Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Guess I Should Have Read Comics All Along

There is a scene near the end of American Pie 2, where Jim and Nadia are sitting in a lighthouse, and the former realizes that he loves the quirky and adorable band geek Michelle, and he states "I am a band geek, I just never joined the band".

Well, yesterday I realized I was a comic book guy but I just didn't read them.

Now, I know that at some point in the past, I wrote an entry for Lee at Quit Your Day Job in December 2008 where I explained why I didn't get into comic books, but after something catastrophic happened to his database, it was lost forever, but I did indeed write something to that effect.

I could have just let that slide and not mentioned that I had made those arguments, but I like to admit my seeming hypocrisy rather than hide it.

So here are a few of the reasons why I am a comic book guy (man, I hate saying it that way), but I don't read comics.

Lucha Libre: I am utterly fascinated by and intensely interested in Mexican wrestling, a world of scripted story lines between groups of very strong and acrobatic men in masks with a clearly marked line between the forces of good and evil. The names are also interesting to note in this context. Translated, there is King Mystery, The Saint, The Blue Demon, Psychosis, Man of A Thousand Masks, Black Shadow, Darkness and Cyborg amongst others. Are those not comic book hero/villain names?

Serialized Drama: I've made no secret of my former infatuation with a couple of soap operas. But even as an adult, series like 24, Prison Break and Alias, also had my full attention, where it was important to watch all the episodes in order to understand how the story was unfolding, and each of the lead characters of those series are extraordinarily talented in one way or another.

Animation: Let's look at some of the shows that I liked as an adult: The Venture Brothers, Dragon Ball Z, Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law, Ugly Americans, Drawn Together and Futurama. All have either something specifically to do with superhero-type characters or have fantastical elements within otherwise mundane settings which lend themselves to the comic form (and in DBZ's case, it was actually adapted from manga, so it has a head start in being like a comic already).

Movies: The type of movies that I love are very action-oriented, but in a stylized way, and in thinking about it, it occurred to me that a lot of the sequences I liked could be encapsulated easily as a sequence of comic frames. Kill Bill, Fist of Legend, and Hot Fuzz all come to mind when I think of action-oriented movies that I love that have a comic book feel to them. Even looking back at older movies that I enjoy, like Once Upon a Time in the West, they too, fit this model. And that isn't even mentioning films like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Sin City which are adapted from comics themselves.

Video Games: I wonder if playing as a cel-shaded masterthief who happens to be a fox, a special forces agent who is trying to prevent the implementation of giant nuclear mechs while fighting superhuman bosses and having really weird conversation on a codec, a Vin Diesel-lookalike who battles aliens, zombies and villains throughout time and a kickass female bounty hunter who goes after space pirates and a particular alien species would make me more or less likely to like comic book heroes. Hmmm. That's a tough one.

Now, I just have to find the comic-reading equivalent of a band camp geek. I don't have a lot of hope for that personally speaking.


Arjan said...

you don't especially have to look for one of those..
my dad is a music fanatic, my mum doesn't care all that much about music but they've been married for 32 years now.

Acceptance is enough.

John said...

I get that.

I'm a role-player, but I didn't get to play very often.

MC said...

Arjan: It was more a callback to the beginning of the article than anything ;)

John: Was that because at the time there weren't a lot of other people that you knew who shared that interest in the pre-internet world... I remember those days too.