When we created our tag line, "making the world a happier place, one comic at a time" we meant it. We believe comics do make the world a happier place. We need comic books. I was saddened at a snippet of a pawn show referencing comics. Maybe it was a one time thing, or maybe the shop owner believes comics are dead or over. I respectfully disagree...wholeheartedly. As in the dawning of their creation...they are still a very alive, beautiful, and relevant medium for story telling. Stories make the world go round. I love great stories...short ones, novels, biographies, historical fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, those with no words like hula or sign language, and the ones found on cave walls. Stories connect us and humans need connection.
I don't believe comic books will ever die, they'll go on as long as there exists the means for scratching out pictures upon newsprint, papyrus, or stone. Of course, no industry is perfect, there is drama, politics, creators moving from one "titan" to the other...or bravely creating a publishing house of their own. We see that every day in most industries. Living in a free country with a free market makes all of that possible. Often competition creates a better quality product for the people. That is a beautiful thing! I look forward to what Mr. Bendis does at DC and to the next generation of great writers and artists! (I also can't wait to see what Patrick Trahey will write next!) My hope is that the industry will keep the creation of quality books first and foremost.
I marvel at the ability for creators to come up with new twists and fresh approaches to all things superhero. Sometimes I wonder how they haven't run out of ways to tell stories. Comic books go far beyond the spandex and leather wearing "supers" genre, though, and their exists comic books for every genre out there. There exist heroes who are super because of sheer bravery as opposed to special powers or mutations. The variety of protagonists is wide; add to that the countless types of antagonists. I admire the humans who collaborate, lending their gifts to that of others and creating magic together. That's the beauty of comic books, not to mention the ability to actually create joy inside a person's heart. It goes far beyond mere entertainment. It's an awesome kind of happiness therapy.
Life can be brutal. It's also beautiful. I often call it brutiful. I have met so many heroes along my life's journey: a mom writing beautiful words as she processed her teen aged daughter's fight as Leukemia overtook her, the countless souls I've watched stand in the face of crippling fear and move forward, the survivor who builds a charity to bless the lives of hospitalized kids, those battling the invisible dragons of mental illness, the victory over cancer of a young dancer, warrior moms and dads staying positive through devastating diagnosis of children, the women who ultimately forgot the lives they lived and those who loved them, the brave ones battling heartbreak and loss, a mom watching her beautiful daughter endure yet another brain surgery, the bullied and abused teenagers who overcome and find their voices, the active and vibrant father being robbed of his ability to move...and...so many more. We need to believe in heroes, that heroic actions happen every day, and that we are never alone. We need to remember we can be part of what is heroic on this spinning planet. One act of kindness can change the trajectory of another's day and maybe give them that one "sign" that maybe everything will be okay.
Comic books weave stories of all facets of life, a to z, from pain to joy. They require less time that a full size novel and often, the great ones, can impact your day similarly in just a fraction of the time. I have a wide variety of favorites, but I know there are books for any situation and I love that. When I feel grumps...it's Invader Zim, a book I'd NEVER have thought I'd love, but there it is. These books are not "for kids", for us "geeky people", or just for a small fraction of society. They are for everyone and they are fabulous!
The world will always need more heroes and to appreciate the ones we have. I never dreamed I would fall so in love with comic books, our shop, and our amazing community of customers. I love how accessible awesome stories are and, oh, the gorgeous art! My life is better with comic books in it. It's that ability to have a mini vacation from the real and often gritty struggles of life and the reminder that good things can happen in the worst of circumstances. As long as there is pain in the world, there will be a place for comic books.
Until next time, happy reading!