The moment I made it through the entrance of the Bahay ng Alumni, I was immediately asked for an autograph, then I ran into Elbert Or and his lovey. I told Elbert that I really hope the comics anthology he initiated in 2007 would see the light of day soon. I did an eight-page short for that one. Unfortunately, nothing's definite as far as that's concerned.
I wove my way through the crowd, spotting a number of familiar faces, and felt right at home amidst the flurry. I was still drowsy from lack of sleep and had intended to make my way up to the second floor for coffee at the Chocolate Kiss, but I found myself at the table of Hazel Manzano with her Callworks compilation, and Andrew Villar with his Ambush one-shot. Jomike Tejido was selling his Foldabots book (published by Summit Media). After making a few purchases, I waved at Edgar Tadeo before moving to the Visprint table, where I exchanged pleasantries with Budgette Tan, whose Trese compilations were selling like hotcakes. Manix Abrera, my long-lost cousin, was busy entertaining fans of his KikoMachine compilations.
Further on, I passed by Gerry Alanguilan's table and immediately grabbed a copy of Elmer #4 as I pleaded his wife Ilyn to break a big bill. Johnny "Balbona" was there, along with Arlan Esmeña and Adrian Lontoc (and another guy whose name I wasn't able to get, so sorry). Gerry showed up while taking a break from his signing, and we had a pic taken. I then lovingly reiterated to Gerry how frustrated I felt about his wonderful art.
I finally landed a seat at the Chocolate Kiss at the second floor for coffee and carrot cake. On the stage below, an open forum was taking place with the members of the legendary Culture Crash comics zine, led by James Palabay. I spotted Chong Ardivilla entering the cafe, then later had a pic taken with Azrael Colladilla.
Continuing through the chaos, I shot a peak at the indie tables, passed by the animation showcase of the DLSU-Benilde students, drooled over the art of our veteran comics masters, chatted with Mark Poa, Wilson Tortosa, Joriben Zaballa, Jaime Bautista and Marco Dimaano (who was doing stuff for Mangaholix), bought a copy of Bayan Knights at Gilbert Monsanto's table, and a couple more indies, then ended up at the Visprint table, not really expecting anyone to buy the Zaturnnah book. It's been five years since the book was released, but thank goodness 18 copies still managed to fly.
At the table, more chatting--Ruben de Vela, Harvey Tolibao, Jay Ramos, Avid and Eric Llongoren, Freely Abrigo, and Leinil Yu. Even Lisa Gokongwei was there, her first time to attend the Komikon. Tuxqs Rutaquio had told me that Paolo Fabregas was peddling a preview of his own comic book, but it apparently sold out. Arnold Arre appeared later on--with his lovey Cynthia--to promote his Martial Law Babies.
Whew! I know a few more things took place, but my mind is still bouyed by drowsiness. It would have been nice if the Komikon was a two-day event, and maybe it will be. But even now, it's still the best event ever. It's home.