Matt's Don't Tug on My Cape – Comics:  The Importance of Writing & Art

brought to you by Matthew Guy

Detective Comics 521 was my first comic. Cover artist Jim Aparo
Detective Comics 521 was my first comic. Cover artist Jim Aparo

Comics are a lot of things to many people.  To those who don’t understand they view it as a problem leading to all society’s ills (among others), to its readers it is a weekly joy & delight every Wednesday & to a select few in the industry it is commerce & a way to make a living. I view comics as a union of writing and art.  You can’t have one without the other to convey its message to its audience.  Comics can amaze & enlighten a young child’s mind or dazzle a fan’s heart of a long time fan of many years during the latest issue or during a crossover.  It is also important as a part of society just like watching a football game, playing a game of chess or listening to music.  Because it entertains you.

Theis Fables pic is from issue 1 of the series.  (Mature comics can be funny) Fables is written by Bill Willingham, penciled by Lan Medina & inked by Steve Leialoha
This Fables pic is from issue 1 of the series. (Mature comics can be funny) Fables is written by Bill Willingham, penciled by Lan Medina & inked by Steve Leialoha

The industry has been around for more than 75 years.  It entertained kids during the Great Depression, soldiers during wartime, criticized post war, evolved over the 60s’ 70s’ & 80s’ & and took a boom & bust roller coaster ride in the 90s.  In the last 15 years, comics are the engine of ideas for the latest Marvel movie or hit indie tv over on AMC.  They have lasting value don’t kid yourself just not in the way you think. If you want a good Superman story without limitations then read a comic.

The Lois & Clark wedding was in the Superman The Wedding Album one shot (this issue had multiple writers  & artists on various pages so it is hard to tell who did what)
Superman The Wedding Album one shot – multiple writers & artists

Comics have many legendary creators. From Joe Kubert, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Joe Shuster & Jerry Siegel among many, many others. In my generation, you have Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, George Perez to highlight a few.  Every few years some but not all fans is pulled towards the next best thing.

 

The other Up, Up & Away art is from The last page of the "Man of Steel" miniseries issue 6 by John Byrne & Dick Giordano
“Man of Steel” miniseries issue 6 by John Byrne & Dick Giordano

Every month it is an assembly line of writer, artist (penciler/inker team on many duties or solo), colorist, letter working w/ an editor & upper management to get an issue out.  There many publishers like DC or Marvel having healthy competition while other publishers seek to earn your favor also.  It is your choice to seek out what you enjoy.  Don’t be a blind sheep going along with the heard but break the mold and find books that speak to you.  Just like tv, music, books you have your own tastes and it is okay to ask others for help in the local comic shop, a friend that reads comics or in a library.

The Daredevil Man without Fear miniseries issue 1. Writer Frank Miller art by John Romita, Jr. & Al Williamson  (Since I am legally blind in one eye this image really connected for me)
The Daredevil Man without Fear miniseries issue 1. Writer Frank Miller art by John Romita, Jr. & Al Williamson (Since I am legally blind in one eye this image really connected for me)

Step one realize you can not read everything but with an open mind and keen eye you can enjoy the experience.  Step two you will not likely enjoy everything but your favorite creator & that is okay.  Step three have a budget and stick to it. Step four ignore the naysayers of the hobby and have a good time.  Comics provide the light to many paths for you just realize you don’t have to be limited to just superheroes there is plenty of genres to read.      Finally, it is okay to be a new reader with comics or a long time reader going outside your comfort zone. This is not an algebra test & there are no wrong answers along the journey to better comics.

Email questions and comment to me at mattguy34@gmail.com

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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