My Indieket2017 Stories: Long Time, No See

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 2017Yaaay!!!

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.

No automatic alt text available.

The Comicolor covers from Meganon Comics–I got the red one…Image from Meganon’s Facebook page

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.

Maktan 1521 (by Tepai Pascual) is included in Comicolor

Recognize the cover? I was not able to write down what and from whose work this is. Will update

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 SagadracaI’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.

Comic geeks all over

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.

Alphario? Hard to miss!

(CLOCKWISE FR. TOP LEFT): Stryler‘s Burning Love, various Alphario wares, Alphario creator SPLGum signs my copy as “SPOT” looks on,  and SPLGum in his Team Skull outfit striking a pose with Pikachu 😉

My Alphario acquisitions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

I forgot to get the name of this sponsor…Help?

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)

The Manix Abrera shirt. Oh, and that green and round thingy is a sticker that came with the shirt

(LEFT) All the Sulyap Komiks anthologies; (RIGHT) The feature page for Ang Sumpa creator Andoyman in Sulyap 3 (a.k.a. “Ikatlong Sulyap” / Third Glance)

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!

A closer look at the merchandise on the Espiritista table

MY loot

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).

Getting philosophical and even philoso(po)cal with Komikon newbie Carl Cervantes

What’s on Carl’s table?

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.

Brian Vee with his masterpieces (sorry, the books aren’t shot whole here). Had an interesting conversation with him about them, especially about Kung Alam Ko Lang

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.

Fred “That Guy” Corder, CEO of American publisher Pockets Fulla Pillz that publishes Rocketgirl, which features a Filipina heroine

As suggested by That Guy who’s the Rocketgirl creator, I am starting with this issue so I’ll know the whole background

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 😉

Jon Zamar and his works. (BELOW) At left are Codename: Bathala stuff, and then some; at right are the Digmaang Salinlahi books

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.

While I only saw female artists here, ComicDojo is NOT an all-girl artists group. What is ComicDojo? It is “a bunch of people who love comics and would want to help kids and frustrated artists to finally publish their work,” according to artist Gabi Mara

I certainly will check them out again next time!

Gabi Mara holding out my signed copy of her work, Lore

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 😉

(CLOCKWISE FR. TOP LEFT) The tarpaulin at the lobby clearly shows artist Oliver Pulumbarit as one of the events’ special guests; the interview proper; Lexy, Nance & Argus: Sex, Gods, Rock & Roll; other works and shorter versions; the artist and his work

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

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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.

Two Comics Events This Month!!!

One of the things I have come to really love and appreciate these recent years is the local comics industry. So since it’s the month of love, I am showing my love by posting/announcing two comics-related events.

I am crushed, though, that I can’t go to this first one. It’s this Saturday, February 15, and I have not been able to prepare for it. But anyway, this is a chance for Los Baños people and those from nearby towns and cities to get copies of  local comics and meet with their creators. Entrance is just at P20!!! For more details: ELBIKON 2014

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ElBiKon (UPLB Komikon) 2014 on February 15

This next one starts on the same day but ends on February 28. I may be able to go, I’ll see if the universe will let me. It’s a tribute for great comics creator Tony Velasquez, the “Father of Philippine Comics,” whose creations included Kenkoy. For details: TONY VELASQUEZ: A RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBIT

tony-velasquez-exhibit

Exhibit featuring the Father of Philippine Comics, Tony Velasquez

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.

summer-komikon-ticket

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.

summer-komikon-comic-geeks

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.

create-own-comics-character

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.

andoyman-and--komiks

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

andoyman-komiks-sumpa

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.

ikos-komiks-comics

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.

macoy-tan-maskot-school-run

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!!!!

my-friend-sherwin

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.

FUM-mag-team

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

FUM-mags

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!

komikon-lapis-papel-auction

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.

foreign-guest-cartoonists

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!

freely-abrigo-kulas

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

nino-balita-espiritista

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

Ronzkie-Pacho-Vidal-Ikos

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

Neox-Limosinera-Bulda

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

drop-dead-dangerous

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.

 

(Almost) Komikon Newbie in da Haus

Yesterday, the biggest Philippine comics convention since eight years ago was held at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig City. I had waited for it and was very excited the night before, so naturally I got sick on the day itself. What luck…NOT. Had a friend buy stuff for me, though, so rest assured I’ll be sharing them as soon as I can. Meanwhile…

I’m really proud of our local artists. So just to show my appreciation, I am re-posting a writeup by way of “Press”-ing this (and because I have no new stories to tell about it yet, boo-hoo-hoo). Till next KOMIKON!!!!

