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Comic Books

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Why Comic Books Are Important

Comic books are important because they represent a segment of the population
that like to fantasize that they can escape the hardship of everyday life. In
comic books they can be the hero, the nemesis, or a third party that may or may
not become pivotal in the end.

A person may identify with a certain character because the personality the
superhero or villain embodies what the person visualizes, or identifies with.
Comic books are important because the scenarios that the people face exhibit
situations where confrontation isn't necessarily the only answer. The
quandaries faced enable a person to see a situation and how it is dealt with.
Comic books allow people to create their own versions and see how different
scenarios are played out, which can result in new ways of defusing stressful
situations. It may permit a person to see situations in life differently and
hence; think outside the box when warranted.

Comic books are important because the venue in which they are supplied is an
alternative to regular book reading. They are shorter in length so a person who
is more visual will get additional enjoyment out of a forty-eight page comic
book versus a short story or a novel. It would be less time consuming and allow
the reader to engage in other activities. Time management and comic books are
synonymous in the vein of everyday life. People seem to have little time to
read. The busy lifestyle, the children's needs, all those requirements play a
role in time constraints. Comic books offer a solution to the active person.
The reader is limited in time so he or she must be enthralled immediately to
gain full attention. Once the reader immerses himself or herself, the ambiance
changes. He or she is thrust into an unknown situation that demands total
attention. The plot thickens and the hero is cast in circumstances that demand
a resolution. The confrontation ensues and against seemingly impossible odds,
the hero finds an answer in an unlikely place or person. Once the comic book is
finished being read, very little time had elapsed.

Yet the reading of the comic book doesn't end there. The reader now has time to
dwell on what transpired, what could have been done, what should have been done
and a myriad of other possible outcomes. That can be done while daydreaming or
at a quiet time when you're alone.

The significance of contemplating the different endings of a comic book induces
thought. The what if landscape could produce an unexpected epiphany. It might
help with a problem that had eluded you and the answer to your dilemma was
spelled out. You might have to apply it differently than the comic book did,
but the answer could have been contained within the story.

Comic books are important because people need them for an outlet. It channels
our thoughts to construct a better picture of how we need heroes to behave, and
what limits we set upon them to handle crisis that inevitably happens. You could
argue that delving into the importance of comic books is inane. But looking at
the bigger picture and what comic books represent, I would argue the reciprocal.

The Golden Age of Comic Books

By and large, the accepted time frame for the golden age of comic books ran
from a period from the 1930's through the mid-1950's. It was a prosperous time
for the American comic book realm. Many of today's super heroes were
inaugurated during this stage. Super heroes flourished in the golden age of
comic books. Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman, Robin and Hawkman
were some of the heroes that a new company called Detective Comics or DC
comics, launched. During the 1940's a precursor to Marvel Comics, called Timely
Comics, introduced their version of the super hero genre. They included Captain
America, The Human Torch and The Sub-Mariner. Ironically, the Captain Marvel
comic books from Fawcett Comics outsold Superman and his associates during the
golden age. There were literally hundreds of super powered and non super
powered heroes that came and went.

The advent of world war two helped propel the comic book industries popularity.
It was an inexpensive means to relax, read and imagine the good guys prevail
over the bad guys. In those days, Superman regularly helped the allies thwart
Hitler and the axis powers. What better way to defeat the enemy than to watch
the heroes in action? Defeating Hitler was on everyone's mind, and the stress
relief comic books provided was helpful to a young man in a foreign land
engaged in daily battles. Superman, Batman and Robin helped the war effort by
advertising war bonds. Uncle Sam may have wanted you, but the super heroes
lending themselves to the war propaganda helped the cause. Which one was more
influential in the golden age of comic books: a sickly looking old man who
wanted you to fight, or young powerful super heroes that could do incredible
damage to the enemy? The answer is evident.

The war was significant and powerful in the development of the super heroes
during the golden age. However, there were other factors too. There were comic
books during that period that were not based on super heroes. The genre started
to change during the latter part of the golden age, especially after World War
Two. Westerns were taking firm root in society as the readership declined for
the super heroes. Horror, romance, satire and science fiction all filled the
vacuum that was left during the decline. The downward trend was precipitated
by, in my opinion, the ambiance of the times with McCarthyism and books being
published that suggested comic books and their ilk were detrimental to the
society's young people minds. The introduction of the funny comics during the
golden age were well-liked too.

Bugs bunny and Donald duck premiered. The funny comics instilled laughter in
the audience and that was important. The importance of laughter during
stressful times cannot be overstated. The atmosphere was rife with the arrival
of the cold war and the atomic age. Bomb shelters littered the country. With
that being said, the funny comic books helped people express amusement in their
daily routine.

Whatever genre people chose to read, the Golden Age of comic books influenced
the shaping the comic book market.

