It’s summer once again and everyone’s thinking of what to do to forget about the scorching heat and enjoy their long vacation. Good thing the people at Komikon or the Philippine Komiks Convention has an event every summer to keep the comic book lovers occupied, the event was held at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig City last April 13, 2013. But is it worth the visit or just another money wasting convention? We are here to give our impressions from our recent visit.
Entrance and Registration
Upon arriving at the venue, we saw a long line outside the venue and the lobby inside was already filled with attendees eager to get inside the event proper, it seems that the event started late (at around 11am). Good thing the staff at the event are very organized, although there is only one line, ticket transactions was pretty fast, one table is for the ticket payment, then after purchasing your ticket, you’ll be prompt to go to the other table (which is just across the ticket table) for your freebies. They even make sure that the line won’t be obstructed by on-goers that are not lining up for the ticket. In a matter of minutes (around 15 minutes) we managed to get our tickets and at the same time, the line finally has gotten shorter. So for PhP 100, you get your entrance ticket, a mini newspaper, mini poster of Summer Komikon 2013, a mini cardboard poster and a flyer from their sponsors, that’s already a great deal.
The Event Site
Once inside, you will be welcomed by a massive crowd. Yes, for the first time, summer Komikon was already jam packed in the morning, which makes it harder for you to roam around, good thing here is that on-goers do not stay in one place for too long and they tend to roam around, so meaning that despite so many people inside the event, you won’t be forcing yourself to squeeze through the crowd.
Now let’s talk about the event floor layout, on the main hall, you will be seeing tons and tons of booths, from major sponsors of the event up to the exhibitors. Outside the main hall are small conference rooms that were divided into three, one for the lectures and film showings, the other for the Komiks Kalye, where you can request for sketching as well as autograph signing from local comic book artists. and finally the last room is for the Independent Komiks Tiangge, where indie comic book artists show off their latest comic creations.
The stage area is pretty small, just only a small platform and a projector screen at the back to show trailers from their sponsors and exhibitors, there’s not even enough space for on-goers to stay and watch any activities on stage. One of the plus points here is that they set up small projector screens in every conference rooms and they put a livestream on the happenings at the stage, so that people will be updated if there is a ongoing stage activity even if they are on the other conference rooms.
The Booth Area
So what stuff can you get inside? well of course comics! Ranging from local comics up to the international ones that are being sold at a lower price. Plus you’ll geta chance to meet and greet some of the popular comic artists such as Lyndon Gregorio of Beerkada, Andrew Villar of Ambush, Manix Abrera of Kiko Machine Komiks, Michael David of Kubori Kikiam, Gerry Alanguilan of Wasted/Elmer, Budjette Tan of Trese plus many more. Aside from comics, there were also merchandises, from posters of new comic book releases, plushies of famous comic book characters, action figures and memorabilia. There also some booths at the lobby (near the ticket booth) where you can purchase some cookies and cupcakes (ever tried chocolate chip and bacon cookies?) and even free Slurpee. On the Indie Komiks Tiangge, the layout is quite similar that from the main hall, plus you can even get the chance to chat with them.
The Stage Activity
Since the stage is quite small, there’s no major performance being held there, so if you are looking for band performance or cosplay competitions, you will be disappointed. The activities there are mainly talks from guest from the local comic industry and even international ones. There are also side events from the sponsors such as eating competitions to keep the on-goers entertained. Despite the small space of the stage, you ca n still listen to the panel discussion from afar , so you don’t need to get yourself closer to the stage if you want to listening to their discussion, well unless you want to take pictures on stage.
Looking at the things that I mentioned on this article, I’d say that Summer Komikon 2013 was a success, they may have the same program format every year, but what’s important here is the new line of comics they are offering and new promising comic book artists debuting their latest comics. Despite the venue was filled with comic book fans early in the morning, it doesn’t stop you from enjoying a great time with friends and buying merchandises. although it wouldn’t hurt if the organizers would start looking for a bigger venue as more and more people are no attending their biannual major event. We sure do hope that the organizers will still continue doing this as more and more people are now getting into the comic book scene. Kudos to the Komikon team.
You should check out our gallery for the happenings during Summer Komikon 2013 and be sure to vote at our poll on your impression of the event.
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