I love to read and collect comic books. I am 33 years old, so this past time has been somewhat curtailed by the real world, real-life events, real-world responsibilities. I say real world to emphasise how much I would rather be buying and reading comics than paying bills and taking care of myself.
For something that is primarily a children’s medium, comics can be adult-orientated with stories sharing the shelves with high-end literature. This is my reasoning, to continue to buy and read comics as an adult.
Why am I making excuses for partaking in a hobby?
I do not share this hobby with anyone else. I have not joined a club, or have friends who read the same comic books that I do. Maybe this is why I feel like I have to defend my actions as an adult?
Strangely, one should have to defend something that they enjoy. In my case, reading comic books is perfectly legal, though a little childish. Maybe it is because comic books are still somewhat seen as being the past time for the nerd or geek, social outcasts that have quirky behaviour that is seen as abnormal boarding on the mentally dysfunctional?
Though the comic book movie franchises are seen as cool and are in fashion as today’s mainstream entertainment. Comic books have kind of missed out on this hype, failing to cash in on the success of the medium in the moving pictures arena. Though many lunch boxes, pencil cases, pyjama sets bare the original drawings of some of the most popular comic book characters, comic book sales have remained level and have not risen with the rest.
Movies and TV shows are more digestible than a monthly comic book. I can sit and watch a 2-3 hour movie and digest a whole story, rather than wait 6 months for a story arch to conclude within a comic book cycle.
There are 100’s of titles, independent publishers, Marvel, DC and all the superheroes each have strips of their own. It is a lot of money, especially when each of the series merges into an event, where 6 comic books converge a storyline. Comic books are not cheap either, costing nearly £3’s per book on average.
I can no longer afford to get all the comics that I would like, I stay away from superhero comic books and try to buy more independent releases as collections. These collections are known in the industry as trade paperbacks, contain around 6 issues and contain a whole story arc. Though trade paperbacks are released a lot later than the individual issues, they represent more value for money.
I will admit that I am a huge fan of Alan Moore, I love how he transported the medium from that of the childish, wholesome image of good guy vs bad guy into a one that expires complex ideas. As in life, there are grey areas, there is darkness as well as light, logic with chaos and Alan Moore has captured this perfectly in books such as; Watchmen, V For Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell.
Comic books are not all about superheroes. However, they require a lot of research to get into. There are plenty of resources that will help you find out which books to buy if you prefer superheroes, anti-heroes, real-life events, history, literature, sci-fi and everything in between.
Why not have a look at the graphic novel/comic book section the next time you are out shopping for a book? You never know you might like it.
Till the next reboot…