Category Archives: Comic Books

A Tale of Two Cons, Part One: Comic-Con International, San Diego

Some of you may have realized that I haven’t written a new blog post in about two months. Believe me, it’s not that I’d forgotten or because I’ve given up the writer’s Way for the suit-and-tiestyle of startup life (there are no suits or ties where I work). I’ve become quite the jet-setter since joining the ranks of Indiegogo, so much of my time is spent at 30,000 feet or prepping for film festivals and other big events worldwide.

But enough excuses for not writing. This month, I’m giving  you “A Tale of Two Cons –– Comic-Con International and VidCon,” one out today, and its companion piece due out on August 21st. Two posts for the two months I missed about the two cons I’d attended. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Last month, I attended the one and only San Diego Comic-Con for the first time ever, and what a marvelous experience it was. From DIY Iron Men meandering about the gray carpets to alien creatures stalking the children and posing for photo opps, Comic-Con is the premiere spot for all things comic book, movie, TV, and gaming, a veritable Geekopolis where it’s not only alright, but recommended that you unleash your innermost child and geek out. As a frequent attendee of New York’s Con, I have to say SDCC weighs in at a slightly higher class than NYCC ever could; while the latter fills up the Jacob Javitz Convention Center, the former spills out of the San Diego Convention Center and takes over the entire Gaslamp Quarter.

SDCC-2012-logo8 As an aspiring comic book/graphic novel author, the lessons I learned at SDCC about the comics industry, entertainment business, and beyond are also heavier. Last year, I had a hefty number of takeaways. [LINK to Broken Frontier article] This year, my conversations included S.M. Vidaurri (Archaia’s Iron, or The War After), Marcus To (Archaia’s upcoming Cyborg 009 –– apparently I’m a huge fan of Archaia Entertainment), J.T. Krull (Aspen Comics), and Jeff Smith (Bone and RASL) with brief eavesdroppings on conversations with legends like Len Wein and Jimmy Palmiotti, and some elbow rubs with Ed Catto, I was also representing Indiegogo at SDCC, so I got to speak with lots of folks who are interested in the “crowdspace,” like Jon Bogdanove, who had launched a Kickstarter campaign for his upcoming graphic novel Strongman. If only I’d gotten to him earlier! However, if this Strongman: Volume One campaign doesn’t reach its goal, I hope to help Jon craft a “Stronger-man” campaign for Indiegogo.

I also had a great conversation with Steve Stern and Dan Cote, co-creators of the Zen: Intergalactic Ninja franchise from the late 1980s, who also have a pretty sweet side business in which they turn movie scripts into comic books. I’m thinking of working with these guys on my vampire/sci-fi/dramic (yeah, I just made that last word up) screenplay A Beautiful Unlife.

I remembered this from the old Nintendo 8-bit video game. Had no idea it was a comic, too.

I remembered this from the old Nintendo 8-bit video game. Had no idea it was a comic, too.

And there was also a high-octane panel I co-moderated with The Crowdfund Mafia’s CEO Michael Fultz featuring the campaign owners of some of Indiegogo’s top funded campaigns like Toby Turner, Sean Keegan, and Corey Vidal. Add on top of that lots of time hanging out with Lloyd Kaufman and the crazy-cool folks at Troma Entertainment and meeting tons of animated film folks thanks to Facebook friend-turned-real-life-friend Alexia Anastasio, I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience at SDCC.

But what good is a blog post without lessons? In a nutshell, here’s what I brought back from San Diego Comic-Con aside from a ton of new reading material:

There’s lots of talent out there, from illustrators to filmmakers. And in a world where everyone judges everything, that talent can sometimes go unacknowledged. Don’t get me wrong, I also realized there’s lots of stuff out there that probably shouldn’t have left the imagination. But the fact is it did, and it has audience because we live in a niche-driven world. Look at steampunk, which is picking up steam (couldn’t help it, sorry) more and more every year. In fact, I picked up the first two issues of Steam Wars, a ‘punked out version of Star Wars from the Antarctic Press booth.

I got my copies of Steam Wars signed by creator Fred Perry.

I got my copies of Steam Wars signed by creator Fred Perry.

