Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

January 11, 2009

25 Reasons It’s Great To Be A Comics Fan


1. In a world that worships talent, values story and places a premium on new experiences, you'll have access to an industry's worth of the first, universes stuffed with the second, and an almost infinite number of windows onto the third.

2. You'll have a better vocabulary than the people you know that only read prose and you'll have a better eye for visual language than the people you know that only look at art.

3. You'll never again lack for a handy memory device for any two- or three-digit number.

4. Comic shops will feel less intimidating, baffling, or scary. They may even start feeling like home -- both the "that's where the slightly frustrating family members who drive me crazy live" kind of home and the "you feel welcome and strangely comfortable and safe there" kind of home.

image5. You'll know your Jack Kirby, and you'll know why that's important.

6. You'll have the best conversations at parties with the widest range of people while quickly learning how to duck the truly dreary conversations at parties with that one narrow range of people.

7. You'll discover comics creators give better interviews than any other art form's creators, and way more of them besides.

8. If you work really hard and find the right combination of execution, talent and inspiration, you can walk into one of the comics arts festivals having never shown anyone your comics before and walk out of it with everyone in attendance knowing your name. Try that at Cannes.

9. Unless your favorite creator is Bill Watterson or Steve Ditko, you'll probably get to meet them.

10. Somewhere out there is another fan that shares your most specific comics-related passion, no matter how obscure and ridiculous you think it may be, and there's a greater chance than you think your paths will one day cross.

11. From now on, every garage sale, flea market and library sale is hope.

12. You'll read your comics, then put them down, then read them again, then put them on a table or counter, then read them a third time, then have them around the house for a while, then sort them into some sort of storage or shelving and then one day take them out and start all over again. Endless entertainment.

13. If you want, they'll deliver them to your front door every morning, wrapped in several dozen pages of newsprint with a bunch of sports and financial crap on it to keep your comics dry.

14. You'll find out that starting work by catching up with your favorite web comics is like having a fellow employee walk up to you and tell you a joke that's actually funny, sharing a story that's actually exciting , or making an observation that's actually interesting -- every single day.

15. Sometimes when you write a fan letter to a comic, you get to be a part of that comic.

16. At first you'll like all the comics. Then you'll get a little bit older and like only a few of them. Then you'll get a little older than that, and you get to like all the comics again.

image17. Writers as talented as Bob Levin, Mark Evanier, Jules Feiffer, Jeet Heer, Donald Phelps, Bart Beaty, Douglas Wolk, Trina Robbins, RC Harvey, Gerard Jones, Paul Gravett and Bill Schelly have written books just for you.

18. Visiting any big city means visiting Big City Comic Book Shops, with their amazing arrays of new comics and small press obscurities and exclusives. Visiting any small town means visiting Small Town Comic Book Shops, with the one guy behind the counter laying out week-old comics industry gossip straight from a message board and tons and tons and tons of amazing bargain boxes. You can't lose.

19. The longer you read them, the more context you'll gain about them, the better you'll be at picking up their nuances, and the more total ways you'll have to understand and enjoy them. It always gets better.

20. You'll have a special reason to someday visit places like San Diego, Angouleme, Luzern, Lucca, Tokyo, Venice, Birmingham, New York, the greater DC area, the Bay Area, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Philadelphia, Columbus, Charlotte, Atlanta, Bergen, Barcelona, Manila, Rome, Erlangen, Frankfurt, Munich and Naples. And if you've been there once, you'll have a reason to go back where at least one thing you do there will be different than last time but just as fun.

21. New Comics Day comes in the middle of the week, just when it's most needed.

22. Old people to whom you're related will clip comics-related newspaper articles and send them to you.

23. The spinner rack, the long box, the Mylar bag, the acid-free board, the sleeve: even the places you keep the stuff have entertaining names.

24. It can be the last thing you see before turn off your bed lamp and be awesome that way, the thing you read while you eat breakfast and be awesome that way, and the first thing you see when you sit down at your work computer and be awesome that way.

25. You get to read the comics.



posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink

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