The Art of Komikonation #atozchallenge2015

If there is one thing that I have come to realize in my adult life, it’s that I’m a late-bloomer in a lot of things. I need not go into more (read: boring) details about it, but in relation to my topic of the day, it is only now, in my later years, did I realize that I really, actually love comics.

K of A to ZI don’t have hundreds in my collection, not yet anyway, nor do I have any of those cherished and expensive first editions of famous American comics or Japanese manga. I didn’t start collecting until several years ago when I learned from artist Jonas Diego that we actually hold local conventions now. Komikons, they have called these local gatherings, and they have successfully put “komikon” in the modern Filipino dictionary.

By that time, I was already aware that I could draw a little. Well, sketch, really. Learning about artists now gathering and holding conventions kind of made me regret I did not practice and improve on my visual artistry. Maybe I would be already joining them and marketing my own comics had I pursued learning the art, who knows?

Attending Komikon has become a part of my annual routine. I have been unable to attend some events in the past, but I have at least made it a point to be in one of the three major ones. I’ve been enjoying and, I guess, celebrating the new artists of this era who have made making local comics cool again.

I know of people who seem to look down on local comics, whether they admit it or not. The problem is they don’t even try to consider attending komikons or to simply check out samples. They have become mentally colonized to even dare think that local comics are worth their time. They either have forgotten or have no idea at all that many Filipino artists have actually been a part of various DC and Marvel series. Ever the peaceful guy, a friend of mine said it’s just probably because they already get to read manga on the net for free. But he completely missed the point. That said, I was not about to lose friendship over it; I was not the one missing something good, anyway.

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A sample from Kiko Machine. What immediately drew me to this when I encountered the strip in the dailies was it not only obviously showed bits and pieces of the Pinoy way of life, but the campus scenarios, though made all funny, gave the artist away, that we’re from the same alma mater. It’s not really bias on my part, just that it’s like reminiscing your school days 🙂

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I read the copies my friend owns and am really hankering to buy my own copies of the series. I like the drawing, but I really appreciate the story-telling and the fact that they — the Damaso couple — create “rewinds” to give readers more ideas as to the background of the story. They have also created the comic book Dragon Breed, which I like as well

school-run-sample-drawing

From the site: “in the post-zombie apocalypse, just getting to school in the morning can be a real killer. welcome to the worst day in the lives of a school bus full of children.” I would love to see a movie version of this! Oh, and this was even before “World War Z” came out

If it’s not obvious already from my past posts, I already have several favorite titles that I like to follow: Kiko Machine, Cat’s Trail, Drop Dead Dangerous, Espiritista, Sulsi (and the other IKOS comics), School Run. I would like to follow Trese, Fallen Ash, Bathala, Dragon Breed, what else….? I really liked, too, the book Elmer and the short Ang Maskot that later became a short film, plus, Kapitan Tog provides comic relief, pun maybe intended 😉

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The Alphario Team…Photo credit is theirs

Having bought a story from them, I think I should also try checking out titles from a certain group whose name escapes me for now. Meanwhile, I have to say that I really like the enthusiasm and the efforts the whole Alphario Team always puts into marketing and promoting their comics during the event and even pre-event.

Of all the titles, though, I really am very partial to Ang Sumpa (by Andoyman). Not only does the artist himself pours his heart into it, but so do I. When Andy asked me to serve as editor, I also ended up sharing my ideas, as far as the forensics side is concerned (expert-wannabe). That’s probably why it says “Story Assist by…” on the cover. Still, it’s his story, not mine, his characters, his plot. I, on the other hand, is just happy to be a part of the comics industry, even in just this way. Admittedly, I am now inclined to write my own story or stories — I can’t do the drawing, but I can write the story, right?

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They did not hold the usual Summer Komikon this year. But rest assured that the Indieket’s happening soon. I plan to go so hopefully, things will go as planned. If they do, see you there, folks! Support the local comics industry!!! Time to KOMIKONATE  😀

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For more Komikon-related posts, please go to COMICS TRIPS.