Almost everyone’s interested in crowdfunding, and although Kickstarter itself was not at SDCC, I did feel its tremors in the Force in the form of campaign cards and even a display of sculptures that’s currently raising funds for production. Even though the kompetition was MIA, the concept of crowdfunding was very much alive and athrive; everyone I spoke to wanted to know about Indiegogo. In fact, my friend Alexia, who’s a huge advocate of my work and my book Crowdfunding for Filmmakers, spent a good chunk of SDCC introducing me to all the talented animators she knew, like Bill Plympton, the subject of her very own documentary Adventures in Plmptoons!, which was partially crowdfunded on Indiegogo. And at a party she invited me to, those introductions lead to deeper discussions, and a consensus was met –– crowdfunding is the future, and it’s now.

Artist’s Alley’s a tough gig, and I don’t know how artists do it. Marcus To was telling me this was his first Comic-Con that he wasn’t chained to a table in the Alley, and because of it he was a lot less stressed; he didn’t have to worry about not being at the booth, since if you’re not at the booth, you’re not making money selling your art. One thing I did notice is that if you want to get noticed, you have to be proactive and engaging, and not expect your work or your names speak for themselves. Most of the artists in the alley were more like graffiti on the walls –– they didn’t assert themselves or try and bring people to their tables. Many of them even looked bored, like they didn’t want to be there. It’s a hard gig, sure, but as with anything, you’ve got to make an effort if you want to steal the show.

Taking over the digital comics space one publisher at a time.

Taking over the digital comics space one publisher at a time.

ComiXology paves the future of comics, and comic creators need to embrace it. I’m really writing this to convince myself of it. I’m not into digital comics; in fact, I bought at least five graphic novel trades that I have on my tablet as reviewer copies that I haven’t gotten to because, well, they’re not in physical form. But ever since reading –– no, experiencing –– Batman ’66 #1 and seeing the potential that digital comics can have, I’m a proponent of this for my own graphic work, though I’ll still remain a reader of hardcopy comics. One of the shoulders I brushed against, but exchanged no words with at Graphitti Designs’ Dead Dog Party, was that of one of ComiXology’s co-founders, who was standing across from Paul Guinan, no doubt deep in conversation about robots. I’ll remedy that this October at NYCC for sure.

There’s something about Troma that folks don’t understand, and it’s this: They do it right! Say what you will about the films themselves, but love ‘em or leave ‘em, Lloyd and the Troma Team get them made and distributed on much more than an indie scale, and they’ve been doing it for almost forty years. I was even fortunate enough to get Lloyd on the panel, and aside from a few “Llewd” comments about how folks tend to break into the industry (something about having strong lips and good knees, I believe), Lloyd brought up the most important thing about doing anything –– put your mind to it and do it.

That's the legendary Lloyd Kaufman, myself, and Megan Silver hanging out at the Troma booth.

That’s the legendary Lloyd Kaufman, myself, and Megan Silver hanging out at the Troma booth.

Every experience should enrich our lives, and all the time I spent at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con have added more Ka-Blam! to my power-packed drive to move forward with my own Siren’s Calling in the smartest way possible to ensure I get my next story out to audiences. And the same way SDCC piqued further my interest in comics culture, VidCon –– the premiere YouTube festival –– gave me a deeper appreciation for the world of online video. But more on that next week!

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Five Too Few: Dynamo 5 and the Legacy in Need of a Renaissance

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved superhero comics. And yes, I’m talking mostly about the mainstreamers –– Batman and Robin, Green Arrow, Superman, and Wonder Woman. I also have a pretty strong affinity to many of the underdog champions, like Metamorpho, Elongated Man, and Black Lightning, who aren’t as well known by the masses. And I don’t mean for this opening paragraph to be so DC-centric, but I don’t marvel as much at Stan Lee’s breed the way I used to in the ’90s; back then, you couldn’t tear me away from any stories starring the amazing Spider-man, uncanny X-Men, or my personal favorite Marvel misfit of the time, Ghost Rider.

One thing I’ve always been skeptical about as a somewhat closed-minded teenager reading comics in between classic works of literature was any superhero from some other universe outside the main solar systems of DC and Marvel. I certainly tried a few titles: Valiant’s Ninjak, Dark Horse’s Hellboy, and Image’s WildC.A.T.s and Cyberforce. They all seemed to center around pale imitations of A-listers and popular superteams, with the exception of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, of course, which was badass in story, art, and originality.

