Thursday, June 5

Where in the World is Marco Dimaano?

This week, it's Taiwan!

Yeah, I seem to be a bit of a jet-setter these days, as the folks at The Salt Mines would say. It was only a few weeks ago that I found myself suddenly flying off to Bangkok, Thailand... and now I'm in Taipei, Taiwan! Again, it's just for work and for quite a bit shorter than my previous jaunt. I'll be back under Manila's skies by the weekend. Still, it's cool to just zip off and find myself in an altogether new environment, albeit still a bit familiar since we're all still in Asia. As I arrived at the Taiwan airport, my mind raced about all the Hong Kong action films shot here. The place is clean and proper and lovely, although there seems to be much less of a tourist vibe. Still, I enjoyed the long drive to the hotel, with mountains and hillsides teeming with foliage and trees on either side, the occasional odd temple or oriental structure breaking up the green carpet of leaves.

My room, turns out, is awesome... and comes with a BIG-ASS flatscreen TV that makes me wish I brought my PS3, to hell with the effort. It's so darned wasted on the drab hotel TV fare... I wanna see hi-res games on this thing... something like Metal Gear Solid 4 (out in a week) or Soulcalibur IV (out next month). Oh well, I guess CNN will have to do.

Today was a bit of a breather, but tomorrow will see me manning a TV shoot again as the imported Filipino dialogue consultant. It'll be a full day of work, I think, then it'll be a zip back to home. Thank goodness for the long weekend. That's that for now. Room service is at the door. Later!

Wednesday, June 4

Mingling at the M3Con

Ninja Girl KO!

Last Saturday, I went off the SM Mall of Asia's SMX Convention Center to attend the Mangaholix Manga, Anime and Cosplay Convention or M3Con 2008. It was my first Con with the Mangaholix/Groundbreakers crew, so I was pretty excited and pumped.

The Ninja Girl KO Team- Writer (Me), Cosplayer (Jac) and Artist (Kriss).

Going in, I knew that Mangaholix Presents Issue #5 would be launched, with my very own Ninja Girl KO! starring on the cover (thanks to the incomparable Kriss Sison for the consistently awesome visuals). Also, it seems that our girl Michiko Yamashita is proving to be a big favorite among readers, receiving the most fan art (and also later in the day, revealed to be the most-requested character when it came to sketches at the Mangaholix booth... GO, Michiko!). Aside from that, it was a great opportunity to watch the wonders of the local cosplaying crowd, with all the flashy costumes and otaku geek pleasures that come with that. Toy stores, manga and hobby shops were also out in force, so there was everything for a manga/otaku/anime fan to spend their cash on.

Energetic Jac, Mangaholix's cool MichiKosplayer.

Strike a pose!

Of course, I had the pleasure of meeting the Mangaholix crew (so many talented artists and comic creators), and in particular finally meeting my own heroine, Michiko, in the flesh! Yep, I finally got to meet Jac, the cool girl who cosplays Michiko Yamashita AKA Ninja Girl KO (I call her my Michikosplayer). What can I say? She definitely has the ninja girl scowl and poses down pat- plus, from the way she was zipping here and there all day, accommodating requests for photos and helping the Mangaholix crew keep things going... she surely has Ninja Girl-like endurance and stamina. Thank you, Jac! You're Awesome.

In the middle of the day, Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo went up onstage to talk about their comic, Trese. Although Budj was kinda apprehensive that the crowd wasn't into their kind of comics, there was a good reaction and several Trese fans threw some nice questions to the pair.

The Trese team (Kajo Baldisimo and Budjette Tan) on stage.

A big part of the M3Con was Cosplay, and there were TONS of cosplayers around. In fact, almost two hundred contestants in wigs, capes, schoolgirl uniforms, spandex and ruffles were on hand to show off their costumes. It was fun just walking around and suddenly recognizing a game or anime character, and snapping a pic. Later in the day, I manned the Cosplay Judges' Booth with Mangaholix's Comipa and Cosplay Princess Alodia Gosiengfiao, getting myself a royal view of the competitors. All I can say is, the local cosplay community is alive and well, and should be giving other countries' a run for the cosplay crown soon.

MADman with Tekken's Lili Rochefort, care of Alodia Gosiengfiao.

At the end of the day, I was tired but incredibly happy. Ninja Girl KO is proving to be mega-popular among Mangaholix readers, I got to meet the fans (along with the inevitable requests/questions about Angel Ace and even someone asking about a Ninja Girl KO/K.I.A. crossover!), man the Con along with the Mangaholix Crew (Thanks, Ian, Emman, Comipa, Xavier, Orgen and all the rest!), grab some nice Ninja Girl KO! merchandise and hot copies of Issue 5. The only wrinkle was that Kriss and me had a bit of a bitch of a time going home thanks to some traffic caused by a just-concluded fireworks display, but otherwise, it was all awesome.

Michiko vs Lili. Now THAT is a dream match...

Till the next M3Con, guys! Hope you all had fun!

Check out my other M3Con pics here and here.