Me and the komiks scene, late 2009
I loved the Sunday paper as a kid. It had a whole, though small, section devoted entirely to kids, and had huge comics. Growing up, the only thing I really ever read in the paper was the one page of comics in the entertainment section. However, it wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I really got into the comics scene, at the 2009 Komikon.
I read about it online, and I heard Manix Abrera, the man behind Kikomachine Komix, was going to be there, so I wanted to go. I was attending UP Los Baños then, and being a probinsyana, I had no idea how to go around the city, where the Komikon would be. Luckily, the 2009 Komikon was held at Trade Hall 5 (if I’m not mistaken), in SM Megamall—a pretty inconspicuous and accessible place. It’s along EDSA so I pass it all the time going home. I figured I’d just take the usual bus home and drop myself off there, and pretty much wing it the rest of the way home. Brilliant plan. Last time I was in the city I followed my gut and walked about three kilometers in the wrong direction expecting to see the bus terminal until I gave up. Genius.
As much as I’d like to own it, I’m not the first of my peers to become a fan of Kikomachine. My friend Kris introduced it to us in sophomore year of high school, when she brought Blg. 3 (Die! Die, Evil! Die!) to school. I’d read Kikomachine Komix in the Inquirer before, but I found the art to be a little too literally dirty for my tastes. I had my turn at reading her copy and fell in love, and I went on to be an avid follower of the comic strip, and eventually owned more volumes than Kris, or anyone I knew, actually.
Entering the trade hall I was greeted by people with literal speech bubbles and thought clouds over their heads. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I asked around where Manix Abrera was, but the people from Visual Print Enterprises (now Visprint, Inc.) said he wasn’t there yet. I was too early. So I went around the venue and familiarized myself with the komiks scene. I didn’t know there was a komiks community in the Philippines. All I knew was that we had some animators and illustrators from the Philippines, from television features and news bits, but that was it. After lunch I went back, and Manix was already there, a line having formed about five to eight people long. (Oh, how much different it is now.) I got my Blg. 2-4 and ‘12’ signed, got a blurry picture with the creator using my phased-out phone, and went around a little more. I bought a pin and a Kikomachine shirt, and that was it. Tatay called, fortunately, and I was able to get home safe to Nueva Ecija.
I blew a lot of cash that day. I bought Blg. 5, 2 copies of ‘12’ (one was for my childhood friend back home), a 2009 Komikon button pin, the Kikomachine shirt that I love so much that says “Alab ng puso, sa dibdib mo’y buhay!”, and other indie komiks I took a fancy to.
I knew, it wasn’t going to be my last Komikon.
Photo of a very freshman me with Manix Abrera of Kikomachine Komix
A very blurry shot of Jonas Diego and Gerry Alanguilan (Wasted, Elmer, Humanis Rex) on the 2009 Komikon stage
Komikon button pin
2009 Komikon poster
Nagtagpo ang kanan
at kaliwa kong kamay
mistulang ‘di kilala
ang isa’t isa
Matagal na rin
nang ako’y huling
sumulat ng tula.