Sunday, October 23, 2005


This is me and Gerry Alanguilan at the recently held First Philippine komiks Convention or KOMIKON at the UP Bahay Alumni. That's the Humanis Rex poster we are holding, a sci-fi adventure comic strip by Gerry that is currently being serialized monthly in Fudge Magazine.
The Komikon was teeming with people of all ages, a proof that the old spirit of the Komiks is still very much alive in the Filipino consciousness. Of course, the dominant word you could hear there is the word "komiks". It's like a picnic, a get-together, a reunion. With all people of the same interest and hobby gathering and sharing their artworks, ideas, and lighthearted fun.
Gerry set up a vintage komiks exhibit, as well as a showcase of his original works, which I admire very much.
Alfredo Alcala's family also set up a mounted exhibit of the master's works, to the delight of the viewers. I myself, for a time, was glued at the works of the great Alfredo Alcala, and I am very pleased that his children, especially Fred and Christian, made great efforts of preserving his legacy.
Also, the Guhit Pinoy, a Filipino group of artists working in the Middle East, exhibited their recent artworks. Everyone admired their beautiful works, and I even heard some young artists say that old school is indeed better-looking than Manga.
For my booth, I decided to exhibit my collection of Telembang and Lipang Kalabaw comic-magazines, where the first Tagalog comic-strips appeared in the early 1920s. These magazines' comic strips were mostly illustrated by the great Fernando Amorsolo and Jorge Pineda, the two pioneer Filipino cartoonists.
A very funny man repeatedly visited my booth asking me what was the bookstore I bought my vintage magazines from, because he wanted to buy also those magazines, as if, one could still go to any bookstore and buy a Lipang Kalabaw or a Telembang just like you would do to an FHM! I'm not sure if he was joking, but he had this big smile in his face and was wearing a very funny-looking clown hat, so I joked to him to check out FILBARS' or ComicQuest, because possibly, they may carry back issues of the Lipang Kalabaw, and we burst out laughing afterwards. Since he was quite a pleasant person, I agreed that he take close-up shots (from his digital camera) of several covers of my magazines.
The Komikon is indeed, a good shot in the arm of a once fledgling komiks industry, but obviously a renaissance is in the making thru the efforts of such talented young artists like Gerry Alanguilan, Leinil Yu, Carlo Vergara, Randy Valiente, Jonas Diego, Arnold Arre, and a lot of other youngbloods in the field. With these people on the local komiks scene, it is indeed a great time to be a komiks fanatic once more, like most of our Nanays and Tatays' were in the 1950s to the 1970s.
I met a lot of old acquaintances there including artists Yong Montano, Jun Lofamia, and Coching's beauteous daughter, Maridel Coching, who in her own right is also an established artist.
The organizers said that, hopefully, the Komikon will be an annual event. If this is so, they can count again for my humble support in the following Komikon events.

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