could relate to this because back when I was working for a publication, I wrote a poem/ode and a little vignette. I got a similar feedback. Side-story aside, I was really curious, especially when he mentioned being a spoken word artist and having performed Kung Alam Mo Lang onstage. I bought his book mainly because I could relate to him in more ways than one.
Here’s a link to his spoken poetry performance (you can find more from his YouTube channel):
I decided to finally approach a table that was near the entrance. I naturally was drawn to the Pockets Fulla Pillz (PFP) table because of the guy sitting behind it and calling out to people. I decided to try out an issue of Rocketgirl because (1) though it’s an American comic book, it has a Filipina heroine, and (2) PFP CEO Fred “That Guy” Corder was quite the convincing salesman. I could sense the passion he has for what he does.
PFP also produced the really nice art series Don’t Trust the Kitten where you have to find the kitten in the picture that causes the problem. I really liked the copies I saw at the Indieket, but the thing was, I wouldn’t know where to put one at home even if budget allowed it. Next time, maybe. Meanwhile, the girl there was the very talented Alexie Laggui of Laguillotine. Research tells me she did some, if not all, of the images.
Next up was the Codename: Bathala and Digmaang Salinlahi (War of Generations) creator Jon Zamar. I admit, I’m not good with faces especially if I don’t get to see a person face-to-face at least twice, even if it’s one of the most popular names in the industry. I assumed it was him in front of me, yet I wasn’t sure. There was no one else with him at the time whom I could silently ask, so without pretense, I asked his name. He said, “I’m Jon,” and I apologized. At least I was honest. And I finally got his autograph, yay!
Looking at the merchandise, I was in a dilemma. I already had the first issue of Bathala. Getting the second issue would be the next sensible thing to do, right? Wrong. The other set was calling out to me, “Get me! Get me!” Then I left that table carrying a copy of Digmaang Salinlahi instead. In life, you will always have to make tough decisions 😉
I walked around again, trying to see what to get next. There were many comics that I couldn’t get them all. I also wanted to meet new female artists, unfortunately, not many caught my attention, while some artworks were kind of expensive for me. I was then glad to find a table–well, two–that seemed to feature all-female artists. I was under the impression that they were all under the same group, but looking at the venue layout now from the Indieket Facebook page told me that I may be wrong. I will not hazard a guess.
I chose to inquire deeper about the work that got my attention. The title was Lore, and that interested me alright, already setting my expectations high. I liked the drawing as well. Of course, I had creator Gabi Mara explain the story to me. It was short, still, the premise already piqued my interest, I had her sign my copy in no time.
I did feel like she was kind of busy or her mind was preoccupied, that’s why I didn’t press for a longer conversation. She was able to answer me about the group being all-girls and explain a bit, though, except new patrons arrived and needed her attention. I was already happy with my purchase, anyway.
[Ed. This part may have confused you more than it did me. Fortunately, Miss Mara explained it in the comments. She is a new member of an all-girl team called Tequila Tea Party.]
I was ready to go home. Onstage, an artist was being interviewed. I was not listening (sorry) because my mind was on the comics and the time (still had to go back to Makati then head home). However, I noticed two lone tables on one side near the stage and that got me curious. I was especially curious because on one, a textbook-sized comic novel with a glossy, fully-colored cover was on display, being sold at just P100 (just found out it’s already 10-years-old, that’s why maybe). That was a huge come-on to me.
I dared get close and talk to the guy manning the store. He explained the story to me and acknowledged that it’s for mature readers only (read: adult readers). I agreed, just judging from the title: Lexy, Nance & Argus: Sex, Gods, Rock & Roll. Now, normally, I would buy more wholesome stuff to share with my kids, except I couldn’t pass this up as well. Now came the signing part and I awkwardly asked. “Are you the artist?” The guy smiled, amused, and said, “No! He’s that guy onstage!” I think I wanted the ground to swallow me whole then. Note to self: At least, check the name first!
Onstage was Oliver Pulumbarit, writer-editor and occasional comic book artist, one of the three special guests for the Indieket that day. Well, given that it was not the first time I embarrassed myself that day, I just played it cool and chatted with the guy there whose name I was afraid to ask by then, he he. Fortunately, the interview ended soon after and I got my copy signed, then I zoomed out of there 😉
And THAT was how my Indieket went. Overall, I think it went really well, anecdotes included. I can’t wait for November’s Komikon! By then, I’ll be more ready. Go, Komikon!
Here’s a video from the event, as posted on the Indieket Facebook page. ENJOY!!!
All images Copyright © J.Gi Federizo unless otherwise indicated
I will link to a photo album soon, I’m just trying to decide on something.
For more Komikon-related posts, please go to COMICS TRIPS.