In my first entry about why I got into comics, I talked a lot about how it was a bit of reliving my childhood. But that is not the whole story. I first got into comics as a kid. But if the comic books I read today were the same I read as a kid, I would not be reading (or writing) them. Here’s the truth…
Comics are really f’ing cool.
If you scoffed at that line, then I don’t blame you. A few years ago, I would’ve done the same thing. When the majority of people think of comics, they think of superheroes, spandex, poor storytelling, dorky art… cheesy children’s stories about guys dressed up in tights and capes.
Yet, those same people went out in droves to see Spider-man or X-men or 300 or Sin City or Road to Perdition or Ghost World in the theaters without batting an eye. Why the disconnect? I think it’s just simple ignorance.
The stories in comics today are on the level (or better) than the movies based on them. Not only that, but every genre of storytelling you find in movies or television is in comic books today.
So, why do comics get the short end of the stick? I think a lot of it has to do with the history of the industry, which I’m not going to pretend to understand or comment on. A lot of it has to do with the fact that the comics industry has turned itself into a self-sustaining organism which has cut itself off from the rest of the world. A lot of it has to do with, yes, the majority of comic books are superhero books. You can’t deny the power of characters like Batman, Superman, Spider-man. Those are HUGE brand names that will always be there. But if you look a little closer you will see a world filled with stories written for my 4-year old son, my 23-year old girlfriend, my 57-year old mom, and everyone in between.
The deal is, yes, comics have a stigma. Is it a fair one? No. And one of the reasons I’m getting into comics is to set out to change that. Will I make much of a difference? Probably not…
I would like to comment from time to time, though, on my experiences in changing the face of comics. There are many people out there much more talented than I with this goal already in mind. But, if they’ll have me, I’d like to join them in their quest to let people know that comics are, in fact, really f’ing cool.