Indie-what? (The 2nd Komikon Grand Independent Komiks Market)

Indieket poster I know, I know, it’s been more than a month. I’ve been busy making a living so kindly cut me some slack, alright? *wink!* But it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this year’s Indieket. On the contrary! After my official first Komikon experience, I was so raring to go and get my first-ever Indieket-fix. Get it, I did. Okay, for comparison’s sake and for those who haven’t had the chance to attend both or any of the two, there are a few things I can tell you about the Indieket and the regular Komikon.

indieket-indie-comics-publishers

Here are some of the independent artists-publishers present at the Indieket

For one, the Indieket, or Indie Komiks Market, is really meant mostly for emerging and independent comic publishers whose main goal is to make their own mark in the world of comics. So don’t go around expecting to see more popular titles and merchandise.

I did say “meant mostly,” so be prepared to encounter more-established works while you’re there, like we found Pugad Baboy (Pol Medina, Jr. was there and, of course, I missed the opportunity to buy his work for the second time and have him sign it) and Kubori Kikiam (my friend Sherwin was so pleased to see creator Michael David and bought almost the whole set of the series. Mr. David signed every one while I wondered if Sherwin really had an idea of what he was about to read. Some YouTube vids before already told me what to expect.)

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Pol Medina Jr. (right) doing what he’s been doing since Pugad Baboy became famous—sign autographs 🙂

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Publisher Point Zero’Kubori Kikiam creator Michael David with his merchandise that feature three very horny kikiams. Kikiam is a popular streetfood in the Philippines

Two, if you get an adrenaline-rush mixing with a whole big crowd of comic geeks, the regular Komikon is your thing, not the Indieket where there are only much fewer tables, ergo, less room needed.

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The not-so-crowded crowd…Perfect for me! (Although, of course, for obvious reasons, more would’ve been very ideal)

When we got to the Indieket, in fact, the absence of long lines at the entrance—the absence of any line, for that matter—was very noticeable. It doesn’t mean that people didn’t attend, though. Turn-out was still quite good, IMO, although quite less than the convention’s. Organizers definitely expected this, having held these events before.

Three, the Indieket is actually perfect for peeps who want to be able to go around more freely and examine every table to decide what to buy. They have more chance to interview the artists behind specific works (illustrators and writers alike), get to know the new ones more, or update their collections. It’s even easier to ask for autographs and/or photo-ops.

One big plus the day we were there, the organizers gave away copies of the 2013 Indieket Event Catalog that have the front and back covers “empty” to give fans a chance to ask artists to draw something on those. I’m saving mine for the Komikon, though, as I wanted to spend more time going around.

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Again, Tico Limosinero, half of the guys responsible for Neox, was very accommodating, he actually spent not just quite a few minutes drawing a perfect Neox on this catalog

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There’s Tico’s boy robot together with Elbert Or‘s Chuck the Bakemono High werecub (extreme right), Ikos Komiks’ Ronzkie Pacho-Vidal‘s Asul from Sulsi at 6 o’clock and Michael David’s own kikiam renditions of Chuck and Asul

We did have fun at the Indieket. Less adrenaline-rush, alright, but more meaningful communication with our great Pinoy comic artists!

I am presently cooking up something for a next comics-related post. Meanwhile, check out and enjoy the pics below 🙂

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Highly approved! Tico (sitting) is all-smiles here. Again, we missed the other-half of the Neox team, Jomar Bulda

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Sherwin showing off the works he commissioned from Freely Abrigo (right). They’re not so visible due to the light, though, so below are a closer look at the stuff, including my colored Kapitan Tog (that one Freely’s holding)

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My very own Kapitan Tog in color 🙂

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Dobbernaut and Combatron

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Megaman and Rush

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The complete set of HappyLockjaw‘s DropDeadDangerous (DDD) so far…I am a fan of the comic book series and can’t wait to see what’s next! More about the issues HERE

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DDD’s story is by Chad Cabrera whom we met at the last Summer Komikon. And news, hot from the oven! This month’s RED Magazine includes an interview with him. Check out THESE snippets. And how about a full Blob Shack interview?

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Finally met DDD illustrator Mike Banting, whom I forgot to ask to sign my copy of DDD…HERE‘s an interview with him by DeviantArt’s Indie Graphic Novels group

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A true-blue FUNNY Komiks fan, my friend was so thrilled to finally put a face to a name he’s long-ago liked. Dexter Roxas, I heard, published his A.X Zero Genesis in FUNNY Komiks before. It’s not clear to me if FK is still out there, but what’s clear is Dexter’s story will continue

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So this is A.X Zero Genesis!

