There are several fan communities existing in Indonesia. Some of them can be quite specific (such as the Jakarta Saber, a group of Jakarta Star Wars fans who like to cosplay and do lightsaber fights), while others can be quite broad, such as the Indonesian Comic Book Readers.
Om Aji Widodo invited the Facebook group to meet up at a cafe in Jalan Bulungan, to chat and trade their comic collections. I was the second car to arrive after Om Aji, and he was very warm and welcoming. I met other traders and collectors, as well passersby who were curious about it.
Mr Aji explained to me to me in detail, how the American comic book fans started to gather together and acknowledge one another. Some people are blessed, others are very specific in what they like collect. One guy, for instance, specifically loves Golden Age Superman comics and anything related to Bizzaro (Superman’s defective clone). Another guy was so esctatic
One of the interesting people I encountered was an alumni from Universitas Indonesia named Rama. He’s a psychology lecturer who also writes comics in a regular basis.
Rama is the writer for several comics which are published by Skylar Comics. One of his comics is currently being developed as a motion picture which will be released later in September 2016.
Throughout the several hours I spent with them on that Sunday afternoon, the comic book fans have several peculiarities:
One has been collecting comics since he was young, and even at his age of 40+, he still collect them and store a huge amount of his collection at his parents’ house outside of Jakarta.
Another is married with children, and budget his expenses very carefully. He likes to collect good Spider-Man comics. The mainstream Marvel Universe Spider-Man, not the other variations. He works as a contractor in the construction industry.
One guy, as I mentioned before, specifically loves Golden Age Superman (that is the old 1930s-1950s Superman who was married to Lois Lane, until he died in the Infinite Crisis), as well comics that have Bizzaro.
Another guy works as an IT manager and has huge amount of collection. He also shared some personal information, which really struck a chord with me.
One lady who wears a hijab, loves Fables and comic book stories that tells human drama. Not really much into superheroes, but she enjoys Neil Gaiman’s.
It’s a real challenge to map out the broad range of comic book fans, but that meeting that day exposed me to huge plethora of information about the ones in Jakarta.