Sep. 8th, 2011

thehefner: (Default)
While shopping at the local Dollar Tree to stock up on cheap supplies now that we've officially moved to Delaware (full post on that to come when I feel like it), Henchgirl and I found something by the kids coloring books and knockoff toys that took our attention:


I know, the immediate reaction might be, "Yeah, so what?" I'm trying to put into words just WHY this actually is a big deal.

It's just... they're comics! DC, Marvel, Image, Eclipse, Dark Horse, Valiant... actual old comics, many around dollar-bin worth or a bit higher, two to a package. And they're sold not in a comic shop, but in an actual dollar store, where non-comic-buying people peruse. Here, just look at the back of the package to see what each pack entails:

This... this is the sort of thing that could get a child to read their first comic book. These are starter packs. These are things which can open up a whole new world to a kid, just as spinner racks and comics at the magazine stands at supermarkets used to accomplish! And they're older stuff too, not just kiddified new versions in their own separate continuities! The thought of some kid picking up that issue of The Brave and the Bold and getting introduced to Elongated Man by Jim Aparo, god, it's just so staggeringly wonderful to consider.

Argh, I'm too exhausted to articulate just WHY I think this is so wonderful, or why it feels personally important to me. God, I hope this company keeps putting these out. I hope Dollar Tree keeps carrying them. I hope parents buy them. I hope at least some kids get turned onto comics this way. Basically, the whole thing has turned me into the Ember Island Players' take on Katara by way of Cosmo McKinkey:

It just fills me with SO MUCH HOPE! Lots and lots of HOPE!

And really, considering just how much faith I've lost in DC Comics as a company--between the fact that they're turning Superman into a smirking bully and the open contempt they show towards the few fans who remained faithful to them over the past few crappy years--I desperately need to have this kind of hope in the future of superhero comics.

Not just comics as an art form, mind you, because those will endure one way or another. Not just for superheroes, because they now have been embraced and overshadowed by film and TV. And definitely not for the superhero comics that DC and Marvel are putting out now, where the heroes are douchebags and dickholes. That right there would be enough for many to quit comics entirely, but I can't. Not yet. I believe in superhero comics, and I want there to be future generations to discover them. Getting those new readers from an early age, where wonder and joy and awesomeness (in the truest sense of the word) aren't yet concepts to be looked down upon by those who would fancy themselves "mature," that's far more important to me than Dan DiDio and Jim Lee scrambling to regain the readers who abandoned comics over the past ten years.

Blah, I just don't have the words right now. I'm still exhausted by the move, and too stressed by current stuff to really explain what I mean, but I've just been dying to post SOMETHING, and hopefully I was able to get my point across. This is one of those little big deals, y'know?

September 2012

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