Archive for December 30, 2014

Supergods by Grant Morrison

December 30, 2014

supergods“Before it was a bomb, The Bomb was an idea. But Superman, however was a faster, stronger, better idea. It’s not that I needed Superman to be real; I just needed him to be more real than the The Bomb that ravaged my dreams.”

 

Grant Morrison is one of today’s top comic writers. He’s responsible for some of the modern incarnations of Superman, Batman and The X-Men, among others. In Supergods he bounces back and forth between a general history of the evolution of hero comics and his own personal story. One part how we got to where we are, the other part how I got to where I am. This approach brings an often-missing perspective to these parallel stories. He doesn’t just write about how he appreciates his favorite comic artists and writers, but about how they influenced him and helped him – and the rest of the field – to grow.

But while the story is engaging, the prose is nothing short of elegant (especially as read by John Lee on the Audible audiobook). It’s as if the whole book was written with William Gibson’s first sentences. It’s an engaging story and beautiful writing. This book is simply outstanding. Even if you’re not a hardcore comic fan, if as much of your comic knowledge comes from movie adaptations as from print comics, you will enjoy this book.

The Ten Cent Plague by David Hajdu

December 28, 2014

tencentplague

In 1954 the American comic book industry, beset by vicious political and grass-roots criticism, formed the restrictive Comics Code Authority, a self censoring body whose launch brought the Golden Age of comics to a screeching halt. The Ten Cent Plague is a well written and thoroughly researched account of the formation of the CCA.

Due largely to coincidences of geography, comics were not a big part of my childhood. It’s not that I didn’t want them. It’s just that growing up where and when I did, there was simply no place to get comics easily with any kind of regularity. Assuming we don’t count Asterix and Tintin books from the school library, I might have had as many as half a dozen comics (random issues, not volumes), probably fewer, before adulthood. My friends, who all seemed to know much more about comics than I did, had a lack of enthusiasm for them that I mirrored outwardly to fit in, while secretly wishing I could learn more about these cool picture-stories.

But my once secret interest has grown up with me and I’m grateful that I now live in a world where access to comics is easy. Not only do I now live within walking distance of the excellent Larry’s Comics (“New England’s 5th largest, 11th nicest comic shop”), but with the advent of Amazon and other online retailers, the world of comics is at my fingertips. It’s a great time to be alive!
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