Sunday, August 3, 2014

Last Saturday, August 2, I had the wonderful chance to attend the Komikon Indieket 2014. I wasn't planning to attend until my colleague told me he was going to have a booth there with his other graphic design buddies. So I decided to attend and see his and his friends' work (he used to be a comic strip artist for a defunct newspaper).

Walking into the Indieket was overwhelming for a first-timer like me; it took me a while to get my bearings. My sister and I took one round around the room just taking everything in. After a while, I got very excited and started getting into the spirit of things, visiting each booth. I felt bad walking away without buying something from each table, but I couldn't afford to buy from everyone!

The first person I saw whom I was familiar with was Lyndon Gregorio, the artist behind the funny comic strip/book Beerkada. My brother-in-law was the one who introduced me to the comic strip, and I enjoyed them so much I got the complete set. I didn't know it was the launch of Lyndon's latest book KKBKBKD? yesterday but I went up to him and bought it. And he drew me on the book too! My Beerkada collection is one of my prized books because all my books have been signed by him.
Me meeting Lyndon for the first time. My happy fangirl heart!
I felt a little shy because I pounced upon him and declared my adoration for his books (lol sorry, Lyndon!). I was just so excited! Unfortunately, I did not meet Chompy (his wife) as she was milling around the room, and I was feeling too shy to go back to his table.

My sister and I went twice around the room looking for other comics to buy. It was both our first time to attend a Komikon, and the indie one at that, and we were unfamiliar with a lot of the artists. Thankfully, she's open to trying new authors and books and we had a blast picking new books to try.

The books we bought are KKBKBKD? by Lyndon Gregorio, Bleak by Hipol Uy, Karit I and II by Ronzkie Pacho Vidal, Marianing by Nikolo Salazar, Mark 9 verse 47 by Maika Ezawa and Tepai Pascual, and Kayaw by Steve Magay, Dax and Bernce.

Bleak by Hipol Uy
Karit I & II by Ronzkie Pacho
Marianing by Nikolo Salazar
Tepai Pascual of Mark 9 verse 47
Sho with Dax (seated), the artist of Kayaw
Yours truly with Sho
I have mixed emotions about the Indieket. What I loved about it are:

  • I love the passion of the artists. You'll see how they really tried to make a good comic book.
  • It was fascinating for me to see the various artistry of so many Filipinos in one room, and I'm excited for them to become well-known artists.
  • I was glad to see some Pinoy comic book enthusiasts milling around and having fun.
  • I loved having the opportunity to have a one-on-one chat with the artists and finding out first hand from them what their graphic novel was about. It was so fun to see the artists talking about their book passionately, especially Nikolo Salazar.
  • I also challenged several of them to draw us on the spot, although Lyndon (clap clap clap!) didn't even need asking. 
What made me sad, though, are the following:
  • The lack of attendees. Seriously, I've seen more people go to signings of foreign authors.
  • Lack of enthusiasm on other artists. Some just sat there and didn't smile even when we approached.
  • Marketing of the event. If Sho didn't tell me about it, I wouldn't even be aware that there's such a thing as an Indieket.
  • Seeming lack of support by certain companies in the literary industry. I thought there would be support from certain companies but I was disappointed.

I went to Indieket without any expectations and I left feeling proud of my fellow Filipinos' creativity and that such a budding industry exists. There are certain gems in that room, and I'm very excited to start reading and talking about my new buys.

Entrance to the Komikon Indieket cost P100.