Upon review of the last two weeks of comic book news I’d have to say that it is the diversity of the latest entrants into the art-and-commerce melange that is the comic book industry which stands out. If you follow me on Twitter or Google Plus, you’ll know what I’m referring to (hint: it is not small independent publishers).
If we can glean anything from the past couple of weeks it has become clear that the growing interest in all things comic book has not yet even begun to crest. Comic books are transitioning from pop culture to the mainstream. Arguably, they’re already there.
The month's new, and perhaps surprising, arrivals started with an article on WWE.Com about how CM Punk (retired professional wrestler and all around kickass guy) wrote the introduction to the Marvel Comics “Avengers vs X-Men”. Two days later, Fox News interviewed the founding member of Run-D.M.C, Darryl, ‘DMC’ McDaniels on his new comic book and the music industry. A few days after that Newsarama posted an article about William Shatner and how he is, with the help of Stan Lee no less, launching his own comic book imprint. The Internet ink had barley dried on that story when a headline from VPR announces: “A New Comic Book On Bernie Sanders Hopes To Educate And Entertain”. (Bernie Sanders is the seventy-four year old junior senator from Vermont who is vying to become the democratic presidential candidate.)
Though I’m happy about this trend, I can only hazard a guess as to the cause. There are possibly a few intersecting reasons. I’ll leave historians and sociologist to hammer it all out, but in the meantime I offer my hypothesis. In the abbreviated times that we live in where everything, including entertainment, is briskly consumed in concentrated packets, comic books fit. Short, sweet and amazing. Even graphic novels can, relatively speaking, be quickly consumed. They are fantastical mini-breaks away from the tumult of a world in the throes of sweeping change. Comic books are colour-splashed hits of fucking awesome alone time.