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Five For Friday #30—Firmly in the Present
posted May 20, 2005

Names Five Things That Are Great About Comics Now

1. So much work in print and available.
2. Internet research and shopping.
3. Long-standing full-service comic shops, like Chicago Comics.
4. Top-line comic book creators selling well in bookstores.
5. At least some cheap superhero reprints.

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Steve Block

1. The explosion in the variety of material on offer.
2. The numerous magazines that explore the medium.
3. Better mainstream press coverage.
4. The gradual wider acceptance of the art-form.
5. Decent movies helping to raise the profile.


Kevin Church

1. Many people are making comics because they can.
2. Blogs that provide critical commentary that's not just about X-wank.
3. Grant Morrison getting the chance to go wild in the DCU.
4. Companies like Oni and AIT creating a middle ground between "art" and spandex.
5. Creators having individual platforms thanks to the web, even if I may not care for what they have to say.


Andrew Mansell

1. The Comics Reporter and other on-line features
2. The variety of material from the Independents
3. Resurgence in Newspaper Strip reprints (seems to happen every Ten years!)
4. Series Collected in Reprint volumes
5. More foreign language volumes being reprinted.


Marc-Oliver Frisch



Christopher Duffy

1. Translated work of Trondheim, Sfar, Blain and their Euro ilk becoming more available.
2. Enough good material out there that you can ignore traditional behemoths (like DC and Marvel ) that aren't living up to their reputations and still have LOTS to choose from.
3. Comics are also for kids again! (Yes, I'm saying it's already happened, not a huge "problem" to be solved.)
4. eBay makes it possible to search out obscure Golden Age treasures, and if not actually to buy/bid on them, to get a scan of the cover.
5. Several movies based on comic books are better than the last three Star Wars movies!


Benjamin Bayliss

1. Greater number reprints (TPB's) offered
2. Great advances in coloring of a book
3. realization of shop owners that dark and dingy does not equate to high sales
4. being able to search on the Internet about comic books
5. greater variety of comic books - not just super heroes (at least since the time I was born in the early 70's)


Matthew Craig

1. My local comic shop - it's in a small(ish) town, but carries a much broader range of comics now than it did four years ago, when I started shopping there. Corollary:
2. The healthy trade paperback and OGN market - which means that I can leave that shop with a fistful of classic and modern comics, from Jack Kirby to Jim Mahfood.
3. The internet - which allows me to debate and create comics with people from all over the world.
4. Paul Grist - hell, if we're gonna start naming names, Paul Grist is at the top of the "What Are You Waiting For?" list. His cop series KANE is an intricately-plotted, beautifully illustrated and morally complex drama. And JACK STAFF is one of the few truly essential superhero novels, combining all the technical skill and experimenation of KANE with the joie de vivre of classic British adventure comics. So, to bring this full circle: if you haven't read a Paul Grist comic, what are you *waiting* for?
5. Spider-Man. Shut up. He's great.



1. The trade paperback market. A wide range of available material in a format I find more satisfying than the single issue, reading experience wise, as well as being more aesthetically pleasing and affordable.
2. E-Bay and Amazon for helping to make those trade paperbacks even more affordable. E-Bay's also great for buying back issues in bulk.
3. Comics blogs, especially Fanboy Rampage, for exposing me to a variety of voices and opinions I wouldn't otherwise encounter on my usual message board haunts. Also, FBR makes me fell better about my nerdiness and provides my USDA reccomended daily requirement of sarcasm.
4. Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Mike Mignola, and Darwyn Cooke all have work coming out this year.
5. Matt Craig. For reasons too numerous to enumerate.