Where have all the Komiks gone, you wonder? They have taken new shape and form. They are found in the internet, where they gain popularity. A few get picked up by publishers and later sold in bookstores or printed in magazines and newspapers. Then there are the independent comic creators, who  spend their own money and time to print and sell their own comics in whatever way they can. This is why KOMIKON was born.

The Philippine Komiks Convention started back in 2005 at the UP Bahay ng Alumni in U.P. Diliman. It’s goal is to bring together old and new comic creators, along with retailers and publishers, in one venue. This serves as the venue for independent creators to sell their works. From an annual event, KOMIKON now holds 3 events a year – Summer Komikon, The Grand Independent Komiks Market or Indieket, and the year-end event, now called “Komikon Grande”!

The 14th Philippine Komiks Convention, a.k.a. Komikon Grande 2018 is on November 17 and 18, Saturday (10am – 8pm) and Sunday (11am – 7pm), at the Bayanihan Center, Unilab Compound, Pasig City. The featured guest artists for November are Raymund Bermudez, local talent who illustrated for DC Comics’ JLA 3000 and Klarion, plus Marvel’s Amazing Spiderman; female komikera, Julienne “Hulyen” Dadivas, artist of UGH under Haliya Publishing; and the creator of web comics Hunghang Flashbacks, D. Borja.

Talks are given to inspire and encourage new artists. Leinil Yu, artist for Marvel titles such as Captain America, Wolverine and the Indestructible Hulk, will be having a drawing demo and talk  on November 17. “Komiks Oddities” features independent comics creators JP Palabon (Puso Negro: Teaching Good Values through Bad Conduct), Patrick “Rawrr” Enriquez (Lagimbal) and Carlo “Olrac Jebs” Valenzuela (Bakal Komiks, Master Bait). They will be discussing comics genres about the weird, the gross and the unusual. This will be on November 18. Bothe talks will be  in the conference room E.

This year celebrates the 40th year of the Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas. They will be showcasing artworks that honor this year’s National Artist for Visual Arts, Larry Alcala, who is also one of its founders. Roni Santiago (Planet Op D Eyps, Mr. & Mrs, Baltic & Co.),also one of the organization’s founders, will give a talk on “40 years of SKP”. Boboy Yonzon, long-time president of SKP and owner of Mango Comics, will also talk about “Emulating Disney: Committing Suicide without Dying”. In between the talks will be a comic strip making workshop with Andrew Villar, SKP officer and creator of Agent of Ambush Comics. This will all be on November 17 at the conference room F. Other SKP members will be offering caricatures and sketches to convention attendees.

Other things to look out for in the event are the Combatron game demonstration by Ludus. Berlin Manalaysay, artist of Combatron from Funny Komiks, will be at the event. A film “Sa Likod ng Guhit” will be screened on both days. It is a documentary film that provides a quick familiarization trip towards the independent comic book scene of the Philippines, the sad realities it caught itself in, and the people behind it. It will try to identify what’s making it hard for Filipino comic artists to emerge above their foreign counterparts and what they are doing to stay relevant as the fast growing virtual world continues to intimidate the print media, which has been their major platform for many years. This is directed by Luke Miraflor.

The Komiks Kalye (Artists’ Alley) is a place where internationally renowned comic illustrators offer to sketch and sign comics. They have illustrated for Marvel, DC and international publishers. The artists in attendance are Heubert Khan Michael (Vampirella), Edgar Tadeo (High Roads, Silver Surfer), Roy Allan Martinez (The Wicked, Son of M), Dexter Soy (Red hood), Carlo Pagulayan (Planet Hulk), Jethro Morales (Green Hornet, Dejah Thoris),Steven Segovia (Superman – Action Comics), and Kriss Sison (Bakugan, Darkstalkers, Alice in Wonderland). The artist alley is on November 18 at the conference room F. Inside the main hall, another notable artist, Lan Medina (Aquaman, Fables, Aria) will be seated at the Comic Odyssey tables inside the main hall on November 17.

Most importantly, new comic book releases!!! Visprint will be releasing Manix Abrera’s 14th Kikomachine book “Alaala ng Kinabukasan”. Classic comicbook title, “DI-13” originally by Damy Velasquez and Jesse F. santos will have a commemorative book along with a brand new series illustrated by legendary artist Rico Rival and written by the original creator’s grandson, Damy Velasquez III, with 13 variant covers by different artists. New independent publisher, Good Intention Books and Comic Book Lab, will release “Stay: 21 Stories”, an anthology illustrated by artists such as Jim Jimenez, Gilbert Monsanto, Randy Valiente, and more. Anino Comics will be having a book signing with the award winning artist of Melag, Bong Redilla. These are just few of many books that will be available at the event.

Komikon Grande 2018 is brought to you by Komikon, Inc. and is co-presented by The Manila Bulletin, Comic Odyssey and is sponsored by National Book Store, ATI-HUION, CIIT College of Arts and Technology, Anino Comics, Summit Books, Art Initaive; with special thanks to Quantum Amusement, Your Comic Shop, Stay: 21 Stories, Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas and our partner school organizations, UP GRAIL and UP Literature Guild.  Komikon Grande 2018 Tickets are now available in Comic Odyssey branches. P150 for a 2-day ticket & P100 for 1-day ticket. Tickets will also be available on the day of the event. Information and program schedules are posted in the Komikon official Facebook event page (Komikon 2018 official) and Komikon FB page (/komikon.org)

With the current announcement of Netflix that will be making the anime adaptation of local comics Trese, let us support other local comic book creators and their works. Come to KOMIKON GRANDE!