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Bookmarks showing the various A.X Zero characters

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Of course, as usual, comics galore!

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Also sold were souvenir buttons and other stuff, mostly from past Komikons. Sulyap is a must-have. It’s an anthology of previously published works that made an impact to comics enthusiasts

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Here’s a nice souvenir that I got–a paper art doll of Sulsi’s Asul! In my previous Komikon post, I mentioned wanting this and now, it’s mine! BWAHAAHAAAAA!!!! Ronzkie said they’re coming up with the next one, most probably of the character Pula. I am seriously gonna reserve one immediately! BTW, thanks for this, Sherwin! =>

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The Ikos Komiks triumvirate (from left): Ronzkie, Ray Vidal and, the guy we missed before, Anino Karimlan (whose real name I have yet to research on).

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Along with beaded bracelets that we got for free, the Ikos gang gave us these cute li’l thingies–stationery, stickers and bookmarks

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Meanwhile, we got these, too, from the Espiritista (Pagsapuge publication) table when we bought our copies of the comic book. The pink one’s the second love story shortie from Niño Balita (he must be one hopeless romantic!), and then there are the stickers 🙂

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Speaking of the de–uh–debuhista…He he he…Here he is at his table

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Now here he is asking a fellow artist for autograph. This is Melvin Calingo, much-better known as Taga-Ilog, creator of Pasig that is published under Point Zero

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Now whose hand is that drawing a character from one of his kiddie comic books?

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It’s Elbert Or, known for his take on a school of little monsters, the Bakemono High comics that K-Zone Magazine published

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Andoyman, busy-busy! Chapter Two of Ang Sumpa is in the works and hopefully will be ready in time for the next Komikon

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New artist I met here. Well, new to me, actually. This is Ricardo ‘giosdesk’ Guiao Jr. who is behind the Lakan at Makisig comic strip and, I have to say, I love those names 🙂

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Gio’s Lakan at Makisig strips. Sorry for the blurred shot

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Daniel Collado says Hola Filipinas! I bought this not because he is foreign but because I wanted to see how this true story of “A Spaniard in Manila” goes. He is a new comics artist working on a series with a Filipino who, if I got it right from the other guy, is/was his classmate. I am hazarding a guess Hola was part of a school project because the way the other guy explained his own work that tackled Philippine history was that it was a school project. Or maybe workshop project?

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Here’s a better look at Hola. I THINK I found Daniel’s FB, but since he’s new and I can’t assume it’s okay to share, I leave it up to you to look for him

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At the event, we found this display of entries for Filbar’s THE POP! ART PROJECT. It is a contest that requires competitors to customize their own suits of armor with three Funko Pop characters to choose from and use as base figures

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The said Funko Pop characters happen to be three Iron Man suit of armor figures. Deadline: Oct. 30, 2013. Jugment Day: Next Komikon, November 16th. For more details, CLICK HERE!

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Do you comic geeks find this suit kind of familiar? 😉

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With due respect to all contestants, particularly artists, this is my clear favorite. Well, was, so far. I have not seen if there are new entries. I like how totally different this looks from the Iron Man base and I love the little details. Thumbs up!

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DREAM COME TRUE! Last time, Sherwin the Kraken missed the hotdog-eating contest. This time, he wasted no time and ate leisurely away. Did he win? Clue: I said “leisurely”

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Manila Bulletin joined the event by having a free photo booth for anyone interested to pose. ‘Course, we did. The pics were supposed to be posted online by MB but I forgot where…

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Okay, to be fair, here’s my mug shot. The MB rep took a better shot, for sure, and hopefully, my shameless plug of my blog was more readable. There’s Asul posing with me 😉

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NOTE: Were you there? Anything you can contribute? A blog post by you about it, maybe? Just let me know and I will link to it 🙂

NOTE 2: More INDIEKET 2013 write-ups worth-sharing: A great recount of the event is at Sights & Highlights of the Indieket 2013The best from Komikon Indieket 2013 reviews some of what PsychoCow deemed best from this year’s Indieket. The simply titled Komikon Indieket 2013 post shares some very nice shots from the event. All these links will be added as relevant links in the subpages of my COMICS TRIPS that are under construction. By the way, these links are from the Indieket Facebook event page. THANKS!!! 

