|Some Prime '70s Comics Goodness|
I tend not to have an addictive personality. I’ve never been drunk, I’ve never been high. One of my few addictions is comic books. More specifically, I’m addicted to stories told with words and pictures. I’m at my LCS (local comic store for non-Big Bang Theory watchers) every Wednesday on New Comic Day.
My mom bought me comics to devour long before I could read. At the time I’m sure I was drawn in by their garish colors, Pow! Wham! graphics and bold action. When I learned to read I enjoyed the stories of good vs. evil, with the square-jawed good guys always coming out on top. Most kids like me tend to drop their four-color habit when they discover girls. I kept both as hobbies, even to this day.
The first comic I remember reading was Superman #193. The villainous Lex Luthor had killed Superman in an “imaginary story” (aren’t they all?), and heroes were lined up for miles to pay their last respects to the Man of Steel. Around the same time I discovered Spider-Man and his pals at Marvel Comics, with sophisticated stories aimed at a slightly older reader. I never stopped reading and today have over 24,000 comics and growing. They take up way too much space.
While I still love capes and superheroes, I don’t buy too many of today’s superhero comics. Once non-political adventure stories, mainstream superhero comic books have become mired in politically correct agenda-pushing instead of storytelling. This is fine for creator-owned comics or comics specifically labeled for adults. But I’m not sure why a child reading a superhero book needs to be exposed to alternative lifestyles, attacks against capitalism, and glorification of one side of the political spectrum (guess which one). These are books where characters lift tanks and shoot beams out of their eyes. Can’t we just stick to storytelling? I don't mind expression of those things at all. I just think all-ages superhero comic stories are not the appropriate place for those messages.
On the positive side, there are more genres and types of comics today than ever before, and I still love that medium for telling stories. There are zombie books, crime books, pulp hero books, sci-fi, horror, manga, something for every taste. I’ll be exploring some of the best of these in the days and weeks to come.