It brings me great joy as I watch the next generation of comic book fans grow up.
One such person is my nephew on my wife’s side. As I watch him pretend to be Spider-Man, Superman, or even my favourite Ninja Turtle character, Baxter Stockman, I can’t help but tear up just a little.
I don’t want to brag but he knows me as the Uncle that knows everything about these characters and every time I see him, he has a slew of questions for me. If, after I’ve answered them he thinks I wrong, he is not afraid to say so.
Seeing him grow up with the same care that I have makes me wonder why everyone doesn’t care about comics the way that we do. So I brainstormed. Once done, I looked down and said, “That’s a short list.” Biased as I might be, I couldn’t come up with more than 2 reasons.
I then began to assemble a list of all the reasons someone should care about comics. To no surprise, that list is extensive.
Comic bring taboo topics to the forefront.
Alcohol, drugs, sex, racism, discrimination, and so many more have been discussed within the brightly illustrated pages. These topics are hard to discuss on a normal day, let alone in the world that you and I live in now. For whatever reason, when they are put onto the pages of a comic, people listen and listen well.
Each of these carefully constructed teams teaches the reader the value of teamwork. Above that, each of them also teaches that every member of the team is just as valuable as the other. Racism, sexism, and discrimination have no place on the pages of comics.
Comic books advocate for people to stay in school.
Often lost in all the crash and bash of superhero stories is that characters such as Bruce Banner and Jennifer Walters are very intelligent. Jennifer is a sought after legal advisor and Bruce is a well respected scientist.
If children learn anything from comics it is that school pays off.
There are no shortage of characters who have suffered great loss in comics and this is something that you know all too well.
Jubilee (another personal favourite) – Foster child who found a home with the X-Men
Batman – Parents were slain right in front of him leaving him as an orphan
Superman – Wasn’t even raised on his home planet. Dropped off at the home of the Kent’s to be raised.
Gemini – Mother was accidentally killed
Roy Harper – Father died in a forest fire
Relatable is a word thrown around loosely in comics but I suppose it’s for good reason. While the characters in comics aren’t real, the events that happen to them are.
Personally, I hate reading. Although for whatever reason, I have no problem sitting down and reading a comic. It’s not that reading isn’t valuable or that I don’t learn anything. It’s that reading books is boring.
The storylines and pictures within comics fix this. Comic books have a way unlike any other written medium to captivate and hold the imagination of its reader. Maybe it’s the pictures or maybe it’s the words, I’m not completely sure. What I do know is that my attention span, vocabulary, and memory all grew as a result of comics.
To this day I am able to remember very specific books and what happened in them.
Ask me what happened in 10,000 Leagues Under The Sea, and I’ll give you a dumbfounded look.
A personal joy of mine is being an Uncle to Joel’s son. In my eyes, from the day he was born, he was destined to be Captain America…Canada?
Joel does his best to teach him the values and virtues of life. You better believe it that he is doing it through comics too. Every chance I get, I aim to impart my comic book wisdom on him. After all, Joel has certain characters and books that he likes and so do I. If I don’t take the time to teach him about characters like Cyclops, nobody will.
It’s a blessing to see him look up to Joel like he’s a superhero. It’s true what they say, dad’s are really heroes to their children.
My nephew doesn’t need to wear a cape or have superpowers because the love that he shows for Joel, myself, and comics is more than enough.
Care about comics
Comic books have humble roots. From books movies to countless discussions about the genre, I am happy that I grew up a comic fan. The questions is, when are you going to join me?
I ask that you pass this article along. There is a world of naysayers out there and each one of them need to be exposed to the merits of comics. Help me show them that we care about comics.