13,000 THANK YOU’s
Friday afternoon, me, Kajo, and Ian were walking to the Copylandia to get our books reproduced. Kajo asked me how many copies of TRESE did I make. I said I had 30 copies of #1 to #4 and 40 copies of #5 and #6.
“Dude, I think you need to make more,” he said.
I said we had enough. I thought, since we sold only 40 copies in the last Komikon, I had enough.
Cut-to: Saturday, day of the Komikon, 3:13pm
I had no more copies of TRESE.
It was a sad / happy situation to be in.
I had to apologize to the people who wanted to buy the whole set. Some people opted to buy THE LAST DATU / THE DATU’S DAUGHTER, which was another book made by me and Kajo. (Hope you also liked that as much as you liked TRESE.)
It was also interesting to meet people who had read the TRESE stories online, but still wanted to have a copy. Me and Kajo have discussed the problems of uploading complete issues online; that people might just settle for that and not buy the printed versions when we do release them. So, it was nice to know that there are still people who want to have the book in their hands and feel the ink on paper instead of just clicking the mouse and looking at the harsh glow of a computer monitor.
It was also great to meet people who recognized the ULTRACOPS and KADILIMAN from the Batch72 universe. They asked about Kupcake and Astig and Brown-out and asked when they’d be back, like they were long lost kabarkada / friends.
Another reader, dressed like a Lego Man, asked if we still had copies of ANGEL ACE. He said he lost his copies when his house caught fire. I wonder, if I asked him, if he had the chance to save one thing from his burning house, would that have been it.
The Other Lego Man had a tattered copy of PUGAD BABOY ADBENTIYURS which had a Batch72 story. He asked me to sign it. I was afraid it would completely fall to pieces if I did.
I could not help but smile and feel … oh, I don’t know… touched, that the characters we created almost 12 years ago are still missed today. I thought they would’ve gone the way of Rom, Blue Devil, and Ambush Bug; quirky characters of your youth that is easily replaced by something new or by an old favorite like Spider-Man and Superman. But Kupcake and the band is missed and maybe, just maybe, we can arrange for them to get together for a gig soon. For it’s only appropriate to do that considering we already have the Digmaan and the Ultracops kicking-ass in their own book, thanks to Ian and Bow; and we’re finally shedding light on the history of the Kadiliman family, thanks to Edgar and David.
It is unfortunate that the biggest adversary of all our comic books is distribution. We simply cannot rely on an annual event to reach our audience. At the Komikon, I saw some new publishers in the scene. So maybe, with more companies venturing into comic book publishing, this will give more comic book creators the chance to reach more readers.
13,000 thank you’s must also go to Artist’s Den, the organizers of the Komikon. May next year be bigger and better! May we not just fill up the UP Bahay ng Alumni, but also fill up the shelves of comic book stores and maybe even a whole section in the book stores.
Congratulations to all the new and old komikeros that launched new titles and continued old stories. May your stories find their way to the readers in search of something new.