Tuesday, March 15, 2005


My earliest recollection of a comic book was my Katzenjammer Kids collection. My mom and dad bought it for me at a second hand store in Bangkal, Makati. This comic book although a little bit worn out was nice and big. However, it was in Spanish! Kaya pala on sale ! At that time, Yo no habla espanol! Come think my knowledge of the Spanish language is still un poco, which means scanty or few. I did enjoy the drawings and eventually learned a little habla here and que horor there. Soon I got started with the other comic dailies and comic books. I began reading the daily comic strips of the Bulletin Today. Larry Alcala's Siopaw Man, Mutt and Jeff, Beetle Bailey, Nonoy Marcelo's Tisoy and Ikabod, The Phantom, Dennis the Menace, The Wizard of Id, Andy Capp and a host of others I know but cannot for the life of me remember their title. My cousin then introduced me to Marvel's Tomb of Dracula, the Hulk and the X-Men. I remember visiting or bothering him nearly every day just to read those comic books. We lived inside a family compound - in the Philippines it was and is not uncommon for families to live together in a plot of land although each family might live in separate houses (This of course is fertile ground for a study of family dynamics) - and this made daily trips to my cousins house easy, unfortunately for my cousin. Years went by and I began to progress to other reading materials. Once in a while I would buy comics from the grocery or the book store. And from time to time I would go back to reading the Hulk/X-men compilation of my cousin. It was not until I reached college that through my friends Gobbie, Joel , Gino and Raymond that I began to discover comics again. Gobbie was an avid collector of comics buying almost anything from Marvel and DC. Gino was into the Green Lantern series, although he was also into Star Wars mythos as well, Joel was into Batman and X-men, and Raymond was into everything as well. I accompanied the guys to Filbars, during that time it was a store along New York St Cubao, near New Manila. I first started with the Legend of the Dark Knight and soon gravitated towards comics that were a perfect balance of visual art and story telling. I did get into the whole Image comics craze during that period do not get me wrong but eventually I drifted further and further to the comics that had more meat in their stories. Comics like "The Sandman", "The Killing Joke", "The Dark Knight Returns", "The Watchmen", "Madman", "Nexus", "Groo" just to name a few. For me this was the flood of comics of this calibre heralded a second golden age of comics. However, like all good things it had to end. The departure of Neil Gaiman from the Sandman series diminished my interest in comics. For me the storylines became stale and predictable. It was not entertaining anymore. So I stopped buying comics. Fortunately, as it always is in all things created comics that are worth patronizing surface and when I do chance upon it I buy and read it.
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