Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


The strength and weakness of comics

David Fiore linked to my discussion of Spider-Man, so I will link to his site. If you like comics, you should check it out. His is one of the most entertaining sites out there, even if you disagree with him (and many do). Even if you don't like comics, you should check him out, because he has interesting things to say about art through his reading of comics.

So yesterday I made my weekly pilgrimage to the comic book store, and I noticed an interesting thing about the strength and weakness of comics, which is, fascinatingly enough, the same thing. As we stood like locusts waiting to descend upon the new comics (the guy at the store had just gotten his shipment, and was laying them out), I was struck by the communal aspect of comics buying. Maybe this is nothing new to some, but I can't think of any other product that fosters this atmosphere of coming together on a consistent basis. Sure, new CDs come out every week, and new movies open every week, but it's rare that the same people show up every week for the new CDs that come out. It happens for a big release (I went to a record store with a bunch of my friends in college at midnight when that Guns 'n Roses double album came out -- and no, I didn't buy it, because it was crap!) but it doesn't happen every week. I see some of the same faces every time I'm there, and usually there's a core group of guys sitting around shooting the shit about all sorts of topics, usually with more geekiness than even I can stand (I mean, I know Charles Xavier's middle name, but I don't know or care how many different official costumes Cyclops has worn since he was created). That's not the point, though -- let them be geeks! The point is that comics buying creates a kind of community that is often lacking in the world today -- one where you can talk face-to-face with people about a topic and be reasonably certain they're going to know what you're talking about. Today, for any other topic besides comics, it seems you can only get that on the Internet. That's fine, but sometimes it's nice to shoot the shit in "real time" with an actual human. This is also the weakness of comics -- most people don't want to have to go to a store once a week and pick up their order. Their schedules are too hectic and erratic for the commitment. That's fine. In my mind, it's a unique experience -- you talk to people you have no connection with except for this small thing, yet it can lead to so many different conversations that it's amazing. In this world, community has become less and less tangible and more and more digital, and it's sometimes a shame. Comic book people can be snobbish to those who wander into their world and don't know what kills Superman (it's sex, right?), and that's a problem, because it inhibits people from entering the "Circle of Trust" (to use a DeNiro saying), but once you're inside, it's fun to be there.


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