Somewhere by the old Rustan’s and sandwiched between the bus station and Puregold is what is now known as Cubao X, crowded and crossed over with artist-run galleries, experimental eateries and stores that would never make it in massive malls. One of its landmark shops in the area is Sputnik, a comic store that is out to prove that the medium goes beyond just superheroes.
Sputnik was created in 2007, the brainchild of writer Ramon De Veyra and filmmaker Lyle Sacris. They named the store after the Russian space program of the same name, simply because it would be easier to Google. They decided to specialize in independent comics. ``There’s a whole lot more to comics than superheroes,” De Veyra shares, “superheroes are just a genre. Like action, or comedy. And comics can be as varied as cinema.” Many people frequent the stores for graphic novels from writers such as Adrian Tomine (Shortcomings), Dan Clowes (Ghost World) and Charles Burns (Black Hole). The store also carries underground local comics, including cult favorite “Nardong Tae” and funnybook “Kalayaan”.
One of the best things about the place is the fact that like most Cubao X shopowners, the Sputnik people actually know what they’re talking about – that is, they can set you straight about the difference between a graphic novel and a comic book (the former is a marketing term meant to legitimize the genre); but they won’t mock you if the only comics you’ve ever read in your whole life is Archie.