Yes we’re asking for money. Now that that’s on the table let’s move on. We’re raising funds and we promise that it will be for something worthwhile and we are hoping that you, dear reader, will give us money, and beyond that, you will tell someone else about the whole thing and that person will give give us money and so forth.
What is “this whole thing” which I am asking money for? Ah, that’s where I can be verbose and gush like a fan. We, those raising funds, have written papers and will be presenting those papers at The 1st Global Conference: The Graphic Novel which will be held at Mansfield College, Oxford, UK from Sept. 7 to Sept. 9.
The we is composed of teachers from the University of the Philippines Diliman. Together (volted-in, so to speak) we make up a panel that will discuss various angles of Philippine Komiks. The session will be called A League of our Own: Cultural Appropriations in Contemporary Philippine Comics. Leading the panel is one of the pioneers of teaching and studying comic books in the Philippine academe, Prof. Emil Flores, PhD. (and a komiks creator himself). His paper is “Up in the Sky, Feet on the Ground: Cultural Identity in Filipino Superhero Komiks.” Micaela Chua is a Summa cum Laude grad, Erasmus scholar, and is currently working on her MA thesis on comics. Her paper is “Enabling Mythologies: Specificity and Myth-making in TRESE” And there’s me, Carl Javier (you can also throw a Prof. in front of my name, though I am still not accustomed to it). I’ve written a few books on geekiness and I’ll be presenting a paper called “Filipino humor and the Filipinization of Foreign Tropes in Macoy’s ‘Taal Volcano Monster vs. Evil Space Paru-Paro’.”
The costs of this trip are astronomical, especially when you consider that we are making our livings teaching at a state university. The plane fare alone costs three and a half months’ worth of my salary. The conference fee costs a month’s worth. As of this writing we have not received any funding. We have requests filed with the university, but even if they were to be approved that funding would only be the equivalent of half a plane ticket. That’s why we need help.
One way is that we are throwing a benefit gig called Komiks rOX on August 3. It will be at Route 196 on Katipinan Ext. and people can start showing up and hanging out by 7pm. We plan it to be a massive party where people can hang out, talk comics, have fun, and listen to some awesome bands. On the line-up are Gang Bading, The Etiquettes, Plagpul, Matilda, and Giniling Festival. We’re having a costume contest; people can come dressed up as their favorite comic book character. If you win, you get a set of signed Trese books AND a set of Night Gallery prints, also signed. We’ll be auctioning prints and original artwork from various komikeros. And it will be an awesome and fun.
But in truth, we are asking for much more than money. We are asking that you let us represent you. Our panel is meant to represent Philippine komiks, Philippine scholarship, and Filipinos engaging in global discourse. We are asking for the opportunity to bring our discourse to this conference and to introduce people to our komiks and to get the world talking about what we Filipinos are doing. That is “the whole thing,” the big idea.