There are at least half a dozen reasons why I consistently take hours out of my week to write these articles. Primarily, it’s because comic books in all their ways is an art form that I am truly passionate about, one that I believes deserves recognition and reading.
Lots and lots of reading.
Where do the ideas come from, in particular? Many times, they’re just thoughts that I’ve had in my head mulling around. What are the most important comics that need to be addressed or discussed? Many times they just materialize as I sit in front of my computer and type them up on a late Tuesday night. Sometimes, I outline ideas in a simple composition book about which stories to talk about
The point of these articles is to talk about the importance of comics, and most important of all, why they matter. However, my intention is that they inspire people. Not just to sit and read about the comics. The biggest thing is to for anyone to discover these articles, read about the comics then, eventually, actually go and read the comics. Doesn’t matter where, preferably a local comic shop that’s inviting and welcoming, just so long as the comics are gotten.
So, as a conscious thinker of what’s relevant and how these comics matter, what better way to connect the next two weeks than to the biggest shopping holiday of the year. Your opinions on the season being what they are, let them be, I’m only here to enforce the awesomeness of the books themselves.
I figured the best way was to use past comic endeavors to discuss multiple topics, and I’m sure there are many. So, here’s your 2011 Holiday Shopping guide, Comic Matters style. What are the best comics/series that you should get the loved ones in your lives and why. That is, if you love them and truly care for them.
If you want to find out more about these comics, the titles are links to the previously posted articles.
For the Youngster in Your Life: Takio
All-Ages books are a tough thing to come by. Scratch that immediately, quality all-ages books are a difficult thing to come by. Most times, writers of all-ages comics, or “kids” comics, create comics that kids have an easy enough time to understand without placing any real thought or heart into it. It’s true, that many young kids will read these types of comics and just enjoy what’s on the surface, instead of the heart that I know many comics can create.
“Takio”, the brilliant all-ages comics written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Michael Avaon Oeming, possesses both heart and illuminated action sequences. The story of step-sisters from a bi-racial family discovering they’re the first superheroes in the world features sharp writing, witty dialogue, heartfelt characters that all-ages relate to and the intense, engaging artwork of Oeming leaves this as a desirable read.
For the Friend who likes “Once Upon a Time”: Fables
Think of the show how you will. Positive or negative, the show “Once Upon a Time” has established a strong standing on television, filling a niche and scratching a scratching a scratch that I’m not sure many people realized that they had. People love fairy tales, whether they are willing to admit it or not out loud and under what extremities they love them. This show has proved that.
So, why not go for the series that already has a lot in the category of “Quality” and “Quantity”? “Fables”, written by Bill Willingham and illustrated primarily by Mark Buckingham, features the fables and fairy tale characters of old, placed in modern day New York. They’ve lived for hundreds of years, and the stories just never stop. If your friend cannot get enough of their fairy tale induced television viewing, give them the gift of the series that, even after almost 10 years, has never dipped in quality or overall excellence. Definitely worth a get.
And, the best part of all, this is one of the better series that allows people to interested in comics as the medium. Which leads to…
For the Person that Wants/Needs to Get into Comics: Y: The Last Man
As much as I love comics, at times, if you don’t know where to navigate, you can get lost easily. Some comic stories have convoluted set-ups or intricate plot details that, unless you’ve read for a long period of time, might be completely over your head. It’s the nature of the beast, I suppose. Then again, how many other examples of long-form fiction feature the exact same type of set-up? The Lord of the Rings? The Chronicles of Narnia? Twilight?
It’s because sometimes stories cannot be told in a single sitting. Sometimes, you need more, and that’s where comics truly shine. For long-form storytelling needs, they definitely can meet that call if you let them, and they can satisfy you and anger you and make you laugh till you can no longer afford them.
Y: The Last Man does all that, in a single sitting. Yes, the 10 volume series written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated mostly by Pia Guerra does have a long story to tell, but it’s a finite story. What you get is what’s on the page. A series anybody of right mind and sound thoughts can pick up. Who wouldn’t want to read about the adventures of the literal last man on Earth, as poor Yorick and his monkey try to discover and unravel the plot to try and escape their fates as the final males on a planet of females?
This is only a small guide, made for whom I believe to be the most generic of people that could benefit from comics in their lives.
You have your options of where to go and pick these up, true, just so long as you get them.
Continuing Next Week: We delve deeper into the best gifts for your loved ones, featuring zombies, Batmen, 52 Titles of new-hotness, and police stories with superhero murders.
- In addition to writing for the column “Comic Matters” for the Tucson Citizen website, Rob Acosta is also a 5th Grade Elementary school teacher, frequenter of local comic book shop Heroes & Villains and explorer of the importance of comics. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org