I feel like a dinosaur. The whole world probably knows and I’ve been oblivious all these years. Have I been living under a rock?
I was in high school the last time I read Pasig in the now defunct Culture Crash magazine. My classmates and I devoured each issue. The stories in it were a universe apart from the occasional Marvel or DC titles my brother brought home, the daily strips in the newspaper, or even the Reader’s Digest issues from my mom’s subscription. It was hard to come by something fresh, contemporary, and very Pinoy where I grew up in small town Dumaguete (it’s been a city a long time, really, but it has always felt like a town to me). But when I hit my sophomore year, Culture Crash closed up shop.
In the years that followed, Summit Media’s W.I.T.C.H. and K-Zone would replace Culture Crash in our barkada reading list though they never were at par with the former in terms of ingenuity and entertainment value. I suppose it’s because there is a particular thrill in reading text that comes from one’s own culture. The humor is different. Walang subtle subtle. Talagang mapapatawa o mapapamura ka. It isn’t just the humor either, but also how plot is likely to proceed, how conflict resolves, and even the everyday ephemera in the backdrop; the character’s wardrobe, the small talk of passers-by, the advert of a tubero on an electric pole. But Culture Crash disappeared and I stopped paying attention to komiks.
Then, around two years ago, I started to read komiks/graphic novels frequently after RK sent me a pirated copy of Sandman. Fast forward to the present and I was at the Summer Komikon making the circuit of tables when I glanced at a familiar title. I stopped in my tracks and my mind went buhay pa pala ang Pasig?!?!
I felt a bit sad that this pioneer in mainstreaming komiks in Pinoy pop culture has now taken the backseat. It used to be in a glossy magazine enjoying a colored spread. At least Taga-Ilog has kept it alive all these years. So I grabbed a copy each of the available issues, and if a compiled book turns up in the next few years, I’m sure I’d grab a copy, too.
For old fans and interested new readers, the first book of Pasig can be browsed here.