It wasn’t until many years later that I opened my mind to the idea that cool heroes could exist outside the worlds of DC and Marvel. After joining the Broken Frontier staff, I conducted and wrote up an interview with comics and TV writer Jay Faerber, who was penning a crime series I enjoyed immensely called Near Death, that I found out about two other superhero-oriented series he worked on from 2002 to 2009 –– Noble Causes and Dynamo 5.

Dynamo 5 –– an original superhero team with unique abilities and real world problems.

Dynamo 5 –– an original superhero team with unique abilities and real world problems.

Even though I’m only two trades into the Noble Causes franchise, I’m already hooked, although not nearly as much as when I started reading Dynamo 5. I’ve read all five trade paperbacks, all in the course of a couple of months. See, after I met Jay at NYCC and had him sign my copy of Near Death #1, I snatched up a copy of Dynamo 5, Volume One: Post-Nuclear Family and turned it over to read the back cover, and I was immediately intrigued by the story’s originality:

He was the world’s greatest hero, but Captain Dynamo was not a faithful husband. Now he’s dead and his family is trying to piece their lives together. As his enemies descend on his unprotected city, Captain Dynamo’s widow rounds up his five illegitimate children, each of whom have inherited one of their father’s super-powers. Can these total strangers come to terms with their powers, their father’s legacy and each other as total chaos erupts?

With Noble Causes, Jay blends the superhero mythos with soap opera sentimentality, which all other action/adventure books of the superhero sort steer clear of. But by embracing it the way he does, Jay allows us into the everyday lives of this highly unlikeable but strangely fascinating family; plus, we see it all through the unbiased eyes of Liz Donnelly, the widow of the late Race Noble, much the way readers view the world of The Great Gatsby though the eyes of Nick Carraway. What Jay does best in Dynamo 5, however, is shift the focus onto five young strangers-turned-family members trying to cope with the knowledge that their father was Captain Dynamo, a Superman with somewhat less of a moral code when it came to extramarital affairs, and that they have now collectively inherited his role as the defenders of Tower City since his death.

When I had picked up this first volume of Dynamo 5, I honestly wasn’t in the mood for another superhero title; I’d been trying to round out my comics knowledge with indie titles, ones funded through crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, and old crime and horror comics as research for my own upcoming series Siren’s Calling. But when I opened that gorgeous cover by Mahmud A. Asrar, I got through Post-Nuclear Family in a single sitting. As a matter of fact, I made it through each of the other four volumes in the same manner –– one shot, one after another. I was that engrossed in the lives of these teens-turned-teammates in this fresh take on the Teen Titans. This was not your typical superhero story, but rather something fiercely different and very similar to the graphic literature I’d been consuming. It fit right in with my research, and every book gave me tons of enjoyment, too.

And then I reached the end of Dynamo 5, Volume 5: Sins of the Father, and saw that the series had come to an end.

Victor pushes the limits of his newfound strength battling against aliens in Dynamo 5, Volume 5.

Hector pushes the limits of his newfound strength battling against aliens in Dynamo 5, Volume 5.

But the story wasn’t over.

How could it be over? One of the characters I’d seen mature from a visor-wearing Cyclops to an Incredible Hulk (sans the skin tone and Rob Liefeldian muscles) lies on the ledge of the dark side and I needed to know what was going to happen to him. But there was nothing more to the story except a holiday special. No Volume Six. No closure. Nothing.

I’m not sure why Dynamo 5 ceased its run after its fifth volume. There had been talk of another miniseries called Certain Death,” but the last anyone heard of that was from Jay’s old blog back in May, 2011 and a few pages illustrated by “Sins of the Father” artist Julio Brilho that’s posted on Jay’s Facebook page. Aside from that, the series seems to have remained “aborted.”

Until now, perhaps?

Recently, some smaller press publishers have reinstated lots of b-side superheroes like X-O Manowar for active duty. I gave some of them the benefit of a read, and none of them resonated with me the way Bridget, Hector, Gage, Olivia, Spencer, and even Maddie, the widow of Captain Dynamo, had. Don’t get me wrong, Valiant’s Harbinger, Dark Horse’s Ghost, and even DC’s Swamp Thing and Animal Man are all great action/adventure stories, but that’s where it stops for each of them. The kind of substance and humanity that Jay penned into every issue of Dynamo 5 is what’s lacking in just about every superhero story today. Now maybe substance and humanity don’t sell many books today, but perhaps what’s more important is having an audience that cares enough to help Bridget here lift Dynamo 5 to new heights and finally resurrect it from “Certain Death”.

