I’m addicted to comics.
I realized today, after finishing the wondrous World War Z, that my relationship to comics is different than with fiction novels. With novels, I demand the entire world on a platter; the right mix of plot, characters, and overall awesomeness. As I’ve become more discerning, I’d rather not read than read junk.
With comics? I’m still in the baby stages, consuming everything that sounds remotely interesting and has amazing art. After completing the first volume of Batwoman: Elegy, I immediately sought out the second volume, as well as deciding that I had to read the other New 52 Bat-family: Batgirl and Batman (at the very least).
This doesn’t include the other series I picked up, or the fact that I’m always on the look-out for more.
Naturally, it’s becoming an expensive hobby. Or rather, addiction.
Part of it is my overall newness to comics: the fans, the conventions, being able to chat it up with creators (when they actually respond) on Twitter. And unlike novels, comics are a visual medium that allow me to become even more engrossed in the story. What novels and live action cinema seemed to lack, comics and animation eagerly compensated for.
Unfortunately, comics are full of the same nonsense that permeates cinema and novels – but with comics, it’s easier to show people of different races, backgrounds or what have you. While many books tend to skirt around the issue of race, often not identifying people of specific ethnic backgrounds (or choosing not to give a race to their characters at all), in comics it’s pretty obvious if your character has brown skin or not. And I love that.
The collaboration, the ability to go anywhere and do anything, is so fundamental to comics for me. I love that comics can tell any story that may be awkward or convoluted in either a book or movie, but fit perfectly into that medium. Like all industries, comics do need a lot of work in being more inclusive, but it’s a half-decent start knowing there’s a half-black, half-hispanic Spider-Man, and that Batwoman is an out lesbian.
So while I’m not addicted to reading novels because I know exactly what I want and know when I find it; comics are still new to me, so it’s a journey as I try to sift through the issues, the short-comings, the simply overwhelming amount of titles available. As I partake in this addiction, I look at the comics around me and begin to wonder, What kind of comic should I create?
by Tatiana Christian