Text and photos by: Kimmy Baraoidan
Elbikon 2016 is on its third year—stronger and better than ever. Held at the Baker Memorial Hall in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), Elbikon gathered local comics creators and enthusiasts from the metro and nearby areas for a day of fruitful exchanges and sharing of all things comics.
The Graphic Literature Guild (GLG) is the group behind this annual gathering of people who love and create comics. In an interview with The Alternative, Guild Master Xaviera Anne Barra says the comics scene in LB is less appreciated nowadays. And so they organize events like this “to rekindle the enthusiasm in graphic literature, glorify the local comic scene once again, and create a community that appreciates our craft. Through the years, Elbikon has become an integral part of realizing these goals,” she shares.
My second taste of this local comic convention definitely satisfied my growing interest in this modern art form. I arrived early so that I can go around all the tables and get first dibs on comics, ephemera, and knickknacks for sale. Upon entering the giant wooden doors, past the registration tables, to the right, an exhibit panel that featured artworks made by GLG members was installed. Along the left side of the hall was the Freedom Wall where anybody can draw, doodle, or write comments or shoutouts. Some exhibit tables were still empty, and other exhibitors were still setting up. On the stage area was a projector screen, with an audio visual presentation about the event flashing on loop. Lively music was blasting from the big, black speakers, and echoing throughout the hall. A drum set was set up in the center, and it made me eager to find out who was going to perform.
But I was more excited about the talks. Last year, I arrived late in the afternoon and missed the talks. This year’s guests are well-known and have made quite a name for themselves. Gatusby (Bernard Gatus) is a young, emerging graphic artist with a quirky sense of humor. Lyndon Gregorio (Leroy Lagdameo) is the creator of Beerkada Comics, a regular strip on The Philippine Star. Toto Madayag (Eugenio Madayag) is the creator of Libreng Komiks, a comic strip available to readers through social media.