I’m forever amazed at the number of people who take a keen interest in something that was, and in many ways is, intended for a younger audience. There are large fan clubs for Japanese anime, Barbie dolls, and the like. However, something about comic books is so wonderfully universal that we accept so many things into “normal” society that once had a stigma attached. There’s a comic out there for everyone these days. From silly funny animal to dark horror we have turned the medium into an art form, into literature. What used to get you whacked in the arm by the school bully is now something that you can used to find wealth beyond your dreams.
Let’s take, for instance, the character idea. A bad idea, say for instance my first foray into this arena - Seth : The Flying Blob, is not likely to take off, if you’ll pardon the pun. However, Superman is simple and daring, and has withstood the test of over 75 years. A character can speak to the Everyman, or to our greatest desires. And, some even show the best or worst of who we are.
Some teams of heroes, greater than the sum of their individual contributions, have entertained us. A good team of heroes does more than entertain, but can show the rich diversity that is our country, or our humanity.
Stories or origins have many times been the backbone of a comic character. How different would we feel about Spiderman, for instance, if we did not have the tragedy of Uncle Ben, and the notion that with great power comes great responsibility? How different would the Dark Knight be if he had lived his whole life with his parents? Maybe he’d be just a costumed vigilante, and not the beacon of hope for the darkened streets of Gotham.
Thanks to our current crop of creators, we have about a varied selection of these characters as ever to choose from. With the independents, we get stories we wouldn’t otherwise read from the “big guys”. But, there is room for all in our world. We are both forgotten and adored, misunderstood and praised, lost yet treasured. We are completely comfortable in who and what we are. We are geeks. We are comic fandom.
At the 7th Annual Gem City Comic-Con, I will be celebrating my seventh trip. Every year seems equal to, if not better than, the last. This year I will be part of the Gem City Roller Girls, my second family, and we will be having a panel discussion at 2:00 PM on Sunday, April 1st. I’ll hope to get some great artists to do some artwork and pick up a few good books. Most of all, I’m happy my daughter is 5, and can enjoy the show with me. Because, I hope to pass my life-long passions down. I think that we be fruitful and multiply. Spread the gospel, my friends… By the way, have you read a comic today?