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Insert Smiley Face Here: My Indieket 2012 Report

Posted by Carlo Jose San Juan, MD on Monday, July 16, 2012

Rock on! (Photo by Kit Perez)

    I've mentioned before how brilliant the Indieket was as a proposed event.  After the fact I realized how much of an understatement that was!
    Within the independent komiks community, the Indieket (short for Komikon's Grand Independent Komiks Market) was one big contest of sorts.  Most of the participants were vying for the limited free spots in the independent comics area of Komikon's main comic conventions.  The top ten highest-earning comic groups would get such spots.  Another ten were raffled off.  The remaining spots will be given to those who achieve certain aspects of comic production such as best comic cover, best booth design, outstanding marketing, etc.
    It's that latter-most aspect that showcases the brilliance of this event, in my opinion.  Groups that work that extra effort in such aspects of comic production get rewarded and I love that!
    For an attendee, the first thing they'd probably notice was how much smaller the convention space was compared to Komikon's main events.  However, the space was more than adequate to house over fifty independent groups plus nineteen booths with sponsors, paid exhibitors, speakers, and organizers.
    What I didn't expect was the surprisingly large number of attendees that showed up for an all-independent comic convention!  It was a heartening to witness such support.
    There were talks by Melvin Calingo, Professor Emil Flores, and Gerry Alanguilan on various topics on comic production.  I would catch bits and pieces but when business would come to my table I'd focus on that.  I was in a poor spot on the floor to make the most of these talks anyway.  Still, it's always a shame to miss out on these panels and an inherent disadvantage in being a convention exhibitor, particularly a solo one.
    I was extremely thankful that the Carbtrim Iced Tea booth had returned. Their free samples kept me alive as they were so close to my table.  Yeah, I didn't have a bite to eat all day so thanks, Carbtrim!  Alleged health benefits aside, it was quite tasty!

With M.O.U.S.E. artist Pilar Nenita Esber

    It was great to catch up with good friends too, of course.  I was seated next to the dynamic duo of Hub Pacheco and Teddy Pavon of fellow webcomic Work in Progress and on the same table as the the Happy Lockjaw bunch, known for their excellent comic "Drop Dead Dangerous".  As usual, it was great to see Pilar Esber again (we only see each other in conventions) and we had short chats about M.O.U.S.E..  She showed me her pencils for some of the already published pages and they look phenomenal!  I'm hoping to display those in Komikon 2012 in October.
    One of my many hats is being moderator at Usapang Football and finally those two worlds merged.  I got to meet one of the regulars of the forum and live chat, Jerwin Esarza.  It was his first foray into the world of Philippine comics and he left with a glowing impression!  Astoundingly, we didn't talk about association football at all.  If you remember what I wore in Metro Comic Con 2011, you can probably tell I'm a longtime fan-crazed nut when it comes to the Philippine Men's National Football Team.

Callous Comics at Indieket 2012 (top photo by Joanah Tinio Calingo)

    I mentioned earlier that most of the independent exhibitors were vying for Indie area spots for Komikon 2012.  I was an exception.  Due to Callous Comics being the highest-earning indie seller in Summer Komikon 2012, I already won a free full-sized exhibitor booth for Komikon 2012 in October.  Nevertheless, that didn't stop me from having as great a time as I could in this Indieket!
    After the initial winners of indie seller spots were announced, I was told that Callous Comics was the 6th highest-earning booth and won the votes for best booth design.  Considering the only new release I had was the Amami Bunny Brand button pin, being 6th among over fifty indie exhibitors was pretty darn good in my book.  As for booth design, I had my recent co-hosting of the TGT podcast's "Business of Conventions" episode to thank.  Featured guest Jonathon Brock and hosts Kurt Sasso and I tackled booth design and its various philosophies so that chat helped a lot.  However, the supposed indie spot I won was given away to respective succeeding winners since I had already won an exhibitor booth.  Still, the fact that my efforts were somewhat recognized was already a reward in itself.
    When it was all said and done the Indieket looked like a successful experiment!  I applaud Komikon for coming up with the idea in the first place and for giving independent comic producers like myself such a bright spotlight to shine under.  The comics industry in the Philippines is growing with each passing day and events like this are giant leaps forward.

Tags: indieket  2012  comic  convention  comic con  komikon 
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About the Author

Carlo Jose Caz is a practicing licensed physician, professional voice actor/talent, writer, and cartoonist. He has been working on the Callous comic strip since 1996, winning several of The LaSallian's Silver Quill awards for his work. He has written several published short stories. He currently lives in the Philippines with his wife and two children.


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