Friday, September 29, 2017

Comics that a kid in Wisconsin bought with paper route money and

... birthday money, and a wee bit of an allowance.

I am trying to do the occasional article here about comics that are current, interviews, reviews if such work comes my way, and some PR.  I love comics.  So this will be a recurring theme now and then, because comics that are new alone, are not the whole picture.  They are comfort food, they inspired me to be moral as much as my fallen flawed psyche can be, and led me to becoming a creative artist, however successful or not.  I think about them in terms of being art.  I think about them as things to make children smile.  And I think of all the amazingly talented comic industry professionalsI have met due to comics, and additionally, some truly awesome people who have become my friends also love comics. 

If I received an allowance, I didn't spend it all.  I saved most of anything I had.  But, I'd eventually fork over a quarter for a comic, and OMG, I was spellbound.  I was also somewhat specific in my taste, comics with cartoon characters didn't move me.  Funny animals weren't my thing.  I liked the genres of war, giant monsters and superheroes. I still do.  I'd add horror, and stuff that defies any convenient label.  And while my tastes have matured and evolved, the reasons I like those genres are not the same. 

My brother was a guy who read a shit ton of books, all the time, and from an early age.  We didn't altogether share taste in comics, but we both loved comics.  Escapism is one reason to read comics, and beyond simple escapism, appreciating great story telling, being moved by the art or characters, made comics different from kids books, they were ageless, at least if they were well done.  Escapism is one thing.  A creation of art is another thing.  But maybe another reason I read them, is that it gave me, a kid who stood out in crowd being chubby faced, tall, and naive, an agency to respond to bullies.  No, I didn't whip out my cape and beat them bloody.  No I didn't turn invisible and make them look to be fools.  I read in the comics stories about good defeating evil, people faced with impossible odds, and still achieving victory.  I was able, through comics to see and imagine the defeat of enemies, and bullies are assholes needing an ass whipping.

I was far more familiar with DC characters like Batman and Superman than the Marvel comics characters.  I can't say, however, that it was due to enjoyment of the comics.  For the most part Marvel stories didn't get told in a single issue, while DC mostly did.  As a kid in a town with very spotty comic book sources, I didn't want to be left hanging and never know what happened.  As an adult I've even bought comics that had been continued next issue, and left me stranded.  Some of the comics weren't good at all in retrospect, but damn it felt good to get an answer.


Anonymous said...

I also am such a kid. Superman, especially, intrigued and inspired me -- a "strange visitor from another planet" with powers not far from God himself who chose to walk among us as one of us, a mild-mannered newspaper reporter at the next desk, but who would burst from a phone booth to kick Lex Luthor's butt when certain doom threatened us. I was the Clark Kent without the Superman -- except that I could draw and write. Soon I was doing my own comic books, and -- fifty years later -- I still do that. My own hero characters, while not as strong or god-like, still emulate the Man of Steel in attitude and empathy.

alex-ness said...

thank you for sharing that!