I haven’t really had much experience with comics in the past. I would say the most contact I’ve had is when I was in preschool. My best friend was obsessed with Batman, and so on many occasions I was forced to be Cat Women while his little brother was Robin. We would run around the neighborhood capturing criminals, which usually ended up being my defenseless dog, Buddy. However, I have never actually read a Batman comic book. But comics are one of those things, like Star Wars or Harry Potter, that even if you’ve never read them, you’re definitely aware they exist. I’ve seen posters, covers of comic books, movie trailers, costumes, and many more things that relate to comics such as Spiderman, Superman, and Batman.
The first comic book I ever read was Maus by Art Spiegelman. It was required for Freshman English in high school. I dreaded reading it, but once I started it, I literally couldn’t put it down. Not only was the actual story so interesting, but the way he did it was fascinating. He turned the cats and mice into metaphors and created a whole new world that was able to describe an historical event. I also thought that the pictures added to the characters’ development; the reader was able to visualize them, allowing them to connect more to the characters. I was very surprised that a comic book could have such a strong effect and tell such a powerful story. Maus definitely changed my view of comic books.
I really enjoyed Y: The Last Man. I thought it was very interesting and brought up original ideas. I found it curious that the world fell apart when men died; the author acted like an atomic bomb went off. I didn’t read the whole story, so the author may have had all the women come together, but where I left off, people were in chaos, and no one was getting enough supplies. I liked that there was humor in it; the sarcasm and jokes made the dialogue more clever and enjoyable. The only thing I didn’t like was that I often got lost over who was talking. I would get so caught up in the dialogue and forget to look at the pictures, and lose who was saying what. I was also very surprised at the amount of violence. In my head I always imagined comics designed only for children, and so when I saw violence and sexual references I was fairly surprised. I was also surprised over the realism of Y: The Last Man. The characters had many flaws and were pretty realistic. I wouldn’t be surprised if many people were able to relate to the main character, Yorick.
The comic book I hope to someday read is Breakfast After Noon by Andi Watson. Breakfast After Noon is a modern day tale of a British couple, Rob and Louise, who have recently become unemployed. The stress of unemployment, the wedding they are planning, the talk of children, and a lack of money make the couple grow further and further apart. Rob goes into a deep depression and Louise becomes more and more frustrated and tired. For viewers who would like a more detailed summary, there are many good ones online, including a review from “Comics Worth Reading.” From the summary, it sounds like an incredibly depressing comic book. However, I want to read it because it deals with modern issues and tells a realistic story. It would be interesting to read a comic book like that. I think that this book would show real insight into real problems and could actually help people.
Comic books cover so many different realms, from superhero adventures to the struggles of everyday, average people. I’m beginning to realize that it is too big of a category to shut out completely. Just because someone doesn’t like one type of comic doesn’t necessary mean they don’t like comic books. It would be like someone never having ice cream just because they don’t like the Rocky Road flavor. My view of comics has also changed after I discovered that there is a large world of adult comic books out there that are extremely interesting and cover important topics. In the future, I am definitely going to try and read comic books more.