I enjoyed following Beerkada’s antics in their comic strip at the Philippine Star newspaper. Then I went on to greener pastures, moved to another office that didn’t subscribe to this daily.
I missed the gang’s company, though. I missed their wacky take on pop culture issues. I missed their way of transforming the solemn into the ridiculous, their social commentaries framed by lots of laughs, their growing up pangs mirroring our own, just more hilarious.
Everything that seemed to happen in and to affect our weird and wonderful Filipino culture sooner than later found its way into the Beerkada universe. It was somehow comforting to see that even as they encounter the big and small things that make the real world so burdensome the cast of wacky but distinct characters could always turn the situation into an inside joke.
Which they so did, again, in Akibakada, a play of words on Akihabara, Japan’s neon-light sensory-overload district. I don’t usually buy comics anymore, but, I figure, I deserve some laughs, after all the gory mysteries and dark fantasies I’ve been reading lately.
So, once more, I meet the Beerkada peeps, as they turn Japanese, embracing the quirky and the morbid (even Sadako!) in Japanese culture—and that means manga and anime, especially if they feature boy-on-boy romance, if you ask Boopey, who has a not-so secret thing for yaoi.
Glen, former torpe, used to be my favorite. I was surprised that I don’t find him as endearing anymore. I guess I changed, just as the gang grew up from college kids to young professionals. I like it that they don’t stay teenagers forever. Just like us, they evolve.
And I hope they evolve soon away from Glen’s current girlfriend, Chompy, for I simply can’t stand her!
Also in this volume are the old Beerkada members, Allan (career carouser), Jimmy and Fe (freaky couple), Harry (100% geek), Bryan (fat—the chicks dig it), and Psychocow (male cow with udders). Also making an appearance are Aling McBeal (fishball vendor with a vendetta), the Debtnote (if you write a person’s name on its pages, that person will pay you back every single centavo he owes you), Lady in the Toilet, and Demon Girl.
They’re funny; but they can’t compare with my now favorite Beerkada character—no other than Lyndon Gregorio himself, whose antics are so much funnier than any imaginary character could ever hope to possess.