State of the Union – Comics Edition

Taken from a recent post on

The recently deceased Harvey Pekar famously (well, famously in comic circles) said, “Comics are just words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures.” That little bit of truth is one of the reasons why now, decades after my grandmother assured me I would one day outgrow them, I still love comics. While technology is finally starting to catch up with imagination, it’s still relatively expensive. If you’ve got the talent, though, a pencil, some paper, and access to a photocopier, you can tell any story you want, budget be damned. Comics are pirate radio.

I like all kinds of comics. I grew up reading Marvel and DC super hero comics. On the rare occassion that I’d find a comic from another company they always seemed strange to me; alien; unsettling. They even smelled weird. It was the differences in ink or paper, I’m sure. Or I was just imagining it. Whatever it was, it’s the kind of thing I love nowadays. I still like the good old Marvel/DC stuff, but there’s nothing I like more than finding something new and weird on the comic rack that I’ve never seen before.

I miss old spinner racks. There used to be nothing better than spending a half an hour crouched down in front of a magazine stand or leaning next to a spinner rack for a half an hour reading comic while my mom grocery shopped. You don’t really find comic in grocery stores anymore. That’s a tragedy for the industry and for kids as far as I’m concerned.

I love the way comic properties are represented in television and movies these days, even though I give a lot of it a pass on a regular basis. I would have given an eye as a kid to have an Avengers cartoon to watch. It can’t really hold my interest these days, but I like that it’s there for kids. I also like that there’s a Batman cartoon called The Brave and The Bold that seems hell bent on committing every obscure DC character ever to celluloid – or whatever TV show are made of these days.

It’s weird that everybody and their mother knows who Iron Man is now.

One of the best comics I’ve read in years is about a federal agent on an Indian Reservation. One of the other best comics I’ve read in years was about Superman arm wrestling Samson and Atlas at the same time. Comics have range

Comics are disposable entertainment. There are some I want to keep forever, but when I’m done with most of them, they get sold, trashed, or donated. I’m always scared to donate them, though, because lots of them have adult content, but adults will buy them for kids without ever looking at them because, you know, comics are for kids…

I go to the comic book store every Wednesday when the new books come out. I can only think of one week ever where I couldn’t find something to buy. My guess is I’ll probably go every Wednesday until I can’t anymore.


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