Friday, July 27, 2007

For the past two years KOMIKON cemented relationships among players in and out of the comic book industry. Be it peers, colleagues, readers, creators, publishers and retailers, KOMIKON is THE venue and the EVENT for sharing and renewing ties that bind.

This is where the depth and width of Filipino talent in creating various worlds and stories, from the golden age to the here and now are showcased. KOMIKON also served as the link for the local market to reach out to the global village. Bottom line, this once a year fest promotes the rich medium that is comic book, which can be seen through the myriad of local works drawing from influences not only locally but from our foreign counterparts as well.

Indeed KOMIKON is the celebration of the great art form endearingly called by Pinoys from all walks of life as Komiks. This was the medium that once served as our "national past time" particularly during its golden age from the 70s to the early 80s. It was an industry that gave birth to superstar illustrators and writers. Komiks opened a window for this unique breed of artists to break into the international scene. Their Komiks stories led to adaptations into other media such as film, television and radio making them part of an unforgettable part of our local tradition of excellence in art and literature. KOMIKON is the event that aims to gather its supporters and creators in one place to commemorate komiks as it deserve to be distinguished.

KOMIKON 2007 will be held at the UP Diliman's Bahay ng Alumni on November 17, 2006, from 10am to 6pm. Again it will showcase the creations of Filipino artists from various genres and themes and give tribute to the creators and their creations. The 3rd Filipino Komiks Convention aims to bring together comic book artists/groups and publishers in a venue where they could present their talents, works and services to the public. Most importantly, it aims to give a break to aspiring comic artists. It would like to offer a venue for new art groups and different generations of artists for a free exchange of ideas. Hopefully it would lead to a transcending of stereotypes and broaden the scope of comics – from local to international to cross-cultural, sequential to strips, amateur to professional and traditional publication to independent comics publishing. This event will raise awareness of the exciting state of contemporary Philippine comics industry.

Contests like the Independent Comicbook, On the Spot Comic Strip Making and the Original Character Making Contest hopes to bring out the next generation of Comic Book creators to the fore front. Our special guests, comic book superstars from the past and present, both coming from the local and international fields will be available for consultations. They will share insights about the industry through their multifaceted experiences. Fun-filled activities will also be provided by our exhibitors through their respective booths and own activities.

Komikon is also the home of the Komikon Awards, a vote-based awards given to those who the readers, creators and other supporters of the medium deemed to be deserving. Taking the cue from the film industry that yearly take time to award meritorious films and give accolades to their worthy creators, the Komikon Committee will open the nominations for the 2 nd Komikon Awards in this event for the following year. The Komikon Awards will give the opportunity for readers, creators, publishers and retailers to nominate and vote for the best in the industry, both local and international. The awards aim to encourage solidarity within the industry to produce quality local books and promote wider readership in the market.

This year's event is organized by The Artists' Den and Groundbreakers Inc.

Groundbreakers Inc. is owned and run by artists and writers alike. One of their main goals is to provide the best local talents with the opportunity to garner professional experience and success in the industry, not just locally but internationally as well. By doing so, they hope to make the Philippines one of the prime source of talent for the Manga industry in South East Asia and eventually the world. One of their aims id to bring forth these talents to both local and international markets and to showcase to the world the potential of Filipino artists and story tellers through high quality Manga publications.

The Artists' Den, on the other hand, has a long-term commitment to help art groups grow, to promote goodwill among fellow Comic Creators and support different works and activities among appreciative audiences. The organization had been witness to the ups and downs of the comic industry as members themselves are mixed up in it. The group has actively participated in the past conventions and now would like to have a convention that focuses on comics alone.

For more information and latest event developments visit http://komikon.blogspot.com/ and join the discussions on http://www.komikon.tk/

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A relative of mine died today. No, it was more of murdered. In cold blood. He was a couple of years older than me and he worked as a security guard in San Juan. Details are sketchy at best at this time since no one wants to talk about it but from what I gathered he was working in his usual graveyard shift guarding a house when someone wrestled his gun away from him and when he tried to get it back he was stabbed. I'm not sure if he died in the hospital or he was declared DOA from blood loss. He left behind a young widow and three small kids.

We haven't talked much, that relative of mine, ever since he got that job as a security guard. He hails from my dad's province in Batangas and due to the fact that anyone knows everyone in that small barrio (and probably distantly related even) I'm not sure how he's related to us. He came to Manila more than fifteen years ago when his widowed mother thought it appropriate that he send her only son to be independent on the advice of my dad. His mother and my grandma were constant companions in their old age, sharing experiences and bonds closer than any other brought about by their unfortunate circumstances as widows. I remember him from when I was a kid, he was this big teener who had perpetually knotted brows and spoke in low tones. I didn't know who he was at the time but I remember him digging out crab holes at our beach for me to collect the crabs to take home as a pet. The next time I saw him was during one of the last trips I took to Batangas. He went home with us with just one bag containing his clothes and other toiletries I guess. My dad gave him employment in our handicraft exporting business at the time. He scrubbed the floors of our house for additional pay. That's where we got to know each other more as he wanted to know more about the newfangle things to be found in Manila. I confess I was annoyed at his persistence to be shown around at the time and found a lot of excuses not to show him around though we got to hang around the yard whenever he or I found some time. He also shared his dreams of going back home and wanting to be a teacher. He took night classes in of the nearby universities until he got married some years later and established a family. He was forced to abandon his studies and took up training to be a guard. We got in touch once in a while whenever we see each other. The last time I got to talk to him was last May when I took the pup out for a walk and he was there sitting by the sidewalk biding his time till he needed to get ready to go to work. The last time I saw him was I think a week and half ago when I was going out to the mall and he was just getting home.

Hearing about funeral services being arranged along with the name of the recently deceased is so surreal. I can't even begin to imagine what his immediate family is going through right now. My dad's arranging transportation of the body back to the province but what happens after the funeral? What about the assailant? But what strikes closer to home with this incident is the fact that regret over not spending enough time or not sharing enough of my faith with him. Or anyone for that matter. The names and faces of close friends continually crossed my mind as I went with my chores. I also thought of the question why do most people fear death if we're just going to cease existing anyway? Death is also at times merciful as our bodies have a way of coping with the pain that accompanies it by shutting it down allowing us to slip peacefully into unconsciousness. I realize it isn't death we fear the most but the unknown destination we go through after it. I was left wondering what he's seeing right now. There are a lot of wishes and I-could-haves and though we have a lot of good intentions shown through actions, I wish we could get over our pride and tell them how much we appreciate them before it's too late. At least swallowing one's pride is easier than living with regret.

* Statue of regret picture taken from here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

These are some funny shirt designs I came on while looking for some reference designs for the West Side comic strips. Just a warning though, a lot of the designs in that site were funny but offensive at the same time if you haven't succumbed to liberal values. These are just some of the few that doesn't cross the line:



Why does the right always get hammered?



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