WRATH OF KON (a.k.a. a MADman's Komikon 2007 Report)
Another year, another KOMIKON! For starters, I'd like to congratulate and thank Azrael and the members of Artists' Den who worked hard to make this, The 3rd Filipino Komiks Convention, an awesome and cool reality. I've been to all three Kons so far, and they just get better and better each time. A great personal thanks comes from me as well to Groundbreakers Inc., the grand crew behind the hottest new local mangazine (shameless plug!) Mangaholix Presents, for making the day particularly cool, exciting and rewarding for me.
One can only lament that we, the local indie komiks/komics/comics creators/artists/producers/fans/enthusiasts only get one day in the whole year to really call OUR OWN. But then, at the end of the several hours, we're all probably too tired and spent (both in body and in spendable cash) to go another day like this. So yeah- we only get one day, but what a day it is. Crowded, chaotic, creative, completely crazy and cool.
Really, the Komikon is like every other convention out there- get a bunch of people who like the same thing, and get them all together in one place to swap stuff, stories and laughs. At the Komikon, it's always a fun time. The only things I see more of other than comics, toys and fun stuff are giddy smiles and expressions of glee and wonderment (or puzzlement from the odd man/woman out who just wandered into the area by mistake thinking it was some tiangge). The local indie comics community, which also extends to local gaming and hobby interests, apparently, is particularly friendly, close-knit, courteous and pleasant to be around with. It's great to just wander around, meet people in the field you've worked with/crossed paths/swords with/heard of/idolized/been envious of, and just talk shop, swap war stories, give solicited advice and what have you.
There were the usual suspects- seasoned indie professionals who have been around and made their names in the local community. Then there are the youngsters- kids in college or just out ready to storm the world with their hot-off-the-copier ashcans. The next generation, right there. I have to say, it's great to see the Indie Tiangge table filled with tons of new stuff, fresh and ripe to be read and appreciated. I'm a little sad that I wasn't able to scoop up every issue on offer- I blame the ATM for giving me 1000s in bills and the ever-present problem of change. Oh well.
It's wonderful to meet fans and readers of your work, and it never ceases to amaze me how people still keep your stuff to heart years after first release. I was given copies of the original Angel Ace to sign, as well as Angel Ace Again and Next, Siglo and even a couple of copies of Cherry Blossom High. Man, it was great! I have to apologize right now to those fans and readers who approached me and then I can't remember their names- my memory is horrid (but I often remember faces better), but I love you guys and appreciate your support for Angel, Kai and all my other comics to no end.
HECK, you guys and gals are the reason I keep doing this thing.
My main place was at the table of Jonas San Diego, who graciously and generously allowed guys like me, Elbert Or (who selflessly allowed himself to be my cashier... El, I am gonna treat you to lunch or dinner next time we meet. Seriously), Carl Vergara and Dave Hontiveros to squat and peddle our wares. Me? I just brought ten copies each of all the Angel Ace Again! releases (including NEXT!), and five copies of K.I.A. which I had laying around The Sanctum. Nicely, I sold most of them during the day, and gave a couple of sets away to some special people. Not bad!
A few feet away, Budjette Tan and the 'New Alamat' crew of Ian Sta. Maria and Mervin Ignacio displayed their cool new releases- Budj of course had the latest Trese, but his boys had their first major release- Skyworld, a fantasy action-adventure with distinct Pinoy flavor and awesome Tikbalang versus Aswang action. Great stuff!
A stone's throw away, Gerry Alanguilan would be selling the latest issue of his critical and popular indie success, Elmer... unfortunately a mishap in directions almost caused the stocks to get delivered all the way to San Pablo, Laguna. Yikes! Luckily, the comics eventually arrived to the delight of the fans.
Vin Simbulan (Isaw At Iba Pa, Kid Continuum) and Andrew Drilon (Karaboy, Kare-Kare Komiks)were by for a while, but had to leave shortly for another engagement at the other side of the world. Like a tag-team, another couple of good friends came by- Arnold and Cynthia Arre were along to get into the fun and spend a nice lunch with me. On a table nearer to the main stage, the Seven Seas crew was gathered, and I met Taga-Ilog(Pasig) and Michael David (Kubori Kikiam) and got their latest stuff... FINALLY!!!! MORE MINA AND DANTE!!! AAAAH!!! Really, seeing you guys made the day all the brighter.
Of course, my main joy for the day was the release of Mangaholix Presents Issue 3. At the Groundbreakers Inc. table, Head Honchos Ian Cang and Emmanuel Javier presided over their hardworking artists who were scribbling away awesome sketches by the minute. Where was Issue 3? It was a bit late, but literally arrived HOT OFF THE PRESSES in the afternoon. The copies were, thankfully, excellent (if still a bit damp from ink) thanks to production from the Culture Crash guru himself, James Palabay. Great to see ya again, James! Reactions to the new ish, and to a certain new title, Ninja Girl KO! looks great. Hopefully, it's all great from here.
And of course, it was great for me to finally meet in the flesh not only Ian, but Kriss Sison as well! Incredibly enough, the two of us managed to fashion a pretty slick, 10-page manga episode without ever seeing each other eye-to-eye. WAHOO! Gotta love the internet. Anyways, it was awesome meeting you, Kriss, and I hope this results in more, more, more great pages from both of us to the readers.
Other stuff. Fun stuff as well. Met Oliver Pulumbarit (Lex, Nancy and Argus) and had a group pic of him with me and Arnold together- Lourdes School alma mater unite! Met Fero Benedict too...and got reminded I owed him a review and never delivered. OOPS! Sorry, Fero!
Some cool guys and gals from Tale Craft, a locally-produced card-based storytelling game, got me, Carl and El to judge their storytelling contest. It was fun, albeit very difficult to hear the stories due to the overly LOUD emceeing from the central stage. SILENCE!!! STORIES BEING TOLD!!! Oh, and congratulations, Evil Dex!
In pleasant contrast to the last Kon, it was great to have adequate food and drink stations around this time, instead of having to crowd around that ONE Smokey's Stand last year. Thankfully, the venue also wasn't as hot as the last Kon as well, thanks to the many cooling fans set up all around. Unfortunately, it would invariably lead to people crowding and hanging out in front of the fans and blocking the coolness. Oh well.
At the end of the day, people were tired but triumphant. Tired but smiling. Tired but glowing with new purchases or flushed with sales. Me, El and Joel Chua winded the day down with dinner at Katipunan and a long chat about the past day and other funny stuff. Oh, and a long-winded review of mine about those crappy Shake, Rattle and Roll sequels.
The great thing about the Kon for me is that I always end it afterwards with my Comic-Making Spirit reinvigorated with new energy. Enough energy, hopefully, to last me till the next Kon. HOHO! Have to get back on to work on the next Ninja Girl KO! script. Have to keep plugging away at getting the next K.I.A. book off the ground. And how about the Angel Ace graphic novel I seem to be eternally planning? And what else may there be up my sleeve? With luck, we'll see some stuff in the near future. Before the next Kon. Or by the next Kon.
Seeya all next time, people! Till then... Support your local Indies! Support the REAL Filipino Komiks!!!
Elbert Or, Carlo Vergara and David Hontiveros.
Me and Andrew Drilon visit Taga-Ilog and Michael David at the Seven Seas table.
Vinnie Simbulan and Budjette Tan give the Kon a thumbs up!
Everyone gathers at Jonas Diego's table.
Manga Team KO! Finally, I meet the incredible Kriss Sison.
Arnold and Cynthia Arre are in the house!
Busy, busy, busy at the Groundbreakers Table!
More, more, more pics here!