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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Just a short interview: about comic book stores in the Philippines

Here's another interview from a 4th year student of UST, the student's thesis is about Comic Bookstores. The student contacted me via email after she/he reads my Top 10 best comics shop in the Philippines 2009.
The interview was last December 2013, too bad that I failed to send my answers on time due to my busy schedule for our Christmas Toy Fair event.


1) How long have you been reading comics?

I can remember that I stare on those Star Wars comics and mini comics of Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Flash and Green Arrow at an early age. I’m not sure if its counted as “reading” it, because I don’t know yet how to read properly in the year 1982, My dad supplies the comics that he bought in a news stand in Recto, Manila, I was 5 years old that time. I also remembered that I owned a copy of Panday comics based on the movie, and also played some “Teks” small card board with one sequential frame of a comics based in action and drama pinoy movies.

But I learned that there are many awesome comics when my grade school classmates in UST brought in some comics with origins and profiles of DC Comics characters. My interest started when we compare the super powers of each super hero and villains.

After some year, my ninong from the US sent over a package and a bundle of comics including the 1st and 2nd issue of John Byrne’s comics classic “The Man of Steel”, re-telling the origin and story of Superman to a new age of comic readers. Then National Bookstore started selling the reprint version of the other issues of Man of Steel, It’s a local print but it’s the same print and content, but with local commercial ads of milk brands and ballpen in some pages.

National Bookstore is the first store that I bought comics (Recto branch), when I started to hunger for more, I accidentally discovered this small bookstore aka the early days of Booksale near our home and near UST. There I saw the first issue of Wolverine, and some early issues of X-Men, I totally skipped them and bought Superman, Batman and some not well know comic titles like – PSI Force, DP 7, and Justice. But my heart was to follow and read the series of Justice comic, because I bought the 1st and 2nd issue and then I collected the issue every month and I ended reading it in issue 9.

I stopped reading comics for years because I got hooked into video games, but then during my 4th year high school’s last term, I went back to comics and discovered WIZARD Magazine, that damn magazine brought me back in reading comics and I started collecting again and light up my spark with issue 1 of Kingdom Come and Xmen #54 “secrets revealed: the traitor in X-Men”. I bought those new comics every month in Comics Quest.

2) What made you buy comics?

Because I grew up with these superheroes since child hood, from the days of the Super Friends on TV, Superman in the movies, Batman in Betamax, influence by my dad to read to comics, classmates who brought in action figures in school, Voltes V and etc. It’s a childhood entertainment that will stick to your heart and soul.

Since I want more of it. buying comics is the only way to continue those awesome fantasies, imaginations and stories of good vs. evil.
3) Where do you usually buy it?

I usually buy my comics in Comics Quest SM City North EDSA, the sales lady there keeps my comics in the cabinet and I always pick it up every Saturday when a new comics shipment arrives on that week.

If Comics Quest doesn’t have any stock of a comics issue, I then visit Filbars in the same mall or go to Filbars Recto.

4) If you know or have been to Comic Quest how were your experiences inside the store?

My experience is good! I like staring the library of comics on display, the posters, the shirts and magazine with awesome covers of my favorite comic characters. When I buy comics in a different branch like in SM Megamall, the feeling is the same. If the sales person recognize you for buying their comics every Saturday, they will offer their free service to collect and keep the comics you follow.

5) What are your opinions about Comic Quest?

The store is organized according to comics titles and publisher, the trade paper section are located at the other side, then magazines too, they have an area of comics on low prices and discounts. The displays are awesome too..I can check out the new titles displayed on the window, and I will just enter the store if ever I’ll buy a copy or check out other titles. The staffs are very accommodating and they know what we are looking for, when we mention – Age of Apocalypse, they know what comics title to start the saga.

6) Do you have any suggestions to Comic Quest that need to be improved?

I rarely visit their store today (2013 and 2014), I usually check out the displayed comics and merchandise in their branch in SM Megamall, but I always check the trade paper back section if there’s any sale or discount, my last purchase from them was in 2012.

There are times that I received emails and list of upcoming comics to be delivered in Comics Quest, I think that’s the one service that I miss, I hope they can bring back or upgrade that Comics Quest membership, I’m one of the member and I used the card to get comics discount and freebies. I think they should highlight that membership again..I’m not sure if they still have that now.

My Comics Quest card is already gone…..the card deteriorates after keeping it in my wallet for many years.

(I found their Facebook page after writing this - )

Superman vs Spiderman #1

7) What are the differences of other stores to Comic Quest?

They sell the same stuff…but I like the service back then with the membership. But I rarely visit any comics store today due to my far location in the city and no time to visit the mall. I know some comic store offers FREE delivery to your home, I tried it already via Comics Hub and it was very fun to order comics online hahahah. I stopped because its too expensive, and I focused on buying DVDS, gadgets and toys. But I still visit Comics Quest and other stores if ever I’ll buy a trade paperback or collected edition of a comics I want to collect and read.
Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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