First and foremost, before I get into the meat of this week’s column. I want to say what I am most thankfully for in life right now: My mother.
In March of 2010 a freak heart attack and accident lead to my father’s death. My mother was with him at the time, and could have been lost too. She is still here and going strong, for that I am grateful and thankful.
Tomorrow is the fourth Thursday of November. A day that has become a wholly American tradition and holiday: Thanksgiving. This is a time of year where we gather with friends and family and give thanks for all we have in life and all that has happened in the last year.
***Cough*** Sure. ***Cough*** Like most other days, Thanksgiving has lost any of its true meaning years ago. Instead, it has evolved into an excuse for many people to pig out on turkey and basically get drunk and stupid.
What am I doing for Thanksgiving this year? Staying home. The last few years I made rounds to different friends home and the experiences were almost mostly the same: I was ridicule by most people because I don’t drink alcohol.
Ah, well, rant over.
All that said I do have some things to be thankfully for. The first I mentioned in the opening. The second was initially announced two weeks ago in this column.
This past Monday my short film Did I Do Good made its debut at the Long Shadow Film Festival. It was a big hit. Not only did we get the biggest audience reaction – in my opinion – but the film won Best Horror Short Film. A great accomplishment for myself and all involved.
I am not just thankful that the film screened at the festival and won Best Horror Short Film, but am more thankful that the main cast, almost the entire crew, and my co-producer Dave Parrish where there to share the film finally getting some recognition.
Enough about me, this column is about comics. Despite a tough year in the industry that has seen stores close (five in my local area including my beloved Stalking Moon), a recent rash of cancellations at Marvel and other hardships, there are some things to be thankful for.
1. The New DC: Many who read this column might be surprised to see me list this, as I have been somewhat critical of the whole thing. I still have my doubts as to whether it will be a long term success or not.
However, for now it is turning out to be a boon. For the first time in years DC has stolen the number #1 spot from Marvel and sales are through the roof. The industry as a whole has benefited from the exposure the relaunch received through the mainstream media. I am sure at some point the increased readership trickled down to other non-DC titles.
2. Image Comics: This is one I can’t believe I am listing here. It’s surreal for me, as – outside of Spawn – I have avoided Image like the plague for the last few years. However a recent rash of titles from Image has changed that, titles that in the past would never have been associated with the company most known for Spawn, WildC.A.T.S. and Youngblood.
Infinite Vacation, Near Death and Severed are three of the titles I mean. These are far removed from the standard genre and are original (or very close to that) concepts in the world of comics. The first Morning Glories trade is currently on my shelf begging to be read.
Image, if you read this, more titles along these lines please. Forget Youngblood.
3. Comic Books themselves: Why should we be thankfully for comic books themselves? First and foremost for the years of enjoyment they have given us, the readers. Another reason is that they still exist. It was just a few years ago many naysayer’s were predicting the death of comics.
The Market crash of the mid to late ‘90s, the decreasing sales over the last decade, the rise of the internet and video games, the economic collapse in America and many comic stores closing, all these had a negative effect on the world of comics. Many ‘experts’ predicted the death of the industry as a whole.
But, just like the super heroes comic are must known for, the industry has risen to the challenge and its heart is still beating. With the New DC, it may be beating a little stronger.
All things are cyclical, and so are comics. Comics have had down periods before, along with golden ages.
For my part, I will stand on the edge of the cliff and proclaim to the world, I see the light. For a while now, the world of comics has been in the dark – the only shards of hope coming from film adaptations. But soon, I believe that will change.
Whether it is the physical comic or the digital, the world of comic is on the cusp of a new Golden Age. DC has proven it can be done.
Today, the comic retailer. Tomorrow, the world.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. Celebrate in whatever way you wish.