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Man, I wish that I could get a free comic book….

Ladies, gentleman, and creatures alike, welcome back to Comical-Musings.  This summer is going to be huge for comic books and we should see tons of cross promotion with Green Lantern, Thor, and X-Men: First Class all dropping within months of each other.  When comics translate to film, it is typically a boom or bust situation with a great deal of conversation about whether it boomed or busted by fans like us.  There has been good, bad, and ugly.  We have seen comic book movies take non-top ten characters like Iron Man and make them a national sensation.  We have seen comic book movies have the quiet and brooding Hellboy singing show tunes.  We have seen Tobey Maguire as Spiderman….singing.  It will be terribly interesting to see how these films fare with fans.  I am always happy to see you and today I write to you about a momentous occasion.

The comic book industry was supported in the early years by the inexpensive costs, relative availability of the products, and great interest from the population.  As these “Fanboys” have gotten older, prices have risen, material has gotten more mature, and the comic book is nearly lost on children.  The main consumers of comic books now are “Fanmen” who are willing to drop $150 a month on subscriptions to the titles that they have been loyal to all of these years.  Batman The Animated Series and the Xmen cartoon show were sort of like intravenous drips into the market in the 90s, allowing comic characters to stay relevant, although ultimately not captivating.  Making characters into the more easily digestible Manga format in Batman: Brave and The Bold and Superhero Squad has proved to be a brilliant move by both DC and Marvel.  This may have single-handedly saved the industry as kids are into comic books again!  Well, the characters are cool again, but maybe not the books.

Comic books are a great thing for kids.  They provide them with non-challenging reading and art to look at.  Nearly by definition, comic books are “stimulating” to the brain.  Children need to have their brains stimulated and zoning out in front of video games isn’t getting the job done.  Comic books can be engaging, enlightening, and entertaining.  I’ll never forget the day that comic books from my childhood helped me in “real” life.

When I was young, I was looking for anything to read and ended up reading some Amalgam comics.  The theory behind Amalgam Comics was that they would take the best characters in DC and Marvel and weave them together.  Hence, Batman and Wolverine make…..

dark claw

Dark Claw

The comics were fun and featured Xmen/Gen 13 and Captain America/Superman mash-ups.  Ultimately, they were kind of silly and poorly written, but I was just a kid and did not know quality.  All of this is relevant when you consider the fact that years later, while taking the SAT, I stumbled into a situation where these books came in handy.  The definition of “Amalgamation” came into question on the big test and I was ready to go with the answer!

logoComic books are good for kids.  Reading actual paper books is a lost art.  Teaching them to take care of something beautiful and fragile can be life lessons.  Waiting for the next issue to come out teaches patience.  Comic books are good for kids and this week is a great week for kids.  That’s because the first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day.  You can walk into your local comic shop, this Saturday, and there should be fanfare to welcome you in.  Many stores will have special guests, snacks, and various other promotional opportunities.  The best part is that they will give you FREE COMIC BOOKS…hence the name.  This is a fun way to start a kid off down a lifelong path of entertainment and somewhat healthy obsession.  You can bring your son or daughter.  You can bring a neighborhood kid without friends.  You can bring your grandma.  Everyone is welcome and more than likely, good times will be had by all.  I encourage you all to show up to a comic shop near you and support our favorite industry this Saturday.  If you don’t know where to go, please refer to http://www.freecomicbookday.com/.  Should be a blast.

~ Scott Deaux ~

About Scott Deaux

Favorite Comics: Lazarus, Essex County, Chew, Superior Foes Of Spider-Man, Age of Apocalypse stuff, The Nightly News, Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, Pax Romana, Avengers, NEXTWAVE: Agents Of Hate, Sweet Tooth, We3, others... Favorite Quote(s): "Journalism is just a gun. It's only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that's all you need. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world." - Warren Ellis "People who hold signs go on...to hold many other things" - Eddie Pepitone

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  1. Thank you for the heads up.
    Dude! That’s where I learned the word “amalgam” too. I looked up Amalgam Comics on Wikipedia because I remember “Iron Lantern” vs “Mandarinestro,” and it reminded me just how terrible/awesome some of the ideas (and especially the names) were: Lobo the Duck!?

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