The Comic Book Rant

22Feb07

Alright, I love comic books as do some of my friends (maybe that’s why they’re my friends). I’m not ashamed of the fact that I enjoy colorful books in which characters have conversations through bubbles. I’ve been ridiculed for this particular interest of mine by both family and friends and over the years I have grown tired trying my best to justify this medium of art/literature. Every time I’m about to say something about a comic book, I use the term ‘graphic novel’ in order to be taken more seriously but cunning as the average human is, I’m met with nothing but smirks and guffaws.

A couple of days back I was at Landmark going through the graphic novels section. A huge amount of my time is spent here as I’m not in a position to actually BUY any books owing to my present financial situation. So as I was browsing through a copy of Hellboy, a guy (about 40 years old) comes to me and asks for my opinion on the books he’s picked out for his 12 year old kid. Sin City:That Yellow Bastard and an issue of Y:The Last Man. Any comic book fan would know that well…these are not exactly kid-friendly books. They have mature content (graphic violence and nudity), so I open the book and tell him that he might as well pick something up from another section. I was expecting a polite thank you but what he did was the opposite. He threw the books at me and suddenly went on a tirade against the current youth and our degrading moral values. Up until now, comics have been ridiculed as a childish past time but now…one of the reasons why our country is in the pits is also due to comic books. Note the point.

 

I’m tired of trying to explain to people that some of these comic books have an amazingly profound literary aspect to them. I mean, who would expect the following lines to be straight out of a comic book?

Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hell-bound as ourselves, go into oblivion. There is nothing else.

Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us. Streets stank of fire. The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world.

   Was Rorschach.
                                         -Alan Moore’s Watchmen

And as long as stores in India are going to stack them along with the likes of Amar Chitra Katha or Archie, a lot of people are going to miss out on some great titles and a lot of unwitting kids are going to grow up early!

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23 Responses to “The Comic Book Rant”

  1. PPl will never understand. Lets just console ourselves by thinking they lack the intellect.

  2. swenny, I’m so tired man…all my friends who actually like comics are spread across the country. Thankfully Ravenent is here and we may actually come up with a graphic novel of our own! Watch this space for more info…:-P

  3. 3 soorajrox

    You know wat….actually I feel glad that many ppl don’t read comics like us. We are different.I guess that is the only area where I can be ‘one of the little’. Atleast that is one area, where I always felt like I was ‘original’ , even tho’ I’m not the first to know everything in comics.It was something I did right when I was a kid. If we go out of India, we’ll find many like us, infact we might feel ‘small’. One of the main reasons, actually it’s the only reason, that I want to go to other countries (the US mainly) , is that we can get a hell lot of comics and I can earn enough to buy many of them.

  4. 4 baPhoMeT

    Bro, you should’ve slapped that 40 year old man on his face and told him to go watch some soaps with his wife. then again, thats just what he’d do. it is indeed a pity that these so called “adults” can waste their time watching repetitive mother-in-law v/s daughter-in-law fights on TV, but have a certain disregard for serious comics.

    bro…have you tried Promethea and Sandman? man they friggin’ rock. downloaded a tonne by torrent. dint know so much comics are available online dude.

  5. Oh yeah – I used to be into comics, but somehow, I have given way to just selective humorous comics now… =|!! I still never miss reading and appreciating the art @ any point of time tho =)!

  6. @sooraj I think you meant ‘one of the few’! :-)You know what…you go to the US and get me those comics ‘cos I think I prefer being here.

    @baphomet Slapping a 40 year old guy in the middle of a mall is just not my thing man! Anyhoo, I totally agree about three quarters of the entire population going home and watching contrived mother-daughter sagas and wishing their lives were the same. It sickens me….saddest part is I know a couple of my friends who do that too!

    sandman…YES…i’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman. Promethea …nope. Dude! I’ll be sending you my address soon…if not flicks can you please write me a few comics?

    @Guru Thankyou for bringing a totally unrelated topic. swenny is gonna have a field day with this!

    @Daedalus Fly away man!

  7. @Punns
    Wish i could …

  8. 8 bApHoMEt

    @punns…sure man. still havent gotten your address.

    @swen…u still alive?

  9. @Baphomet
    I’m alive ..alrite ( walks out on crutches )

  10. @ Swenny: You actually wonder how PS takes a bath =P! Ok ok, I am not doing this.. Hehe!! So, what else happening guys? Anybody making to the Iron Maiden concert??

  11. @Guru
    I never said that i wonder . i said ‘one’ wonders. That could be anyone. Why am i getting defensive?

    Im trying to get Baphomet to come for Iron maiden.

  12. Thank you digressor for changing the topic!

    Anyhoo, I doubt I can make it for the concert…mesa going to Delhi!

    Russell Peters …I found out about the show only after the tickets were sold out!! 😦

  13. I just realised that my blog ought to be rated PG-13 what with all the young people visiting and all…and hence have decided to filter out the risque comments posted…no offence people. 🙂

    I’d also like to say I’m no prude…this is for ze kids! 😐

    Call it self censorship if you may…

  14. *scoffing and scoffing hard* That’s just absolutely rude PS… =D!! You can edit out the words and not the idea of the comments per se.. Children need to know the TRUTH – coz only the Truth can set you free.. =P!

    Ok, whatever dude, I am just far too bored…

  15. Cheap excuse for cleaning up his blog. He is protecting himself not the kids ..

  16. Errr, I think this is deeper than you think Swenny… PS here is just reinstating the fact to himself that he is a KID =)! Good try PS, but you are the whole of 22.5 [as I am 22.75] =P!! Muahahahahahahahaa!! You are gonna be 23 dude, 23 sooon and then 7 years to 30…

    Ok, sometimes I scare myself =S!!

  17. seriously ..23 aint too bad.. im 23 …

  18. Swen…you’re OLD!

  19. @ PS: You are far too young, so your opinions are moo points. To quote Joey Tribbiani [never thought that day would come eh.. =P].

    It’s a cow’s opinion. It doesn’t matter!

    Btw, why Delhi?

  20. 20 Joe Kulangara

    you know…it’s not the age that matters. it is the maturity. come to think of it…its not even that. the true measure of a guy is in the length of his $%#& [censored to fit in with the new PG-13 rule].

  21. 21 Joe Kulangara

    looking from that standpoint. who here is the better man?

  22. @Guru Delhi ‘cos my bros there and familys coming down. Sort of a short family get together! 🙂

    @Joe What happened to Baphomet? Too anti-christian?? 🙂

    Anyhoo, I don’t think the measure of a man is…nevermind…

  23. 23 Joe Kulangara

    thought i’ll post under my real name. why hide the genius?


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