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The Walking Dead's Charlie Adlard Live in Manila

By 11:10 AM , , , , , , , ,

Last May 10 and 11, 2014, I had the utmost privilege and chance of a lifetime to have lunch with one of the most successful and well respected comic book artists to date - Mr. Charlie Adlard. I first heard that he was coming to Manila through a good friend of mine, Arra of Style Reader, as part of Fully Booked's major book signing events last summer. I knew that this was an event that I couldn't miss.

Just a brief background on Charlie Adlard:

He actually visioned himself to be more of a musician or a film maker more than a comic book artist. Drawing on paper however was Adlard's first love. Coming back to place his remarkable art works with a dab of ink and paper, he later became the brilliant main artist behind the popular and successful comic book series, The Walking Dead, which is also now a huge hit in the TV series industry worldwide.

Charlie Adlard

Charlie is also well known for his art on other notable works such as Savage, 2000 A.D, X-Files, Mars Attacks!, and Judge Dredd: The Megazine. He is also well recognized in doing ink works for creator-owned comics like Rock Bottom, Curse of the Wendigo, White Death and Codeflesh.

Should you be wondering how I was able to have lunch with him, it actually was an unexpected surprise as well for me. During the big announcement of Charlie Adlard's Book signing event in Manila, Fully Booked wanted to give more to Adlard fans by creating a zombified contest! All the interested fans had to do was to zombify themselves and send them over via Instagram or Twitter for a chance to win signed copies of the first The Walking Dead issue, and the top 3 photos get to have lunch with Charlie himself. Being a very big fan of Zombies since I was a kid and a huge follower to The Walking Dead series, I considered it as a golden opportunity, however, I was a bit too shy at first. Luckily, my good friend Arra encouraged me to join and I decided to send in my old Halloween costume that I had last year - the zombie zipper face:

Yep, that's me with a legit zipper glued to my face! :P

Surprisingly enough, I received a message from Fully Booked telling me that my photo entry made it to the top 3! You could probably imagine how overjoyed I was despite hearing the good news during work hours.

The message that made my day! :)

On May 10, 2014, Charlie had his Q&A and book signing event at Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street. I was there early to beat the long line with my friend. The event started around 3pm as Charlie began sharing his experiences, challenges and of course, joys of being a well-respected comic book artist to date. He also shared with the crowd who Charlie Adlard really was behind the pen and paper - on how he really loved music, and being a family man back home.

Charlie Adlard having a cup of coffee during Q&A

My good friend, Arra of Style Reader and I attending the event

One of the most commendable deeds that Charlie did during his visit was to donate in order to help the families who were affected by the Super Typhoon Yolanda. He truly was amused with the sight of the huge check for photo ops, saying that he always wanted to carry one of those since they are usually seen on TV primetime shows, raffles, and charity events.

Charlie Adlard presenting his donation to the GMA Foundation for Super Typhoon Yolanda victims

Right after the Q&A and photo ops, the event immediately proceeded to the book signing portion. While waiting in line to have my book signed, I was already beginning to feel both nervous and excited at the same time. I was even trying to think what to tell him upon meeting Charlie for the first time - sadly, I was too starstruck to say anything but "I really love your works."

Charlie Adlard and I during Book Signing Day 1

The very next day, I was scheduled to meet with Charlie along with two other winners for lunch at the Press Cafe located at the ground floor of Fully Booked ATC. Due to too much excitement, sleeping the night before was quite a challenge for me nevertheless. I was spending most of my time thinking of things to share with Adlard and the rest of the group, and also the questions I wanted to know within and beyond The Walking Dead. Either way, our lunch turned out to be a fun experience that I will never ever forget. Upon meeting him up close and personal, he complimented each of us based on our photo entries to the contest. Mine being the only zipper faced zombie, he told me that out of all the entries he saw, mine was the most original. I was beyond flattered to know that my hard work in creating that look for last year's Halloween was really worth it - heck, I wouldn't have had this opportunity if it wasn't for it. I guess it's safe to say that hard work and patience really does pay off! It was also delightful to know that we were the first fans he ever sat down with for lunch! :)

Lunch with Charlie Adlard of the The Walking Dead Comic Book Series

Charlie Adlard with the Top 3 :)

During our lunch (which was really delicious by the way!), we came across a variety of topics other than just The Walking Dead. It was really nice to know how simple yet bubbly Charlie was in person. Other than talking about his success in the comic book industry, he also enjoyed sharing his insights and interests with us beyond his love for drawing - for instance, I discovered his love for music and TOYS! He also shared with us a few photos of his kids and one of his prized possessions - the LEGO MECHA GODZILLA! He was also sharing with us how he was a "VIP Zombie" in the first episode of The Walking Dead TV Series, and described to us how it was like to attend the shooting production of the popular TV show. After all the laughter and stories shared with one another, we had to wrap up as the Alabang Book Signing Event was about to begin. 

Lining up for the second book signing!

Charlie Adlard sketching Michonne on the front inner cover of my book!

Charlie Adlard and me with my new Michonne Sketch! :)

Sketch time! :)

Overall, the Charlie Adlard Book Signing event was truly one of the most unforgettable experiences in my life. It still feels so surreal knowing that this came unexpected yet so rewarding and fruitful at the end. Thank you Fully Booked Philippines for giving me this honorable opportunity to spend time with such an incredible and inspiring artist! Thank you Charlie for the fun stories, the inspiration, and the Michonne sketch- it truly was a pleasure meeting you!

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