Can we be like Briget and resurrect Dynamo 5 from "Certain Death"?

It’s kinda funny, but when I left Jay’s setup at the Image Comics booth at NYCC, I handed him a calling card for my book Crowdfunding for Filmmakers and said something along the lines of “if you ever want to crowdfund another few issues of Near Death, let me know and I’ll help you do it through the crowd.” But while his tale of Markham, the hit man who has a near death experience and vows to save a life for every one he’s taken, was compelling from first issue to final, the ending in Near Death #11 felt finished and complete. Markham lives in my head, and I know exactly what he’s doing, and where he’s doing it, too. But the kids from Dynamo 5? They’re in a limbo of my mind, an unfinished chapter that’s perhaps yet to be written that the fans would love to read in a single sitting, and once again become further invested in a superhero story with more substance and humanity than any other currently on the racks.

Or am I the only one who thinks this way?

I can’t be the only one.

Can I?

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C’mon, Dynamo 5 fans, speak up in the Comments below and let me know your thoughts, and whether or not you’d love to see a Volume 6 hit the comic shelves from Image soon.

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Nine Tomorrows: Great Graphic Novels of the Not-So-Distant Future

Many years ago while perusing the shelves of the old Twelfth Street Books in Manhattan, I stumbled on an anthology of short science fiction stories by Isaac Asimov called Nine Tomorrows. I became instantly immersed in this strange collection of tales, a few of which left me spellbound for days after. Two of those stories that remain firmly implanted on my mind are “All the Troubles of the World” and “The Last Question,” which are both part of a larger series that revolves around a futuristic supercomputer known as the Multivac.

Since I’ve been spending much of my time penning blogs, comic book reviews, and my own creative writing, I currently have no time to read actual books (Fitzgerald’s Beautiful and Damned and Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises have been sitting in the same spot for a month). My reading list is thus comprised of comics and graphic novels, so I decided to put together this list of “Nine Tomorrows” –– my favorite graphic tales that tell of future days, time travel, and parallel universes.

9. Robin 3000 by Brian Preiss and P. Craig Russell

This two-issue prestige format book under DC Comics’ Elseworlds trademark, did not seem to do very well with audience despite its interesting sci-fi premise: 31st Century Thomas Wayne fights off a threatening alien race as the Boy Wonder after the Batman of his era is killed. Definitely worth a read if you can get your hands on some cheap copies (I wouldn’t spend more than $5 for the pair).

8. Mystery in Space by Jim Starlin and Shane Davis

Jim Starlin and Shane Davis put together a very exciting storyline in 2006 with Mystery in Space, starring Captain Comet (whom I also mention in my post “The Five Most Underrated DC Comics Superheroes Who Deserve Their Own Blockbuster“), who’s essentially a cross between Flash Gordon and Adam Strange. This is a near perfect book for anyone who enjoys a solid science fiction story that spans galaxies, though I could have done without The Weird stories that come with this trade paperback edition.)

7. RASL by Jeff Smith

I was introduced to this series by my good friend Ed, being that he knows I have a penchant for stories dealing with time travel and/or parallel universes, and after reading the first of two collections, I have only great things to say about Jeff Smith’s story about a world-jumping art thief who finds himself at the mercy of a killer who shares his ability for leaping from world to world. My kind of noir story for sure!

6. The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley

Not much really needs to be said about Frank Miller’s classic Bat-story The Dark Knight Returns, in which an older Bruce Wayne dons the cape and cowl once more to battle back the mutants of Gotham City. This is the paradigm of great stories about the future, and a must read for any comic book fans.

5. Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross

Another exciting story of superheroes in future times, where Superman, Batman, and all the world’s greatest heroes engage in an all out super powers war. Beautifully panted by master illustrator Alex Ross, this story also pits many of our favorite superheroes against one another in a battle to save the world.

4. Batman & Dracula: Red Rain by Doug Moench and Kelly Jones

It’s Batman versus the King of the Undead in Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, which is a solid example of Elseworlds storytelling from Moench and Jones, with an ending that will blow your mind (and also bring into existence two terrible sequels –– Bloodstorm and Crimson Mist –– worth mentioning only because of the coolness of their titles and the fact that they all have something to do with the color red and rain.)

