Komiket: A Community for Filipino Creatives and Art Enthusiasts

by Matthew Escosia
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By: Godfreyna Canja


To those who think Filipino artistry and local comics are dead, you are terribly, terribly mistaken. The Filipino comics and art industry have continued to push on, with budding creators emerging from seemingly out of nowhere: Instagram-famous artists, Facebook webcomics writers and Twitter creators with thousands of followers. But just look a little closer and you’ll be amazed to see spaces of creativity and communities of people dedicated to their craft. An example of this is Komiket.

I discovered Komiket back in college when a good friend of mine told me all about it. Admittedly, it piqued my interest, especially since I couldn’t imagine what kind of event it would be – artworks and comics were a logical combination, yet seemed weird for an event with this much hype. What was behind the buzz? What would the event even look like? I just couldn’t form a mental image of it – that is, until I actually went to my first Komiket.

Komiket, to those who are unfamiliar, is an event where various local artists, whether amateurs or professionals, gather to sell their self-published comics, zines, prints and stickers at very affordable prices. Local arts and crafts like jewelry, toys and other accessories are also featured in the event.

The first Komiket I went to was in 2017 and it was honestly a shocking experience for me, being a probinsyana (coming from the province) who had never been to an event of that magnitude before. In a huge hall packed with tables and booths were long lines of people, wrapping around the venue and slowly making their way to visit every table, talk to as many artists and look at every piece of art they could. I didn’t know where to start; how could I possibly navigate this enormous place and squeeze past all these people? I eventually found myself walking with the crowd and marveling at the precious works of art in front of me – the proof that the local arts scene is alive and growing. What I saw was all the cutest stickers I could find, the most unique fanart interpretations of famous anime and cartoon characters in digital and hand-made prints, original characters created by the artists themselves, painstakingly handcrafted merch like earrings and keychains, and of course the original local comics. In a matter of hours, I was fully obsessed with Komiket, and I have since made sure to attend every event that they would organize.

This year, Komiket featured over 800 creators of comics, zines, crafts and more! It’s exciting to see that there are more people joining the community and keeping the Filipino art industry vibrantly alive.


Jam-packed with enthusiasts

A long line of attendees is what greeted me when I arrived at the Megatrade Hall on the first day of Komiket 2020! Even during the afternoon, there were still people lining up to buy tickets.

I was one of the lucky ones to be given a free copy of Kommunity! The first 1,000 attendees of Komiket were given a copy of the anthology, a collection of featured works of artists and comic creators, and a free sticker for the upcoming Philippine International Comics Festival! I’m telling you people, it pays to go to events early!


A day of Filipino Artistry

(from left to right: @larojoart, @studiodondon, @planet_dani)

I got the cutest shiba inu sticker set from @studiodondon, who turned out to be a huge fan of shiba inus just like me! He also has sticker packs and pins of different fandoms rendered in his own unique and cute art style! @larojoart’s table was filled with adorable food characters! I couldn’t help myself and bought a halo-halo magnet with the cutest face! Her fun assortment of stickers, magnets and pins also included cute Fiipino street food characters! Of course, I can’t leave out the awesome prints from @planet_dani, who creates digital art and stickers of random but interesting places and things in her trademark geometric art style!

Can you believe this little lady here is only 9 years old? She’s Janine and she’s the youngest exhibitor in the history of Komiket! She started @heydoodPH by herself because she loves drawing, and she’s really good at it too! So of course, I had to support her! I especially loved her cute plant stickers! The quality of her stickers was top notch and even her art style seems like she’s a pro already!

@misamisatoto creates the cutest clay earrings, pins and tags! I discovered her from last year’s Komiket. This year, she added an assortment of doodled stickers that are just so relatable. Being a fan of her work, I made sure to buy a pair of her Teru Teru Bozu clay earrings!

Visprint publishing’s popular titles like Trese, Tabi Po, Kikomachine Komix and others were also sold at Komiket! (But I wasn’t able to get a copy of Tabi Po’s Isyu #2 because it was sold out *cries*) The prices of these comics ranged from 120php to 500php, with only some going over 800php. They’re so affordable and are usually sold cheaper in these events compared to the prices in bookstores, that’s why they easily sell out!


Personal Haul


And here we see my Komiket haul! With over 800 creators this year, it’s no surprise that I raked up all these stuff! Even with all the merch I bought, I still had to restrain myself from buying more, lest I end up with an empty wallet and an earful from my mom. That’s why it’s important to save up weeks before the event! Trust me, that’s the most important advise you’ll get if you’re planning on going on the next Komiket.

All obsessive ramblings aside, I’d like to say that through Komiket, I gained such high appreciation and respect for indie Filipino artists, for their talent, passion and dedication in doing what they love. That’s why I think Komiket is such an important avenue for young artists to start on – it inspires and encourages more artists to take a step forward and let other people see their wonderful works. It’s great to see that Komiket’s community is getting bigger every year and that more artists are given the spotlight to showcase their unique works.


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