WHY I FELL IN LOVE WITH COMICS
A year ago I was pretty much the person that was the “anti-comic fan” sort of like the antichrist…but less..ya know Satan-y. But oddly enough as a 16-year-old African/American girl born in Nigeria, I sit on the boardwalk of the Venn diagram that is minority v.s. the majority of the Comic Book fan base.
Well, to call it a “fan base” as an entity pretty much throws a big ole blanket of generalization over it. From Archie to Deadpool, comics aren’t just for superhero doodles and speech bubbles there’s a vast array of content and plots.
It all started with Guardians of the Galaxy.
Yup, I went to the movies with a ‘friend’ to see Lucy, the super sci-fi/meta/mind trippy film with Morgan freeman telling me my brain only uses 10% of its capacity. It was a good movie, (I promise I won’t spoil it for ya) but in a bud to parallel with the rest of humanity, the ending was weird.
So since, we were like 15 and couldn’t drive home, we snuck into another screening that just so happened to be, Guardians of the Galaxy.
I saw the trailer for the movie a few months earlier in the trailer previews in the theater for X-Men Days of Future Past (this is pre PRE nerd me).
Personally, I thought GOTG looked ridiculous, it was a movie about these weird people in space with a talking raccoon and a
mono-vocabular tree. What is he the Fonz??? Anyway, I had all of no interest in the film except for the AMAZING song that they used at the end of the trailer. None other than Hooked On A Feeling by Blue Swede, pure gold.
Fast forward a few months, and coincidentally there I am in the theater, expecting some weird sci-fi that will give me vivid Space Balls flashbacks.
2 hours and 2 minutes later, my jaw has officially hit the floor.
It was the most genuinely entertaining film I have ever seen in my entire life. The combination of beautiful CGI , great acting, a friendly tree friend with a cute one-liner, a spunky racoon voiced by BRADLEY ‘freaking’ COOPER, but most importantly the KICK ASS playlist titled “Awesome Mix Vol. 1“. I won’t do a full out review on this post (soon) but this movie basically changed my life. In addition to changing my perception on superhero movies/comics, my opinion on 70’s/80’s tunes, and appropriately elevated my pre-existent love for Chris Pratt. Landing itself in the #1 slot of ‘My All Time Favorite Movies’.
I pretty much stanned both of the X-Men Origin/First Class films in addition to Guardians of the Galaxy for the most part of the past 12 months.
Very very recently I began to delve into comic books and shows of relation such as The Flash, (Green) Arrow, DAREDEVIL, and soon to be Agent Carter & Agents of Shield. These shows have me geeking out more than I thought I ever could, Daredevil was a masterpiece setting definite leverage for not only Netflix as a company but American television as an entity.
It’s believed that within the past few years shows of the genre have spiked tremendously however, I also see it as the renaissance of television. (I might have stolen this from a Reddit comment, but let’s just say I was “inspired“).
I believe this is due to shows like The Flash and Daredevil in addition to Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. It is amazing progression and innovation in writing and production quality of 21st-century television, in addition to depth to the development of characters .
– SUPERHEROES ON THE RECTANGLE IN YOUR LIVING ROOM –
What really set it off was me finally tuning into The Flash on CW in April. I chalk it up to my befriending of mostly guy friends (bc high school girls are waaack). My friends always raved about The Flash, so had to peeped it. The Flash turned out to be amazing (acting not so much), Grant Gustin is such a babe, and the idea of a supersonic speedster in the superhero universe of DC is a treat. Great compliment to my infatuation with Quicksilver from the X-Men Days of Future Past film.
However, I made the rookie mistake of watching The Flash before watching Arrow, a veteran by this time of CW, but of course the tv snob that I am I totally wrote off Arrow. I had to take some hardcore summer college pre-requisites , so HISTORY 1302 consisted of me taking notes
whipping out my laptop to watch Arrow on Netflix. Oliver Queen is one beautiful man, and Felicity Smoak is so witty plus she’s definitely lifts.
Speaking on television, I’d like to reiterate that Daredevil is possibly the biggest catalyst in my admiration for superheroes (although I’m not so big on mainstream SH’s i.e. Superman, Batman, Iron Man franchises). Daredevil, a show with strikingly gorgeous cinematic camera work, scoring, the wickedly talented acting from Charlie Cox. Even the color grading is impeccable, it’s really the whole package I tell ya. Charlie Cox aka NOT Ben Affleck aka Mr.Batman aka cleft chin Johnny with a major scowl, okay I’m off track. Charlie Cox, the best guy to play, Matt Murdock, a blind
suspersenified vigilante of Hell’s Kitchen that utilizes parkour better than Michael Scott.
I know, I knoooow, no one thought it could be done, but he did it, he did it better than Mike.
– COMIC BOOK MEN –
Non-Action Television That Influenced Me
This post calls for an appreciation mention of Comic Book Men. Comic Book Men is an AMC reality tv show about middle-aged men that grew up infatuated with comics and made it their life by working in a regular comic book store. Founded by the legends that are Kevin Smith and Silent Bob. The show is way more entertaining that it sounds, it is essentially Pawn Stars for comic books.
