Posted December 7, 2010 by Norby Ela in Comics


Had another great interview with Mr. John Zamar, but now we’re talking about KOMIKON.


Komikon: Yo.
Flipgeeks: Hey, kuya.
FG: You at SSS (Village, Marikina City)?
K: Yep.
FG: Cool.

FG: How many members are there sa KOMIKON committee?
K: Six. Lee Lagdameo (Lyndon Gregorio), Ariel Atienza, Jon Zamar, Sherry Baet-Zamar, Lei Mungcal and Patrick Jungco.
FG: Who started KOMIKON?
K: The group did. It started as a joke. We were part of an artist support group and most of yung active members were Komiks creators or related to comic book production.

FG: When was this?
K: Around 2004 -2005.
FG: What’s the goal ng KOMIKON?
K: The main goal ng KOMIKON is to put a spotlight on local comic books. Sure. there were events then that featured comic books. But, mostly as an afterthought, like ToyCon for example, whose main superstar were toys and collectibles, but there happen to be comics there.

So, we wanted an event the features Komiks, it’s fans, it’s creators and it’s retailers at the forefront.

FG: Hmmm. How did you guys put up the very first KOMIKON?
K: It started with looking for a venue. We heard that a group was planning an anime convention in UP, Bahay ng Alumni. So, we inquired there as well. Turns out, we needed 5k as deposit. So, we passed the hat and we all pitched in. That’s how it started.

FG: What about guests and exhibitors? What did they think of it first?
K: They received the idea warmly. Most of the exhibitors and guests then were friends. Hahaha.

FG: Since now, sino ang mga Pinoy artists na nadyan pa every year supporting KOMIKON?
K: Gerry (Alanguilan) is a very staunch supporter of KOMIKON. Gilbert Monsanto, Jonas Diego, Point Zero – my group (hehehe), Orvy Jundis and his group, Danny Acuna and his Group, Budjette Tan and Alamat Comics.

FG: Every year ba, tumataas ba ang numbers ng visitors?
K: Yeah, tumataas naman.
FG: Like what were the numbers nung una and then last year’s?
K: It’s actually pretty close. We had around 2,000 attendees the first convention. Mind you, those are the paying ones…
FG: Hmmm.
K: … and you know UP BnA (Bahay ng Alumni) had a lot of entrances.

FG: How did you guys feel after of the very first KOMIKON? Success?
K: Ah… tired. yeah that one also. It was a fun event. But, organizing it then was grueling.

FG: Were there any con before KOMIKON?
K: Yes, there were other conventions before. But, the one that’s been closest to what KOMIKON is now is C3Con. Which I had the pleasure of attending and being part of the committee in the 2nd year
FG:: C3con?
K: Culture Crash Comics Convention
FG: Wow. I didn’t know about that. Nice!
K: That was 2002 and 2003.

FG: Year after year, did you, guys try to improve?
K: We try.

FG: This year, Ano yung mga new stuff niyo?
K: Well, we’re introducing the first event catalog. We’re also launching our first anthology and first publication. Every year, we try to expand the slots that we could give to the independents (creators).
FG: Hmmm.

FG: Originally, when ang KOMIKON?
K: Later quarter of the year.
FG: When did you start with the ‘De Avance’ mini pre-event?
K: Last year lang. Originally, we wanted to have a con per quarter. Pero to keep it manageable, we opted to try the 2 events per year muna.
FG: When do you think you guys are gonna expand into three a year?
K: Probably ‘di na, since we already have other regional shows. At least nageexpand. Mahirap namang concentrated sa Metro (Manila) lahat.
FG: Yeah. Please… Baguio KOMIKON. Hehehehe.
K: Somebody is trying organize one na.
FG: Sayang.
K: Its OK. Mahirap din namang isang group lang naghahandle ng lahat. Friends-friends naman lahat.

FG: After this year’s KOMIKON, what do you plan to do?
K: The next summer.
FG: Any plans for some new things next year at summer?
K: We’ll be doing the 3rd KOMIKON Reader’s Choice Award.
FG: How do you guys find nominees for that?
K: The nominees are open to everyone. But, this year we will be assembling a board to determine the finalists.
FG: Who will be in the board and judge?
K: We’re still determining that.
FG: Will there be like a New Artist award and a New Writer award?
K: Yeah
FG: Ano pa ang ibang categories for the awards?
K: Still finalizing pa yun.
FG: Hmmm… Any prizes? Hehehe.
K: A plaque and bragging rights.
FG: Sana may award kayo na parang fund for his/her next komik.
K: Kapag may pera na kami. We don’t really earn anything from KOMIKON. Pero, if we can find a sponsor, bakit hindi?

Ah, isa pa pang staunch supporter ng KOMIKON si Sandy (Sansolis) of Comic Odyssey.

FG: Ano pa kelangan niyo gawin para mahikayat ang tao to read read lokal and indie komiks?
K: Mostly awareness. People should know first that independent komiks exist.
FG: How do you guys promote that?
K: Reeducate people what komiks is now. Ang alam pa rin kasi nila is yung bangketa komiks. So they expect that.

FG: Do you think Filipino comics can rise again?
K: The talent is there. A lot of factors needs to be addressed first. Factors that not one group or one man can do. It would take everyone.

FG: This year, why did you guys move venues from Megamall to Starmall?
K: We’re looking for other venues. And Starmall is one venue that other events haven’t really used. The facility is there and its so much more accessible than UP BnA. Not to mention, it is not that expensive.

FG: Originally sa UP kayo, when did you guys start moving to other venues?
K: Only last year. People wanted the event to move.

FG: Sino pala ang guest stars nyo?
K: Jess and Manix Abrera, Carlo Pagulayan, Stephen Segovia and Harvey Tolibao.
FG: What about the features in your stage program?
K: Mostly, contests and sponsor time.

FG: What are your goals this year?
K: Same pa rin: Provide a venue for (local) comics.

FG: What’s your message for the people who don’t read local and indie komiks?
K: They’re missing out on a gold mine of creativity.

FG: After five years, what will KOMIKON be?
K: In five years, I’d like to see KOMIKON be respected and be a ‘Mecca’ for comic creators who wants to have a voice and a venue for their books to be seen and sold.

FG: What do you think of the list of indies in your indie tiangge this year?
K: The variety is staggering. I’ve been buying local indies since the 90s and there were periods where in you see that there was a major influence on all. Like most would be Superheroes or most would be manga inspired. But right now, the influences and products are so varied.
FG: Is there really a standard Filipino art style?
K: I guess there used to be. But, it hasn’t been seen in print here for so long for it to influence the newer generation. If you would look at the work of the classic masters, there’s an acute sense of being Filipino.

Just by looking at it, even if the figures have European features.

FG: Nowadays with technology, how do you guys now promote for KOMIKON?
K: We survive by the goodwill of the participants that spread the word on their sites and blogs.

FG: Do you have any last words?
K: I hope everyone enjoys KOMIKON 2010

Norby Ela

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