I've just come back from the Komikon, and aside from my agoraphobia acting up, it was actually a pleasant experience to see old friends sitting on the other side of the table, now being the comic book creators. It has all the more sold me on the idea that it's time for me to get back to doing this.
So, aside from saying the hi's and hello's, I also bought some stuff - which I think that other people should check out, too:
1) Rick Olivares's Ang Ilog and Dante - I've known Rick for a long time, and these two works showcase different sides of Rick's (Ricky's!) writing. Ang Ilog is a fantasy set in the past, based on local mythology and folklore. The artwork is lush and very much a reminder of the old Liwayway and Atlas comic books, and, I suspect, the old DC horror titles of the 70's (no surprise, that era had a lot of Filipino artists working in DC). Dante, on the other hand, is lighter fair, though with a Vertigo-like spin. Heartily recommend that if you will buy Ang Ilog, that you buy the oversize copies, if only to enjoy the art more. Also, the comic book comes in Filipino or English.
2) Arnold Arre's Trip to Tagaytay - This is, I think, one of the most influential local single-issue comic book stories of my generation. It's a testament to the most important point of science fiction and science fantasy: that in the very center of it, there must be a story about humanity. I had to buy a new copy, since my old one got lost when I was moving from place to place.
3) Carlo Vergara's Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila and Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady - If you don't know ZsaZsa Zaturnnah, then you should get the original comic book mini-series/TPB, and watch the movie (sadly, I was not able to watch the musicale!). Zsazsa, for me, is the touchstone for local gay people who love comic books (this, and Carlo's other work, One Night in Purgatory). Even more important, I think that Zsazsa has become a pop icon that transcends the LGBT spectrum. As for Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady, I heartily look forward to reading it over this weekend - I trust Carlo's work.
As I wrap up this entry, what I would like to say is: If you find your tastes are different from what I've written about, find other local comic books to get into! If I had about ten thousand pesos with me, I would have gladly scooped up most of what I saw in the Komikon. Explore and find what catches your fancy (for example, I wish I had enough money left to buy a copy of Mythspace, Vol.1!).