luckychan: (belle bookworm)
[personal profile] luckychan
I'm back from Disneyland! Heeeee from our vacation, and would have posted sooner, but other RL responsibilities (I really, really hate having to deal with lost records and end-of-the-year clearances, they're such a chore) kept me away until now.

So hello, everyone, how have you all been?

Anyway, this is a long-delayed post for [personal profile] starlurker's project, Frequently (Or Not So Frequently) Asked Questions About The Philippines. [personal profile] littlebutfierce asked about Filipino comic books, so in this post I'm going to start talking about them.

I'm not sure if I qualify as a hardcore comic book fan or anything, but I've always loved reading comics, even before I got into manga and graphic novels, and I have a special place in my heart for the comic strips published on the daily newspaper. Whenever I read the paper (until now actually) I usually end up turning to the comics section first, because it's just the kind of pick-me-up I'd need to face the day ahead.

So part one of the FONSFAQ posts I now dedicate to these comic strips.

By the way, this is a wonderful site, from which I got some of the info on this post: Komiklopedia. Do check it out.

(I'll only be discussing at length three series since these are the ones I really followed over the years; but if you wish to know more about any other series you have heard of before, do say so in the comments and I can add them in a later post. Also, do comment if you want translations of the strips. :D)

1. Pugad Baboy by Pol Medina Jr.

This series is, in my opinion, commercially one of the most successful comics series in the Philippines, spawning 24 comic book compilations, a graphic novel, a TV show, and all sorts of merchandise (t-shirts, figurines). Running in the Philippine Daily Inquirer since 1988 (!), Pugad Baboy is about an entire village of people who are, um...horizontally challenged. ("Pugad Baboy" is translated to "Swine's Nest", at least according to Wikipedia. Ehehe.) The strip features a lot of characters, like a chef who cooks the most unusual things (to the horror of his family) and his wisecracking, ever-sarcastic maid, a soldier whose best friend is a member of the NPA, an aging hippie who still thinks he's, uh, hip, a gay beautician, a corrupt senator (which might be quite redundant), and a talking dog.

And not just any talking dog. Polgas.


The series covers a lot of topics, from domestic life to current political issues to soap operas to (failed and/or cheesy) teen romances to bigger, continuing plots usually involving Polgas off on some adventure or another. The scope itself of the series is quite remarkable, the characters' opinions on current events insightful, and the humor smart but still so darn funny.

My favorite is still Brosia, the Sungcal family's maid, especially since she likes to crack jokes at the expense of her employer, Mang Dagul, who often gets really, really pissed off. Case in point:

2. Beerkada by Lyndon Gregorio

Beerkada is about a group of friends who met back in college (particularly in the University of the Philippines), forming a "beerkada" (a combination of the words beer and "barkada", which means a group of friends), and tells of their adventures and misadventures on and off campus, and later on followed them too after graduating from college. This series also spawned a lot of merchandise (I really do want to get a t-shirt someday), and 10 comic book compilations.

I love this series as I can relate a whole lot to it (I myself graduated from the same college depicted in the series), and I love how the humor is sometimes just so geeky and/or nerdy, and also here the characters actually age, in parallel to how its audiences are growing up as well.

And of course, there's Jimmy.

Jimmy is probably the most clueless person in the group. No. In the planet. And the remarkable thing about it is, he actually gets the highest grades in the group.

And his wife, Fe, is also just as clueless.

3. Kiko Machine Komix by Manix Abrera

Kiko Machine Komix is a series of comic strips by Manix Abrera, a member of the band of the same name, who is also the son of editorial cartoonist and comic book writer Jess Abrera. This is also about a group of students in UP Diliman, although this series is very, very different from Beerkada.

I mean, with stuff like this:


I actually can't describe the humor itself. It's...different. But a good kind of different.

And just plain brilliant. Sometimes mind-numbingly so.

There are other comic book compilations that I unfortunately am not as familiar with but are also worth checking out: A. Lipin, which feature actual figures in Philippine politics as characters, and Pupung, which is about a young boy whose family owns a lugaw (rice porridge) business.

That's all for the first part. Next time, I'll be talking about graphic novel series. Feel free to share your thoughts! :)
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February 2014


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