The Good, The Bad, & This Kid: ďComic Books and MeĒ
By Josh Stone
This week I received my new notebook that I ordered from Gateway a month ago. Gateway and I ran into some problems, but Iím happy to announce that our relationship is stronger than ever. Itís really cool having a new computer, Iíve never had one before. All my other computers were built from used parts by my uncle or a family friend, and well, they sucked. They did what I needed them to do, but certain luxuries were not included. Anyway, thatís not why anyone is here. No one cares about my new computer and I canít say I blame you. However, Iím having a bit of trouble coming up with a topic this week, Iíve got a lot of stuff happening and my mind is not on GBK. So, too bad. My column and my readers are something thatís very important to me, and my personal finances are no excuse to skip out on that. Unfortunately like I said before, Iím having some problems with a topic. So, like every some-what decent writer, I have a back up plan. I knew the week would come when I wouldnít have much to say, so I had a topic stored away. Itís a generic topic and itís one thatís been used countless times by writers in need, and well, Iím in need.
What do comics mean to me? Itís a question that so many comic book fans and creators ask themselves at least twice a week. Thereís nothing wrong with asking yourself this question, people do it for whatever their love may be. As obvious as this is, remember that this is my opinion, this in no way reflects the thoughts of anyone else at SBC or even people I may know. So, now that the legal jazz is out of the way, we can actually have some fun around here, or at least something that resembles fun. Letís jump right in.
Iíve loved comics since the day I learned how to read. Okay, a comic book wasnít the first thing I learned how to read, but it was shortly after Hop on Pop that I moved into comics. Iím not discrediting Seuss here, Iím just glad I stayed with comics, I think it made me a better person. Anyway, when I first started reading comics is was because of the super-heroes. Every little kid loves to see buff men in spandex kicking the crap out of the bad guys, and I was no different. Then I reached a stage in my childhood when it was more important to me to find a means of escape from the things around me. The world is a scary place and I began to find comfort in the same super-hero comics. Spider-Man was always a character I related the most to as a child. I identified with his pain and need to not let that pain control him. Later I discovered Daredevil and Batman, but at this point I am finding great relief in everyoneís favorite web-slinger. Even to this day I relate very well with the Peter Parker/Spider-Man character.
Like I said, super-heroes were a great tool for escaping the real world, which is flooded with so many negative things. As a kid the proverbially flood gates were opened wide and I was in search of something to help stop up the water. I saw hope in super-heroes, I saw that if you face your fears head on, theyíre really not that bad. This was a real beacon of light for me, and is one of the reasons I continue to come back to comic books to this day, and the main reason I want to create comics. I saw the good that comics can do, and I want to be a part of it.
Comic books are more than just silly little stories with pictures, theyíve moved beyond that and onto something far more complicated. Furthermore, Iíve moved beyond that. Iíve went from viewing comics as tales of super-heroes saving the day, to tales of just about anything the human mind can imagine. Comic books are limitless, their glory knows no bounds. Anything can be told using the wonderful story-telling style of pictures and words. Youíve got your classic super-hero fare and youíve got your slice-of-life drama that just seems too real to be a comic book. Iíve written a screenplay (that Iíve ended up pushing back production on), that I feel would be a great movie. Itís a ďcoming of ageĒ tale that Iíve recently decided to turn into an original Graphic Novel, I say that like itís that easy. Anyway, I mention that only to prove a point. The idea started out as something I and others thought would be a good movie, but it turns out that it can be turned into a great comic book as well. Thatís really where the magic is with ďfunny books,Ē theyíre so damn versatile. If someone can think it up, itís fair game. Besides, itís a hell of a lot cheaper than making a movie.
Comic books have made their stamp on our society, there is no doubt about that. So, they must mean a lot to a lot of people. I really donít do them any justice by writing down my rambled thoughts on what theyíve meant to the person I am. No one does them any justice by doing that. Comics arenít just books, theyíve become a way of culture and a way of life for many people. Comics have touched the lives of millions of people in a million different ways, and thatís why theyíre so much more than just books. Books touch and move the soul, donít get me wrong, but comics have the ultimate edge. They combine written words and imagery, and never underestimate the power of an image. ďA picture is worth a thousand words,Ē so think of how many damn words are going into comics. There is something so beautiful in the way of comics, itís almost impossible to put your finger on it. Thatís why people judge comics so harshly, because they have such potential that itís painful to read a bad comic. You know in your heart of hearts that out there somewhere there is a wonderful story that needs to be told, and instead someone puts out garbage and taints are wonderful ocean of comics.
That to me is what comics are all about. They are a way for people to step outside themselves or to step back inside of themselves. Itís a way to explore new worlds, or to explore ours in a new way. I canít say it enough, the possibilities are endless.
Besides my brand new computer, I also got another new toy this week. I know, I canít believe it myself. I am the proud new owner of a Directv system. Iíve wanted to get Directv for a very long time, and now I can afford it. So, thatís the good this week, Directv.
Again, I apologize for not coming up with a better topic, but if it wasnít this week, it wouldíve eventually happened. Also, Iím pretty late getting this column to Craig Lemon, (editor extraordinaire) so if this is posted late Iím sorry for that as well. In my defense, itís been a weird week and my mind has been so many other places. Next week I promise to have a more original topic and to give it my 110%. Of course, I say that now, but who know. ĎTil next timeÖ
Got a comment or question about this Soapbox?
Leave at message at the Silver Soapboxes Message Board.