At the start of the year I promised myself two things: 1) to start a new or rekindle an old hobby, and 2) to go out more often on weekends (as opposed to shutting myself off from the world, which is how I spent 2016). Last Saturday’s comics convention in Pasig City provided an opportunity for me to hit the proverbial two birds with one stone.
It was my first time to attend such an event, though there had been many attempts in the past. On the way to Bayanihan Center-Unilab, the venue, with my brother, I could hardly contain my excitement. When we finally reached the place and gained entrance and saw stacks and stacks of comics both local and foreign, it was all I could do not to lose my shit. The world outside disappeared. I became that wide-eyed kid in a candy store. Indeed, there is no one more excited in the world than a first-timer.
The first I raided was the National Bookstore booth, conspicuously located at the entrance of the venue. Although there were dozens of interesting titles from big-name publishers like Marvel, DC and Image being sold at discounted prices, budget considerations made me settle for Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. Chose it because I read a digital version of it last year, and thought it was one of the creepiest, most disturbing graphic novels I’ve ever read (another is Shadows Fall, which I never got to finish). I told myself then that I should have a physical copy of it.
Anyway, at the National Bookstore booth, there was this dude:
Inside: more comics. I joined the pack of hungry geeks leafing through boxes and boxes of old issues dug from the warehouses of Comic Quest and Comic Odyssey. Was able to score complete sets of old limited series including an obscure one by Warren Ellis called Down. Considering the sheer number of the comics (priced P20 to P50) as well as the long line of gawkers, it took me awhile to reach the last box. And by then I was a couple of hundred bucks poorer. Oh, well…
On to the meat of the event now: the local comics. Yes, support local industry and all that. If only I’ve the money, I would’ve scored every local title available there. But — alas — due to an uncooperative wallet, I only had to choose the ones that really grabbed my fancy. One of them, P*cha, eh ‘di Komiks, was even signed by the author, Toto Madayag.
In the end, I was a line from an Alanis Morissette song: I’m broke but I’m happy. And not even the rain that fell in buckets and trapped us near EDSA Central on our way home could dampen my mood. It was hands down the highlight of my weekend, and a high note to open a brand new month. The goal now is to save up for the next comic-con.