NOTE 3: All photos by Sherwin and myself.

Un-Newbie-d (The Real Komikon Experience)

“I’ve been KONned.” There’s just no other way to say it. After more than a year of calling myself a Komikon newbie—worse, an (Almost) Komikon newbie’—I can now claim to be a real Komikon fangirl! Attending last April 13’s event at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig made sure of that.

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Some posts ago, I said I would not expect a real comics convention as much different from the comics festival I went to before, but it’s one of those rare occasions I’m thankful to be proven wrong. The Komiks Festival was cool and all, but the real Komikon…ROCKS! For starters, I was early enough at the venue, but what did I find? Already two long qeues to the building entrance. Later on, the place would be swarming with fans to feed their comic-hungry souls. My friend Sherwin was running late so good luck to him.

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Whew!!! That’s just at the event entrance, lots more outside the building entrance, and lots more inside Bayanihan Center. Image from Komikon’s Facebook account

This just proved that Pinoy Komiks are NOT dead. Rather, quite alive and kicking. It was overwhelming to see a lot of geeks convening in one place (hey, don’t be offended by the geek-label, remember I was there, too, to enhance my geekiness). More overwhelming to know that thousands support the growing, new comics industry.

I almost made another mistake, what I call ‘Gayda Moment.’ Years ago, I absent-mindedly smiled and nodded a hey-there to a very familiar face only to realize it was Toni Rose Gayda, who didn’t really know me, and whom I never really personally met. Poor woman didn’t know how to react, trying to place me. So I almost made a fool of myself once again last Saturday, about to smile and nod a hey-there to Gab Chee Kee of the famous Parokya ni Edgar. Wow, ‘feeling-close’ naman ako. Funny, but I ended up following him in line. I could only hope no eager paparazzi took secret photos of him, a girl at his back looking silly like she was about to go to the beach with her large native bag, not attending the convention.

Once I got my ticket back with the stub removed, received my first set of freebies, and had the Summer Komikon logo stamped at the back of my right wrist, I proceeded to the lobby where I consumed a free Slurpee for breakfast (hey, I was in a hurry!). Shamelessly accepted, too, a The Hobbit Slurpee tumbler give-away (excess from when the movie was shown, but who cared? I love souvenirs). There were some non-comicbook goods being sold already right at the lobby but I didn’t want to splurge on them when I hadn’t even bought comics first.

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A young comics enthusiast checks out the exhibit on the various Character Making Contest entries

Facing the actual event area, I found on the right an exhibit of the Character Making Contest entries that had “Bata ang Bida!” (loose translation: “Kids Rule!”) as this year’s theme. Boy, a lot of them actually had promise. I would’ve checked out every one to have my own bets, but I told my friend, Andoyman Komikero, I was going to his table at the Indie Tiangge so I thought I’d just come back later (I forgot, though, but here are the winners: Character Making Contest 2013 winners).

So! Where was the Indie Tiangge section? I knew it was supposed to be separated from the main hall itself, but there didn’t seem to be anywhere else to go, but down a corridor that seemed too serious, I didn’t want to go where it could be off-limits. So I entered the hall.

Wow! Talk about crowded. There were lots of people and there were lots and lots of goodies to choose from. It was hard not to somehow touch shoulders with others or accidentally hit a display or two. Many popular titles and artists to choose from, too! I tell you I didn’t know where to start. So I just went around looking for Andoyman here, there, everywhere and I told myself to check outside again. It was a good thing because somebody, at last, posted a big sign now pointing to the direction of the Indie Tiangge, down the serious corridor. Ugh.

There he was! Finally! It had been more than two years when last Andy and I saw each other. Every communication–editing included–done through Facebook, texts and emails. I was glad to get actual copies of his Ang Sumpa (published under his Andoyman Komiks), especially because in a way, I was a part of it. I never knew I’d be doing anything related to comics. But now, let’s just say I’m thinking bigger things. We’ll see.

