A tale of two cons: APCC (Part 1)

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Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

Last weekend was an extraordinary one for geeks and pop culture enthusiasts: at SMX you had the second Asia Pop Comic Con (APCC) while at the World Trade Center you had the first History Con.

Not to mention the two more concurrent events namely, the 10th International Silent Film Festival at the Shangri-La Plaza and the Readers and Writers Festival at the Raffles in Makati.

Last year, the number of attendees for the first APCC was over 29,000. This year, while I don’t have the numbers yet, there were numerous reasons that made fans come out once more despite the rainy weather and traffic. Here’s my personal list:

1. APCC was the first convention that brought in a roster of stars from different active shows and franchises. This year, countless fans were happy to see Millie Bobby Brown aka Eleven from Netflix’s Stranger Things. They also brought in Nicholas Hoult (Skins and X-Men) who apparently was very sweet to his fans at the photo ops and during his panel. Joe Dempsie (Skins, Game of Thrones) and Claire Holt (Vampire Diaries) rounded up the list of celebrity guests for 2016. Hayley Atwell aka Peggy Carter was the first to sign up but she had to cancel her appearance due to a work commitment.


Who you gonna call? Ghost Barber! The Ghostbuster Family gets a little help from Sweeney Todd

Who you gonna call? Ghost Barber! The Ghostbuster Family gets a little help from Sweeney Todd

Fans were ecstatic to get even just a passing glimpse of them!

2. There were copious number of artists selling their works and commissions—among them, Jason Palmer, Ken Lashley (who I got to chat with several times, I extremely enjoyed his rapport with his fans and his enthusiasm for being part of APCC) and Whilce Portacio. The artists’ alley had various activities and with a little perseverance, fans could have quick chats and a photo op with their favorites.

3. Once again the Cosplay Authority Global Challenge brought out the expert cosplayers and awarded $10,000 to this year’s big winner in the open category: Fred Vinas for his Boush The Tinker cosplay.

4. It was fun to see cosplayers, gamers, comic book fans, movie fans and the geek community come out for three days—a lot of people I am incredibly fond of were under one roof. But because so much was going on (an exhibit floor was downstairs, panels and shows and ticketing was upstairs) there were still people who I didn’t get to catch.

The Philippine Garrison of the 501st raise funds via photo ops for Make A Wish Foundation

The Philippine Garrison of the 501st raise funds via photo ops for Make A Wish Foundation

5. APCC was superbly organized—considering it is a big and ambitious venture. The volunteers were alert and helpful, same with the staff and security. I know they must have been tired but they kept at it and stayed very professional. Good job, guys!

6. Judging from my social media feed, there are number of geeks experiencing con hangovers, con separation anxiety aka “sepanx.”

It is good news to have Manila on the convention map like this. Both APCC and History Con have already announced their return this time next year.

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