Saturday, September 25, 2010

WHY?

That is a question that seems to fit my hobby.  I have heard this in a variety of questions over the years.  Why do you read comics?  Why write reviews?  Why, why, why.  For me it is a matter of loving the stories.  The variation and types of stories combined with stunning visual images just appeal to me.  All this has been churned up by the Bendis comments.  I know that my current reviews have been short and not as good as what I was once doing.  Honestly no comics review should be very long.  You are just commenting on 22 pages most times of story and then you should never give things away.  This alone requires a limited amount of paragraphs.

I began reviewing to be a part of a friends endeavors with his sites.  It was PaperBackReader where he finally stuck with it for two go arounds.  We did have that venture into ComiXtreme for a bit.  As he started PBR, I was just graduated from Divinity School and had lost my Mother to the effects of Diabetes.  Reviewing and later my column Critical Mass became my therapy.  I immersed my hours of nothing into writing.  I enjoyed reviewing books and feeling a part of a community of comic fans.

Little did I know that the power of Church politics would rise up and use my beloved hobby as a weapon to hurt me.  Lies, misdirection, and implied gossip were used to paint me as someone who would hurt children because I read comics.  It was reviews of Top Cow books that anchored the attacks.  I know that there was more going on beyond comics now in hindsight, but still, to have the implication of this out there that I would hurt kids wounded me deeply.  I was told that in one meeting there were pages that had nothing to do with my reviews shown and that they were nothing to do with PBR.  I could have looked at them and seen just what they were doing, but I figured it best not to do so.  Still, for a while it was like there was a stain on my books and I had to hide part of who I was while at that church.

Now I am serving at a church where the Pastor wants me to do a Superhero Sunday.  It is a complete turn around from the place I was in.  What is nice is the fact I don't feel like I am hiding myself.  I can be me and not be watching for someone to attack me for any and all things around me.  I can write reviews and be honest that I read comics.  I think the fallout emotionally did hurt my writing and I hope to get back to a better quality as I do more.

The answer to why is simple.  I love comics.  I see them as a way to inspire reading.  I know that this can happen.  To give a child a comic is the opening of imagination.  This brings about more reading.  The more a person reads the more they are open to ideas of working together and solving problems.  I see comics as a way to foster a love for learning.  I guess that is why I get disappointed at the dumbed down way some writers approach the books nowadays.  Many things I read in comics from the 1970's and 1980's made me want to know more.  I would go to the encyclopedia and find out about the stuff I was curious about from my comics.  Oh, encyclopedia's are an ancient hard bound book form of Google.

I wish I had the money to buy enough Tiny Titans and other kid friendly comics to give out at Trunk Or Treat.  That would be awesome.  Candy is a one time enjoyment, but a comicbook can provide years of satisfaction.

Enough rambling.  Have a wonderful day.

BDS