‘Filipinx’ issue aside, Fil-Ams make big splash at San Diego Comic Con
Despite a backlash on Twitter Philippines over a San Diego Comic Con panel’s use of the gender-neutral term “Filipinx,” Filipino American pop-culture content made a big presence at the convention itself, which took place July 21 at the Grand 5 Ballroom of the Marriot Marquis San Diego Marina.
Its controversial title aside, the panel “Filipinx Voices in Pop Culture” tried answer questions like “Have there been times when this culture has been pushed away from representation?” “Does the general public know how many Filipino people are behind their favorite media?”
On the lively and educational were Alix Catherine (content creator, “The Welcome Party”), Earl Baylon (voice actor, “Tomb Raider” series), Mitch Narito (actor, “The Good Place”), Andrea A. Walter (film director and cinematographer), Law Sharma (senior content producer, Cinemablend), and JPG (pop-culture consultant, InterMyth.)
Meanwhile, after an amazing film festival circuit run, award-winning little feature action/comedy film “Lumpia With a Vengeance” returned to the 2022 San Diego Comic Con with a big screening on Thursday.
The screening followed the capacity-attendance panel “The Astonishing Origin of the Deep Fried Universe and the Uncanny Lumpia Wrappers” featuring the “Lumpia” cast and crew, who shared
“insider secrets” on how community representation played a big role in the making of and reception to the film and its companion indie comic book series, Legendary Lumpia Squad.
Winston Emano (mano Y mano Media) moderated the panel that included Patricio Ginelsa (writer/director), Mark Munoz (UFC), April Absynth (“Blindspotting”), Darion Basco (“The Fabulous Filipino Brothers,” “The Debut,”)Katrina Dimaranan (Miss Universe Philippines Tourism 2021), Lawrence Irarte (producer), Edward Baon (“Lumpia”),Gerald Pilare (illustrator), Vania Hardy (artist), Patrick Ballesteros (concept artist), and Patrick Michael Strange (Nerds of Color, ShoPowSho).
Two autograph sessions were needed to let fans meet the “Lumpia” cast and crew and the many Fil-Am comic book artists who contributed varying covers to the film’s comic book series (one cover for each major city film festival screening).
The Kid Heroes, Patricio Ginelsa’s film company merchandise booth on the Comic Con exhibition floor nearly sold out of the special SDCC gold halofoil-covered TPB collected film comic book series. Last year The film was first screened at the very Covid-limited 2021 SDCC Special Edition.
Fil-Ams also “represented” in other Comic Con panels, including Earl Baylon of Netflix’s “Tomb Raider” and “Lumpia with a Vengeance”) on the panel “From the Screen to your Plate: Food in Pop Culture” and in ”Avatar: Braving the Elements Live!” Dante Basco (the voice” of Prince Zuko) led other voice actors in a live podcast co-produced by Nickelodeon and iHeartRadio.
Wandering throughout convention center were many Fil-Am cosplayers. San Diegan Emily Billones dressed as Moana Fett as a tribute to actor Temuera Morrison who voice acts as Moana’s father (The Book of Boba Fett) and, like Moana, is Polynesian. Billones’ costume was a work of love – she worked on it three hours a day for six months. The Boba Fett/Mandalorian costume and helmet are beautifully made of exotic koa wood indigenous to Hawaii.
Billones has been attending the SDCC since the 1980s. By day she works in trade compliance as an administrator for an undersea navigation company. And her costume photo also made the LA Times article of “Coolest Comic-Con Cosplay of 2022.”
Filipinos had their biggest exposure ever at a single San Diego Comic Con.