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Sunday, July 02, 2006


For the right price, Jackson Lau will track down what you lost...find those responsible...and get it back, by any means necessary.
I started out reading superhero comics, fascinated by the action and color. But during and after college, my interest waned. I became disillusioned by the repetitiousness of the books, the neverending resurrections, the overblown dialogue, the reused characters. They were like soap operas. And I felt the medium wasn't being used to its full potential.
For a while, I felt that the Japanese really had a leg up on these books because of their higher level of consistency, creative action scenes and crazy panel layouts. But mostly because the creative team saw the books all the way through to the end. There was an end!
Superhero books just kept on going... languishing in their comfort zones, and I was highly critical of that fact.
Not anymore. Why? I've come to realize that American comics are not like Japanese comics. And probably shouldn't be. They have a place in the industry and a reason for existing. Sure, the industry may seem as if it's stuck in time and repetitious, but it keeps young readers from being lost, helping to engender the next generation of comic book readers.
But more than that, American comics have accomplished something unique that Japanese comics have not. They've created icons.
Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, SpiderMan, the X-Men. Although sometimes the writing and the art sucks, these characters are part of the American fabric, now. And not only that, they've become akin to Gods.
Gods?? Sure. Think about it. Remember those BORING Greek myths you read in high school? Well, if you looked between the lines, they weren't that boring, and were, in fact, superhero stories. Those gods weren't very much like the current "perfect" god(s) existing today. Those Greek gods were flawed, made mistakes, influenced humans to do as they wished, were petty, vindictive... and basically human. But with powers.
Our costumed friends are similar. Maybe sometime... in a few centuries... Some guy will collect all the Marvel books into a single volume... much like the Iliad or the Odyssey... and... not understanding that they were created by hundreds or thousands of different artists or writers.... form a collection of myths called The X-Men... written by... one man named Marvel.
It could happen. :)


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