(Almost) Komikon Newbie in da Haus.

(Almost) Komikon Newbie in da Haus

Note: This took long because I couldn’t download the pics from my cellphone. And now, finally, it’s done!!! Well, many pics from the festival posted here courtesy of Jonas Diego, Gerry Alanguilan and Johnny Danganan. Some are from the Net, though. Links to sites ongoing (some still undone…). Those in bold are mostly hyperlinks leading to artists’ blogs/websites/information. I uploaded more pics, link at the bottom. Meanwhile visit the three guys’ sites to see more pics.

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KIKOMACHINE? All caps or all small letters? One whole word or two, as in Kiko Machine?” My mind raced two Saturdays ago as I was (already regretting) tearing off the plastic covering of my own copy of the comic book series’  fifth installment. I had never attended a komikon before and I didn’t even know when the next time would be, but that Saturday was my first time to go, taking advantage of the fact that the 3rd San Pablo City Comics Festival was happening in, well, San Pablo. “No day like today,” as a Broadway song goes.

The 3rd SPC Comics Festival

The 3rd SPC Comics Festival

One trike ride and a short walk away, I was at the open-air venue at the Ultimart Shopping Plaza, looking for Master Raven a.k.a. his actual name Jonas Diego (long story). The Pinoy comics conventions (komikons) have been the brainchild of fellow  artists  and thanks to them, venues for comic book writers and artists have given professionals and amateurs alike the opportunity to show, share, and even earn a bit from their chosen craft. Mainly, these participants do it simply out of  love for their art. This event wasn’t exactly a convention, I think, rather a festival as the event title implied, but since they’re there convening, it’s all the same banana to me. I wanted to be there.

First copies of the original BOJ

First (My) copies of the original “Book of John”

Raven did promise to sign my copies of the original The Book of John (BOJ), printed back when he still used non-glossy cheaper paper for the inside leaves and art paper for the covers.  Pretty much like the many new indie cartoonists’ first outputs. The Master used the pointillism technique (see, Raven? I was paying attention).  I still remember him asking us for comments that indeed landed in the pages of the next issues, but he never did finish the last installment which I have been making kulit to him about for years. I also remember accompanying him to one (maybe even the only, I’m not sure) comic book store in San Pablo City, near Central School…So awesome to have such memories! I guess all artists go through these kinds of stages.

Back to the present.

Comic Odyssey

Comics enthusiasts rummage through hundreds of un-bought issues/editions of comic books. Note to self: Find  out where Comic Odyssey is…Photo c/o Jonas/Gerry/Johnny

I first saw a booth selling un-bought editions of various comic books. Comic Odyssey.  I didn’t try rummaging through them because my main goal was  to  get   Raven  (sorry for calling him this – force  of habit), and Kiko  Machine Komix (KM) creator Manix Abrera’s autographs, view the exhibit they put up,  and check out the different comic books being offered by other artists and collect their autographs  – in that order.  Besides, I was on a tight budget. However, Raven and Manix were both nowhere to be found at the time, so the exhibit at the second floor suddenly came first in my itinerary.

Oh, but not without first buying a copy of Raven’s new output: a glossy, full-colored, 32-paged issue of Pocket Comics. I was so engrossed in various thoughts, though, that the guy taking my payment wondered what the extra P200 was for, ha ha haaa!!!  He was real friendly and I got to share my copy of BOJ. The guy said he owned copies as well, and, borrowing my own, he and some others amused themselves with Raven’s younger mug printed on the pages.

Komiks Festival Exhibit

Komiks Festival Exhibit featuring some of the best Pinoy comic artists then and now…Photo c/o Jonas/Gerry/Johnny

As expected, the exhibit shared previous works of Filipino comic writers/artists, with some from as early as the ‘30s, if I’m not mistaken. Really cool stuff! Some were just “samples” from artists, some were actual drafts, some were original unprinted copies, some were original printed ones, and limited editions, too!  There were even some cool stamp collections featuring works of various cartoonists. I took pics with my non-high-tech phone, so they’re not so good, but anyhoo.

stamps and postcard collections

Cool stamps and postcard collections!

stamps and postcard collections 2

MORE cool stamps and postcard collections!

First covers

There was a time…

There were works from the likes of Larry Alcala, Nonoy Marcelo and Tony Velasquez,  for it wouldn’t be complete without featuring these pioneers of Pinoy comics artistry. So I saw familiar strips like Kalabog en Bosyo, Mga Kabalbalan ni Kenkoy, Tisoy (I wanted to see Ikabod instead but, well, I knew they had to make do with what were available). All of these were born long before I was, but in my lifetime, I saw either old copies from here and there or re-prints in whatever were current publications those times.

