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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Best of Archie/Pugad Baboy 23

One of the best places inside the mall is the bookstore. You might think I am the nerdy type but I don't go to the bookstore to look for books about Advanced Physics or Noetic Science, I go to bookstores because of my passion of reading novels and comic books.

I had my first encounter with Archie Comics back in 1992 when I had my visit to a dentist. I was waiting impatiently for the dentist to come when I first had a glance of a very curious looking little comic book in one of the shops near the clinic. Immediately, I asked my mom to buy one for me and she did. From that time on, I become an avid reader of Archie Comics. I have 5 Archie Comics by the end of that year courtesy of my aunt. After 19 years, I have 162 Archie Comics in my collection and still counting. I read them not only once and has been my childhood companion when I am bored, when I eat breakfast, lunch or dinner, when I just feel like reading one of Jughead's adventure with food and even during my private moments in the men's room. One of my frustration as a fan is that I never get to own any Best of the Americana Series of Archie Comics which usually showcases the best Archie Comic Strips of the decade (Americana Series are compiled according to decade) since our local bookstore does not have one. And so, when I came across with The Best of Archie Comics last week, I did not hesitate to buy the book.

The Best of Archie Comics is a compilation of one of the most memorable strips from the time it was published in the 30s up until this year. One of the highlights of the book is the first strip of Archie in Pep Comics #22. That was my first time to read the first strip and I imagine how readers accepted it. The strip is very detailed in terms of artwork. The story is simple and truly marks the typical Archie Comic strip that its fanbase really loved. This is the strip that marks the start of a strip that lasts until now.

This comic is both intended for its old readers and for those who wishes to embark on a journey with Archie and the Gang. One of the greatest wonders of this comic is that it has made a lot of teens be identified with its characters. With this compilation, it made me fall in love again with Archie and the rest of Riverdale's elite.

It was in 1992 when I discovered Archie, after 10 years, Pugad Baboy made its way on my coronary arteries where it clogged like cholesterol making me ask for more. Pol Medina Jr. was successful in making an obese community be an effective satire to the current trends in our country. The first strips were a bit bare and has greatly improved on the next compilations with intricate details which was greatly seen in Pugad Baboy 4-8. Sagas were part of the Pugad Baboy Legacy as they embark on different adventures but still injecting recent truths on the economic and political status of the country. What sets Pugad Baboy unique among the local comic industry is its subtle but fearless display of the author's opinion.

As Pugad Baboy reaches its 23rd compilation there has been a decrease in its "enjoyability" and Pol Medina seems to steer out of the usual humor which made its fan asking for more. There was less exposure for Brosia whom I adore among them, Polgas falls after her. Her wisecracks are what I have missed in the entire series. Although there were a few funny moments in the book, they are not as memorable as the previous early compilations. The book tried very hard to inform the public during the first 2 frames of a strip and inject humor in the last 2 frames like a misplaced car key in an ash tray. It seems that Pol is running out of ideas and must rest for 2 years to get the creative juices flowing once again.

This two guilty pleasures has been my companion for the past week and yes I enjoyed reading them more than once including the ones I already own. The pleasures of reading a book is indeed priceless for it does not allow you to enjoy but also to entice a dormant mind.

Best of Archie: A-
Pugad Baboy 23: B-


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