Thursday, January 20, 1994

First DRAGON BALL comic I bought

As usual this is written in the future. I remenbered how everything happened as it was yesterday but I certainly  know that happened in this period of time because I still have the comicbooks I am gonna speak about and they have the release date printed on them. Here our school photographs of this year, left mine , 4º grade  9-10 years and right my brothers 2º grade 7-8 years.

Those days were nice days in school, I was 9 years old and my friends and I were drawing Dragon Ball stuff all the time. Dragoi Bola as we knew it, was airing in ETB, Basque TV, every weekday and there was all kind of merchandise around: cards, toys,  posters, yogurts came with figures, chewing gums came with sticks... it was a madness. But what I will never imagine was that there was a comic work behind the TV series. Oñati is a pretty small isolated town, we were small kids and there was no Internet yet but a friend of mine whose older brother had a huge collection of Dragon Ball comics showed them to us and left us stunned. 

Planeta De Agostini was publishing two Dragon Ball collections these days. First there was Serie Blanca, published since February 1992, a 32 pages weekly serialization of Dragon Ball, starting from the beginning of the series till Goku is about to kill Freezer. The comic books came bound with a pair of staples and they cost 175pts (aprox. 1€). This collection ran till april 1995. But that is going far in the future, today January 1994 they were releasing the number 88 containing the original episodes 187 and 188 published in Weekly Shonen Jump on August 22, 1988 and August 29, 1988 respectively. So this one was the first ever Dragon Ball comic I bought. Today I keep those old comic books just for nostalgy  and it's fun to read the fan comments of the time re-seeing some special inserts and re-reading the Manga mania section, a small corner in which Alfons Moliné occasionaly reveled us some Japanese manga culture topics.


It was great discovering there was a nice comic work behind our beloved Dragoi Bola. But that is just the start. The stories that were published in Serie Blanca already were aired as animated features on TV so we all knew what was happening. What really shocked us was discovering Planeta De Agostini was also releasing since November 1992 another collection every 15 days called Serie Roja starting with the adventures of Goku just when he was bout to kill Freezer. So Serie Roja was the continuity in time of Serie Blanca, but the publisher decided that instead of waiting  it was better to release them together. Dragon Ball was being published in Japan since 1984 with a weekly schedule, so there was a lot of material waiting to be translated. 

So every week we had a 32 pages release of something we already knew and every 15 days Serie Roja came out for 275pts (1,65€), 48pages of of never before seen stuff bound with glue and thread, so that you could see wich number was in the spine of the comic book.  I decided to buy just serie Roja  I didn't like the staples of the Serie Blanca edition and I already knew the stories feauted on it's pages. After a while they turned Serie Roja into monthly because they were catching the japanese publisher. So, I as everyone else was anxiously waiting every month to the day Serie Roja will came out, we runned out of school to the local book stores to ask for it day in and day out. I had to wait some months till I was able to buy one, they came in small amounts and they sold out quickly. Certainly, it was fun following Gokus adventures those days.

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