The Death of a Once Great Industry
by Gerry Alanguilan
I was browsing through one of my online message boards just the other week, the one specializing in the local Philippine comics industry. I read a message from long time illustrator Nestor Malgapo that illustrator Rod Santiago was reporting Atlas Publications' cessation of publication of all their comics.
It was the last report in a long line of alleged reports indicating the end of comics from Atlas. I had been hearing the same thing as early as last year during October's Komikon, the First Philippine Comics Convention at UP Diliman.
Although early reports have proven to be untrue as I continued to see komiks being sold at my local town store, this last report by one of the illustrators working for Atlas itself, seemed to confirm the inevitable truth.
Komiks from Atlas had been limping along for the past few years, appearing only sporadically, and hardly ever these last few months. I realize, much to my chagrin, that the last batch of comics I was able to buy was from late last year and early this year, and then no more.
Atlas Publications had been the repository of a truly great and legendary line of comics, passed down from company to company, beginning with ACE Publications, which originated these comics as early as 1947.