Homestretch to Summer Komikon 2013
MANILA, Philippines - Summer Komikon will be this Saturday, April 13, at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig City. By the time this article comes out, creators will be rushing their printing, stapling up copies, doing finishing touches, and gearing up for a long day trying to get their work in your hands. Readers will be checking their account balances and figuring out what books to buy.
This piece won’t be an overview of all the books available. I’ll have to admit to a lack of objectivity here as the majority of the work I will be discussing is from people I know, am friends with, or have worked with — or have at the very least had twitter interactions with. In any case, these are some of the work that I’ve gotten a sneak peek at and would like to share with you all as you make your checklists for books to pick up.
I began with this idea because writer/creator Paolo Chikiamco sent me a few issues of the upcoming Mythspace books. At the last con he was selling Issue #0, which introduced the basic concept of the comic book universe that he is creating. It is a mix of fantasy and science fiction as it draws on Filipino mythological characters but recasts them as different alien races who have been visiting Earth for millennia.
The intriguing concept is now explored in a number of story lines. I am finding the book “Humanity” very intriguing. It follows a colony of humans who have been used as slaves, but who hold on to a mythology of a former home, Urt.
Humanity deals with some very heady situations and is looking to be a venue where ethics and philosophy can be explored just as much as space stories.
For younger readers is the more adventure-oriented Liftoff. It continues from one of the stories in #0. There, we had our young protagonist realizing that his Lola’s visions of mythological creatures was real, and now we see what happens when he is kidnapped and taken into space with them.
3. School Run
Next we have some work from Macoy. First is the latest installment in his ongoing series School Run. It is one of the freshest and most fun takes on the zombie genre, featuring a group of grade schoolers stuck amidst a zombie attack.
Macoy has a distinctive brand of humor, and when applied to a seemingly cliche set-up, he gives the situation new life and creativity. If you don’t have them yet, I would also recommend you get all the previous books of School Run.
4. Ang Maskot
Along with the new comic, the adaptation of Macoy's Ang Maskot will be screened at Komikon. He wrote the adaptation, while Chris Costello and Mihk Vergara directed.
The short film stars Alessandra de Rossi, Ketchup Eusebio, and Pen Medina. One hopes that this is the first step in a new trend of local comic book adaptations.
5. The Dark Colony Book 1
Trese co-creator Budjette Tan also has a new book out with Bow Guerrero and J.B. “Taps” Tapia, called The Dark Colony Book 1: Mikey Recio and the Secret Origin of the Demon Dungeon.
Based on the cover and some of the interior art, I couldn’t gather too much, other than that there is some magic and fantasy at work. The book promises the revelation of an unholy secret, and after taking a look at some of the preview work, I’m on board to see more.
6. The Urban Animal
Speaking of weird and mysterious magical happenings, there is The Urban Animal by John Amor. I’ve only read the first book (if you’re interested, he’s offering it for free download at his site http://johnamorartist.com/) where a kid who isn’t so nice is taught a literally transformative lesson by a mysterious manong fishball.
Amor will be coming out with the 3rd book this con, and it looks like something worth checking out. This cover is a great teaser and sells the book.
7. Bakemono High
Another cover that sells the book is Elbert Or’s Bakemono High. This looks to be a cute take on monsters. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
Lastly, we have Josel Nicolas with the 5th installment of his autobiographical comics, Windmills. I feel that this book exhibits Nicolas’s development as both writer and artist.
It’s philosophical without being pretentious, grounded in true emotion, and an all around good albeit kinda depressing read. The creator has loads of imagination, and it’s all on display.
9. Kubori Kikiam Coloring Book
It’s not a comic book per se, but it does come from a highly successful title, Kubori Kikiam. To play with this con’s child-oriented theme, Michael David decided to put his sexually-crazed characters into a coloring book which also includes connect-the-dots, mazes, and other kiddie book gimmicks.
As with all of his Kubori work, this is yet another outlandish, extreme, and raucously funny work.
These titles are just a few of the ones that I plan to pick up, and there are a lot more that will be waiting to be discovered at Summer Komikon. Keep an eye out for these, but also try out anything that interests you.
We’ve got to keep our comic book community alive, and the best way to do that is to buy their comics and support these creators.
There are so few opportunities to see so many local Komiks available in one place, so take these few here in this article as jumping points and then go off in search of more that you might want to read. See you all there! - Rappler.com
Carljoe Javier teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines Diliman, but what he would really like to do is spend the whole time in the classroom talking about comic books. He studies pop culture like comic books, film, and other forms of new media. He wishes he could fit into a superhero costume.