Sunday, May 4, 2008

Free Comic Day and Iron Man

I don't know if this is appropriate to have on this blog but...

It was pretty cool to see the turn out for free comics day at Midtown Comics West in Manhattan. There wa a line outside down the street to get in. David and I were on a city wide drop off of free Zuda samplers to the cities finest comics stores and Midtown was the first on our list. We told the who we were and we skipped the line and gave our samplers to Gaul, one of the managers.

Gaul handed us a paper bag full of free comics. I've only read some so far, but my first impression are pretty positive. One of the things I've become particularly sensitive to is comics for kids. I have a five year old and he likes comics but it's hard to find ones that aren't filled with post modern jokes( none of which he gets...they seem mostly written for the parents) references to long ago stories(and so aren't complete stories in and of themselves) and are well written and drawn. There seems to be a feelings among a lot of creators(not all mind you) that taking the same story you would give to an adult and replace grown up superhero with a fuzzy animal in a spacesuit and you've got instant kid material. It's tougher than that.

It's one of those things you can know when you see it but it's hard to define. Kids don't understand most pop culture references...they don't get the humor or the reference...and even if they recognize the reference they don't get all. Irony comes with life experience. Also, writing that relies too heavily on irony and pop culture ref is poor writing, the writer using glyphs( meaning writing using symbols that pretend to be story elements but are just lifts from other sources used as shorthand thus debasing your own work as derivative); and nods and winks to tell a story.

Kids don't care about continuity...or realism. In my experience kids love free standing stories which have and end in the book (if you've ever read a comic to a five year old you will also know that trying to explain all of the continuity winks and the hanging storylines, you will understand the frustration the kid feels)

As a grown up who can't pick up all the titles from a given publisher to follow the continuity, I appreciate individual issues and complete stories as well, if I'm gonna plunk down my $3-$4 on a damn well better have some kind of a resolution at the end of it's flimsy 22 pages.

There seemed to be several things in the bag which satisfied the older reader in me and the young reader in my son....I haven't read them all yet.

Iron man was cool...distilled forty years of confusing often baroque storylines into a clean elegant origin story....which it seems is the essence of good comics movies...take tons of material and cherry pick the essence of the's almost four AM...I'm going to bed

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