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Andoyman Komikero meets the Vidals of Ikos Komiks. That’s Andy, at left, with Ronzkie Pacho-Vidal sitting at the back, and Ray Vidal at our right

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Andoyman Komiks. From left: The freebie Palimos ng Kulangot written by Doc Ronibats, Ang Sumpa 1 & 2, FOODCOURT, Andoyman’s baptism of fire

After some tête-a-tête and finding out there was no phone signal there, I went out to see any replies from Sherwin. He asked,“Wer n u? Nsa indi komiks tiangge k?” (“Where are you? At the Indie Tiangge?”) , to which I said yes and I would be waiting for him there. Then I spotted the Jonas Diego whom I last saw personally at the Festival; before that was yeeeeaarsss ago. Of course, we got to talk a bit and found we are just practically neighbors in Makati. I asked for issue 2 of his Pocket Comics, unfortunately, it was/is still a negative.

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The Ikos Komiks. They’re a variety of things–for kids, love stories, fantasies, action, drama, horror even (I am hazarding a guess here)

After a while, I went back to the Tiangge. Andoyman introduced me to the peeps next to him, Ikos KomiksRonzkie Pacho-Vidal and Ray Vidal. Their third member, Anino Karimlan, was not there. Ronzkie got to discuss with me their production and comic outputs. I’ve got to say I was initially attracted to their works visually. Then I got to flip through the pages and, through more explanations from her, I decided I wanted to buy at least two first. Based on what I’ve seen and read later on, I know Ikos Komiks is quite a group to watch out for. I am officially a fan.

As freebie, Ray gave away copies of the poetry book Utterly Woman: Lyric Poems, which, with one look, I immediately knew wasn’t new. Confirmation was when I asked and he said the writer, Lourdes H. Vidal, is his grandma. No problem. I love poems, and I actually considered myself lucky getting such a book for free. There was no other poetry-lover there more thankful.

Moments later, I met up with Sherwin at the lobby, and he was already wearing a Jake the Adventurer hat—to join his Picachu and Stitch hats in the office—that he just purchased from the event area. The Tiangge area was where we first devoted a lot of our time. It was a much smaller place but talent there was just as full and brimming.

I swear, it was somewhat a heartbreaking experience. Imagine, wanting much, much more with much, much less budget. Well, c’est la vie (that’s life). I had to balance between treating myself once in a while and still keeping it practical.

I have to admit, the main reason I bought Macoy Tang‘s Ang Maskot comics was my curiosity about its story, given that according to the woman at the table (I didn’t ask how they are related), it has been translated into film that’s about to be viewed at the coming Cinemalaya. I’m a sucker for indie films so I just had to know what Maskot was all about. The trailer, I just read online a few days ago, was actually shown at the Komikon, and I missed it. But reading the comics first made me agree that it was definitely movie-material.

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Macoy Tang modeling not his works but the ‘freebie’ (LOL!). He’s got loads of work and I must say, his School Run would be great to make a movie out of as well. Sali ako, p’wede ‘ko zombiiieee!!!!

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Sherwin the Kraken enjoying his Slurpee. At his back is the almost-inconspicuous tarp on which are printed, among other things, the events of the day and–hello!!!–the event floormap…pffft…And, oh, found out the other day the map was also included in the first freebies at the event entrance. Toinks!

Fast-forward to us finally moving to the great hall. Yipes! More people! There was a hotdog-eating competition going on onstage and I laughed at how sincere Sherwin sounded when he said he really wanted to join. Just like me, he was hungry already, and he wouldn’t be called ‘The Kraken,’ too, for nothing. He’s got a black hole for a stomach!

Sherwin had a blast catching up, so to speak, with some artists he met at a past Komikon, particularly Pop U band members whose vocalist, Ker Floria, drew comics (Indie) as well and gave away a CD before as freebie (I liked some of the songs).

Sherwin bought copies again, too, of FUM (Filipino Utilized Manga). We got to meet the peeps behind the Filipino Manga mag. I’ve had my clear favorite so far from before, Rui Chan‘s Enguard, plus I was/am waiting for any actual storytelling of Legends of Maya, I think by Doc RaCe.

Meanwhile, I was so thankful for the Komiks Festival for I didn’t have to fall in line anymore (what a line it was and it’s said long lines are always expected with him around) at the Summer Komikon just to have Manix Abrera sign my copy of any of his books.

