World Comic Book Review

26th September 2023

Swine Before Pearls: Pugad Baboy

Pugad Baboy
May 15, 1988 – Jun 4, 2013
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Author: Pol Medina, Jr.

Pol Medina Jr.’s “Pugad Baboy” (lit. “Pig’s Nest”) is one of the most successful comic strips in the Philippines in terms of revenue and influence. The series started in one of the country’s established daily broadsheets, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, on May 18, 1988. It gained enough popularity to warrant a successful line of merchandise, yearly compilations, full-sized comic book spin-offs, and even a star-studded live action TV series (which, unfortunately, failed to see commercial success).

The comic strip is set in a fictional Filipino community, with focus revolving around several families:

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SMOSH #1: Lost in Translation

SMOSH #1 (review)
Dynamite Entertainment, May 4th, 2016
Writers: Michael McDermott, Yale Stewart

“SMOSH” is a comedic comic book series published by Dynamite Entertainment, based on the same-named web-based comedy channel from Youtube stars Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla. The duo only serve as co-developers of the story alongside Dynamite editor Rich Young, with zombie anthology FUBAR’s Michael McDermott and online webcomic JL8’s Yale Stewart on writing chores.

The stories themselves are based on recurring SMOSH comedy skits that Messrs Hecox and Padilla conceptualized and starred in, which in a way justifies the use of the SMOSH brand even without the active participation of its creators.

Dynamite Entertainment’s decision to publish an SMOSH comic book is a commercially sound one – Messrs Hecox and Padilla’s network of Youtube channels boasts of more than 36 million combined subscribers. It also helps that the bulk of SMOSH’s audiences consist of that very lucrative teen/tween demographic.

However, the execution palls as neither of the two writers commissioned seem capable of translating SMOSH’s brand of comedy into comic book form.

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Prison School: Panties, Cleavages, and a Well-Written Story Underneath

Prison School (review)
(Kodansha, February 2011-onwards)
Writer: Akira Hiramoto

“Prison School” is a manga franchise written and illustrated by Japanese writer Akira Hiramoto. It started serialization in Kodansha’s Weekly Young Magazine on 7 February 2011 and continues to this day. “Prison School” has spawned an anime series and a live action TV series along the way.

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“By Toutatis!”

The Historical Inaccuracy of Asterix
Pilote Magazine, Hachette, 1959-2010
Writers: Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
Review by DG Stewart, 18 March 2016

“Asterix” is a comic book series comprising 36 volumes published over almost 60 years. The title character’s adventures have sold more than 300 million comic books and been translated into many languages (including, amusingly given the title character is often depicted fighting Romans, Latin). A national survey in France in 1969 indicated that two-thirds of the population of that country had read at least one of the Asterix comic books. As at the time of writer Rene Goscinny’s death in 1977, total sales in France of the comic book are said to have amounted to more than 55 million copies. “Parc Asterix” is a theme park in Paris based on the character’s adventures, and France has produced postage stamps featuring Asterix and his friends. Such is the title character revered in France that the first French space satellite, launched in 1965, was named “Asterix” in his honour. It is hard to think of any equivalent comic book character, measured by national recognition and success, in any Anglophone country.

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