Saturday, November 17, 2007

Komik Kon-ing

The 3rd Filipino Komiks Convention was held today at the UP Bahay ng Alumni and I was there for the following reasons:

1. I wanted to keep my word to my good berk, Jo, that we’ll go together this year.

2. PDI didn’t need me. (Not really a good thing. For the one concerned, please need me again soon. I’m almost always free for you.) Needless to say, I suddenly had the time to attend on non-profitable matters. (By "non-profitable" I mean something that doesn't generate money/wage for me.)

3. I had extra cash—or so I thought.

4. I was hoping to have my Kikomachine Komix Blg. 2 and 3 (if ever I find one) signed. (Kikomachine Komix Blg. 1 is a done-deal, thanks to Kate who had it signed for me a couple of years ago.) And while I’m at it, I wish to have my Beerkwatro signed, too.

5. I needed to see this event for myself. It really is the curiosity factor kicking in.

* * *

With around four hours of sleep coupled with strained limbs from yesterday’s activity, I almost backed out of today’s agenda. I was low in power but I was bound by the five conditions I listed above so I went ahead, chugging a glass of mocha latte granita to hopefully energize what was left of me.

One cab ride later, I found myself Komik Kon-ing with “experts.”

My head must have blown up and turned green while my eyes’ pupils stretched from my forehead down to my jaw because as I would not hesitate to admit it, I felt like the odd creature in a sea of komik enthusiasts. And the thing is, I was afraid that whatever I say might desecrate any existing komik tradition, that whatever comes out of my mouth will be pure sacrilege because unlike them, I don’t venerate komiks that much.

My berk, Jo—a certified komiks and more accurately, anime follower—being lured from one table to another while I’m looking at the opposite direction didn’t help. She was the only element that kept me connected to the event and so losing her beside me triggers a slight wave of panic in my little miss paranoid brain.

It was culture shock, to say the least. I hardly felt like I belonged in there. I had to get out of the hall, take a breather, and eat ice cream.

Then I proceeded on resetting my expectations as I entered the komik premises once more.

The cartoonist of Kikomachine was nowhere to be found. It is a shame if we didn't see him because to tell the truth, he is the only cartoonist I could have identified if there were plenty of them presented right before me. This is perhaps how mangmang I am to the culture I braved to explore.

Jo decided to browse on some DVDs, making sure that this time, she doesn’t leave me alone, clueless.

Later we approached the Beerkada booth from where I bought a surprise gift to a friend, hoping to have it signed along with my old copy of Beerkwatro. Unfortunately, I only know Lyndon Gregorio through his cartoon self-portrait. I almost mistook another guy who was sitting in their booth as him. Good thing Mr. Gregorio was wearing a name tag. Still, I had to rely on another buyer who asked for his “autograph” to confirm the cartoonist’s identity. You know, I can never be too sure.

I know Beerkada’s Psychocow, talked to him in person and even developed a semi-crush towards him once (I’m hoping he’ll never get to read this. And chances are, he probably won’t. Psychocow, that is.), but I don’t know the real face behind the pseudonym (or is it?) of the creator of Beerkada.

“Can you please sign my books?” I remember saying it nicely as soon as I confirmed who the cartoonist was.

Mr. Gregorio put down my books, got a pen and asked my name. (Or did he ask my name? I am no longer sure.) By this time, he was rather acting obnoxiously towards a supposed fan who happens to be me. But, boy, I am not his fan. I just wanted to increase the worth of the book I bought in the past, thus explaining why I approached him.

I somehow began not to like Mr. G. I got the impression that he was slightly bitching me around. Will someone please tell him to be friendlier? Then again, he may just remind me of a particular person I am not so fond of whose name starts and ends with a U which explains why, by association, I am judging Mr. G.

But I did appreciate him drawing a cartoon me along with his signature. Of course, him staring at me then to his drawing, then to me, then to his drawing wasn’t anything I’d be ecstatic about. But I was grateful for the gesture just the same.

Take note of his message. Apparently nasayahan pala siya!

He put down my book afterwards and showed no intentions of signing the other book I was hoping to give my friend. For the sake of the gift, I requested him to sign the freshly bought book. “Eto pa po, para sa kaibigan kong si (name withheld for the sake of the surprise).”

He signed and that was it.

That probably is it.

If you get my drift.

* * *

Having been familiar with Pugad Baboy (Well, who doesn’t know Pugad Baboy?), it was most definitely an honor watching Pol Medina, write me a message in my own (and first) copy of his book.

Pol Medina, no doubt, is congenial, compared to others. He even cared enough to thank me and punctuate his thank-you with “Tyrene.”

Waiting in line to see Pol Medina.

Finally he signs my book.

Note the message he opted to write. Incidentally, not too long ago I was a jedi.

* * *

The next course of action was to take Jo’s picture in front of the Culture Crash tarpaulin, find the Kikomachine Komix maker then go home.

But as luck would have it, the Manix encounter came before the Culture Crash photo.

Ayan na sya!” Imagine me saying this with an intensity no entity on earth will think of as a whisper.

Alin?” Jo asked while surveying what I was referring to.

Ayun. Naka-red.” Jo soon realized who I was looking at. We then approached him.

Meron pa ba kayo nito?” I was pointing at the Kikomachine Komix Blg. 3 poster.

“Sorry, wala na e.Manix Abrera apologized. I bet that felt great on his part! (The sold-out book, I mean.)

Dahil dyan, etong lumang libro na lang ang ipapa-sign namin.” I said while Jo and I unearthed our copies of Kikomachine Komix Blg. 2.

Manix, the Kikomachine cartoonist, was pleasant, much like Pol Medina. I pushed my luck. “Tapos, picture tayo.”

He then squeezed himself within the frame captured by my cellphone.

Before Jo and I left, I had to step back and ask Manix, with whom I have had no interaction with prior to the one I am narrating, “Kapatid mo siya?” I was referring to the young girl seated beside him.

He said yes.

I said, “Magkamukha kasi kayo.” You see sometimes, I really can’t stop myself from saying my thoughts.

I think Manix smiled.

Jo laughed.

Shet, maki-chika ba?!?” I blurted out to Jo as soon as I realized how I had just been too friendly to a stranger.

* * *

I took Jo’s picture in the less than solitary tarp. Then we took some more pictures outside. After which, we decided to go for a UP Ikot…on foot. It was a good geographic exercise to UP Los Baños dwellers such as ourselves.

Our feet gave up and so we grabbed another cab to head to the real errand for the day which didn’t really go the way we wanted to. But it wasn’t so bad because at least we found the chance to explore Manila—at night!

And who would have thought that after yesterday and today's adventures, I’d still be awake at this time?

Perhaps Komik Kon-ing does have its magic!


nikka said...


ayooooos! FRIENDLINESS ka these days ah...lay off the ice cream and coffee granitas.perkiness is never our virtue! parang nababagong buhay ka na! hehehe.

sayang di kasama si Goy.

-tye- said...

Aha! yun nga siguro yon!

Isang malaking sayang talaga at wala si Goy. E di sana tinodo na namin ang chikahan sa Kikomachine table at nang mas matagal ang exposure doon. hehe.

In fairness, mabait naman ang anak ni Papa Jess!