With what has become an annual event, the #AntFam marched to the 36th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) at the SMX Convention Center with excitement in our eyes: Indy gushed at the overwhelming sight of all the books; Daryl made a bee-line for the nearest adult colouring books; while I headed for Fully Booked’s impressive graphic novel section.
Fully Booked’s Instagram account gave me a head’s up on what to expect: a formidable selection of Marvel, DC Comics, and Independent books. I immediate scanned the Batman and Spider-Man sections and the first trade paperback caught my eye was Judd Winick’s Batman: Under The Red Hood. For those of you that may not know, the character of Jason Todd (The Red Hood), the second Robin, was killed off in the late 80’s and remained in that state until he was resurrected in 2005. I didn’t think anything of it until my interest in the character was piqued when I finished Batman: Arkham Knight and subsequently completed the DLC (Downloadable Content) Red Hood Story Pack. It really helps when you give the character an actual voice (Doesn’t he sound so much like Anakin Skywalker when he rants?) but I digress–I had been looking for the Batman: Under The Red Hood TPB for quite some time now and I finally held it in my hand.[i]
I took a moment and looked around; it seemed as if every people I saw had anywhere between two to five books under their arms. I guess when twenty percent is knocked off any price tag, it just makes our ability to spend seemingly more judicious. I finished off my book haul for this year’s book fair with a Batman: Arkham Origins Limited Edition Strategy Guide[ii] and Idan Ravin’s The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Heads of Basketball’s Best Players.[iii]
Daryl’s interest in colouring materials also inspired me to try something new and ambitious: A 365-day doddle journal.[iv] I can’t draw for the life of me and I was thinking this would be quite a humorous exercise.[v] I’ll even be willing to go the whole nine yards and capture my daily work-in-progress (WIP) on timelapse videos.[vi]
If there was one thing that I liked about the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) is that the vendor’s booths were more or less in the same place that they were the year before. I am not sure if this is by design–but I love it! It gives me the comfort of knowing where everything is.
On a parting note, the idiom “The early bird catches the worm” certainly applies to book hunting in the MIBF. Schools and other interested parties literally gobbled up all of the textbooks and references in my area of interest on the first day of the book fair. What does this teach us? Go as soon as they open their doors on the first day people!
Great job MIBF vendors and organisers! Till next year!
[i] For those of you who are also interested in getting to know Jason Todd more, I suggest picking up and reading (preferably in this order) Batman: Second Chances, Batman: A Death in the Family, Batman: Under The Red Hood, Batman: Red Hood – The Lost Days. You can cap it off by playing the aforementioned video games that I mentioned above as well as watch the 2010 direct-to-video film Batman: Under The Red Hood.
[ii] Despite finishing the game a couple of years ago, I thought the book would go nicely on my shelf next to my copies of The Art of Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City & Arkham Knight and Batman: Arkham Universe: The Ultimate Visual Guide.
[iii] Aside from wishing to be more informed on his motivational techniques, I really wanted to know for myself what all of the hoopla was all about.
[iv] Limelight Sketch Book [Black/Green] (P199.75)
[v] Armed with my equally new black and red Lego/Construction Blocks inspired Artline Stix Colouring Markers!
[vi] …”as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.”