During the second leg of my US trip in California, a good friend was nice enough to surprise me with an invite me to the 3rd Annual East Bay Comic Con in Hilton Concord. The one-day East Bay Comic Con, much smaller than our local conventions here in Manila, occupied a number of the Hilton’s function rooms and featured a number of personalities, guest comic book artists[i], and finds that would literally make your jaw drop to the floor!
Fortunately (or unfortunately—depending on your point of view), the ever-present knowledge that my check-in luggage was reaching its maximum allowable weight stopped me from throwing all fiscal responsibility out of the window.
But it sure was fun!
With a reasonable budget, these are the items that I went home with:
Comic Topload Holder (5 pcs.)
Captain America Volume 1: #249, #337, #410, and Annual #5
Indestructible Hulk #1 and #4
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1985) #2, #3, #4, and #7
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1986) #6, #8, and #15
Superior Spider-Man: A Troubled Mind TPB (Volume 2)
Superior Spider-Man #014
The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #017
For more photos on the convention, follow my Instagram account (@tedivillasor).
I also found out that long-time Captain America artist Ron Lim was responsible for the two 2012 variant covers of the Marvel Custom Edition – The Avengers: Menace of the Mole Man #1 (Jollibee Philippines give-away promo). I was equally surprised to find out that Ron was not aware of how his covers were ultimately used by Marvel. I learn something new everyday.
[i] For more information on the convention personalities and guest comic book artists, you can visit their website at eastbaycomiccon.com.
Swung by Day 1 of the Manila Hobbies & Collectibles Convention at the SM Megatrade Hall 3 today and was greatly disappointed—outside the really cool Old Man Logan, King Hulk, Cave-Troll[i], and Spider-Man statues near the entrance—with what they had to offer. Let’s just leave it at that.
I then made my way to Fully Booked Promenade in Greenhills to check out the Comic Odyssey closing sale. Although I came way with a number of quality finds, I am saddened by the fact that yet another pure comic book specialty shop is shutting down permanently. In the last couple of years, we have seen Comic Odyssey’s branch in Robinson’s Place-Manila and Filbar’s (as we knew them) suffer similar fates.
Some circles feel that this is a good thing. That they could probably get better deals “online.” But let me tell you: That smell when you enter the shop. That conversation you have with your local comic book proprietor. No online shop will ever give you that.
It is one of those experiences that you will only truly value once it is gone.
[i] From the Lord of the Rings (2001) movie. It is the same cave-troll that is seen in the battle at the Chamber of Mazarbul.
When I first got word that the InterContinental Manila (colloquially known as Intercon) was closing its doors at the end of 2015, my heart literally sank. It was as if I had found out that I was going to lose a distant relative—one with whom I had shared many precious childhood moments with. That was the Intercon for me. I considered her family.
To me, the InterContinental Manila (also referred to as “The Grand Dame”) was more than just a five-star hotel, I always saw it as one of Makati’s emerging centerpieces. I remember seeing old pictures with a newly built Intercon surrounded only by smaller structures and tall grass. A proverbial Ayala Avenue bookend with the Intercon standing on one end and the Makati Medical Center on the other. My family and I had many, many, gatherings there and we would usually end up in the Café Jeepney[i] which had several jeepney’s retrofitted with long tables. Unsupervised, I also recall the many times that I would take one of their elevators to the top floor in order to see the aquarium that they had there.