Comics – The most underrated art form

Comics have a unique position in the realm of entertainment art forms, as they possibly have the most absolute freedom for expression. Television can be highly serialized, but there just is not any budget to satisfactorily realize any complex vision. Movies have budgets, but they require much time to make each individual installment, so serialization is very hard to pull off.

Comics, however, contain the best of both worlds. The only limit is the writer and the artist’s imagination. Using only pen and paper, they can create unique and awe inspiring visuals and moments that most films need 175 million dollars to pull off.

Most people know comic books as being the inspiration behind all of the blockbuster superhero films that come out these days, mainly from the companies known as Marvel and DC.

However, many people are hesitant to jump into the 75+ years of stories that these iconic heroes have, believing that it would be impossible to catch up.

Thankfully, Trade Paperbacks are amazing collections that hold many important stories from the past. Even if one does not want to wade through 50 years of stories, they can just research it online to be up to date on the newest issue.

This goes beyond just superhero comics as well. It is true that is the genre that the art form is most known for, but there are so many other incredible storylines that represent such a wide diversity of stylings; fantasy, science fiction, even dramatic stories can be covered in comics. In addition, with more independent publishers, good writers can cover an entire story from beginning to end without having to worry about editorial universe overhaul.

That is the only big problem with comics. DC and Marvel like to do big universe shifts for stunts and publicity that often drag down stories that good writers were trying to tell.

One example would include The New 52 from DC, overhauling their universe to make it more accessible, killing many stories as they were being written.

The most heinous example of editorial mandated changes was Marvel forcing Spider-Man and Mary Jane to have their happy marriage for 20 years be erased from continuity, undoing years of character growth to get Peter Parker back to an immature person who acted like a teenager.

Independent comics have managed to avoid these problems, and they only suffer from writers having so much control that they make stupid stuff. Thankfully, once a comic reader is well versed enough, they can find the writers that best cater to their own personal tastes.

The easiest way to split up comics are by runs, where a single writer commits to telling story over multiple issues. Generally, even in long running comics, it is very easy to immerse oneself at the beginning of a run. Comics are not just a medium for nerds, they are a medium that offers so many dazzling diverse stories that if people are not reading them, they are sorely missing out.