Sunday, December 14, 2003

reeking of geeking

Conventions always exhaust me but I enjoyed this one, despite myself.

I came over to the C3Con to help man the ComicQuest booth. Carl and Marco were already there (having been there since opening), selling and signing copies of ANGEL ACE NEXT, ZSA ZSA and SIGLO: FREEDOM (thanks to everyone who supports our work!).

I made my initial rounds and picked up the final issue of DARNA (which had my letter in it), Jason’s MYSTIC MACHINE MAHARLIKA and the frustrating CHERRY BLOSSOM HIGH (irritating because of misplaced pages which skewed the flow of one of the stories in a hideous way - good going, PSICOM), before checking out the indie section.

Oh, the plethora of Xeroxed, risographed and, in one case, printed comics! All the indies were lumped together in one booth, with a buffet-like spread. I checked out nearly everything offered, skipping the obvious manga-styled ones (sorry, not my cup of tea) and talked to the creators of those I ended up buying: UNDERGROUND COMICS (produced by M3 Studios – the art of Marvin del Mundo is a great find, angular and stylized, good enough to make me want to request his participation in a future project), OSX #1 (by Octopus Sunrise Comix), BREAK OUT COMICS (by Jonathan Salazar’s Subway Productions – such a nice guy, he created 25 copies, kept 5 for himself and friends, and went to the con with 20), and, proving that the cover can make or break an impulse purchase, SUBTERRAINNIAN #2 (and also because, well, a tall girl in a hat was the one proffering copies). Later, I got a copy of Ner Pedrina’s SANDUGUAN (which leads next year into BLUE SHUFFLE with a story by good buddy Alex Osias).

The spirit of independent comics is strong! I like the fact that there are still people who go out on the limb and come up with labors of love, rushed or premeditated. Everything is special in its own way, after all.

Along my other impulse buys was a Green Lantern logo tee, in emerald green. I know, it is so outré compared to my usual color palette that my friends did I double take but what can I do? At heart, I’m a fanboy, and GL, with his otherworldly explorations and imagination-powered ring, occupies a special part of my heart. Reeking of geeking, indeed.

Marco and I watched the cosplay event. Actually, he watched and I heckled. Yes, I was nasty – but all in good fun. If I were the judge, I’d let every skimpily clad girl win. I’m surprised at the effort some of the people went through to get a certain look down (compared to the lazy ones who provoked other heckling cries of “Effort, please!”). Ragnarok proved its popularity by being the property majority of the cosplayers went for.

Later, with Nikki, we encountered 6 of the 7 Endless (apparently, they couldn’t get a fat pasty-white girl to go nude with a hook ring and a rat – so Despair was cut from the roster). I must say, that’s the most uninspired lot of costumed people I’ve seen (I’m trying to be gentle – Buddha had a more zealous viewpoint). Nikki observed that some of the people we thought were in costume actually weren’t. Now that’s scary. Or sad. Or both.

But what made me an utter geek was my delight when Nikki found original Donner editions of the first MAGE series. These oversize albums by Matt Wagner are impossible to find. Published originally in 1987 before Comico went bust, these editions are very rare and a fine addition to our library. I ended up getting the set for an astoundingly low price (and there were in excellent condition), as well as a P500 copy of THE RED STAR (album size) and MANSION OF THE GODS. Plus, we spotted copies of Alan Moore’s MIRACLEMAN from Eclipse.

It was a blast meeting some people who demanded the final issue of THE LOST (sigh). But more delightful to me was watching strangers pick up and purchase SIGLO: FREEDOM.

In the end though, the con sapped us both (both in terms of finances and energy) and we abandoned our friends early and walked across to the Podium for a meal at my ex-partner’s resto, Nina. There, with rosemary Chicken and almondigas, we happily sorted through our loot before heading home to our loving whirling dervish of a daughter.

Tired but happy.



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