That's right, Komikon is happening this weekend! It's the 7th Annual Philippines Komikon, and it's gonna be a blast. Now, you're going, I'm going, my buddy Danry is going, and we're all excited! Tickets are only 100 pesos, which is a freaking steal when you consider that a back issue sold by one of the vendors that would normally go for 200 will be going for 50. That's getting a return on your investment right away right there.
So I'm sure that you know what you're gonna buy, yes? TRESE book 4 by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, ELMER 2nd edition by Gerry Alanguilan, THE FILIPINO HEROES LEAGUE by Paolo Fabregas, the latest PUGAD BABOY by Pol Medina Jr. That's great, and you SHOULD buy those books, because those books are awesome and you're supporting the local scene.
But Danry and I are here to recommend some more stuff for you to get, because we want you to support our local artists, and get even more of them into National Book Store and Powerbooks and Fully Booked, and really get it out there, to people! So Danry and I picked five comics each in an alternating fashion (i.e., he picked one, then I picked one, until we had picked five each, or ten), and then we wrote about it, why we're looking forward to it, and the price, just so you guys have a budget guide. So here are your hosts, me, Duy Tano, and my buddy, Danry Ocampo.
|Me on the left, Danry on the right.|
Danry's Pick: URBAN ANIMAL #1 and 2 (Super Debil Robot Comics) by John Amor
What It's About: A college boy discovers he is able to transform into various animals involuntarily.
It's essentially a urban fantasy comedy about controlling inner demons.
Why He's Picking It: Last year, I read an online post about the 1st Cebu Comics Convention 2010 at Komikero Dot Com where Gerry Alanguilan mentioned meeting a “promising creator” in John Amor of the Tres Komikeros podcast. I was amazed that Cebu has a lot dedicated comic book creators and fans. Soon after, I got addicted downloading and listening to Tres Komikeros on a weekly basis. I was aware that John had a comic called URBAN ANIMAL, but since I was in Manila, I was unable to get a copy. Flash Forward a few months, John Amor made a PDF copy of Urban Animal and shared it on Facebook. Damn! I almost missed out one of the best comic books Cebu had to offer. I plan on rectifying that mistake by getting URBAN ANIMAL at Komikon and finishing that story till the end. It’s a funny take on the regular college life of Joey (that's the main character) with a little twist of turning into a dinosaur or animals when he gets angry. Humor, animals, cliffhangers and John’s amazing art. It’s a no brainer. I want it; you should too.
Price: P60 each (P120 for issue #1 and 2) Very affordable!
Duy's Pick: BATHALA: APOKALYPSIS #4 (Alamat Comics) by David Hontiveros and Ace Enriquez
What It's About: In BATHALA: APOKALYPSIS #4, Jose Carreon comes clean with his son regarding Bathala’s origins, while the beleaguered hero continues to protect humanity from the Apocalypse, coming into direct conflict with the First Horror. And also, if you want a more detailed recap, go here.
Why He's Picking It: Wait, seriously, you have to ask why I'm making BATHALA: APOKALYPSIS my first pick? Here are my glowing reviews of issue 1 and issue 2, here's my exclusive interview with David Hontiveros that appeared in issue 3, and of course, I'm one of the three judges of the Untitled David Hontiveros Project (the deadline of which is next week for you guys). Issue 4 promises to kick things into HIGH GEAR and I will be right there to buy it!
Price: Each issue of BATHALA is P50. But if you buy the first three issues, you'll get the fourth for free! You seriously do not have an excuse.
Danry's Pick: KALAYAAN #12 and KALAYAAN: A NEW PINOY SUPERHERO TPB by Gio Paredes
|Check out Gio's DeviantArt page here.|
What It's About: Kalayaan (John Dela Vega) is a Filipino superhero, augmented genetically to protect the innocent. More commonly known as the superhero who has the Philippine flag as a costume.
Why's He Picking It: I’ve always seen Gio Paredes during Komikons selling his wonderful creation KALAYAAN at his table. He’s a very humble and approachable creator, a self-confessed Kirkman fan, and a INVINCIBLE comic supporter. I got my first taste of Kalayaan from buying and reading the recent KOMIKON PRESENTS SULYAP collection. Kalayaan is a very likable character, who fights evil and saves the day. It's written in Tagalog, making it accessible to everyone, and the price per comic is affordable.
