Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's Love Got to Do With It?

       Comic books...

Dan Panosian- urban-barbarian
Why do we even read them?  Some discover comic books in their childhood, through a friend, or a family member.  Some stumble upon them by accident in a store, library, attic, or even the garbage can.  And, some do not discover the magic of a comic book till they are in their adult years.  So, I pose the question again, why do we even read them? 

I fight my first instinct, and may I add that I am fighting with every ounce of galactic strength, to go directly to the Internet and research what studies have been previously done, polls that have been taken, and theories have been established per this question.

I would "assume", that nostalgia would be first on the list of reasons for the adults currently reading comics, who started as kids.  But what about new readers?  Or, readers who have ventured into new story territory? 

According to articles I have read and that have peaked my interest, comic books are doing more than just satisfying the want to relieve the golden memories of yesterday.  According to a study done by Kaplan International Colleges, Spiderman is doing his neighborhood duty by teaching people English.  Yes, as always proving that, "with great power, comes great responsibility."

I would venture to say, with the recent boom in comic publishers and indie titles that are now available - it can be even more confusing than ever to decide what to read.  There is definitely a GRRRR factor, if you do not know what you like or if you are new to this reading style. However, it can be done. And new comic books sales are proving that "indie" is here to stay!

Issue #100!
I find it interesting that our culture is finally catching on to the idea that comic books are more than just "silly child's stories" with "drawings."  The art is intricate, and goes through sequence and processes that are detailed and finite.  Story lines can be as simple or as ridiculously difficult as the reader would like them to  be.  There is most definitely something for everyone.  

What I appreciate even more, and have enjoyed myself about recent developments, is that the education system is now beginning to look at graphic novels and comic books as a way to get through to children by using visual connections.  

Art by Robert Atkins

Whats love got to do with it? Everything when it comes to comic books.  For the creators it is obvious - their heart and soul is bled onto each page.  Each story writer, penciler, inker, colorist, letterer, editor, and publisher - a comic book is  a collaboration of a work of art.  

Why do I read comic books? 
I read them because I like to feel the story.  I enjoy using as many senses possible to make that happen.  I notice the textures, colors, lines, saturation, hues, word bubbles, fonts, point types, story lines, and every detail that makes the comic book complete.  I try to understand why the story was written.

It is only then that the story becomes not just a past time, but an experience. 

"Elders of the Runestone" - Fantastic new story to check out! Story by Quinn Johnson, Art by Robert Atkins

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