Monday, October 10, 2011

Bring back the Comics Digest!

Great news on the DC Comics front. Local comic creators ‘reboot’ DC’s famous heroes by Jonathan P. Kuehlein, Toronto Star (Oct 9th).

So there is a general reset for the DC line-up. Meh?
I loved reading comic books as a child aged 6 - 14. Mostly* it was Richie Rich and Friends, Uncle Scrooge vs. the Beagle Boys, and Superman (and friends). I would also read tons of Comic Strip paperbacks, Mad Magazine (and paperback editions) and also its competitor Cracked magazine. And much of this reading would be during the Spring through Fall seasons, prompted by regular trips to a family campground.
For my era of the seventies, the comics would be priced from 30 to 75 cents. These could be readily found at any number of common variety type stores. 60 cents and upto a Dollar double-size issues were always a favourite during those inflationary times. However, towards the early eighties, my final comics reading moved to the smaller and compressed digest book reprint format.

The modern problem of reading encouragement for boys is that most of those mentioned above each disappeared in the mid eighties. And never truly returned. Whenever I visit a bookshop, classic and 'pricey' reprints abound; yet I can never see any cheaply pulpish mass market versions! The comics themselves became 'glossy' and starting with the seminal mid-80s Dark Knight (Batman) re-boot - oriented to readers aged 14 to 41.
And yet... oddly enough, general audience movies for many of those multiple characters and publishers exploded with repeat success throughout the past twenty years?
I don't get the premise of pre-teen authors fixating upon phonebook sized tomes such as the Harry Potter or Twilght series. I don't get the premise neither of publishing 'everything comics' as an expensive deluxe keepsake either.
Those small forgotten (full-colour pulp) digests were the best! Just like their (black and white pulp) comicstrip predecessors, they were valued priced and full of merriment. This boy had loved to read them.

* I never cared for Marvel's line-up at all. Or Batman for that matter. Superman and the Flash did all of their fighting in the daytime, against a suburban friendly backdrop. Spidey and Bats, meanwhile, were always meddling into dark creepy holes. Yeah sure, that's what every young (or pre-teen) boy wishes for; to hang out with a couple of shady inter-city creeps in a dark dank hole.

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