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The FUM Team, from left: Doc RaCe, Rui Chan, (sorry we didn’t catch the name of the next one), Freya Dy, and I think the last one’s Kasamaan, if I’m not mistaken

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From top, clockwise: New issues of FUM mags Breve and Latte versions, Bargitte version and a ‘One Shot’ comics called Anti-Hero as freebies, and cartoonized bookmarks and sticker as freebies as well

I saw Johnny Danganan, too, handling the auction table where various artists donated their masterpieces for a good cause. It was for the annual “Lapis at Papel” (“Pencil and Paper”) Project where proceeds were to go to a charitable cause, to help out underprivileged kids and supply school items to them for the coming school year. Artworks donated by artists were auctioned with bids starting at P500. Kudos for the efforts, guys!

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Johnny Danganan and Jonas Diego at the auction table. Image from  Jonas’ Facebook account, posted by Mr. Rodrigo T. Andres, Jr. (thanks, Sir!)

I went around and around also looking for Freely Abrigo but I only found him right when we were to go home. My companion had something to do and should’ve left an hour ago, while I was going home to the province, which explains the big bag.

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Singaporean guest artists also graced the event and were interviewed onstage, sharing their thoughts and experiences

We were so busy checking out the wares, we hardly took notice of the stage where a lot more things did happen, like a Moving-Up Graduation Ceremony (moving up meant graduating from the Indie Tiangge level), Singaporean artists Otto Fong and C. T. Lim gracing the event, actor Ketchup Eusebio promoting the Ang Maskot film where he played the title role, Bogart the Explorer also promoting a yet-untitled film in his supposed hero costume, other fun contests and, aaaww, a surprise marriage proposal.

Meanwhile, Freely wasn’t so free but was busy attending to people. I waited for some minutes but it was not enough. I looked at the table and found I already have copies of his comics, except any Kapitan Tog but, by then, no more moolah…Next time, Freely, next time.

Lots more comicbooks broke my heart. The only thing that got me going was the idea that some of those could be bought some other days from bookstores, and that I’d be seeing them again at the next Komikons. So next time, I’ll be on the lookout for them. I’ll make sure I won’t miss them like I did Elmer Damaso and his Cat’s Trail. Well we saw him there so I figured he was participating.

Between the two of us, Sherwin and I brought home enough loot to satisfy us. We share collections so we get to read each other’s comics anyway. In fact, I’m done reading everything from this batch of loot, as well as the other batch he got from a previous Komikon.

It was really a fun experience, something I won’t mind experiencing again. Till the next time, Komikon!

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More than a year and still so Free-ly! You haven’t changed, Freely. First photo, taken by me, from Komiks Festival. Second photo from Freely Abrigo‘s Facebook account

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Ano’ng balita? It’s Nino Balita and the Espiritista! The “package” consisted of his comicbook plus a shortie, Ang Inuuod Kong Puso, and stickers. Not Bad. Got the cutest autograph, too, so far

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Here’s a better look at Ronzkie Pacho-Vidal of Ikos Komiks with a patron (my guess). I would LOVE to have that paper-thingy of Asul! Copyright belongs to Ikos Komiks and the people behind it. Got this from their blog

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Half of the guys responsible for Neox, Tico Limosinero accommodated our queries at their table. The other one is Jomar Bulda

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Happy Lockjaw‘s Drop Dead Dangerous indirectly came highly recommended by a friend so I thought I’d check it out and get a copy myself of the first issue. Thanks to Chad Cabrera for signing on the cover real nice and neat. Didn’t get to meet Mike Banting, though…Can’t wait to get the next ish-es!

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Will you look at that?!! Blockbuster!!! Image copyright belongs to Jonas Diego

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NOTE: Were you there? Anything you can contribute? A blog post by you about it, maybe? Just let me know and I will link to it 🙂

NOTE 2: Just some nice Summer Komikon-related blogposts — Summer Komikon 2013 Report by the great Mr. Gerry Alanguilan (you have GOT to read this and watch the vids, too!)Komikon 2013: Pinoy Comic Artists and Fans Converge at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig (feast your eyes as well on all the audio-visuals here), The Boys of Summer Komikon, Why Summer Komikon 2013 was a blast (the only thing I disagree with it is the Komikon supposedly being quite child-friendly; friendly enough, yes, but there are lots of comic books that do require parental guidance when being read by kids)

NOTE 3: All photos by Sherwin and myself, except when indicated otherwise.