Today I read this article about a copy of the first issue of the Superman comic selling for nearly 1 million dollars. Of course, I agree that it’s an iconic piece of American culture worth the price tag, but it got me thinking about my relationship with comic books.
So true confession time….it’s a struggle for me to read comic books.
Especially reading them a single issue at a time. For a person who can read nearly 100 pages an hour of a novel, the 10 seconds of story line you get in a single issue of a comic book is a little frustrating. It feels more like a really cool uber-specific art exhibit than a story. I do better with graphic novels and comic compilations and have read some really good ones, honestly in part to keep up some level of superhero geek cred, but a single issue of a comic is tough.
I have huge respect for comics as a medium for story telling and artistic expression. I think they can be especially great for reluctant readers and visual learners. And every time I find myself interested in a character that started out in the comics I always do some research so I understand a little bit about the origins and history of that character. My way in to comics has almost always been through something else – I started reading Superman and Green Arrow comic compilations because of movies and TV.
There’s also the fact that, until recently, I was not the target audience for most superhero comic books – and sometimes the overpowering aura of male fantasy interfered a bit with my ability to enjoy the stories and art.
I definitely think that’s changing – and I’m constantly hearing about Batgirl, or Squirrel Girl, or some great early Superman story line that I’d love to read – so maybe there’s hope for me yet. Or maybe, someday, if I’m lucky they’ll make a movie out of it for comic book slackers like me.