Saturday, April 11, 2015

Daredevil: Comics are the most creative and original stories out there.

The new Daredevil series on Netflix reminds me of my start in comics.

A confession:  I was not a comic reader when I bought Pegasus Books.  I'd played around a little, reading some Elfquest, some First Kingdom, some other fantasy oriented books.

So when I bought the store, I realized I needed to understand what I was selling.

I started with reading a full run of X-Men comics, which was the hottest title at the time.  I liked them, the soap-opera elements, and could understand why they were popular.  But they didn't grab me deep down.

I kept having that experience right up to the moment I found Swamp Thing, which was the first title that Alan Moore wrote.  I actually cried during one of his comics, which is not something I do very much.  This was a good writer.  (Who of course went on to write great comics like Watchmen and V for Vendetta and just about anything else he wrote.)

There were other titles I really liked, such as American Flagg, and other indy-types.

The next author (and artist) to really convince me comics were an artform was Frank Miller.  Specifically Daredevil.  He was still writing in the superhero format, but...well, it was more gritty noir.  I really liked that.  I liked what he did with Batman, too.  (More his Batman: Year One than The Dark Knight Returns, frankly.)

This version of Daredevil is the best superhero series I've seen -- frankly, I like it more than almost all the Marvel movies.  I just wish that people who watch it and like it could understand that the same experience is available in comics -- years and years of great, gritty stories, not just by Miller but by a host of other artists and writers. 

Comics, in some ways, are the most creative and original stories out there.

Some day they're going to do Preacher and Y-the Last Man and many others of the huge backlog of great stories, and I predict they'll be hugely popular -- and that they won't do a thing for comic sales...

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