Hello again! Here lately sleep has eluded me and I’m sure why. It’s most likely due to the pandemic and the stress that has fallen on the world. It was about 2 in the morning when the question came to me. Why are comics so important to us? If you ask 100 people, this question you’ll end up with at least 80 if not more different answers. For many, comics are a vehicle to escape the real world. In some cases, it serves as a relaxing moment from a stressful day at work, and other times it’s a need to escape from the darker side of life.
Throughout their history comics have been lauded at something for kids and not really understood why adults collect them, read them, and protect them when challenged about their validity in their life, but it’s more than that. I can remember times when growing up that I leaned on comics when times were not the best. I moved around a lot and at times comics were what made it a little better, sure I had friends, but friends can’t talk to you the way Batman can. I remember driving an hour to my nearest comic shop while living in South East Missouri, and I picked up Batman 497. This book is part of the classic Knightfall storyline and more importantly, Bane broke Batman’s back. We would see two different people take up the mantle of the Batman and do their part to aide in his recovery. Here’s where it gets tricky, after some bumps in the road with Jean-Paul, and Dick Grayson’s time under the cowl, Bruce would come back not only as a better Batman but a better Bruce Wayne. Now as a teenager I was not going to realize how important Bane breaking Batman’s back was. It was this horrific event in Batman’s life that all accounts should have never seen Bruce Wayne be Batman ever again, but this was not the case. After leaning on his friends for help and receiving therapy he came back better and ready to carry on his life. It was as an adult that I would grow closer to this storyline and to this day use it as a reference for my own self-care.
Now there are numerous lessons to be learned from comics, and I think there are just as many instances where you can swap out characters in the book with yourself. Maybe you’re were that kid that was on the ledge of a building and Superman was next to you tell it was going to be ok, and there’s still good in the world. Perhaps you were struggling with your identity and a writer came out with a book whose character was having the same issues and it provided you with a little relief that you are not alone. Comics are great because they don’t judge you, they don’t bully you, and they don’t abuse you. They comfort you, and they make you feel apart of the team. For the moment you’re engrossed into a comic you are a part of the X-Men, you’re flying around the New York skyline with Spider-Man, or maybe you’re co-piloting the Millenium Falcon with Han Solo.
Comics will always hold a special place in the hearts of the readers for that very reason. We love comics because comics are who we are.
Comics, Culture, & More...A Personal Journey pt. 5
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