Pioneers of Philippine Comics

Tony Velasquez, Larry Alcala and Nonoy Marcelo: Pioneers of Philippine Comics

The Masters' Pieces

The Masters’ Pieces — (I couldn’t find a good “Tisoy” copy so here’s…) Nonoy Marcelo’s more popular “Ikabod”; Larry Alcala’s “Kalabog en Bosyo” (but his “A Slice of Life,” I think, was what MADE Larry Alcala) ; Tony Velasquez’s “Kenkoy” (that has become a popular monicker for people somewhat on the funny side)

Larry Alcala's Face

See Larry here…

Where's Larry

Now see Larry HERE!!! (Goodluck with that!!!)…The best-known cartoon Larry Alcala had drawn was a likeness of himself that people, in ages, had fun looking for in numerous “A Slice of Life” slices like this one

Ikabod Comic Strip

A taste of the “Ikabod” kind of humor 😀 Baby mouse abuse aside, this cracked me up!

FUNNY Komiks

FUNNY characters tickled the funny bones for two to three decades, depending on when you were born. Is it still around??? So far, my research hasn’t led me to that discovery. But apparently, many are missing it and even clamoring for copies because ta-da! There’s a Facebook fan page! Have no idea who created it but anyhoo. Image from tikbaloycube.deviantart.com

I did kind of search for any item from FUNNY Komiks, but *sigh* nada, zilch, zero.  That was a bit of a bummer. What regular kid growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s didn’t know about FUNNY Komiks???

Now, while I love comics, I had not really bought a lot of them, because as a fictionist, I had been more interested in collecting written novels rather than graphic ones. Prior to last Saturday and BOJ issues aside, I only owned a few, most currently, Andoyman Komikero’s first try, FOODCOURT. I had been contenting myself with clippings from the dailies and making cut-and-paste style comic books out of them. If I found any strip funny, interesting and/or witty, then snip-snip-snip.

andoyman komiks

Andoyman Komikero’s (1) first offering, and (2) well, a teaser of his work in progress

Back to the exhibit.

I had to mention that I wasn’t much of a comic-book collector to explain that aside from the great Whilce Portacio of X-Men fame, I wasn’t aware of many comic book writers and  artists’ names. So, many of the names in the exhibit  and the festival itself sounded new to me (no offense to any artist reading this).  I just knew Raven by default. Whilce lent out his stuff. Nice treat for any Marvel and especially X-men fan *insert smiley here*

Some works were very familiar, like The Voodoo Stick by Sonny Trinidad and The Swamp Thing by Nestor Redondo. I remember those particular covers. I know I read some parts of their stories before except I can’t exactly recall perhaps because I was still young (my good memory doesn’t always work). And if you ever rented issues from your friendly neighborhood “renter”,  you’d know that it was nearly impossible to follow stories fully and not in random order. Lucky you to even actually get your hands on brand-new copies.

Komiks of yesteryears

Komiks of yesteryears. Images from the Net, copyrighted by their individual publishers

Sonny Trinidad's Voodoo Stick

An old pic of international comic artist Sonny Trinidad and his “The Voodoo Stick” that was exhibited and that I remember seeing myself. There is a more popular cover for this, though, with a skull and all. Can’t seem to find a background on how the story went 😦 …Photo c/o Jonas/Gerry/Johnny

Nestor Redondo's The Swamp Thing

The famous “The Swamp Thing” by international comic artist Nestor Redondo

Meanwhile, I appreciated the others’ works as well, particularly some that I liked for various reasons.

Francisco V. Coching’s El Indio graphic art interested me. I would have liked to read his story whose protagonist was a “mere” human fighting the evil society back then, which setting was obviously during Spanish times. Maybe Rizal and Bonifacio did some “guesting,” I don’t know, but my guess may not be that far-fetched.

F.V. Coching

Creator of “El Indio,” one of the Top 100 Pinoy graphic arts of all time

Coching's El Indio

The restoration of Francisco V. Coching’s work of art, “El Indio.” After painstaking work by a small team led by Gerry Alanguilan, we now have the chance again to enjoy this wonderful graphic novel. See his big smile below? ;p

Gerry A. with El Indio

I’d be smiling, too, if I were him. Photo from his blog gerry.alanguilan.com.        I claim  no rights, and obviously I have none over it)

Zara Macandili’s art made me smile. I think it’s safe to say she is a Psych show fan – I recognized the characters in her sketch immediately as Shawn and Gus imitating WHAM and Michael Jackson. It was new artwork, too, done last November.  Meanwhile, something about Efren Jay Anacleto’s Aria work of art attracted me to it, don’t ask me what ‘cause I am not sure.

