Geek Culture

Comic book fan Jiggy Cruz shares love for Marvel

Jiggy Cruz is a comic book fan and he loves Marvel Comics. Here he is with the late Stan Lee, the legendary publisher of Marvel Comics and co-creator of Spider-Man and other iconic Marvel superheroes. Image credit: Jiggy Cruz
Jiggy Cruz is a comic book fan and he loves Marvel Comics. Here he is with the late Stan Lee, the legendary publisher of Marvel Comics and co-creator of Spider-Man and other iconic Marvel superheroes. Image credit: Jiggy Cruz

When it comes to being a comic book fan, one of the biggest in the Philippines would have to be Jiggy Cruz. In fact, he used to blog about comic books for Yahoo! Philippines. That was how we met, when I invited him to join our Yahoo! Southeast Asia blog network, which I was overseeing at the time.

Nowadays, Cruz is in the entertainment business as a producer, working with people who create videos for brands and services. And of course he is still a big comic book fan. He loves Marvel Comics, in particular, and his favorite superhero is Spider-Man.

Falling in love with comics

When it comes to being a comic book fan, one of the biggest in the Philippines would have to be Jiggy Cruz. Image credit: Jiggy Cruz
Web of Spider-Man #80 was the very first comic book that Jiggy Cruz read. Image credit: Jiggy Cruz

Cruz, by the way, also happens to be the grandson of the late Philippine President Cory Aquino, who restored democracy to the Philippines in the 1986 People Power Revolution.

When did he first encounter Spider-Man?

“It was Christmas 89 or 90, I believe. My Lola gave me this Spider-Man action figure and a Spidey Dragster. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. It was because of ‘Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends’ that I got to know more about Spider-Man. Shooting webs and swinging was so fun to watch,” Cruz told Digital Life Asia.

According to Cruz, his cousins led him down the path toward becoming a comic book fan.

“I seriously got into comic books because I had older cousins who brought them to family reunions. The first Marvel comic book I remember reading was Web of Spider-Man #80 and it was Spidey vs Silvermane.

“But it was when I was 10 years old that I bought my first ever comic book in Filbar’s Robinsons Galleria. Spawn #27. Image was big during that time in the mid-90s,” he said.

The very first comic book that comic book fan Jiggy Cruz bought for himself was Spawn #27. Image credit: Jiggy Cruz
The very first comic book that Jiggy Cruz bought for himself was Spawn #27. Image credit: Jiggy Cruz

Gwen, MJ, or Felicia?

Ultimate Spider-Man #13 is Jiggy Cruz's favorite single issue. Image credit: Jiggy Cruz
Ultimate Spider-Man #13 is Jiggy Cruz’s favorite single issue. Image credit: Jiggy Cruz

Since we both consider Spider-Man our favorite superhero, I was curious whom he considered the better match for Peter Parker. Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane Watson, or Felicia Hardy a.k.a. Black Cat?

“Peter can’t handle relationships! Hahaha! His responsibility of saving people supersedes all of his relationships! The best person for him I think is Mary Jane Watson. Mary Jane was the one there for him at his darkest moments and actually sacrificed their relationship for Peter. But let’s not talk about One More Day…”

His favorite comic book writer for his Marvel work is Brian Michael Bendis, whom he was also able to meet. Meanwhile, his favorite artist is the Philippines’ very own Leinil Francis Yu.

And his favorite single issue?

“Easy. Ultimate Spider-Man #13 by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley! Read it!”

Meanwhile, for favorite graphic novel or trade paperback, Cruz cited Spider-Verse by Dan Slott, Olivier Coipel, and Giuseppe Camuncoli.

Best comic book fan moments

With Mark Millar at National Book Store's 'The Milla in Manila'. Image credit: Jiggy Cruz
With Mark Millar at National Book Store’s ‘The Milla in Manila’. Image credit: Jiggy Cruz

Cruz has had many memorable experiences as a comic book fan. But if he had to pick the Top 3, they are:

  • San Diego Comic Con 2011 – his first ever con, where he met Stan Lee
  • “The Milla in Manila” – National Book Store gave the biggest comic event in Philippine history and that was when Mark Millar visited Manila
  • Attending the “Avengers: Infinity War” fan event in Singapore

Cruz also enjoys interacting with other comic book and pop culture fans during the Quiz Nights that he hosts.

“I’m actually working together with Shoor: The Experience Curator and I’m hosting Quiz Nights every Friday. I’ve done Marvel, Star Wars, and Rick and Morty quizzes, with more quizzes to come! Stay tuned for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Disney, My Hero Academia, Harry Potter, and Friends,” he said.

Supporting the comic book industry

With his favorite comic book writer, Brian Michael Bendis. Image credit: Jiggy Cruz
With his favorite comic book writer, Brian Michael Bendis. Image credit: Jiggy Cruz

As a comic book fan, does Cruz still prefer physical copies of comic books? Or digital comics?

“Physical will always be best but sometimes it’s easier to look for a comic digitally with Marvel Unlimited. That digital app gives you access to 25,000+ comics and if you want to read some stuff again, that’s an easier option,” he said.

How have comic books helped Cruz cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and the enhanced community quarantine?

“Comics are there to give you an escape but I think it’s more important that we help out the comic book retailers out there who have been giving the fans so much joy over the years. It’s our turn to be heroes and help them out! Many deliver and are available online so go check out your comic book stores,” Cruz said.

Do you also love comic books? Let’s spread our love for comics and help our local comic book stores survive and thrive!