Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Missing out on Astro City

Astro City.

Here in the Philippines, Astro is a brand of a cigarette. Cheap cigarette. If you couldn't afford Marlboro because you ran out of coins, you'd be smoking Astro to get almost the same effect. I actually can't relate. A friend told me about this because I asked him why he was smoking Astro when I know that he liked Marlboro. I can't relate because I don't smoke. Honestly.

Anyway, this blog is not about Astro the Cigarette. It's about Astro City by Kurt Busiek. It's probably one of the best comic books I've ever read. I even got high marks from other people when I said that Astro City is one of the best books out there. They all agreed. Kurt Busiek's storytelling style is just so good. Sadly, I can't compare Astro City to any of his works because I haven't grabbed any of his other works.

Here's my history with Astro City: The first issue I got to read was the one with Crackerjack. I think it was issue #5. Surprisingly, the point of view was from a villain - an alien disguised as an ordinary man. In that issue, in one chance encounter with Crackerjack, the alien decides on an invasion depending on Crackerjack's hero-ness. Crackerjack being the egoistic hero that he is ultimately leads to an invasion which until now I haven't read about any other issues.

I got hooked after that. I read the mails from the other readers and I got to know a lot about the other issues simply by reading the mails. I instantly asked my brother to look for issue #1 and thank God it wasn't that well known yet. I was able to get issues #1 - 4. Issue #6 came later when I discovered Ebay.

The joy of reading the Astro City limited series is that you really get to feel from the point of view of whoever is telling the story. You're literally in his/her shoes. It's refreshing, it's honest, it's full of "real" life. Here's a superhero genre comic book that probably doesn't have to always involve fighting and violence. Humans could tell the story. And even the superheroes too.

Anyway, I never got to say what the comic book is about. It's about Astro City, a city full of superheroes. That's it. Hehehe. Anyway, grab one. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

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