3. Revolver by Matt Kindt

I only recently discovered Matt Kindt through his most recent series Mind MGMT, and when I saw this at the Strand Bookstore in Manhattan, I just had to have it. From illustrations to Kindt’s story of a man who goes to sleep in one world and wakes up in another, Revolver is a subconscious journey through the wormhole of imagination, psychology, and human choice.

2. Metal Men by Duncan Rouleau

I’ve heard from a few people that this series wasn’t very good due to the simple fact that it’s dense and text-heavy, but as a writer myself, I wasn’t bothered by this retelling of the origin of Doctor Will Magnus and his band of merry Metal Men. Half the time, however, I was confused by some of the more chemistry-based elements of the story (the “How Stuff Works” aspects, if you will). But looking at it as the story of a man, his wicked, time traveling brother, and the woman they love, it is quite a ride through the wormholes of thought, keeping the camp-factor in tact while honoring the cosmological elements we’ve grown accustomed to questioning these days (thanks to Michio Kaku!)

1. Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar and Dave Johnson

There’s not much I can say about this story except that is the most awesome story DC has probably ever put out as part of its Elseworlds collection. The story of a Superman born and raised in the Soviet Union with an ending that to this day still twists the corners of my mind into the loop that it encompasses. Brilliant writing and brilliant artwork make for a brilliant capstone on a series dedicated to parallel worlds and alternate realities. This is a must have for every science fiction aficionado.

HONORABLE MENTION: Teen Titans, Volume 4: The Future is Now by Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, Mike McKone, Ivan Reis, and Tom Grummett

And because I’m a huge Teen Titans fan, I just had to include this truly wonderful trade paperback collection of Teen Titans (volume three) #s 17 – 19, a story arc aptly titled “Titans Tomorrow” about a possible future where our beloved young heroes Superboy, Robin, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Kid Flash, and Raven blur the line between hero and villain and run the risk of becoming no better than those they try to protect the world against.

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What are some science fiction stories (graphic or otherwise) that explore time travel, parallel universes, and/or alternate realities that have impacted YOU and expanded your knowledge of the universe?

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Top Eight Movies I Saw in Theaters in 2011 (Because I Only Saw Eight Movies in Theaters in 2011)

As many of my closer friends on Facebook and those who follow me on Twitter probably know, I spent the bulk of 2011 writing, teaching, and doing research for my second feature-length screenplay Caput. That research took the form of film noir, and I spent just about all of my free time seated in front of an old 23-inch Magnavox tube television watching everything from Billy Wilder to Nicholas Ray, from Jimmy Cagney in The Public Enemy, White Heat, and a bunch of what falls between to everything from Humphrey Bogart and a few titles from Edward G. Robinson.

So needless to say it’s a bit difficult to pull together a “Top Ten” list when you’ve only seen eight movies in total through the course of a whole year. And even though I spent an entire week in Cannes during the Festival du Cannes with my short film Cerise, I didn’t even get to see one film while I was there. Not one!

But out of what I did see in theaters during 2011, here’s how they rank up:

8: Green Lantern –– Okay, it was “Boys Day Out” and my buddy Dave and I saw this in 3-D and afterwards compared the movie to all the Green Lantern comics we’d ever read, and concluded that this isn’t really the best interpretation of GL.

7. Captain America: The First Avenger –– It’s been a heavy year for comic-related movies and me, and although I’m not much a fan of Marvel Comics or even Captain America and the Avengers for that matter, I found this movie to be entertaining at best, and quite ridiculous at worst.

6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo –– This was the last movie I saw in 2011, and while it was very well-done with great performances by both Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, it’s really nothing more than a straight remake of the superior Swedish version (and not the best testament to any skill David Fincher may have as a director).

5. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold –– The only doc I saw this year, and a humorous and informative one at that! I definitely recommend this one.

4. X-Men: First Class –– Entertainment at its best. I thoroughly enjoyed this installment of the X-Franchise, with wonderful performances by both James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as the conflicting “brothers” Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto).

3. Source Code –– A semi-brainy film for sure (Oh, how I love anything dealing with parallel worlds and other Michio Kaku-like stuff!) in the guise of an action drama. A fun ride which offered up a few minutes of heady conversation at the diner afterwards.

2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes –– By far the most entertaining action film I’ve seen in a long time, and although the CGIed apes could be a bit distracting (mainly at the beginning), my enjoyment wasn’t all that hindered. This experience was enhanced by the fact that I saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes in an AMC Dine-In Theater in Menlo Park, NJ (there’s something to be said about watching a movie like this over a juicy burger, crisp fries, and a Blue Moon fast at your side!)

