Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Read'm And Weep: Comic Books of Our Time

Comic books about superheroes are for kids. No, really, they are. Comic books as a medium for talented people to tell stories, that's for everyone. For one, comic books aren't restricted to long-underwear heroes. There's all kinds of genres to operate in. Superhero comic books, specifically, should be designed for a general reading audience. Adults can read them, but the superheroes we all know? Those guys/gals belong to the kids. Superheroes teach kids about stuff without being an allegory. By following these heroes, kids learn what it is to do the right thing and help the helpless and so on. Adults don't need any lessons like that. They're already screwed up, and now they've taken the comic book superhero with them.

That said, I love comic books. I love comic books by people who love comic books, and novels, and movies, and old television shows, just like me. They collate the information above and funnel it through the medium of comic books. Whether those comic books are about superheroes, or Western gunfighters, or criminals, or supernatural detectives, is part of the beauty of the comic book. Which also happens to be one of the most unique, purely American art forms, in case the intellects can't grasp the point of comic books as having import in our rapidly digitizing world.

Unfortunately, most of you will never experience the full potential of comic books. Before the corporations are through, "comic books" will cease to exist. The character icons will continue to exist, and rake in hordes of money for these companies while the original character creators live in practical poverty, but those creators signed their work-for-hire contracts and them's the breaks.

So, what's all this getting to? I'm going to remind you to support which is a fine organization to help aging talented people who don't have all that heaping helping of corporate money from their creations. And if I ever get the chance, I'll help revitalize the dying comic book industry. Because somebody has to do it.

Tomorrow I'll get into some comic books worth reading today. And yeh, they are out there.