So since I started reading comics again, I’ve had a lot of people tell me they think it’s dumb. They have it in their head that comics are for kids and that it’s stupid or childish for an adult to read comics. I’d like to address that.
I want you to take a moment to think about your 5 favorite TV shows. You don’t need to tell me what they are, just pick your 5 favorites.
Those 5 shows each get 24 episodes a year, running weekly (typically) at 48 minutes per episode.
Now imagine that the producers of those shows announced tomorrow that they will be changing the production format. From now on, they are not going to air twenty-four 48 minute episodes once a week for half a year. They’re going to split each episode into two or three shorter episodes and put out one partial episode a month all year long. They’re also going to stop bringing in a cast and crew to film the episodes. Instead, they’re going to pay a few artists to make the story board drawings look really nice and publish those. On top of that, you don’t get the episodes for “free” as part of your tv service. Instead, you have to pay for each episode – $4 a month if you want the episodes when they’re fairly new or $2-3 a month if you’re ok with being 3+ months behind on the show.
Now ask yourself this: Is the story good enough and are the characters interesting enough in any of your 5 favorite TV shows that you would still be willing to keep up with them? Would you be willing to pay $2-4 for each fragment of an episode with a full month between them, when all you’re getting is the storyboards?
If you answered “yes” for any of your favorite shows, chances are there’s a comic book series attached to it. One that is likely better than the show itself. You should look into that.
That’s what I’m getting when I buy a comic book, though. A good enough story and interesting enough characters that it is worth keeping up with and spending the money on.
All of the comics I read sell several hundred thousand copies nation wide, several million copies world-wide, every single month. A few of them have been doing so for over 20 years straight. Some of the characters in the comics I read have been around in comics for over 40 years…and my favorite comics aren’t even top name comics. You’ll never see a movie about many of the comics I read, in part because of how incredibly NOT-for-kids they are.
That’s another thing: Most comics are not for kids. Some of them aren’t even for teenagers. Comics are not the campy Saturday morning cartoons you remember from your childhood. Comic readers have grown up and their comics grew up with them. The average age of comic book readers is now 33-34. Comics today make R-rated movies and TV-MA shows look like a Sunday School class by comparison.
Batman’s villains are not the quirky, silly, campy characters from the days of Adam West, 90’s cartoons and Batman Forever. They are stark-raving lunatics in ways that even the new “darker” Christopher Nolan batman movies don’t fully convey.
When the new Batwoman’s father (a former soldier) found out she was trying to be the new Batwoman, he had her kidnapped and taken off to be physically, emotionally and psychologically tortured by professionals in order to either break her of her desire to be batwoman or prepare her for the job. She killed two of them escaping.
Your beloved Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Tony Stark became Marvel’s Hitler and caused a superhuman civil war.
In the latest reboot of Superman, he is eternally one bad day away from becoming the genocidal monstrosity he was intended to be.
Deadpool keeps an old blind woman as a “pet” and when she misbehaves he puts her in a room full of sharp objects and leaves her there for a few days.
Reed Richards murdered the Hulk’s wife and unborn child, all because of his own megalomania. Not Bruce Banner’s wife and unborn child – The Hulk’s. Let me say that again: The Hulk, a being of pure, unbridled rage *fell in love, got married and conceived a child* and “Mr. Fantastic” murdered them both with a nuclear explosion that wiped out half a planet.
And that’s what the big names from Marvel and DC look like. That doesn’t even start to get into the smaller publishers.
Most comics are not for kids. Got it?
What it ultimately comes down to, is that comics are the modern myths. They are the new Hercules, Achilles and Odysseus. They are the Robin Hood, King Arthur and Beowulf of our day. They are the modern Dorian Grey, Captain Nemo and James Bond. They are the fantastical literature of flawed heroes, misunderstood monsters, conniving evils and worlds of moral grays.
And they are worth the $4 a month. How about the media that you consume?