Hi, I’m Shea. I’m an over-educated 20-year old who sells comix for a living. So, you can imagine my frustration when Scott Deaux asked me “what my favorite thing in comix was?”
-Is it the color palette in Fraction/Aja/Southworth Hawkeye?
-Is it the really wonderful soccer jokes hidden in the background of Hickman’s The Nightly News?
-The movie posters in BKV/Martin’s The Private Eye?
-The rap-lyrics-as-dialogue-ness of Ed Piskor’s Brain Rot: The Hip-Hop Family Tree?
-Is it the fact that nearly every Jack Kirby character has four joints in their fingers?
-Is it the 4 page fold-out in Frank Miller’s Ronin?
-The chiaroscuro of Sin City?
-The “This would be a good death…but not good enough” scene in The Dark Knight Returns
-Dude… the entirety of Akira?
-The double-page spreads in Blade of the Immortal?
-The subliminal imagery of The Incal covers?
I could go on and on and on and on, and that’s the point. There’s so much to love about comix. But what I love most, absolutely the most? What I love most is that I don’t have to choose. I can spend my money on a dozen comix and experience funny books, serious books, Japanese books, French books, innovative books, books that perfect something simple. I can read old books and new books. I can read books whose meanings are obfuscated by layers and layers of complex narrative and mixed-media art (Ever read Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum commentary?) or books that are just there to entertain me. There are books so good that they make me cry (We3 and Pietrolino, and that’s the realness) and books so incredibly bad that I will never forget them (Blue Water’s Stephanie Meyer biography, anyone?). Comix are the only place I can read both a Feynman biography and a weird psychedelic/conscientious-objector/law-and-order/family-drama that looks like Spain Rodriguez & Chris Ware’s baby drew Adventure Time fan-comix.
I passed a junior college philosophy class based on comix I read once in which Plato was a Mexican wrestler. I got my friend into comix because I showed him a Tybalt-centric Romeo & Juliet adaptation featuring hip-hop culture, great double-entendres, and a katana.
Comix is a medium that everyone from Edward Norton to Quentin Tarantino to Eazy-E is into. It’s a medium that has literally everything under the sun. Want avant-garde? We got that. Want ultraviolent? Wait: was that smart and ultraviolent, dumb but exciting ultraviolent, or holy god that is REALLY ultraviolent? Whatever, we’ve got that! Comix are fun and smart, or boring and dumb. They’re beautiful and ugly and mind-blowing and colorful and bland and musical without emitting any sound.
They are all of this. They are more. I’ve seen everything in comix three or four times. But there’s still ground to cover, some undiscovered country just waiting for us. Comix is contradiction. Comix is past, the present, the future. Comix is all of this. Comix is none of this.
But the best part? The number one, single best part of all of it?
I get to have it all.
~ Shea ~