I was fortunate to have a free afternoon last Saturday (october 21), to attend the 2nd annual KOMIKON, a local mini version of the San Diego Comics Convention.
I really did plan to set a booth there to sell some old komiks and original arts but at the last minute i decided to just be a spectator, so I can visit my friends' respective booths and give support to their comics creations.
I arrived almost 3 O'clock in the afternoon, so I already missed some activities in the morning. But I was glad to see some of my friends there like Erwin Cruz(Cruzifix), Gerry Alanguilan, Randy Valiente, and the illustrator Mario Macalindong.
I also purchased several new comic books like Alanguilan's ELMER, Manix Abrera's KIKO MACHINE 2, KC Cordero's Filipino Komiks #1, as well as some indie comics by young comics creators. It is important for me to support their efforts to continue the tradition of comics making in the Philippines.
I am very impressed with the enthusiasm and the energy manifested by these people when it comes to local comics. With them leading the way, it would come as no surprise if the once glorious era of Philippine comics will be revived, which is a sort of Renaissance.
I am very enthusiastic with Gerry's Elmer, a modern fable about chickens freely interacting, living, and even marrying with humans. Whoa..if you haven't read it yet, go buy one from your local comics dealer (ComicQuest or Filbars), and you'll certainly like the poignancy of the story(even if it's not yet complete..parts 3 and 4 are still in the making).
I salute Gerry for having the courage to come out with his own publishing company at a time when the comics industry is at its ebb. Will it take a chicken to revive the industry? Hehe that is a great great possibility since Elmer is a great great comic book.
I also commend the efforts of former Atlas Editor KC Cordero for spearheading the publication of Filipino Komiks#1, an attempt to revive the comics industry from its very roots. Some of the contributors to this comics are veterans of the Philippine comics industry like writer Joemari Lee, and illustrators Randy Valiente, Carl Comendador, Gibert Monsanto, Dante Barreno, Rico Rival, Nar Castro, and many others.
I am also very pleasantly surprised to find out that once again the ALCALA LEGACY has an exhibit of Alfredo Alcala's original works. I marvelled at the artworks of Voltar, Ukala, Yamato, and some other very rare pieces of comic art from the master's personal collection. What a great collection it is and deserves a permanent place in a museum devoted to comic art.
I didn't have enough time though to visit everyone like Reno Maniquis, who is managing the Mars Ravelo booth, Gilbert Monsanto, and Carlo Vergara. I have wanted to see them but it was already getting late, and I know they're very busy, too.
Lastly, I was very pleased to meet some of the veterans from the Golden Age of Philippine comics. It is very heartwarming that they went there to show that the love for comics is always in their blood. I didn't want to go without a picture of all of us..so it's here:
Left to Right: Nar Castro, Yong Montano, Jess Jodloman(Alex Nino's teacher!), Mar Macalindong, Me(as in, me), and collector and comics archivist Orvy Jundis (Thanks to Erwin Cruz for this photo)