Monday, August 25, 2014

Stuff in my local comics collection: Aster

Still have these after all these years. And they are in superb condition.
Remember when C.A.T.S. was the coolest comic specialty shop in town? They came up around the time of the Image and Valiant explosion of the mid-1990s and proprietor Billy Lim-It had a lot of collectible items in his shop that you never saw anywhere else. And they sold a lot of indie comics that made a fan like me very happy. It was almost impossible to get those indie stuff in the two regular shops Filbar’s and Comic Quest.

They upped the ante when they came out with the home-produced Aster. It was like Marvel’s Captain Marvel going indie!

I recall Billy showing my pages of the artwork from Oliver Isabedra (who later became my officemate in an ad agency). There was a lot of buzz about the first real homegrown super hero comic going international. It was solicited in Diamond Previews and then hot artist Jae Lee did the cover to the first issue (and later, George Perez). Talk about hype and back-up muscle! A letter of mine (based on the ashcan) even came out in the first issue!

However, the story disappointed! The art was great. But I thought that the story is an indictment of the rush of indies that came out of the Image beachhead – poorly written stories that could not be saved by great art. I even thought that the sexual jokes were of poor taste. Reading that first issue when I got it; I felt let down. And I guess, it did set the tone for the succeeding issues.

While it is a milestone it won’t really go down as a critically acclaimed book. They missed the bus on that. But… I have every single copy of the series that came out because of my collection of Filipino-authored comic books.

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