I began watching Comic Book Men because I simply wanted more knowledge on comics. A desire to hear facts and information on retro comic book along with the history and origins of the superheroes beyond the page. CBM delivered just that, plus Stan Lee & Adam West cameos. The main characters consist of Walt (the manager with an iron fist and a handful of shade), Ming (the ditsy rookie), Bryan (the hobo-esque?? guy that doesn’t work in the store but sits in the back reading comics and spouting backhanded insults at everyone), Kevin Smith of course as the podcast moderator. Smith has worked on a plethora of great things from Clerks to Daredevil arcs. In addition to Mike, he’s waaaaay too smart for these guys but he’s still there (lol). I binged 4 seasons in a week so…let’s just say I can’t wait for season 5! If you stan comics, give it a look!
YOUTUBE & PODCASTS
– Sourcefed & SourefedNERD –
It’s kind of scary how much I am in love with Youtube and the content creators on the platform ranging from Casey Nesitat to more relevantly Sourcfed. SourcefedNERD most definitely played a significant part in the infiltration of my mind that comics has subsequently committed. I chalk 100% of the Youtube influence credit to SourcefedNerd, my favorite channel.
SourcefredNERD is a sister YT channel to Sourcefed. Originally founded by Phillip Defranco (Daddy Franco) and funded by YouTube on their $100 million dollar new channel campaign. A lot of the other channels developed crashed, but Sourcefed held its head above the water, and I am glad they did.
If you don’t watch these guys please please check them out. Amazing and HILARIOUS people that bring a smile to your face any day. Anyway, SourcfednERD delivers content implied in its name. Ranging from video games to comic book news and everything in between that will quench the thirst of a young geekling like muah.
In addition to their daily videos delivering me all the superhero/tech/video games news I need through a podcast/long form show called Superhero Round Up! (inspo for one of my website categories) . It is essentially a weekly show on Thursday that round up all of the Superhero/Comic news on things from The Flash & iZombie to Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and The Walking Dead! Addressing all of the news, leaks, and rumors. It’s a pretty stellar show, I totally recommend if it’s on your wavelength of nerdom.
– Nerdist –
Another great addition for a little extra Nerd news is Nerdist. If you don’t know what that is, just know the name Chris Hardwick and that they have a plethora of podcasts ranging all types of stuff. Bless your ears.
I JUST LOVE COMICS…SUE ME
(don’t sue me plz)
By now you can tell I am heavily influenced by television, film, and YouTube. They have helped me develop my personality as I evolve as a person deeper into my teen years.
– Random Thought –
There is a Family Guy scene in which Stewie expressed in short form how [people] use other people’s creations to define their individualism. Isn’t that ironic? Using someone else’s work to define who you are as a person? Hmph.
DO YOU, SCREW THE LAME-OS
As I said in the intro of this article, a roughly 12 months ago I was totally against this “nerd culture” and never understood the why. I pinned myself to believe the stereotypes, but I have become one of the most obscure examples for a member of this nerdy culture. It is different. It is unexpected. BUT, overall it is pretty freaking awesome. It’s been really awesome expanding my mind to new people and different mediums.
However, the prejudice and judgment from “friends” that have known me since I was wee little lad kind of sucks. On the contrary, the support from my new friends I have made within the fandoms under comics totally compensates to where I just don’t care what people think anymore.
Comic Books are borderline
Gandhi, because they have helped me get closer to realizing that I should do what makes me happy, screw everyone else. Whether what you love is sifting through short boxes of comics looking for Daredevil Volume 1 #183 aka DD meets The Punisher (by the luck of the Irish). Or your happiness can reside in knitting sweaters. As long as it’s moral, who cares? Do you.
REPRESENTATION IN POP CULTURE IS IMPORTANT
From lead positions in the film industry to being content taking part in a fandom, representation is important.
The older I get, the more I realize how important representation is for people of all kind of races. So, I can be the representation for the next African American girl ruining her life by opening up a colorful paneled masterpiece. I got kind of sappy there but, it’s the honest truth and if I had prominent representation when I was growing up, I wouldn’t have hesitated to pick up a copy of Daredevil, I would’ve flaunted it. Puh-leeez.
Same goes for Nichelle Nichols from Star Trek for giving women of color representation in the 70’s, and another thank you to MLK for pushing her to not leave the show. (Hear about it in S3 E10 of Comic Book Men)
I have to say it again.
From lead positions in the film industry to being content taking part in a fandom, representation of race and gender is important in all mediums.
(who knew comics could get so serioussss?)
COMIC BOOKS, MY ONE & ONLY
*cue Adele music*
As a newcomer to the comic book game, I am granted the ability to learn new fascinating things every single day. After all the things I’ve said all I can say is, it’s great, and I am more than happy.
Overall, I guess comics are 1,987 words worth of cool.
So, Check em’ out.