My first encounter with Pinoy komiks was way back 1986. I was just 5 years old at the time. I remember that my first one was Funny komiks. My mom bought it for me when i was sick. I got hooked since then that I always asked my Mama to buy me new issues every week (since comics back then were circulated weekly). I exclusively read Funny komiks until I discovered other titles such as Bata Batuta komiks, and later on, Kick Fighter, Terminator, Kidlat, and many others.

I really enjoyed reading stories about superheroes. I also read Marvel and DC titles too but, for the most part, I stuck with the local titles since, at the time, their stories were easier for me to relate to and I could follow the adventures more since they were much, much less expensive. I only stopped reading comics when the publishers themselves stopped publishing the titles.

Fast forward to the year 2008. I’m now 26 years old and currently working as a web content writer for a web development company. I spend a lot of time surfing the net and that’s what I mostly do even after work. I don’t exactly remember how and when but one day, I stumbled upon the blog of someone whose name was strangely familiar to me. The name – Gilbert Monsanto.

I have always admired Monsanto’s work in comics. He illustrated and/or created several of my favorite Pinoy komiks superheroes such as Biotrog, Kampeon, Cybernaut, Death Storm and many others. For me, Monsanto himself was a hero, too. His love for the medium of comics was really obvious to me even when I was still a kid at the time.

When I discovered in his blog that he has been publishing new titles on his own (Sacred Mountain Publications), I knew I had to get copies of those titles. After all, I earn a good sum of money now that I don’t have to ask Mom to buy me stuff anymore.

By communicating with Monsanto himself through his blog and via Yahoo Messenger, I learned that National Bookstore Dagupan now sells copies of his comics. So a day after one pay day, I decided to drop by the NBS to check them out. I haven’t been there for like five months, or so. When I did back then, I did so to browse books, mostly the motivational ones such as those by Stephen Covey, Spencer Johnson, John Maxwell, etc. This time, I went there for a different purpose – to show support for the Pinoy comics industry once more.

So I scanned the shelves for Rambol komiks. I didn’t find any. I saw Pugad Baboy but I passed that one. I saw Psicom titles but I passed those ones, as well. Finally, I saw Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo’s “Trese”. I held it in my hands. It looked pretty interesting too but then I thought “This isn’t why I came here – yet!” so I put it back to where I got it.

I browsed each magazine and book the second time around – this time, with wider eyes than I did the first time. I still didn’t see a single one. But I was sure they had it here. Monsanto himself said so.

Finally, I asked a sales lady for assistance if they had any comics published by Sacred Mountain. She gave me a puzzled look and a hesitant face as if to ask “Sacred Mountain what?” so I became more specific by telling her “Rambol or Tropa komiks.” She then pretended to look around some shelves and then told me that they have been sold out. “Oh, great” I thought. I should have expected that.

Yet I was determined to prove her wrong. I’m sure she didn’t know what she was talking about and I’m sure they have some copies around here. So I carefully went through each and every title on each and every shelf once again. Still no signs of it. I finally thought about giving up. Hey, at least I tried! I’ll just tell Monsanto about it, I thought.

But then again, as I headed to the baggage counter, I noticed another shelf in front of the cashiers. It was a shelf for K-Zone, Archie, and other similar titles. I decided to approach it and there they are - my favorite childhood heroes gracing the cover of Rambol #1! I couldn’t believe my eyes and I couldn’t contain the nostalgia I felt that I decided to g
rab both Rambol #1 and #2 right then and there. I paid it at the cashier and, while waiting for my turn, I even tried displaying some Rambol issues to make them more visible for other buyers who may be having a hard time as I experienced.

I left the place. My mission was accomplished and I did prove the sales lady wrong. I’ll post a Rambol review here when I finish reading it. I think Tropa komiks can wait for the next pay day.

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8 Responses to “Nostalgia”

  1. RapidBlade says:

    Yeah, yan problema sa NBS, hindi nila inaayos ung mga komiks, naalala ko pa nung unang lumabas ang Tropa at Rambol, every weekend, nag pupunta ako sa NBS (SM Manila branch) kasi un ung pinaka malapit sa amin at kaya kong lakarin, pumupunta lang ako dun para ayusin ung pwesto tropa at rambol para makita ng gustong bumili

  2. Gio Paredes says:

    Thanks Markus for supporting our local comics creator. Sana dumami pa ang tulad mo. :-)

  3. Mark Rosario says:

    I’d like to do that, too. Problem is NBS is two rides away from my location and I rarely go there. I’ll visit them once again this month though, to get my copy of Tropa. Yes, I’ll place Sacred Mountain titles in more visible spots.

  4. Jon Zamar says:

    NBS has a problem with displaying books, comicbooks or otherwise from a small scale publisher (usually with those with only one title to their name). They don’t know where to place them or care whether they place them at the right category. Been a problem for Culture Crash 8 years ago, still a problem for a lot of comics publishers right now. Thanks for the support for local made comics.

  5. Mark Rosario says:

    We’re all in this together. Thanks for dropping by, Gio.

  6. Mark Rosario says:

    That’s the sad reality. But of course, if not for NBS, I wouldn’t have found a copy. At least! Heheh.. But still, they should do better. A little care for the local komiks industry wouldn’t hurt them, I’m sure.

  7. NaGaSaNe says:

    that’s it! malaman q lang talga ang publish date ng rambol eh kakaripas agad me dyan s NBS n yahn. akalain mo bang hinalungkat q p s pinakailalim ang issue 1 tapos hndi n nka plastic, nbasa na ata ng buong madla! hahahaha! sad 2 say, that’s d last 1 so i brought it n lng kesa nman wla d b? hahahaha! more power ky mr. monsanto at sa lahat ng indie comics. c”,)

  8. Mark Rosario says:

    Matutuwa si Master Monsanto sa yo pag nalaman nya to. Hehehe.. Okay yun, at least may copy ka na.

    Rambol 3 will be out pretty soon daw, according to him. Abangan natin yun, plus yung Hellsword pa.

    Lets continue supporting the industry. :)

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