Komikon. Usually I would start at the beginning, but now I’m at a loss. The road to Komikon was a weird and pretty hectic one, especially for my friend Motzie who had arranged much of the logistics part of the event on our behalf (i.e. buying the booth, getting the IPO certificate, etc.). Prior to the event I had my mom print out a tarp for us and Motzie printed out a hundred copies of Project Bayani (you could say we’re stocked up for a while). I’ve already gone through eight hours of sleep so far, and it seems like a really strange, busy dream right now.
So yes, I’ll try starting at the beginning.
I arrived at the Bayanihan Center (appropriate place for our debut comic, I thought) early. The place was pretty devoid of tables yet and I was about to sit it out outside while waiting for Motzie and Ryan, who were meeting up at McDo Katipunan before heading to the venue. My mother forced me to stay inside the main conference hall, and I begrudgingly accepted. I felt pretty useless just watching the organizers set up the tables, but soon enough the two of them arrived and we started on correcting the single typo we passed over in the copies. The tarp, having nowhere to stand with, was laid out on the table.
I had heard prior that Visprint and Alamat were going to be right beside us, but I never knew they were going to be right across the street from us.
What a view. Hnng.
Needless to say it was a nice view to see Motzie’s and my heroes right across, especially Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo who, while releasing Trese 5, were like ten steps away from our booth. Not to mention Paolo Chikiamco, who was neighbors to our left. I was pretty starstruck by the time they had all arrived.
The view from my part of the table in the morning.
I met Koi Carreon and Borg Sinaban, the former I recognized from a spot on Kwentillion and having read Paolo’s review of Marco’s Delivery Service, and the latter I was embarrassed to not recognize yet. They kept us company for the entire Komikon but I couldn’t keep up a decent conversation (again, embarrassed not to) with any of them except for a couple of sentences. Awkward on my behalf, too, since Paolo’s going to speak in school for November. They were really nice, and it was great to meet new friends who were also awesome artists at the same time. I also saw Robert Magnuson, whose adorable art style I’ve admired since I first got my hands on Mr. Beetle’s Many Rooms. He seemed like the nicest person ever because he was just beaming, but I never had the chance to talk to him just then.
Gates opened at ten A.M., but Motzie and I were wise to grab our copy of Trese 5 in advance and have it signed by Sirs Budj and Kajo before the lines went crazy (which they eventually did), as well as getting some of Sir David Hontiveros’ works.
Black and white! Hihihi.
Sir David, and Motzie with her trying-best-to-stay-standing-in-front-of-her-idol pose.
Sir Lyndon. 😀
Things only started to heat up at around twelve, and a lot of people started commissioning Ryan and I.
All that time was broken between drawing for people and being shameful of my watercolors (damn you, Best Buy!) and signing our copies LIKE A BAWSS (lol, no), and hearing Sirs Paolo and Borg pitch their books at potential buyers. The former with MythSpace #0 (“It’s like Star Wars, but with Philippine creatures! It has space opera concepts in it…”) and the latter with Ang Tatlong Sumpa, which, interestingly, was about Pilandok, a trickster character who was also a mouse deer and a big part of my childhood, although I don’t recall if I still have his storybooks (“Kilala niyo po ba si Pilandok? Kilalanin po natin!” [“Do you know who Pilandok is? Well, would you like to find out?”]). Hope they don’t mind me posting their awesome pitches here. Hehehe.
Misplaced Indieket picture…
Saw some rad cosplays going on, albeit few, taken mostly behind the table.
Badass Green Hornet (we didn’t get one with Kato, though :().
Badass Asiong Salonga.
BADASS BATMAN BABY!!!
Unfortunately, Manix Abrera was nowhere to be seen (LOL), nor my friends Hannah, Dado and Patty (who had been accompanying me to Komikon since last, last Komikon) but I heard Gerry Alanguilan was going to pass by, and he did. I was really starstruck and stopped doing my commissions just to get a picture with him, although I don’t know if we were annoying him (“We were the ones asking about Mars Ravelo’s characters!!!”) or what. Haha.
Reverse fangirling (?) from behind the table. Mehehe.
Freakin’ alternate cover!!! (Never ask me to do this again…)
Taksil na watercolor… Made Spiderman look pink. 😦
My most popular request that day.
Met Gab Madrid at one point, which was awesome. Someone gave me a Batman #0 Variant Cover to watercolor on, and I felt terrible because these aren’t the best watercolors in the world. someone gave me hard paper to commission a Death on, which was really nice. A lot of people were requesting Death. They must have thought the Zia (original character) I’d watercolored up front was her, hahaha. I put some works on slideshow while I wasn’t doing anything, and hopefully a couple of people found out that I was the person who came up with Juan Direksyon.
