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My Asia Pop Comic Con 2015 Experience!

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Last September 17-20, 2015, Manila finally had its first try in having an official International Comic convention event called "Asia Pop Comicon" at the World Trade Center. Loaded with comics, celebrity guests, comic artists, novelty collectibles, and other geeky pop culture surprises;  it was truly something no geek in the Philippines could afford to miss. 

Official Event Poster

Since I was busy at work during the first day of the event, I was decided to visit the event on the weekend with my friends. We were there from 2pm all the way until the end of the event. To get in, each of us had to get a 'DAY 2 PASS' which cost about P500/head. A little pricey but personally speaking, it was worth the experience especially if you are eyeing to meet some of the well-known guest artists and celebrities. Here is a breakdown of my experience, told in pictures:

Upon entering the convention, I was already greeted with these giant lego Star Wars pieces! :)

A lightsaber battle by Pinoy 501st!

Oh hello R2-D2!

It was very inspiring to see the works of many local and foreign comic artists around the event, as each of them shared their insights, styles, and art to every visitor who comes by their booth. It was also nice of them to share their personal tips and techniques to those who were interested in starting their own art and comic pieces.

One of the artists who I was really looking forward to meeting was Mr. David Mack, the well-known American comic artist and writer behind several popular and unique comic stories and art like Kabuki, Daredevil, Fight Club 2, All-new Avengers, and also the All-New Archie #1 variant cover to name a few. In fact, he was mainly the reason why I wanted to go to the Comic Con in the first place. At first I felt so bad since the schedule mentioned that he would be guesting on the 19th but luckily, I was told that he will be present that day as well!

With the legendary David Mack!

I was also able to appreciate and bring home some really neat limited edition art prints from the legendary Whilce Protacio and Carlo Pagulayan! (sadly wasn't able to take a photo with Carlo Pagulayan since he was so busy signing autographs)

With the talented Whilce Protacio!

There were also several booths catered to our local artists along with an interesting Mini Cooper doodle area where talented young artists were literally doodling onto a real Mini Cooper!

Artists at work doodling on the front hood

Other than just comics and art, there were also booths for popular social media personalities and vinyl toy sculptor/artists. I got to meet the co-founder and creator of the extremely cute brand "Tokidoki", Simone Legno! Best part of all, he was able to draw me a personal sketch of my favorite Tokidoki x Marvel character-- Wolverine upon our meeting. :)

Simone Legno of Tokidoki-- busy doodling my Wolverineeee! :D

With the king of kawaii Tokidoki art-- Simone Legno!

The finished artwork :)

Unlike our current local conventions, the event also had exclusive interview and open forum panels, photography sessions, and autograph signings where special celebrity guests like Paul Bettany, Nathalie Emmanuel, Colton Haynes, Jeremy Shada, Make Out Monday, and the cast of Checkpoint could interact with their fans. During my visit, I was able to get a glimpse of Paul's panel and Nathalie Emmanuel's autograph signing session. Of course, to get these special one-on-one interactions with them, every fan who was interested had to purchase a pass (which are limited per day) for it depending on which artist they wished to meet and which activity they wanted to do (whether photography or autograph). The interview and open forum panel on the other hand, was open to all to enjoy.

Paul Bettany in the flesh while doing his interview panel

Toy and game enthusiasts were also in for a treat as the event booths had exclusive pre-order offers to certain collectibles from Hot Toys, Egg Attack, Lego, Tokidoki, Tomica, and games. You could also try the Occulus Rift for free or even have a glimpse on how video games are developed. Sadly, I was not able to try it out since the lines for these booths were rather long. Instead, I took more time exploring the toys and games available. I was able to snag the official Walking Dead board game and even won a free starter deck of an indie card game from AEG at the Ludus boardgames booth. :)

Iron Man and the Hulkbuster at Comicave Studios

Egg Attack Levitating Iron Man

Watch me float!

The new Hot Toys Cosbaby for Marvel's Ant-Man series

Hot Toys Cosbaby Avengers series

Hot Toys - Star Wars Boba Fett

Awesome statue of Ant-Man! :)

Visitors could also take photos with official and life-size statues of their favorite heroes and creatures from different comic and film features. Among these statues that really caught my attention was the life-size Hulkbuster, which you could actually "wear" and take a photo with when you purchase a shirt from Comicave Studios.

On the Hulkbuster!

What you lookin' at? -- Aliens

 Side view of the popular sci-fi film creature in "Aliens"

The Beast in X-Men: First Class. This was the actual costume used during the shooting of the movie! :)

Alien Ressurection!!!!

Of course, the famous battle between the Predator and the Alien!

Beauty in every detail!

Overall, my experience at the Asia Pop Comicon was fun however, I still feel that there is still more room for improvement, especially in terms of ticketing and organizing. I was also hoping to see more toy and comic exclusives available around the convention. Their celebrity guest line up was also a bit confusing since 2 of their originally announced guests cancelled suddenly, which made it a little difficult or at some point "questionable" for some of the interested fans. Nevertheless, they were still able to make up for it and pull it off well. In terms of ticketing, I hoped that they would've left the option to purchase tickets online even while the event was ongoing to help ease the long lines for walk-in guests. Either way, it was a good start and definitely something for everyone to watch out for in the near future. I definitely am already looking forward to the next one with high hopes!

My personal finds from the APCC! :D

Congratulations to the organizers and guests for making Manila's first International Comicon experience a success! I cannot wait to see what's in store for the next Comicon! :)

Feel free to share your Asia Pop Comicon experience at the comments section below. I would love to hear your awesome story!

Thanks for reading! :)

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