It’s a tradition of mine to talk about what’s going on in the comics industry that I’m thankful for. After all, Thanksgiving is happening this week here in the United States of America. So, let me talk briefly about a few things I’m happy about!
THE REIGN OF BATMAN
I’ve talked about how much I’ve enjoyed Scott Snyder and Tom King work on the Dark Knight, and I’m really looking forward to James Tynion IV taking over scripting Batman in the near future.
But overall, I’m thankful that Batman is on top… for now!
I’ve been a fan of the Batman for decades, and I’ve seen him on the top and also on the bottom. I’ve talked about how much I despised Nocturna and the books featuring Batman at that time. DC was this close to cancelling Detective Comics, which would have been a serious mistake, we know now. But Batman was so bad even I didn’t buy his comics. The only reason I added them back onto my pull list was because I just needed two more to get to a higher discount level. I held my nose and signed up for them.
Luckily, I was around when The Dark Knight Returns happened and even the New 52.
Almost everywhere I shop, I see something with Batman’s symbol or his face on it, at least! Instead of buying anything I ever saw that promoted the Dark Knight, now there is so much that I can’t buy it all!
And I really like that!
It’s good to know that my favorite comics character will be in good hands for at least the foreseeable future! That makes the heart of this old Batman fan feel good!
DC’S DARK LABEL COMICS
As a long-time comics fan, I’ve always felt that the industry, while definitely wanting to attract younger readers, needed to appeal to those of us who are older fans that have been around for a while.
I was somewhat skeptical when DC launched its Dark Label line of books. Could they really tell stories for the more “experienced” among us?
In my opinion, they’ve done a great job of putting out new content as well as moving the more controversial stories of the past into Dark Label. We needed that, I believe!
I can’t think of one in this line that I haven’t liked at least to some degree. This frees up the “regular” issues to be more family friendly.
I’m looking forward to more in that line coming our way soon! Great stuff!
THE YOUNG ADULT GRAPHIC NOVELS
This has been a great year for DC as well when it comes to their new line of young adult graphic novels, DC Ink, I believe.
I’ve read nearly all of them to this point, and I have really gotten into them. The young Bruce Wayne one recently grabbed my attention!
These books follow the characters during a specific time period, much like other YA novels, and they tell us a complete story while filling in the gaps of a hero or heroine’s history. I particularly enjoyed the Mera book as well as the aforementioned Bruce Wayne story. I couldn’t put them down, and I haven’t been a young adult for some time now!
I plan on keeping up with them in the coming years, and I hope they will break through that preconceived notion that “comics are for kids.” They’re for those of us who enjoy great storytelling!
MORE AND MORE COMIC CONS
While I continue to be concerned that the increasing number of comic cons and those related to them will one day implode, I’m just going to enjoy the ride for now.
Every weekend this year, there have been one to three conventions going on in various parts of the country and the world. Not every one has been a huge success, but I love seeing fans in some of the areas that haven’t received a lot of attention getting to meet creators and dealers who can help them enjoy their passions more.
I don’t know that each one will survive, though. I’ve been to cons where the people attending were only walking around and “window shopping,” not buying anything. That affects the next year because, if exhibitors don’t make enough money to return, then the con might not get as many dealers back, causing a smaller con, if one at all, to happen.
On the other hand, the optimist in me thinks that the industry hasn’t reached it’s peak when it comes to comic cons. Maybe we can still replace the not-so-successful events with better ones.
Cons are perfect advertisements for the industry, I believe. They put human faces on the creators and help fans find new areas of interest, like statues and Pops and all.
I’m hoping we can still grow the industry more through expanding the interests of fans far and wide. I don’t want this trend to reverse itself any time soon!
OTHER POINTS TO BE MADE
The trend of more female creators and characters continues at full speed, and I am happy that it looks like they’ll be around—and in bigger numbers—in the years to come!
Local comics shops that understand their customers and cater to their wants and needs continue to grow and thrive. If one doesn’t do that, well, there just may be someone waiting in the wings to take over that market.
It almost goes without saying that comics’ influence on other forms of media continues to grow exponentially. I’m excited about the big Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover coming to The CW in just a few weeks, for example. Movies just continue to look to the industry for stories they can tell on the big and little screens. I hope this trend will continue for years. I remember when there would be one show or movie a year (if we were lucky) based on a comic. Then it would hit before quietly fading away really quickly. I hope those days are gone forever!
THANKFUL FOR MAJOR SPOILERS
I always feel it’s important to mention this in this particular column! I so appreciate the chance to write and create podcasts for fans through MajorSpoilers.com.
Many fans simply don’t have friends who share their interests when it comes to comics. I’ve made many good friends through comics shops over the years, but I also truly feel a real obligation to help visitors to and fans of the site to point out the highest quality storytelling I can find so you get your money’s worth as often as possible.
Am I always right? No, as I’ll point out when we get to the end-of-the-year column in a few weeks. But I hope that Comics Portal and other articles here at least help conversations get started. Finding friends can happen unexpectedly. I was once standing in a store, looking at Spider-Man’s new all-black costume (to tell you how long ago this was). I grumbled and moaned out loud, and the person standing next to me laughed. That started a conversation that turned into a friendship.
Major Spoilers’ Head Honcho Stephen Schleicher and the rest of the people here do a wonderful job in making important information and opinions available to everyone, and that clearly includes me. It’s great reading, and I always come away knowing and understanding more, which helps me enjoy my weekly comics better and better. Thanks so much, Stephen!
What do you think? What’s going on these days in the comics industry that you appreciate, are glad is happening? Feel free to share your ideas below! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I thank each and every one of you who reads my columns and reviews or listens to my podcast episodes! You really make my day every time!