Saturday, May 28, 2011

Beyond superheroes

In my primary and secondary school days, my idea of American comics was that most titles come either from Marvel or DC, or Archie comics. Comics such Maus were completely unknown to me. And so I avoided American comics during the ninties, which I know today was a very bad year for American comics. I mostly read Japanese manga in those years.

Then, in around 2005, I watched a documentary that charted the history of American comics. Needless to say, the show featured those three very well known comics. For me, Maus was the one that stood out amongst the three. It had no superheroes in it. Nevertheless, I first read Dark Knight Returns, followed by Watchmen. Back then, the national libraries had much fewer comic titles, unlike today. At some point, I got bored of the superhero comics and picked out Maus. And after reading Maus, I realized I had a taste for these artistic comics, for the lack of a better term. Not suprising, since I have already acquired a taste for independent and foreign films. By foreign I mean not coming from Hollywood.

If not for that documentary, I think I would never have went beyond superheroes in reading American comics. And I believe it is important to make kids aware, that comics can be more than just about superheroes, fantasy, sci-fi and humour strips. It is important to the development of the comics industry in Singapore at least.

Here's to the success of Marvel, DC and their film endeavours. May they attract more readers. It is not as if superhero comics are going to lose dominance.


Parka said...

Which is why Japanese manga is so much better in terms of variety. The number of genres they have is, I believe, as much as movie genres.

I always wonder why Marvel and DC are so focused on Superhero comics and don't want to explore more - pretty short-sighted.

Anonymous said...

Parka: There are non superhero comics produced by Marvel and DC, under their other logo "Icon" an "Vertigo" respectively. One of the best stories out there is Fables (by Vertigo), a non super-hero title. (: