Posted January 17, 2015 by Joseph Batcagan in Comics

LET’S TALK KOMIKS: Chloe Havengaarde, from Iloilo to Komikon (Part 2 of 2)

If this is your first time getting into the series, we suggest that you read Part One first before proceeding below. But if you’re the type who wants to be kept in the dark with certain references, then by all means, please go ahead. Anyways, hope you get out something of this piece, nevertheless. Enjoy!


It would have been two weeks since Komikon X took place by the time the second part of this piece has been published. For many people, the “relevancy” of past events get dulled as weeks and months go by. For the rest of the more sentimental ones among us, though, the memories of it still remain as fresh as ever. Indeed, that was the case when I talked to ‘Chloe Havengaarde’ five days after she arrived back here in Iloilo City; more than anything, she was still as eager to share her experiences with me from the Con.

So, how did she find her first Komikon experience, then? Well, she put it in the simplest terms possible: “It’s fun. I met with my online friends who are fellow artists. I’m happy.” True to what she said, she further told me, “(The artists are) awesome, though I failed to do some art trade to some of them ‘cause of the time constraints. But I looked through their folios and sketchbooks and it blew me away… and almost.. forgot to breathe haha!” Of course, when you go anywhere that comes at the heels of your birthday, then any event would come off as memorable, no matter how “small” it is. In this regard, Chloe felt very grateful that many of her “guildmates” remembered her special day and plied her with “original arts and some figures”.

It certainly was impossible for her not to solicit “professional” feedback from her work during the two days she was there: it’s practically the standard MO for many artists visiting the Con, for one. “They pointed out that my style has a lot of varieties,” she said. “So, that means that it’s supposed to be a good thing, then?”, I replied. She answered back, “No. it’s not. It’s not good to have various styles cause an artist needs to have a style that’s recognizable, but also, it denotes that you can work on a wide variety of mediums,” she explained. Yes, I just exposed myself as the one contributor for Flipgeeks with no idea what her first statement even meant, so she basically “schooled” me. Not that I’m complaining, though.

Of course, since that was also her first time going to a con in Manila, she also told me a story about nearly getting lost with her sister and asking help from their common relatives on directions and other helpful things. Fair enough; that’s not an uncommon experience as some people make it out to be, since every erstwhile promdi (“country bumpkin”) worth his or her provincial salt had also done the same thing back then.

Komikon X Booth

However, other than the usual things she expected from the con (like having a good amount of people “discover” her works and proceeding to sign them all, while also doing sketches), she was hit with this “realization” when I asked her what else she had discovered while on her con weekend. “I did see that my group needs to improve more,” she said. I pressed her further about it, and she went into more specific detail: “I see small details like, uhh, breach in communications, being late, lack of signage; we didn’t even have banners.” Thankfully, she explained that they already had a group meeting by way of Facebook chat (much in the same way like how this interview was conducted, mind you), and they’re already hashing out things that should help them boost their profile come next year.

However, her biggest takeaway from the con was something that she herself hadn’t imagined she’d be doing when she first thought of creating comics when she was younger: spurred by her talk with Iloilo Comic Con founder – Jann Galino, she said that she’s already in the midst of “organizing a local indie circle of local Ilongga comic-artists”. “All the members are from Panay (and) based in Iloilo. We haven’t launched our page yet, but our circle is named SWING. Currently, there’s five of us, and we’re targeting the Iloilo Comic Con next year, if there’s one. I met with Sir Jann Galino on (Komikon X) last November, and he told me he can offer me free table at ICCON.”

Sure, those “victories” may amount to little in the long run, but those are still wins, nonetheless. Really, if there’s anything that can help grow any creative scene there is in a community, then it’s through acts like promoting and championing the works of your peers. Heck, that’s what many of us have been doing at this website for the longest time now.

This may not mean that Chloe Havengaarde will turn out to be the “future” of the local scene, but at least she’s smart enough to lay the groundwork for it. And she got all of that from a visit to Komikon. Pretty cool, eh?

Joseph Batcagan

Copywriter by day, weekend warrior by... err, weekend. Amateur podcaster for Lapsed geek (but currently experiencing "remission"). Feels weird writing about himself in the third-person. @JBatcagan