1. Midnight in Paris –– An absolutely beautiful film and (in my opinion) Woody Allen’s best work to date (but that could also be because it caters to every fiber in my being as a writer and aficionado of classic literature!) This experience, of course, was made even more special because I saw it with my Lady Marinell in Paris (around the midnight hour, too) with French subtitles. Viva la Paris!

As an added bonus, here’s a proper Top Ten List of Films I Wanted to See (But Didn’t) in 2011:

1. L’Artiste
2. The Flowers of War
3. Anonymous
4. Melancholia
5. Another Earth
6. The Skin I Live In
7. The Adjustment Bureau
8. Coriolanus
9. Sleeping Beauty
10. Win Win

Most of these are on my Netflix, and once I’m done with my brief James Bond phase, I’ll start catching up on these 2011 films.

That’s all for now, folks. It’s been a superb year for blog writing, poetry writing, classic movies, and book writing for me, and I’m hoping 2012 continues this tradition tenfold.

Happy New Year everyone, and thanks for reading!

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An Inner Child Enkindled (or, A Happy Epilogue to “So Long Spandex…”)

Those of you who’ve read my recent blog post “So Long Spandex, but Thanks for Stretching Yourself So Thick” will know that I’m not the happiest comic book camper regarding DC Comics’s “New 52” reboot of the world’s greatest superheroes.

However, on Wednesday, after working on a shot list for my next short film with Alain Aguilar, the film’s cinematographer and my best friend of over twelve years, I was ready to head off to Midtown Comics Downtown and attend my very first book signing; my favorite writer Scott Snyder (of American Vampire fame) was going to be signing copies of the much anticipated Batman #1.

My very first signing caught in camera (that's Scott Snyder on the right)

I was about to go on my merry, solitary way when Alain decided he’d join me. He’d never been much of a comic book reader (he wasn’t one at all, actually), and as we got off the A train at Fulton Street, he asked me what the deal was with this whole Batman #1 signing. So I explained to him the basic ideology behind DC’s “New 52”––how the company is starting from scratch with all new first issues and brand new story lines that they hope will appeal to longtime and new readers since these stories would, in the case of Action Comics, Justice League and most others, start way at the beginning of superherodom.

Then something happened. In all the years I’ve ever spoken to Alain about comic books, yammering off about how superb a read All Star Superman is or how important costumes and color psychology are in The Boy Wonder’s evolution from Robin to Nightwing, never have I seen him so spellbound as I did that day––a glimmer in his eyes of the child who’d always wanted to pick up a comic book and read it, but for some reason or another never did, and never asked why, until that moment.

So we entered Midtown Comics, and I proceeded to the racks and picked up Batman #1 along with a small stack of other titles I was interested in trying on for size, such as Wonder Woman and Legion of Super-Heroes. “I’ll take one, too,” Alain said suddenly, and he reached out and snatched a copy. And he didn’t stop there! After asking for some recommendations, he also picked up copies of Action Comics #1, Nightwing #1 (‘cause he knows how awesome Dick Grayson is from hearing me talk about him over the years) and Catwoman #1 (by far the most interesting anti-heroine out there.) As we waited on line to pay for our books, he told me that he’d been wanting to get into some new material for a while, and to delve into new stories and good storytelling, and he’d avoided comics for all these years because he thought it’d be difficult to keep up with all that’s going on. But now that comics have started from the beginning again, he could finally get into them from the beginning with little chance of getting too lost.

So I guess DC’s “New 52” is doing some good after all. I mean, just look at how happy Al looks with his signed copy of Batman #1 and Certificate of Authenticity:

All smiles!

So although the days of old-school superheroes may be dead and gone, I’m happier now to see firsthand how younger and older generations will benefit from the joy of picking up a comic book for the first time and being pulled into a story from splash to final page and its inevitable “To Be Continued…” that hints at what’s to come so our inner children can feel once more (or for the first time) how slowly a month can pass by.

And me? I’ll be walking the Middle Road with comic books as with everything else in my life and spend my free time paging the “New 8” DC Comics titles (so far) that have caught my attention when not hunched over the $1 boxes at St. Mark’s Comics regaling in a simpler time of spandex and tinsel.

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