There was no sign or banner (that I could see) announcing to all and sundry the existence of komiks nirvana at the UP Bahay ng Alumni last Saturday, but luckily enough I saw a familiar face hanging out at the doorway:
Please don’t kill me for not buying your cool merchandise Iris @_@
I’m glad they decided to hold an additional komikon in the summer–or, in the event that they’ve actually done so before, I’m glad I heard about it in time this year. I loved the way they identified the Marshalls this year–via speech baloons which said “Marshall Ako”:
Security–insofar as making sure people paid to enter the venue at least–was a bit loopy though: and by that I mean it had quite a few holes. I came in through the side, lured by the vista of Filipino comics… when I realized that, hey, shouldn’t there be an entrance fee? By then I was already in the venue, so I made my way to the front and ponied up 50 bucks for my wife and I, but the side entrance certainly did provide opportunity for less scrupulous individuals.
As usual, the place was jam-packed. The hardest part of Komikon for me has never been finding stuff to buy–it’s trying to get to actually see the wares on the tables without engaging in elbow-acrobatics that would make ‘ol Jawo proud. Likewise because the passages between tables are so narrow and jam-packed with people, I never really get to stop and talk to the creators much because I feel guilty that I’m preventing a flood of people from moving forward–conversation usually amounts to how-much-I’ll-take-it-thanks.
Nevertheless, it always gladdens me to see so many people–nay, so many fans–of comics and of stories, of local works and local talent, congregating in one place. (Though guys, get a larger venue next time if you can–you’ve outgrown the Bahay -_-) When I was growing up, in those pre-internet days, I didn’t have any community that shared my interests, no awareness of good comics or stories being made locally. After meeting a few of the more evidently talented-yet-shy creators, my wife wondered aloud how I was able to put up a confident front during high school (she’s since learned how much of that is a facade–or a Persona as I’d put it, geekily) and my reply was simply that since none of my friends shared my rabid interest in genre novels and comics when I was young, I learned early on how to deal with people who were not like me.
I suppose that’s why, no matter how much I enjoy Komikon, there’s always a tinge of wistfulness–man, if I’d had something like this in my day, some affirmation that I wasn’t alone in my peculiar interests, maybe my pre-High School years would have been a tad less solitary.
That being said, I’m very happy Komikon appears to be a resounding success this year as well. I saw the entries in the character creation contest and saw some well-executed works, and while I don’t know who won, I found myself partial to the dugong-turtle hybrid, if only due to sheer cute-ness of concept.
Didn’t get to draw on the white board/freedom wall this year (largely because there was some sort of alien-eyeball-mascot thing in front of it most of the time). I did manage to get a shot of it though–I do hope someone took a picture of the entire finished endeavor before it was taken down.
It was also good to see fans showing their appreciation to the creators. I’ve never been one to ask for autographs myself–I have trouble asking people for things in general, and when it comes to creators, it’s usually enough of a pleasure for me to get to meet them. (The sole exception so far were my co-authors in A Time for Dragons but that, I think, was more to make tangible that I was part of something with them, even if I’d never met many of them until the launch.) I hope those creators who offered to sign my purchases didn’t get offended when I declined–it’s not like I’m trying to keep the things in mint condition or anything, just that for me, meeting them and buying their work was enough.
Of course most other people don’t share my autograph eccentricities as evidenced by the fans lining up for Manix Abrera’s (of Kikomachine fame) Hancock.
We only stayed an hour or so, largely because I was ready to melt into a puddle once we went past the thirty minute mark, but as per usual I enjoyed my foray a lot. There weren’t a lot of big “mainstream” launches like last November (with Arnold Arre’s Martial Law babies) but my goal this year in any case was to pick up as many indies as I could… and in so doing I learned what my wife learned when she visited Saizen (the Japanese Php85 store in Galleria):
Man those little purchases add up @_@
(And no that’s not P-chan. That’s our Semk dog–but the scarf was indeed a calculated move ^_^)
I’ll try to do some reviews as I make my way through my haul–not a lot of reviews/coverage out there for the indies, and I think some of those works deserve to be shown some love. Also nabbed the short story collection “Nine Supernatural Stories.”
Here are links to more coverage of Komikon Summer Fiesta 2009:
EDIT: Here’s a much more comprehensive list at the Komikon blog.
And finally, your moment of Zen: