Imagine you were clonked on the head and you had absolute amnesia…maybe that’s too far fetched. Imagine instead that a magical woman in fishnet stockings wiped your mind to cover the fact that she tried to rehabilitate a super-criminal rapist but accidentally erased all your memories. THERE, now that’s something we can all relate too.
Now let’s say you walk into a comic book store.
Removed from actual context and stored memory, the comic book shop is nothing more than a gigantic, multi-colored candy shop of wonder and bizarre flavors! Without the burden of continuity, character arcs and publication history it’s a bunch of pretty pictures and compelling words…
What books would you be interested in without any pre-conceived notions?
A much hyped book for the week is The Punisher #1 featuring a guy named Frank Castle, a man pushed too far doing what he does best: shooting criminals and blurring the line between right and wrong. “Cool Shirt,” you might think.
But without knowing that this is the first Punisher ongoing where the character is back to his urban, realistic roots, without knowing that it’s from award winning writer Greg Rucka and up–and–coming artist Marco Checchetto, and without the knowledge that this is a huge Marvel relaunch issue and therefore always a potential investment opportunity; would this be the title you’d gravitate towards?
Let’s look at SNARKED #0, the latest comic from BOOM! studios and cartooning superstar Roger Langridge. Roger has gained some new awards and raised his profile lately writing and drawing the Disney—owned Muppets comic book. Now Disney owns Marvel, so the comic has shifted over to that publisher without any word on what will happen to Roger, the comics’ talent.
Snarked is the latest title from this brilliant and funny draftsman…but would you know to pick it up? Would the vibrant, cartoony antics of a Walrus seem too strange for your newly addled brain? Maybe you’d buy it just because it’s the only comic out this week with a $1 price tag…I mean, I would.
So many books that are eagerly anticipated now seem odd and random. DC’s big summer blockbuster Flashpoint hits the shelves this week with #4, as well as Marvel’s Ultimate Comics Fallout #4 and the Hero Comics #0 one–shot.
Hero Comics is going to reunite the legendary team of Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg…that’s right, the guys who created the Vertigo hit Sandman! The proceeds to the book go to a charity for helping comics and comic book professionals! The cover will be drawn by sensational “Good-Girl” artist Adam Hughes!
But without the context it’s just one more comic on a shelf of comics.
WHAT’S THE POINT, DEV?!
Do we only love comics because of what they represent or because of what they could be? If you didn’t know that a short, hairy guy in yellow spandex with knives coming out of his knuckles was named “Wolverine” would you give a dang about him or would you buy a Far Side collection instead?
Are their comics you would try because they just look neat? Are their books that sound fun, even if they aren’t in your regular rotation?
As I said, Forbidden Planet can be a candy store of the mind…you just need to turn off the context from time to time and let your taste buds wander!