guest blog | Marc Conaco

guestblog-MarcConaco

Illustrator Marc Conaco is a long-time friend of mac+mae who won ‘best comic art’ for his debut comic, haunted at Chromacon 2017.  Marc is on a mission to get to know his pre-colonial self better by drawing inspiration from his own culture and heritage.  We asked him to share his Chromacon experience with us…

A little about me:
Hello! My name is Marc Conaco. I am an illustrator who exhibited at Chromacon 2017. The comic I debuted, ‘haunted.’ won best in comic art. My stories revolve around the celebration of Philippine pre-colonial culture and mythology. The reason for this goes back early 2016 when I began my journey of decolonisation, which is another long post in itself.

Zine cover of haunted

Zine cover of haunted

Pre-Chromacon:

I got confirmation that my Chromacon application was accepted on the 21st of January 2017. I was already working on a very rough draft of ‘haunted.’ so the confirmation was the push I needed to finish the comic. It is a sort of love story wrapped inside a Philippine pre-colonial history and mythology lesson. I would do my writing and sketching at the Auckland Library after work – I find that I can concentrate there better without the distractions of the TV and iPad at home.

Dalikamata: Goddess of health & ailments

Dalikamata: Goddess of health & ailments

I knew that I wanted to get a range of items for my booth just to keep it exciting and varied: I had high-quality A5 prints, printed using archival inks. I had my comics (I’m from an Auckland ZineFest background and adore DIY printing using coloured paper and a photocopier) and I had cheap-as-chips stickers.

Maklium sa Tiwan - God of the plains, forest, animals

Maklium sa T’wan – God of the plains, forest, animals

During Chromacon:

I really like interacting with people during Chromacon. The reason I do my comics is so that I can share them with people, especially people of colour who share their own stories back – stories that parallel my own experiences and come from unique perspectives. I really like it when Filipinx* and half-caste Filipinx* come to my booth and are amazed and most importantly, inspired, by the wealth of culture and heritage that they were unaware that their ancestry has. It’s an exciting 2 days.

I’m pretty bad with taking breaks as I get super amped up that I forget that I’m hungry until quite late in the day. It actually helps that friends pass by and randomly give me coffee, or a cake, or a piece of candy. Hahaha! All donations are welcomed!

Chromacon has a number of very helpful volunteers who can watch your booth while you go on toilet or food breaks so it is very convenient for exhibitors like me who are a one-person show.

Booth at Chromacon

My booth at Chromacon 2017

Post Chromacon:

I’ve done all the Chromacon events (2013, 2015 and 2017) and every single time I come home exhausted with all my extroversion depleted. I don’t feel like talking to anyone for a whole day and I literally curl up on the couch for a while not talking. Which is hard because I have work on the Monday.

man and dog

A sticker I made dedicated to #dogs

If you want to know more about me, please follow me on Facebook or Instagram.
If you want to read my comic about my journey of decolonisation, please click on this link.

* I use Filipinx, because it is the gender-neutral term for people who’s ancestry link back to the Philippines. Filipinx includes people who are trans, queer, agender, non-binary, gender non-conforming or gender fluid. When we were colonised by Spain, they forced their heavily gendered language on us: Filipino is male, Filipina is female, which excludes people who don’t identify as either.