AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2017 Press Conference


Giving everyone a glimpse of the many exciting things in store for fans of pop culture this weekend, AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2017 held its press conference at the C Lounge of Conrad Hotel at the Mall of Asia Complex.  Presented to the media were stunning American cosplayer Haiden Hazard, our very own outstanding cosplayer Jin Joson, exceptional visual artist Quiccs, American comic book writer, artist and teacher Carl Potts, revered Filipino comic book artist Whilce Portacio, and creative director and co-founder of tokidoki, Simone Legno.  All of them were thrilled to meet fans and enthusiasts from all over this weekend.

Held at the plush C Lounge of Conrad Hotel along Seaside Boulevard in Pasay, the media had gathered in anticipation of the first glimpse of some of the special guests who will be gracing the second AsiaPOP Comicon Manila, touted as the biggest pop culture event in the country.  After introductions by the host and an overview of the event by Director Abdulla Mahmood of the Al Ahli Holding Group, and a video recap of what exciting things transpired at last years event, some of this year’s esteemed guests were ushered in and were warmly welcomed by all in attendance.  They got to respond to some interesting questions by the host, all hinting their excitement to get to meet everyone at the event.  After answering, they got to have a photo op.

The media were then given the opportunity to conduct their own interviews of the guests, and the C Lounge was buzzing with witty conversation and excitement.  We were thrilled to have been able to get to know more about these amazing artists face-to-face.


Jin Joson

Q: How to choose the characters you would cosplay?

I get that question, especially from people who would want to start cosplaying. For me, the question you would need to ask yourself is “What would feel right for you? What would make you happy?” That’s what hobby is all about. And I think that with the rise of social media, people are getting a bit conscious, on how people would see them as. But I feel like it would depend on what feels right for you. You could choose to cosplay someone you can relate to or you look like. And that’s pretty cool for people who are going to see your portrayal because if you’re quite close to the original people would feel like seeing that character in real life and just right in front of you. But at the same time, if you choose someone who feels or looks totally different, that is also like a personal challenge.

Q: How can you still continue loving cosplay?

I think for me, I honestly feel the same as before though with more passion. I think it’s because of the people I crowd with, those who are always there and who are very supportive. And going to other countries and seeing what the community is like.


Simone Legno

Q: How do you view the reception of the Filipinos? How can you describe it?

What I really love here is that there are a lot of stores, events, galleries, and their reception is very incredible. I think what’s interesting here is that there’s this tropical or warm atmosphere here and that there are some influences from Europe as well as America. Filipinos are very open to other people, very warm, and they appreciate my style which is a mixture of both western and eastern style. My style is also positive, just like Filipinos. Whatever happens, Filipinos would just think positively and smile.

Q: How can you rate APCC compared to other conventions you’ve been to?

It’s still a very young event compared to San Diego, but I think it started very ambitious. Just looking at how it started, the type of celebrities, comic artists, and cosplayers it’s just amazing. So I think it started bigger compared to others wherein they started small and grew big, APCC on the other hand started big and continues to grow even more.

Q: Besides illustrating, what other hobbies do you have a passion in?

My biggest passion besides vector art would be painting. Painting gives you something vector art can’t. But all I can say is that my priority now is to create more design projects, and that my main goal is to create more franchise.



Q: With all the incredible art out there, how do you get started?

For me it’s the timing now is perfect, since the social media now is opened to everyone. So I advise artists out there to be inspired by people, but try to make your own style enough to stand up for itself.


Carl Potts

Q: We would like to know if this is your first time here in the Philippines?

Yes. I’ve always wanted to come here because my family has been here. My mother, though she wasn’t Filipino, was born and raised here. And then her and her family were here during the world war 2 and were imprisoned by the Japanese at Santo Tomas. The adventures of the military forces who have rescued them is part of a big graphic novel I’m working on. It will be published by US Navy Institute Fest. It’s a passion project of mine for a very long time trying to get this thing done coz it’s based on my family’s history lives. And one of the big things I want to do here is to take a trip to the University of Santo Tomas.

Q: So you’ve been very interested in WWII?

Yes. There’s also been interesting stories too, like the Japanese guards hold themselves in the education building with a bunch of hostages. And they finally agreed to release them if the American soldiers would escort the Japanese soldiers back to their lines. So there are pictures of these with a group of Japanese soldiers being escorted down the streets of Manila with American soldiers on each side of them. But what they didn’t realized was that they were heading towards Malacañang palace which was still in our hands and there were already Americans over there. And the Americans mostly killed everyone. I just think that this is an important chapter in our history. And I would also be very interested if we can get this thing released in Japan, because the Japanese don’t teach what really happened in Manila. I think this is going to be very controversial over there.

Q: What can you say about the generation now from before in terms of traditional and digital?

Each generation gets a little bit more used to digital, but it’s a much slower transition with comics and it was a fairly transition. But I think part of that has to do with just that people like to tackle that experience having it in your hands.


Haiden Hazard

Q: Any ideas about the Philippines before you came here?

I have two great close friends of mine who are actually born here in Manila. So I was very excited to come and I have like a whole list of food to try or things to see while I’m here. The country is beautiful, I haven’t seen a ton yet, but from what I’ve just seen it’s just beautiful.

Q: What can you say about cosplay and are there any kind of cosplays you’re into at the moment?

Cosplay is so much fun. I’m so glad to be here. I’m really excited you’ve invited me. And this is my first international convention outside of States. I am a video game fanatic, so I do 75% video game costumes. One of my next costumes will be from Diablo III, so it’s gonna be awesome and I’m so excited.

Q: How will you be as a judge for CAGE?

To be honest, I looked up the winners before from the previous years and I was just completely blown away by how talented every single person who entered was. I was like “how am I gonna judge these people? Everyone here deserves an award, they’re all so talented”. So I’m just nervous but, so excited to see everyone’s costumes.

Q: How do you keep your passion for cosplay going despite all the criticism?

I just love everything that I do so much. I love going out meeting people and having new friends. Most of my friends currently are those I’ve met through conventions. And they are the ones who keep me going, it’s my friends who inspires me. I love all of them.


Whilce Portacio

Q: What do you expect this year at APCC2017 and what would everyone expect from you this year?

Not just me but as you can see, every year it gets bigger and bigger. Just look at the stature of the guests. As we go on I expect this to get bigger and bigger. And because I know the producer, he promised me that we’re gonna be here for while. So every year as it goes by as you can see compared to the past, before, Millie was here and now the rest of the cast of Stranger Things are here and there own hall. And as some of us knows, the CAGE event is the biggest in the world, even bigger than San Diego. I mean in terms of the prize, right?


This engaging press conference is of course only a small prelude to the huge things in store for everyone at AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2017, the biggest pop culture event in the country in terms of size and scope, and quality of the exhibits, attractions and guests were on a scale the Philippines has never seen before. We are then so glad and excited to share with everyone that AsiaPOP Comicon Manila will be coming back this year even bigger than before, with wider unique content and even bigger international guests lined up for pop culture fans of all ages.  AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2016 is happening this weekend,  August 25 to 27, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, so we hope to see you there enjoying the festivities as we do a special coverage of all three days of APCC.

#apccph2017 #asiapop #apcc


Xtian Mack

Xtian Mack

Xtian Mack took up AB English Studies, Major in Creative Writing at UP Diliman. Currently works for a medical transcription company. He is the Creative Director of The Cosplay Cafe:, doing photography, writing, and reporting for the website. His line of photography specializes in cosplay event coverage, having covered 300 events in a span of 3 years. Loves cute and furry things.