I love comics. I think I always will. I’ve been a serious comics collector for over 15 years.
Some people may think that this makes me a geek. I don’t know if it does, but if having a hobby you love makes you a geek, then that’s me.
All I know is that comics have always represented an escape for me. They’re that emergency hatch I can run through when I need to get away from the real world. Comics are full of fantastic situations and crazy ideas that make me think of what’s possible, not what’s limiting.
At the same time, many comics reflect the events that are going on in the real world. The writers and artists are influenced by the major events of the day. Recent events like September 11, the invasion of Iraq, and the belligerence of North Korea have all made it into comics, albeit in altered (and in some cases unaltered) forms.
Comics and their characters are increasingly becoming a part of popular culture. Graphic novels are now showing up on the shelves of Chapters and Book Warehouse, while Spiderman, Superman, and Batman movies generate hundreds of millions of dollars. Comics have always been there, but they’ve been sort of behind the scenes; now they’re coming to the forefront.
I think that comics act as triggers for human imagination. Reading a comic allows you to fantasize about what the future can become and what you can do about it. And because they’re such a visual medium, they’re more accessible for people who have trouble ‘seeing’ what the words on a page describe.
But maybe it’s as simple as comics being a nostalgic reminder of our childhoods, when getting mom or dad to buy you that cool issue of Spiderman on the magazine rack was an exercise in testing their patience. And when they finally bought it for you, you couldn’t wait until you got home to read it, so you eagerly immersed yourself in it on the ride home. You’d re-read it and re-read it in your room, at the kitchen table, in front of the TV, until it was dog-eared and creased.
Comics can represent various things to different people, but the common denominators are great stories and excellent art. These two elements draw you into incredible worlds of superheroes, villains, and regular people like you and me.