It's Thanksgiving here in The States, and The Nerds of the Roundtable give thanks to the comics themselves. Here's what we're most grateful for!
In Outhouse Roundtable, Royal Nonesuch gathers the writing staff of The Outhouse to find out where they stand in the landscape of comic book fandom. The formula is simple: one question, a joyous multitude of answers.
Week 15: What are you thankful for in comics?
Other than the obvious "I'm thankful that there are comics" response, I'd have to say I'm grateful for the easy access to so much diversity in the industry right now. There really is something for everyone, if they're willing to look for it. The internet being what it is, finding and ordering what you want is easier than ever. Although superheroes are the dominant genre (which is fine, I like superheroes ok), I can get whatever kind of story I want, regardless of genre, style, publishing scheme, or country of origin. That is awesome.
I am thankful for the DC Universe reboot. It is sooooooo much better than I expected, and has encouraged me to read DC again regularly for the first time in two decades. All too often, relaunches, reboots, and re-numberings are crass marketing ploys, and nothing else. But in this case, DC has done something amazing: it has dumped its overly complex continuity and replaced it with fast, fresh stories. Superman is somehow cool. I never thought I would see the day. And a D-level character like Animal Man is receiving care and attention from some of the best creative minds in the biz. It's a great time to be reading comics, especially DC comics (I just hope the company maintains this vision and momentum)!
I'm thankful that some of the great creators of my lifetime have stuck with characters that meant something to them instead of chasing the dollar from title to title on a whim. Seeing Dan Jurgens continuing to evolve his take on Booster Gold for decades, and of course Erik Larsen's commitment to excellence in Savage Dragon really make me feel like there are some creators for whom this stuff is as important as it is for the fans.
I'm grateful that (at least to me) the X-Men books are finally all great books. I don't think this has happened in a quite a long while. Everyone to me are must read books, and that hasn't happened in years.
I'm grateful that *spoilers* Storm is FINALLY an Avenger; for the longest time she was arguably the biggest female Marvel Superhero. I mean she was the opponent for Wonder Woman during DC vs Marvel, so to have start to have a bigger role in the Avengers and the X-Books is great.
I'm thankful that DC has greatly expanded the idea of giving creator credit to so many sung and unsung people who have helped make this hobby of ours so much richer. People like: Siegel, Shuster, Kane, Norris, Drake, Kirby, DeMatteis, Sutton, Wolfman, Perez, Lee, Choi, Wein, Wrightson, Marston, Conway, Milgrom, Fox, etc. have earned their place at the table (and credit boxes).
DC still has a long way to go to recognize others like: Ditko, Binder, Plastino, Kane, Infantino, Wojtkoski, Weisinger, Papp, Ostrander, Mandrake, Albano, Dezuniga, Eisner, etc. but they are still leaps and bounds apart from their distinguished competition in paying respect to those who made this very industry possible.
Since I'm broke, I'm thankful for free online web comics. Lots of talented creators are doing great works every week and putting them out on the internet at no cost for the consumer. You have every thing from comedy strips like Shortpacked! by David Willis to horror serise like Tales of Mr. RHEE by Dirk Manning. If you can still afford an internet connection you can still afford comics!
I'm thankful for the increased amount of digital comics that come out the same day as their print versions. I'm sick of looking at boxes of comics just taking up space in my apartment. Digital comics has provided me with freedom to store boxes of other more practical things like old tennis balls, shells I find at the beach and dead mice.
Since I'm as broke as prozacman, I am thankful to my public library and their graphic novel selection. It's because of them that I am able to read up on some cool golden age stories, gain a new perspective on the history of Marvel, and finally read these Runaways books that I hear are so popular.
Sure, when I'm in the building, they're mixed in with a bunch of manga that I'm less interested in but that's why the internet was invented! I get on and order what I want to read and they set it aside at the location I want to pick it up at! Good times!
They also have regular books without all the cool artwork and I'm pretty thankful for that as well.
Odd. I was just thinking of something along the lines of this topic the other day while driving. I would say I'd have to be thankful for comics in more than one way. Growing up, comics were truly my escape from a world that wasn't as interesting as or supportive of a childhood with an imagination. Later, when family members and friends were turning to gangs and drive-bys, comics were still there for me. I wanted to even create these things! It's been that way ever since; in some form or fashion comics have and will always be a part of my path. Hell I named my kid after Wolverine! Didn't realize then that he'd actually act like him and berzerker barrage my house and his bigger sister!
Written or Contributed by: Royal Nonesuch