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[personal profile] thehefner
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?

Date: 2011-09-08 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's all great until you realize some of those comics are from the 1990s.

I've bought a few packs in the past. They were... special.

Date: 2011-09-08 02:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't know how I feel about a kid being indoctrinated with Liefeld, but y'know, seeing a Liefeld issue of Youngblood (or whatever the fuck it was in one of those packets)? I'd honestly take the crap of the 90's over today's pseudo-90's crap, which in some ways seems uglier.

Date: 2011-09-08 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know what you mean. The crap of the real 90s was bad, but it was fantastically bad. The cartoony art and coloring was very appealing to me, for some reason.

Also, the 90s had Graham Nolan. 'nuff said.

Date: 2011-09-08 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's kinda strange, I bought some of those same baggies in 1999-2000 during a trip to the USA. Twelve years later, I buy these bags at the dollar store - and they contain comics from the same era.

I think these are just some of those comics that were overprinted in ridiculous quantities during the speculator market era.

Date: 2011-09-08 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's all great until when you realize some of those comics are from the 1990s.

Because not only is Ralph Dibny alive, but presumably so is Sue, and she hasn't been retroactively raped by Dr. Light, to boot.

Date: 2011-09-08 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Totally get you, man. I'm still holding out hope that comics attain writing quality and diversity I can get behind. I'm sure it's possible. I mean, even novels and 'literature' has yet to attain a consistent sort of quality I feel I can get behind, tbh. But you covered that in a previous post.

Right now the only comic I'm excited about is actually a manga-isation of my favourite book series, the Parasol Protectorate. But I know it will get me excited about the format again, because the writing is so good that I will be able to understand how comics are exciting again. Does that make sense?

Date: 2011-12-27 02:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I very much hope you had a great and awesome christmas. <3

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