Posted October 31, 2012 by Norby Ela in Events

My Short-Lived KOMIKON 2012 Experience

I just want to put it out up front that I didn’t fully attend the whole event. In the afternoon, I had to show my out-of-town relatives on how fuckin’ cool Binondo (Chinatown) is. I guaranteed them that it is not so dangerous over there. Food touring around that place is such a high with so much good food. Anyway, enough blabber. I attended KOMIKON 2012. In the glistening honey-baked shine by the morning sun as it protrude in the clear blue sky. I went over at the Bayanihan Center. I guess for now, is a new home for the Komikon events for the last 2 years. This year, they’ve changed up the settings. Moving their Indie Tiangge to a conference room, where in the past, it was positioned in the main hall of the event. As a point of view as a komiks creator and an experienced Komikon Indie Tiangge participant in past Komikons, this made me nervous. Will the present participant get enough attention/exposure from the attendees of the con? Will the attendees have an idea that the Indie Tiangge is at the big room next to the restrooms? Well, apparently and fortunately, from the feedback post-con, they have. So, yippee!

I grabbed my media ID and went around to take some pictures. I’ve met friends, and just to let you know who are outside from the komiks artist community, it is small and almost everyone knows who is who. Almost everybody’s acquainted with each other. Spoke to most and tried to cover the whole floor. I got to remind to you – readers, I was there before they opened the con for the attendees. It’s just the time where retailers and artists would set up and prepare their merch to be displayed on their tables. As you can see on the pictures in this article, I’ve met and chatted a lot. Beforehand of the event, I knew that I wouldn’t get to meet the main guest artists because my latter planned appointment. And also, I had some budget constraints, one of the causes is I headed over at the massive Comic Odyssey table and saw some 50-80% TPBs, HCs and GNs that just made me gaga. I even put back some of the books that I wanted to buy. (Sigh).

While reading this article, I bet you’ll think that I’m doing a pretty bad job as media personnel. But fuck, man. It’s Komikon. It only happens once a year. (Twice, if you count Summer Komikon.) This was the time where you would find cheap discounts on comic books, graphic novels, toys and other awesome merch from retailers, such as National Book Store, Comic Odyssey, Planet X, Comicx Hub and others.

I know that I’ve been diverted from my geek shopping persona from that paragraph, but I don’t want to leave out Komiks. Komiks have been, I guess, in the past decade or more, independent. Not a lot of publishers are around. There are some, such as NBS, Visprint, Psicom and Anvil that have been helping out. If it weren’t for them, their financial assistance to produce (or) to a nation-wide distribution wouldn’t make Trese, Skyworld, Kikomachine and Kulas be out there. I’m not saying that it’s never out there, but in across-the-nation ‘out’ there. But, like I said: ‘Komiks have been, I guess, in the past decade or more, independent’. These independent creators that I would see year after year, most in the public, you’ve never heard of, are just the blood that keeps the weakened heart of Komiks pumping. I for one am very proud to be a part of this because I do write and draw my own komiks and stories. After each and every year, I get to feel this secure feeling, whenever the con season starts or when a new komiks would be released, that this industry will keep growing and growing, and stronger and stronger.

Anyway, what are the new stuff in the event? Of course, new komiks creators, new collaborations, new groups, new komiks series, new installments, and a new format in the rise: Collected/Trade Paperback Editions. I would like to write a particular piece about it. But, Mr. Gerry Alanguian (Elmer, Wasted) already posted in his blog: ‘The Rise of the Indie TPB‘. It’s pretty interesting on how the komiks industry is growing. You just never expect what’s going to come out next year. Gab Chee Kee, rhythm guitarist of nation-famed rock band, Parokya ni Edgar, has been participating in some cons this year and it’s his first time to give away his preview teaser komik – Mang Jose and sell his merch in Komikon. With him is 55Tinta Tattoo… can you believe that? There’s a tattoo booth now! Brilliant! So, if you want to get a Spidey or a Batman tattoo, you know where to go.

Jann Galino, an artist that had projects in small comic book publishing companies, and the head organizer for the upcoming Iloilo Comic Con in December, invited me to his table with his entourage. In a short while, I made some sketches to attendees. Met with my bossingTony Tuason and briefed him.

In the end, I bought some komiks, mingled with cool people and friends, spent some money and made some money. I had a fun time while it lasted and leaving there early saddened me. Yet distracting me with some freshly-made dumplings and warm-hearty beef wonton did it. Next year, I will make it up.

Norby Ela

Now residing in San Diego, CA, I strive to work in art and further grow FlipGeeks around the world.