Superheroes were abundant, as any comic-book lover would expect, and Wolverine was a clear favorite, just ask Leinil Yu (the draft for the artwork in this link was what was exhibited) and Gilbert Monsanto.  Great ink work! Me loves your Wolveys! Pinoy artistry at work, definitely.

And speaking of Pinoy, I realized that what would a comic book exhibit featuring local artists be without our very own superheroes –   our own superheroine, at that…DARNA!!! Ryan Orosco’s work was a sight for sore eyes. I’d choose Darna over Wonder Woman anytime. There were artworks, too,  featuring more modern Pinoy heroes, a group of bagong bayanis, kind of like our version of the Super Friends a.k a. Justice League and the Avengers. Neat 🙂

Darna!!!

This was the version of Ryan Orosco’s artwork included in the exhibit. Much more powerful, IMO, the original Pinay superheroine “Darna” can put “Wonder Woman” to shame. She made it to many movies already and, even in recent years, she has been “flying” on TV air. An actual oldie now if you count the years, Darna stays young as a true classic

With all those artists featured, young ones tried to test their own talents and joined the art contest. I am not sure if they were all supposed to be there, but where better to be inspired to work on a piece than where the greats were? So they gathered around the exhibit, breathing inspiration. I wish I had the same gifts when I was a child.

Pocket Comics

My copy of Jonas Diego’s “Pocket Comics”

After spending my time soaking in art at the exhibit, I went back down to the festival venue and finally found Raven to twist his arm so he would sign my copy of Pocket Comics and the first-ever original issue of the  BOJ (you do know I was kidding about the arm-twisting, right?).

I got introduced to the great Sir Gerry and I am not just saying “great” for the heck of it. I had wanted to know what it was exactly that people and critics found and raved about in his comic book about intelligent chickens crossing over from fowl to human category.  It felt awkward, I thought, to be introduced and then for me to just buy his book and ask him to sign right there and then. So I didn’t. Then here came Johnny who’d been my Facebook bud and yet I don’t think we ever said a single word online before that. Chances were we had seen each other before, based on Raven’s intro, and we just didn’t know it. I thought it was really nice to meet him.

BOJ Then and Now

Spot the difference (he he)…Inside Raven’s “Book of John,” Then versus Now

comic books for sale

The stars of the event — the comic books!!! Most were of reasonable prices, so reasonable you would have wanted to buy in bulks if you could!…Photo c/o Jonas/Gerry/Johnny

komikon tables

All you had to do was to approach tables and check out their wares a.k.a. comic books then choose what appealed to you…Photo c/o Jonas/Gerry/Johnny

Pol Medina signing a book

Here’s Pol Medina Jr. of “Pugad Baboy” fame. Coolness…Photo c/o Jonas/Gerry/Johnny

Pol Medina & Marivi Hilos-Nepomuceno

PMJ, here with Arhitect and Komiks Illustrator Marivi Hilos-Nepomuceno…Photo c/o Jonas/Gerry/Johnny

artist at work

Artists were at work, doing art commissioned there and then

Not wanting to take too much of Raven’s time, I went around to find myself some comics and get to know some of the artists. Very popular was the section where artists took portrait-sketching orders right there and then. ‘Course, I wanted to know who they were but who to ask without looking like the newbie that I actually was, really? Checked out some of the products on display, but no, I went there for comics and darn if I didn’t buy any.

So I walked around, checking out the scene, pretending to be cool and probably failing at it. Oh, Pol Medina Jr.’s there!!! To be honest, I had seen the event posters but didn’t really look at the names of the featured artists so this was a surprise to me. Hmnn…How to get his autograph….I didn’t. I couldn’t. Because I couldn’t decide which Pugad Baboy book to buy, plus, it would have affected the budget dramatically. So I just contented myself with looking, stealing a pic and moved on to the next tables. Next time, for sure, Pol.

There were the tables for the independent creators. I was so overwhelmed, I wanted to buy everything! But again, tight budget, gotta think of that. I also didn’t want to buy any that were series, ‘cause then I would not be able to follow the stories since I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to attend such an event again  and since I was sure I wouldn’t find those works in any National Bookstore yet, unless I scoured comic book stores and I didn’t. So I got one that had a simple cover, no colors, printed on something that may be a bit better than bond paper, and most importantly, the stories were short and finished.

