Thursday, June 11, 2015

Comics

Comic books are not an American invention, but (aside from perhaps Belgium) they are quintessentially an American art form. The marriage of story and art is incredibly diverse, and it has entertained, informed, and shaped culture for a century of more.

I am far from an expert on the subject, but I have read a comic or two during my life. I love the way the stories are used. So, I have been considering for quite some time now writing a few (or several posts) on specific characters or storylines.

First a little personal background:

I came late to the world of comic book readership. Outside of the Sunday “funnies” (which I loved dearly and were a fixed part of my visits to my grandparent’s house) my first memory of comics are of a Star Wars book that I somehow convinced my mom to buy me at a dime store. Beyond that I remember some friends having some X Men and Daredevil books in elementary school. However, without having read many books I would have considered myself firmly in the DC camp because I was a fan of Batman. (Ironically, I was never a fan of Superman. And, outside of Green Arrow, I didn’t really like any of the other DC characters.)

In the early 00s, I was writing material for a series of Bible Studies themed around comic book heroes. For about a year I bought several comics as research for that project. Those were the first real comic books that I collected and read with any kind of consistency. Green Arrow, Fantastic Four, Hulk, and Batman were the main ones. It was the year of “Hush.”

Then about three years ago my sons and I started buying a biweekly collection of the major Marvel Comics storylines. These were the most important stories in the Marvel universe of the past 50 years. It has been an education in Pop Culture like I have seldom experienced. Spiderman, X Men, Daredevil, Avengers, and even minor characters like Deadpool, the Punisher, and Ghostrider have all featured.

That limited exposure will make up the background for occasional thoughts I will ramble about in the coming weeks.

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