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Monday, November 17, 2014

Komikon 2014: Sights & Highlights!

11.17.2014 – The tenth Philippine Komiks Convention known as Komikon was the biggest event for this year attracting more than enough people to run out of tickets. There were enough activities that happened last Saturday that defined this komiks convention.

This year’s Komikon banners its 10th year since opening its doors on October 21, 2005 and it continues to grow. Even though Bayanihan Center is unfamiliar place to most mainstream crowd, Komikon has established its identity long before others try to emulate their success in bringing popular culture for everyone.

Saturday was indeed the busiest time to be part of Komikon 2014 where a lot would call this the “winter” edition even though it’s a tropical country. As early as 7 AM there were reports that there are already two people waiting outside the venue, which means Komikon’s future is definitely in the right direction.

Indie Komiks and Films

There were activities, panel discussions, announcements and artists spotlight which makes this an actual convention that’s similar to the ones you see in the US. There where three conference rooms that where available for you to take the tour. In these rooms you got the “Indie Tiangge” where independent komiks is located, and another room that have special screenings for special documentaries (Ilustrated By and Komikero Chronicles) dedicated to the revival of Philippine comics culture as well as the screening of “Tik Tik: The Aswang Chronicles” that was first promoted at Summer Komikon 2012.

Carlo San Juan, Jonas Diego, Hub Pacheco and Jason Inocencio during the Webcomic Panel.

Jeffrey Huet and Gerry Alanguilan looks on as Ed Tadeo discuss at the Inkers Panel.

Back to Back Panels

In the other room is the panel that features two main discussions the Webcomic Panel featuring Carlo San Juan, Jonas Diego and Hub Pacheco with their foreign counterparts the Webcomic Alliance joining in through Google Hangout based in the US. While the other panel following the above mentioned is the Inkers Panel presented by Gerry Alanguilan, Ed Tadeo and Jeffrey Huet.

There were a lot of new material released that day, which alone is a feat no other convention ever has. The artists and guests are at the forefront of this endeavor is why Komikon is still here and continues to break new ground. At this pace the once unfamiliar venue is now the melting pot, the home of the Philippines' one true komiks convention. The exhibitors have piled up with smiles to greet you with their new releases of original local material that you might not see it in other places.

At the entrance there has been a very long line as you pass through the lobby you'll see merchandise and shirts from Art Initiative. When you look on your left there’s the booth that’s promoting “Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2” giving away posters and shirts through raffle.

Once you get passed the other exhibitors you see National Bookstore selling American graphic novels like hotcakes going for PhP 200.00 or PhP 300.00 pesos a piece. They've been doing the same routine since 2013 but with a fresh batch of books in their shelves. That area is a mad house of comic book fans sorting through the shelves for those once expensive titles that were being sold in this convention.

When you get to the main hall it’s already packed with a huge crowd and you’ll see Sherry Zamar, Benjamin Canapi and Jason Inocencio near the stage hosting in sequence. While you sort through the tables where exhibitors peddle their new material you get to interact with them.

Manix Abrera signing books that includes his "14" silent graphic novel at the Visprint booth.

Rob Cham gives thumbs up as fans line up to acquire his latest works at his table.

Familiar and New Faces

Every Komikon you’ll tend to know this is the happiest place to be with the artists, independent publishers and usual exhibitors that have been around since 2005. Some of them have come and gone but there are others who return with something from the past dusted and reprinted with a new cover like the much awaited Mythology Class by Arnold Arre.

Hub Pacheco greeting his would-be readers with a smile.

Most decorated booth.
Jann Galino of Iloilo ComicCon just met a new friend.

Benjamin Canapi and Lyndon Gregorio enjoy reading new komiks while Lico Reloj guards the booth.

Jann Galino visit the soon-to-be Mr. & Mrs. Estanislao.
Dr. Carlo San Juan creator of Callous Comics!

There were also people, who stood in line to get his autograph, but nothing beats Manix Abrera and every year it's crazy up to the last person while you didn’t fully realized it was closing time. Abrera is still the same humble person and is consistent with his book releases. Never forgetting to greet his fans and followers with a smile. Just don’t expect him to check his Facebook to add all his requests since the man is busy now that his new book “14” is was released that same day.

Unfortunately the sixth Trese book wasn’t available that day, but Visprint had a one-time offer any fan of Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo can’t refuse. They started accepting pre-orders for those anxious about the book’s launch, which is set to be out by December 13, 2014. But if you’re one of those who paid the piper for the pre-order you’ll have it delivered directly to your house.

The men behind Crime-Fighting Call Center Agents.

The creators of "Tanod" and "Mang Jose" komiks.
Lorra Elena Angbue-Te & Elbert Or All Smiles.

Liga ni Likeman creator Russell Reyes and friend at his booth.

WonderPop Booth.
The Crowed has filled this isle.

There were others having a mini-signing event at Komikon. Mervin Malonzo was also seated beside Manix Abrera since he released his first ever printed edition of Tabi Po there’s a cult following that’s been growing on that side of the line.

In some parts a few tables away there have been new faces too like Rick Olivares a long- time Komikon attendee is now also the writer and co-creator of two new comic books greeting people at the Comic Odyssey area, where his book titles “Dante” and “Ang Ilog” was almost sold out.

Then farther back nearby Pol Medina’s table his sister Ayi Santos started her own comic book titled “Bubay”, while just across her Parokya ni Edgar band’s Gab Chee Kee and collaborator Kamikazee band’s Alan Burdeos are selling the comic titles “Mang Jose” and “Tanod”. But since Chee Kee was not around since his band is currently on the road Burdeos had to hold the fort with artists Jerico Marte, Ace Enriquez, and Carina Burdeos. Gab Chee Kee was represented by his wife Kha Santia.

Manix Abrera can't be seen in the far end of this line.

Lapis at Papel original art up for bid for charity. 
Winners of the art contest.

The usual faces in the past Komikon where still present like the creators of the Crime-Fighting Call Center Agents has finally released its sixth and possibly the last chapter of the series, which will be soon compiled and to be released as a graphic novel sometime in 2015 which might be in the next Summer Komikon.

The husband and wife team of Elbert Or and Lorra Elena Angbue-Te where selling their latest works that includes the Philippine release of Chuck art toy, the character from Bake Mono High, which was mass-produced by Imagine Nation Design Studios (the same company that produced the Vader Boy and Trooper Boy art toys for Secret Fresh).

Sherry Zamar giving away posters of "Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2."

Up for grabs the 26th Pugad Baboy book!
Closing time Manix Abrera still signing books!

There are so many exhibitors who you might not see it being mentioned here, but you might see them in the photos taken during Saturday’s successful event. Aside from the Komikon Awards there were also giveaways, trivia, and contest winner announcements on stage. Indeed once you got the comics fix you need you’ll still be in natural high due to the Komikon experience.

The eleventh year might be even bigger next November, but don’t count your chickens before they lay a lot of eggs as Summer Komikon and Komikon Indieket will be the first place to visit in 2015.

Melvin Calingo emulating his poster image. 

The hardworking men and women volunteers for Komikon 2014 with the organizers!

For now there’s a pile of comic books you need to sift through the pages, while the month of November 2014 slowly becomes a memory and Christmas comes knocking at your door. But overall it’s a great time to be a comic book fan as there is no other place to be every year than being part of the one true Komikon.

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