My purchases

I purchased the following (from top left, clockwise): Mel Casipit’s “Balitok”, Gerry Alanguilan’s “Elmer”,  Freely Abrigo’s “Wapak!”, Manix Abrera’s Kiko Machine Book 1

I got Mel Casipit’s Balitok Comics Anthology. Really amateur work, at least when it came to story conception, and I’m not being mean, because he himself said in his intro that the three stories there were his first ones that he’d like to share to the public. It showed. But like “balitok,” that in his native Pangasinense tongue meant “gold,” I believe this work was gold. Artists always go back to where they started. Often, they keep souvenirs. I know I do. I did like “Payt 4 Lab” with its very Naruto-inspired characters. I thought it was tickly-funny. Just the right stuff.  Looking at the covers of more stuff he’s done, the artistry had improved and I hope even the storytelling. I will definitely buy more from him the next time.

Freely Abrigo

Freely Abrigo with his Kulas in WAPAK!

Now I went to the other tables and saw this one that had colored, even glossy, stuff on it. I guess it was the level-up kind of thing. Once you’re past the amateur stage, well, where else do you go?

Very familiar stuff, and some more cute ones thrown in. I gotta admit, I was intimidated by all the artists, envious of their talent. Maybe  Manila Bulletin’s Freely Abrigo saw right through my façade and chatted me up a bit, at first, offering his comics. I promised I’d go back after I’ve checked out all the tables. I did go back and buy one, for P30. I thought I got a P20 with a P10 but gave him a P50 instead. After the first error, that was my double whammy. It was funny though. And we got to talk a bit and I got a new-found FB friend.

Manix Abrera's autograph

Manix Abrera signs his autograph in such cutesy manner such as this one dedicated to me. To borrow a quote from his KM characters, “ASTEEEG!!!”

Minutes after, I was standing in front of Manix, buying his first book and having him sign my copy with this cute li’l artsy autograph. He was showing me his latest book, I think, but I decided to take Book 1 of my favorite local comic strip. Why was simple. I was collecting his stuff and I only had Books 2, 3 and 5. What’s a series collection without the first offering, right? Besides, I was for sure buying more in the future. Now, the reason why I peeled off the safety cover of Book 5 (I mentioned that at the start) was because it was the best cover yet and there were nice spaces to sign on. When I bought Book 1, though, it seemed natural to have THAT one autographed.  I did regret peeling off the protective cover then.

Manix Abrera signing

Manix Abrera: definitely one of the most popular comics artists today…Photo c/o Jonas/Gerry/Johnny

I paid him for the book, handing him P150 rather than P120, so he gave back the extra. I just realized there was a difference in prices between the first and second rows that were on display. Oops. Triple whammy. Sheesh…. I wanted to tell Manix, “Hey, we’re FB buds” but then that would have merited a “HUH?” expression, given just how many fans he had. Besides, I wasn’t after special treatment, if there was even supposed to be any. Meanwhile, I took pictures of him signing other peeps’ copies. Yep, that’s what I do, I steal pics. Coward.

That done, I checked out again that intelligent chicken, Elmer. Oh, it’s really a book! With many pages and all, like, many. No way was that gonna cost just over a hundred. So I checked out my wallet and figured I could still buy one – gotta know what’s inside, gotta not let the opportunity slide (and I am so happy I didn’t!!!). I was too shy to ask for Sir Gerry’s autograph, besides, he was talking to people in the first place, so the miss from whom I bought my copy, having heard me say I was a bit reluctant to ask him to sign it, called him to the desk declaring, “Pa-sign daw; nahihiya daw siya” (“She wants you to sign it; she’s too shy to ask”). Anla! Si Ate naman! Ibuking ba??? I really was just trying to get the proper timing and approach him coolly. Well, that plan was ruined, ha ha ha!!! But I’m thankful to her, really.

Okay, it was soon going to get dark, and I thought I better stop. I searched for Raven but he was somewhere out there getting busy and I didn’t want to bother him. So taking a last look at the place, I left, but definitely NOT never to return again.

I could get used to this.

EXTRAS!!!!

Here are some of the Founding Fathers of the Philippine Comic Book Industry

More photos I took 🙂

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Feedback from Mr. Gerry Alanguilan:

Feedback from Mr. Gerry A.

This landed in my emails and the dashboard, so since this was meant as a comment, I’ve added this screenshot. Thanks, Sir Gerry!!!! 🙂