One of the questions I get asked most is “why do you still buy comic books?” They tell me they either “trade wait” or they have abandoned the medium altogether. I won’t lie I have often considered just getting “trades” or the graphic novel reprints of the comic book stories. After all the comic books themselves can take up a lot of room. The graphic novels look better on the bookshelves and I get to digest the whole story arc at once instead of doing so over a six to eight month period. So why then?!
I suppose my answer comes down to three things. Number one I enjoy the storytelling. I think that comic books provide the most creative form of episodic storytelling. Each month I get a new “episode” that is told through the creative synergy of writer, artist, colorist, and inker. Through the use of color and art the creative team can convey ideas and emotions in a way that TV,movies and novels can’t express. Don’t get me wrong you can do a lot with special effects, actors and prose. I don’t want to disparage those mediums. It’s just that for me comics and art in general is just better at setting a mood.
Number two like most of you I am a busy guy. The “floppy” as it is called gives me a nice easily digested episode that I can enjoy in twenty minutes. Sometimes it is good to have a short break from reality to blow off some steam. I have found that comics are a good way to sort of clear your mind.
Number three is that it gives me something to look forward to every month. I suppose that makes me a sad man in a way! The truth in this case doesn’t hurt me at all. I enjoy going up to my local comic shop and picking up my new comics. It is just an enjoyable part of my life. There is nothing deep or philosophical about it.
In closing i’ll agree that all of my points could be applied to other hobbies that people are passionate about.(With the exception of the once a month point) Growing up I was always around art and that might also have something to do with it. My father, mother, one brother and one of my dad’s ex-wives are fantastic artists. This probably contributed to me loving the the drawn page more then the movie, tv show or prose novel.
Finally I will say that I try not to judge other people’s hobbies or past time passions. Life is a difficult journey and I think it is wonderful if you can find something that brings you a small amount of happiness in this crazy world we live in.