So, I'm kind of a comic book nerd, but don't make fun of me, because my years of reading Spider-man and Captain America have taught me a move or two! ;)
Anyway, in pondering on a blog topic while browsing the Web this morning, I stumbled across some news—some pretty great news, if you ask me. Today is free comic book day! I don't think that trumps today's other significance, but it's cool nonetheless.
Personally, I think that comics deserve a spot on every bookshelf, although I understand that they aren't for everyone. Well, I don't actually, but I understand why people think they're not. All of the horrendous form-fitting, too-revealing costumes, convoluted plots, ridiculous super powers and enumerable back-stories and origins can be exhausting and off-putting.
Now, in trying to convince you that comics deserve a spot on your bookshelf, I could remind you about that blanket from your childhood that doubled as a cape, that villain from the planet “Uroshon” that always waited until recess or after school to try to destroy the world, your ability to freeze enemies in place with your “ice-vision,” or your own otherworldly origins, that seemed to change a little each recess until you got it “just right.” Or, I could ask you to try to remember what it felt like being the hero, and always having the courage and to do what was right. ;)
But I'll try a different approach...
Have you really thought about how much skill is required to draw these things? I mean, I'm sure some of you have glanced at a cover or two and thought, “nice drawing” but think about how impressive a skill that really is. A comic book is twenty-some pages of masterfully, meticulously penciled scenes of intense action, movement and emotion. And these artists aren't tracing or copying—they're creating characters from scratch, the same way your favorite fiction author does. Some of you are aware of my own history in visual arts, and I can say, with no reservation whatsoever, that I have never been able to get close to that kind of raw talent, and I wouldn't have what it takes to put in the practice and effort and patience required to create such art—so I can appreciate it all the more, knowing what kind work it takes.
Second, while the story-telling in comics probably isn't what it used to be, where do you think the captivating plots and touching themes of today's ultra-popular super-hero films is coming from? When I was younger, I never actually “read” comics that closely, I just surmised what I could about the story by studying the pictures. But now that I can pick up a twin-pack of obscure over-print comics from my local Dollar-tree, I read ever bubble and blurb, and you know what?--It's darn good writing! If you like reading—if you like well told stories—why wouldn't you give a comic book a chance?
And third—where the heck to I find a comic book store around here to pick up my free comic?! Unfortunately, it appears my blog wasn't proactive enough, and fewer and fewer people have been buying and reading comics for the last decade or so. I'm sure I can eventually find a comic store in an obscure little strip mall next to a foreclosed Donut King or something, but I'd like to be confident that I can find inspiration to keep my tattered blanket-cape around for another few years, because that jerk from “Uroshon” is still lingering around, shape-shifting into real-life villains on a daily basi