Price: Kalayaan TPB (TBA)
Kalayaan Individual Issues P60 per comic and #0 is P10
Bonus: He will also have a special auction at Komikon for the benefit of Kalayaan’s future publishing. Marvel Inker/Painter/Artist Ed Tadeo made a Kalayaan gouache painting to sell in which proceeds will be donated to Kalayaan’s future printings and developments. More details here.
|You know you want it, folks.|
Duy's Pick: WEATHER-WEATHER LANG by Norby Ela
Why He's Picking It: The original version of WEATHER-WEATHER LANG was praised by none other than Gerry Alanguilan, who called it "quiet, unforced and surprisingly convincing, free from bombast and hysterics." In addition, aside from the fact that Norby is a friend of mine (in the interest of full disclosure), I've come to really appreciate his linework and rather unorthodox figure work. I particularly liked his last outing, GUTOM, which was strangely affecting and left emotions lingering for a good while after reading it. You may know Norby's work from his comic series YO, BO, so you may not expect him to move you on an emotional level. But consider how he's taken a 24-hour comic book and how he's added pages to it and revised every single page of art, and believe me. He will. Trust me. He will.
Price: P80 at the Kon, P100 in stores
Bonus: Go get his new offering, PROLOGUE, as well. It's the first part of his new superhero series, all told without any dialogue. And I wrote the intro, so go buy it!
Danry's Pick: KUBORI KIKIAM Book 4, The Melancholy of Edward Cordero by Michael David
What It's About: From iTunes: Warning: Mature Content. Includes explicit language, nudity, hentai and mutant food with mixed martial arts skills. Filipino street food has never been this fun. Or strange. Meet Dodon, Benjo and Manny. They love computer games, snacks, porn, and the occasional peek up a pretty girl’s skirt—ordinary pursuits perhaps, but for kikiam (que kiam, pronounced keek-yum: fried fingers of minced pork often served with a spicy-sweet sauce)? If talking and walking street food strikes you as bizarre, then you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Why He's Picking It: I discovered Michael David’s Kubori Kikiam when I was browsing comic books at Comic Odyssey. Sandy Sansolis (Head Honcho at Comic Odyssey) is also known as a avid supporter of local komiks. He has a whole section devoted to local indies. I immediately bought the first 3 trades and KUBORI KRASH 10th ANNIVERSARY and went home. Upon reading the books, I must admit that I was caught a bit off guard by the adventures the Kikiams were having and really proved that it was indeed for mature audiences. It was obvious though that I was grinning so hard on each page I was reading, the kind of smile you do upon hearing a green joke from a friend. Needless to say, I was hooked. I even brought it to the office and a lot of my officemates found it to be very funny and naughty. Now that Book 4 will be out at Komikon, I expect another day of laughter shared with my friends at the office. Stress diffused!
Duy's Pick: BAYAN KNIGHTS: BOOK OF ORIGINS 1–12 by Gilbert Monsanto and the Bayan Knights Team
|Check out the Bayan Knights blog for more details.|
What It's About: Wanna learn more about your favorite Bayan Knights? These are the books to buy! Vital stats, powers and abilities — a must read for old and new readers alike.
Why He's Picking It: Frankly, I'm not sure if I'm getting this or getting one of the older BAYAN KNIGHTS books, as it's something I certainly want to try getting into. BAYAN KNIGHTS is a line of properties and is a shared superhero universe (which incorporates KALAYAAN as well), and it's fun to see something like that for us. I haven't read it and I haven't sampled it, but I wanna and that's why it's here on this list. The origins may be the best jumping-on point, or it may be one of the older books. We'll know when I get there!
