PASIG CITY – As the summer heat enveloped the metro, comic book geeks and aficionados gathered at the Bayanihan Center for the successful return of Summer Komikon! One of the tentpole events of Komikon, Inc., Summer Komikon is one of the most anticipated events that allows Filipino writers and artists in both the local and international comics industries to interact with fans.
Speakers and panels
Sherry Zamar of Komikon, Inc. interviews Maskarado writer/artist Reno Maniquis
Three local artists were interviewed on the main Summer Komikon stage. The first was Rod Espinosa, the creator of The Courageous Princess, Neotopia, and Adventure Finders. Following him was Reno Maniquis, creator of Maskarado. Finally, Andrew Villar, creator of Ambush took his turn.
Meanwhile in the conference rooms, veteran artist Rico Rival regaled an attentive audience with tips on how to draw as well as how to make it in the comics industry. That was followed by a panel featuring collaborative works in comics from writer-artist pairs. From Meganon Comics, Tepai Pascual and Maika Ezawa of Mark 9 Verse 47 fame formed one pairing while Ace Vitangcol and Jed Siroy from Studio Studio, the creators of Love is in the Bag, formed the other. All four spoke of their experience in writing, drawing, and threshing out their respective comics via a collaborative process.
Renowned comics creators such as Pol Medina, Jr. of Pugad Baboy, Manix Abrera of Kikomachine Komix and News Hardcore, Carlo Vergara of Zsazsa Zaturnnah, and Arnold Arre of The Mythology Class and Trip to Tagaytay also graced the occasion. Arre was on hand to launch a new edition of his popular 2002 graphic novel After Eden, which had been out of print for years. For his part, Vergara released a much awaited sequel, Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila part 2.
Arnold Arre signs a new edition of After Eden, now back in print under Nautilus Comics
New books launched
This being a convention on comics, some new releases were also available to the public for the first time. The Lost Journal of Alejandro Pardo: Creatures & Beasts of Philippine Folklore brought together creators Budjette Tan, David Hontiveros, Kajo Baldisimo, Mervin Malonzo, and Bow Guerrero. Creating a diary-like account of aswangs, kapres, tikbalangs, and the like allow the creators to explore these beasts and introduce them to an audience that might not be aware of their history.
First time publishers Comic Book Lab also came out with books for Summer Komikon. Set during World War II, the first issue of War of Whispers by Andre Palma, JV Tanjuatco, and Jim Jimenez explores how a Filipino boy deals with creatures from both Japanese and Filipino myth that make him question his grip on reality. Another Comic Book Lab book, Mythopolis by Tanjuatco, Marco Manalac, and Jimenez is set in the mythical city of Elysia and combines science fiction and fantasy elements.
The occasion also marked the presentation of the third installment of the Sulyap Anthology. The first two Sulyap books featured indie artists whose work was brought together in anthology form. This third Sulyap book features eight independent artists, namely Kai Castillo, Patrick “Rawrr” Enrique, Sherwin Sabalon, Wan Mañanita, Kevin Ray Valentino, Gwendy Gayle Delos Santos, Julienne Dadivas, and Andoyman.
Hobnobbing with local artists and donating blood for charity
For the hardcore comics fans, international comics artists such as Jonathan Lau, Heubert Khan Michael, Lui Antonio, Roy Allan Martinez, Ed Tadeo, Dennis Crisostomo, and Jomar Bulda were also accepting requests for commissioned sketches in the afternoon. For newbies in the komiks field, the Indie Tiangge allowed these people to showcase their wares in hopes of eventually catching the eye of the bigger publishers.
Ace Vitangcol and Jed Siroy of Studio Studio discuss the difficulties of writing and drawing for basketball sequences while Tepai Pascual of Meganon Comics looks on.
The 2016 Summer Komikon also marked the first time that a blood drive was conducted during a conference. In partnership with the Philippine Red Cross, those who donated blood were given Summer Komikon freebies for their kind deed.
Aside from the comics that were being sold, fans of both local and international comic-related media were also able to avail of prints, t-shirts, stickers, and other similar items to feed their geeky needs.
Summer Komikon was presented by Komikon, Inc., and was sponsored by Comic Odyssey, National Book Store, Beyond the Box, and Evil Genius. Special thanks were given to ArtWhale.ph, Art Initiative, Quantum Amusement, Kawangis Komiks, CIIT, adobo magazine, The Manila Bulletin, and Hero TV. Event partners were UP Grail, UP Lunarock, UPLB Graphic Literature Guild, and The Dark Knight PH.