On Comic Book Reading

First up, I wanted to share this article from Polygon – DC Comics’ Rebirth worked because it’s actually good. Long read, but well worth it, and to be honest I happen to agree on many accounts. I tried buying into the new 52 when it came out, avoiding some of the bad (Starfire scantily clad? really?) and focussing on the fresh retelling of some of the “core” characters. Aquaman in particular caught my interest, and I really enjoyed it. For a while. But I’m part of that percentage of sales Susana mentions, that initial bump that later just faded away. With the two major comic book publishers going through yet another reset this last summer, I stumbled away from reading all together. But maybe there’s something to reconsider here.

Marvel’s song is no better to my ears, I have to admit – and yet I bought into Marvel Unlimited. Why? Because while a lot of the current story arcs are of no interest to me, MU gives me access to the entire digital history of Marvel. I can read (so long as it’s been digitized), every issue that came out in any month ever. Think about that for a second, comic readers – imagine if you could have a retroactive pull list that covered every title for only $10 a month. We all know there are little hints and tie-ins, usually nothing that affects the main story line, but always present between related comics. With MU, you can actually sit down and read every issue published in January of 2015 (for example) and build that complete picture. By the way – there are 70+ titles from January of 2015 available. At an average cover price of $3, that would have been over $200 in comics.

I know some folks out there are just scratching their heads and wondering – why comics? The best I can offer is that they offer a little something to the creative brain, pulpy stories that lay the bed for further what-if’s. Even when they reset the entire universe you’re enjoying to start the characters over again in a new mould.

I love chocolate chip cookies

English: Half a dozen home-made cookies. Ingre...
English: Half a dozen home-made cookies. Ingredients: butter, flour, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Français : Demie-douzaine de cookies fait-maison. Ingrédients: beurre, farine, sucre en poudre, œufs, vanille, soda, sel et grain de chocolat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know what you’re thinking – duh, of course, who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? But I would actually go so far as to say they are my favorite of all the cookies. Oh, sure, I like other cookies, but chocolate chip cookies have a special place in my heart.

Historically, I think it’s because when we lived overseas as a kid, my maternal Grandmother would send us a package every few months. There were two things in those packages: Spider-Man comics (Amazing, Spectacular, and whatever else she could find with the webcrawler on them), and every so often, a tin of cookies. My grandmother made the worst cookies. Hard enough to chip a tooth on, laced with walnuts (I’m not a big nut fan), and yet – they were chocolate chip cookies. From my Gran. They came with comics and stateside love. Those extra touches transformed them into the best cookies in the world, and set my love for life.

Tonight, I’m sitting down to do some writing with some store bought chocolate chip cookies my wife picked up. They aren’t great. Thin, a little dry, and obviously made from a frozen batter and “baked” in the store. But they’re chocolate chip, and that makes them all right by me.

Marvel needs to step up their game too, though

Came across this story today about an 11 year old girl asking DC Comics just where the heck their female leads were all hiding:

When 11-year-old Rowan noticed a lack of women superheroes in DC Comics’s movies, TV shows, and merchandise, she decided do something about it. The girl wrote a letter to the company explaining that she’s a longtime fan, but she’s upset by how few women she sees.

via 11-year-old girl pens letter to DC Comics asking for more female superheroes.

Black Widow (left) as she appears in The Aveng...

Awesome – but DC isn’t alone, although they get lambasted more often. I know our own 11 year old daughter has a similar request of Marvel comics. Her favorite hero has actually been in a few movies, has another movie coming out this summer, and yet never gets a title mention except as the female team member. I am of course referring to Black Widow (what – it’s wrong that my 11 year old idolizes a butt kicking super spy with no super powers of her own and yet who manages to stand up against every cinematic monster they can throw at Captain America?). To be fair, the most recent Captain America movie, Winter Soldier, was practically a love letter to Black Widow. She was the focus of almost half the movie (to our kid’s gleeful delight), and yet didn’t get billing at all.

I realize Marvel’s better successes are in team movies (Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four…wait…these are all successes so far?), but we’ve had a movie line for Thor, and for Iron Man, even some one-offs for the Hulk (SMASHing good!), but what about Black Widow and that other arrow guy?

I admit, we haven’t started watching Agent Carter yet, so maybe I’m crying foul for no good cause. Maybe Agent Carter is the cure to this. To be fair, shows like Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have to be prescreened before letting younger kids watch them, since they all feel the need to have at least one extreme “adult” situation at some point. Like others, I just want some super-hero comic entertainment I can share with my kids.

I’m also a fuddy duddy, it seems.