Price: P70 each
Danry's Pick: KAPITAN TOG by Freely Abrigo
What It's About: Kapitan Tog : Superherong laging nauuntog! (Action Comedy)
Why's He Picking It: Freely Abrigo is a cartoonist and creator of KAPITAN TOG and KULAS (featured in the Manila Bulletin). My first exposure to Freely’s work was at the Philippine 24-hour comic bookchallenge. He won the contest with his comic titled BAKIT ("Why") and can be read online here. Kapitan Tog was a new creation for the relaunched PILIPINO FUNNY KOMIKS, which unfortunately ceased operations after a few issues. He decided to make it an indie komik instead. It chronicles the adventures of Kapitan Tog with just pictures. According to Freely, he intentionally designed Kapitan Tog to be a silent comic. Everyone can enjoy it from kids to adults, with a definite universal appeal.
Price: Kapitan Tog 1 & 2, P60
KULAS(red) new release P100 with limited edition KULAS button
KULAS(black)old komiks P120
Duy's Pick: KOMIKERO KOMIKS ANTHOLOGY #8 by Jonas Diego and the Komikero Komiks Group
|Thanks to Jonas Diego for the cover.|
Why He's Picking It: I love anthologies. There's no better bang for your buck, and no better way to discover new writers and artists for as cheaply as possible. Plus, when we get to the history of comics, a good ton of characters and famous comics started in anthologies, including Superman, Darna, and Spider-Man. I picked up the sixth issue of this in Sputnik a few months back for 50 pesos, and I was thoroughly entertained. It had personal memoirs (including a really touching feature by Gerry Alanguilan about the death of his dog), adventure strips, comedic stories, and around one or two things that just went over my head. Pick this one up, folks. You may discover something.
Danry's Pick: BRUHO BARBERO by Rommel Estanislao
|Check out the Bruho Barbero Facebook page here.|
What It's About: The most wanted barbarian of Planet Terworkan. Hunted by warriors, assassins,
and Terworkan's ruler, King Triple X.This fearless warrior is savage and shows no mercy. There's only one thing: NEVER TOUCH HIS HAIR!
Why He's Picking It: I first encountered Rommel “Omeng” Estanislao’s comics when Gerry Alanguilan (ELMER) wrote a whole post about how impressed he was with LOVE STORY. I had to find this guy and try it out. At Komikon, I was able to sample LIPAD as part of the SULYAP Collection as well as the LOVE STORY Colored Edition at Free Comic Book Day 2011. I read them on the spot and instantly became a fan. It’s just so entertaining that he could tell a story with few words and cartoons, at the same time leaving room for your imagination to run wild. This makes it a lot more kid-friendly too. I have no doubt that Bruho Barbero will be another book that everybody can share and enjoy.
Duy's Pick: SKYWORLD: REQUIEM by Mervin Ignacio and Ian Sta. Maria
What It's About: This is the final installment in this epic story that is steeped in Filipino folklore, myth, and history. The buildup has been tremendous! The crossovers with Kadasig and Alexandre Trese have been good fanboy fun! And it promises to end with a bang! Maybe multiple bangs!
Why He's Picking It: You know, you can check out my review of the first three SKYWORLD books right here, and I could gush about it again right here, but instead, in lieu of the cover for REQUIEM, I'm gonna show you a page that Ian Sta. Maria shared on his DeviantArt from the upcoming book.
That is Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio fighting the aswang Rianka! And what I just typed there is synonymous with "awesomeness"! Seriously, if that doesn't sell you on the book, nothing possibly can. It also means you have no soul and you owe me a bacon cheeseburger as a result.
Price: P150 for SKYWORLD: REQUIEM. It's also P150 for the previous issues, and P200 for the art book, SEVEN GIFTS OF THE SKY GODS.
And of course, don't forget to just go around the Komikon tables and discover things for yourselves! More new offerings are being announced by the day and we're ourselves constantly discovering them, such as Ed Tadeo's Jacara Zar!
To get to the Bayanihan Center, where the Komikon will be held, take the MRT to Boni Station. Get off at the side with Robinsons Pioneer, then get on a tricycle and ask them to take you to Bayanihan Center. If you're taking a car, get on EDSA going north, turn right on Pioneer, and then go straight. You'll see the Bayanihan Center on your left.
Or, you know, here's a map.
Go to the Komikon Facebook group to see what's up!
Have fun, enjoy, don't break the bank, and come say hi. We'll be there all day, wandering around. See you there!