By the afternoon…
Unfortunately none of us could really get away from the booth by then. I left the booth just to empty our trash and someone was already looking for me. It started going along pretty quick by 3 PM, when my tita and sister visited us and I showed her to where Pol Medina, Jr. was sitting and had him sign her a copy of P.B. 24. They brought me a late lunch (Jollibee) and left when their driver arrived.
My tita is happy. 😀
Although we didn’t exactly run out of copies to sell, it was a good start. Someone asked for a calling card and we opted to give our numbers instead since, hey, we never thought of making calling cards. People we didn’t know were actually genuinely interested in our stories.
Motzie: Tired, but happy with her babies.
My mom the fangirl.
Budjette: Did you introduce her to Trese?
Me: She actually stole my copy of the fourth before I could open it! (True story)
We started packing up at around 6:30, and I made one last trip to Robert Magnuson’s booth to have my Kwentillion signed. The guy buying beside me expressed surprise at not realizing sooner that Robert also illustrated Poso Maximo. I apologized to Sir Robert (a.k.a. one of the nicest people I have ever seen, not once during the day did I see him not beaming) for not being able to bring Mr. Beetle’s Many Rooms, although I doubt if he heard me.
We signed some copies for our legit heroes, although Paolo Fabregas bought a copy much earlier (thank you, Sir, I’m just so starstruck). Ian Sta. Maria paid for his copy, too. We left two for Sir Budj and Sir Kajo, although we only watched from afar as Sir Budj opened up his copy and accidentally dropped the epilogue (hope he’s the only one?) before picking it up again. Haha.
I left Bayanihan with the pile of stuff I’d brought coming in, but heavier this time. We ate at ThaiDara afterwards.
I feel strange, almost nothing. I don’t know. It’s not a negative feeling, but after all this work I just wanted to chill and not feel much about the ‘Kon. We’ll see how it all “pays off” later.
This is, after all, just the beginning.
Mythspace #0 by Paolo Chikiamco, Koi Carreon, Borg Sinaban, et al.
I absolutely cannot wait to read more. Although I’m not really into manga/anime styles, Koi Carreon’s provides this dynamic illustration to Paolo’s brilliant-and-terribly-Filipino writing. What’s built around the mythology so far is really intriguing. I especially love the journal entries and the different styles each story adopts. The main story, illustrated by Koi, introduces the first human character in a human setting and the slightly adolescent style is appropriate for Bros’ point of view. The Laho, illustrated by Jules Gregorio, are gorgeously illustrated in a rough-tough, dark style. The Nuno and Bungis are drawn really badassedly by Pol Quiroga, which is appropriate since the Bungisngis myth is modernized to be something else here. Tina Chua draws the Kataw in super distinct and loud lines, which is great considering she’s talking about half-slugs. Mico Dimagiba draws an amazing Kapre. His lines are stunning and his detail, augh. Finally, Borg Sinaban really neat style works really well with this rag-tag type of story. Glorious art + glorious story + that unshakeable Filipino-ness = all-around awesome that you cannot miss out on. Can you can tell that I stopped knowing what I was talking about ten sentences ago?
Trese 5 by Budjette Tan & Kajo Baldisimo
Amazing, as always. It opens up a lot more about Trese (heehee, shipping?) and I loved the homages that you could spot. I love how much Sir Kajo’s style has developed since the very first Trese, and how much Sir Budj has opened up about Alex now. She’s like that celebrity you know about, and yet with every issue she’s letting her personal self be known more and more… like she wants to be close to you. 😀 And I think that’s amazing.
Mang Jose by Gab Chee Kee, Ace Enriquez & Allan Burdeos
I have heard the song, haven’t watched the music video, but I was excited to find out that it was turned into a comic book – for free! The art is really nice, I like the inks especially. Hoping they come out with more issues soon. 😀
Ang Tatlong Sumpa (The Three Curses) by Borg Sinaban
I remember Pilandok from my childhood. I had a book about him defeating a crocodile, and although I don’t remember if I still have it. Sir Borg’s art is super cute, and I love how the whole book is in Tagalog. The story’s super cool, too! Hope it catches on!
A Vision of Dust by David Hontiveros and Xerx Javier
I really dig the Hellboy-ish feel to this. I don’t distinctly remember anyone in komiks going down the antihero road yet, so this is really refreshing. Sir David is awesome as always, and he makes Lucio Portador into the best badass Filipino komiks character I’ve read so far. Sir Xerx’s cover reminds me of pulp fiction and golden age komiks, which is really nice since that seems to be their peg here. Kudos!
‘Till next time.