The Boys of Summer Komikon

MANILA, Philippines - Thousands of comicbook fans and creators flooded this year's Summer Komikon. Know what it is like to be an indie comics creator, an artist who caught the eye of Marvel Comics and an organizer of the country's most popular comics convention.

Jerald Uy reports.

Comics geeks, writers, illustrators and even superheroes assembled in this year's Summer Komikon.

This is Mark Rosario, who traveled all the way from Dagupan, Pangasinan to join the convention. 

He is promoting his self-published autobiographical comics series, “My Wife is Pregnant.” 

Mark Rosario, “My Wife is Pregnant” writer-artist: During 'nung pregnancy ng wife ko, andaming funny experiences, so naisip ko, gawan na lang nating komiks. And then supportive 'din siya sa idea namin, so itinuloy namin. Nandiyan 'din yung mga funny moments, drama moments, love story moments, so halo-halo na.”

(During my wife's pregnancy, there were a lot of funny experiences so I thought of making a comics series out of it. And my wife's also supportive of the idea so we went through with it. The funny moments, drama moments, love story moments, they're all there.)

More than a hundred comics creators came to the comic convention, selling titles as low as P20.

But Summer Komikon organizer Jon Zamar still feels there is a lot of work to be done. 

Jon Zamar, Organizer, Summer Komikon: Every year, from indie to distributors, laging maraming bagong creators na pumapasok, which is ideal naman pero ang talagang gusto naming mangyari, dumami 'yung publishers. Kasi as of now, andaming creators, pero 'yung mga nagpa-publish na mainstream, meaning may nationwide distribution, everything like that, wala pa rin.

(There are a lot of new creators that come in, which is ideal. But what we really want to happen is for there to be more publishers. As of now, there are a lot of creators, but there aren't many comics published nationwide, have nationwide distribution, and everything like that.)

Zamar adds that creators should also focus on production and storytelling to improve the quality and entice publishers to print.

But while some chose to self-publish comics locally, others found luck abroad. 

Stephen Segovia started as an artist for the newsstand staple “Funny Komiks.” 

He wrote and drew “Tomas and Kulas,” a story about a  talking cat and mouse. 

After working for Funny Komiks, Segovia landed a job with Marvel comics, working on titles like Thor, X-Treme X-Men and Spider-man spin-off series Superior Carnage.

Stephen Segovia, Marvel Comics artist: I decided to send my stuff to Marvel and to other indie publishers in US. And then fortunately, nabigyan ako ng mga gigs. (I was able to get gigs.) Keep on pushing, Keep on drawing, never stop drawing. Kasi once you stop, wala na eh.

(Because once you stop, it's gone.)

It rained comics fans and creators in Summer Komikon, showing that the country overflows with talented and creative storytellers. 

Jerald Uy, Rappler, Pasig City

- Rappler.com