The Silver Age of Comic Books

The silver age of comic books lasted approximately from the late 1950's to the
early 1970's. During this period, a few attributes of comic book characters
started to develop.

One of the most interesting developments was the incorporation of science
fiction into the storylines. With science fiction at the helm, you could inject
a myriad of stories. The stretching of known boundaries put a new spin on tales.
Whereas, the scenes usually took place with normal circumstances, now the
writer's and artists were given free rein. The lack of limitations produced
many out of the ordinary comic books. In the silver age of comic books, Batman
and Robin could be placed anywhere where they were not confined to earth. I
mention the two since they are not super powered.

The comic book companies took ordinary, though highly skilled, super heroes and
could place them is rockets, visit alien worlds and fight for the good no matter
what type of society there was. This brings an interesting thought. The
societies in other worlds clearly had good people versus bad people. In the
silver age of comic books, they took human traits and manifested them in
aliens. There will always be good and evil, that is a given. The aliens had
special abilities that transcended humans, but they were perpetually war-like.
Conflict must arise in order for the super heroes to justify their existence.

Metamorphoses abounded in that era. With the fusion of science fiction into the
comic book format, super heroes and villains could be transformed, or mutated,
much more easily. The weapons in use were foreign and that could make even
Superman pause.

The conflictive nature spread beyond the science fiction realm. During this
era, the comic book publishers began to integrate more humanity into their
characters. They were not necessarily robotic in their mannerism and emotional
appeal, but the humanizing of the comic book heroes suggested a transformation
had taken place. It took internalized personal melancholy to rise to the
surface and manifest itself to create a more human character. A hero or arch
villain could be produced dependent upon the character's personality. As with
any conflict situation, the reader had to be enthralled with the super hero.
Could a person relate to what the comic book writer's were hoping to convey?
You have to remember adding human emotion and personal tragedies was new to the
genre. The reaction was positive and that tradition continues to this day.

In the comic books of that age, another character was transformed. Aquaman
began in the golden age and revamped in the late 1950's. Originally, Aquaman
was deemed a negligible super hero, but as the silver age took root, his role
expounded. The personal conflict surfaced when it was revealed that his arch
nemesis was his half brother called Ocean Master. Another attribute that
changed for Aquaman during the silver age was his ability to live outside water
changed from being able to live inside or outside water indefinitely, to him
needing to get to water every hour.

All the changes that took place in the Silver age comic books represented a
modification that society dictated. The alterations are a necessary step to
keep the comic book industry relevant.

The Bronze Age of Comic Books

The bronze age of comic books is generally considered from the early 1970's to
the mid 1980's in the American culture. This period saw a continuance from the
silver age. However, during this time the comic book publishers were
introducing a darkening of plots with more adult themes.

One of the most central events that characterized the darkness inception was
the death of Gwen Stacy. She was Peter Parker's long time girlfriend. For the
first time in comic books, the arch- villain (in this case The Green Goblin)
took a life. Gwen Stacy epitome was cut short. Now the public knew that realism
in the comic book world had taken a bold new course. Never again would the comic
book world be the same. That occurrence underscored the end of one era and the
beginning of another.

The mature content was a wake up call. Comic books once again took on social
issues.

The social problems were dealt with the appearance of minority comic book
heroes. The heroes for hire co-starring Luke Cage embodied the industries
intent on implementing African-Americans despite condemnation claiming he was
just another ethnic typecast. Prior to Luke's entrance, the Black Panther and
Falcon were a staple in the comic book world. Both the Black Panther and the
Falcon were more resistant to the social outcry of Luke Cage. Perhaps it was
because there were no stereotypical portrayals within their respective comic
books.

Another important addition, lending the credence of minorities in comic books,
were the X-Men. Humanity was shown to be prejudiced against the X-Men because
they were mutants. Apparently, the next step in human evolution was hard to
swallow in the Marvel comic book universe. When people do not understand
something, or are in fear of it, then they rebel. The representation of X-Men
seemed analogous to the minority concerns. On a collective scale, the issues
surrounding the X-Men portend a shift in the perception of the human race. If
civilization cannot handle, or accept the mutants as they are, then how are we,
as a whole, able to accept minorities? The bronze age of comic books addressed
those concerns, and others, with realism (as far as realism can be attained
within that context). On an individual level, people were not accepting of the
X-men. They feared what they could not comprehend. When that transpires then
fear turns to rage then to violence. Violence usually ensues when ignorance
runs rampant. The analogy of the X-men to minorities is a first-rate one. The
prejudices faced by both the X-Men and minorities may have taken different
paths but the result is the same. The Bronze Age of Comic books helped define
what America was thinking at the time.

The end of the Bronze Age of comic books is littered with speculation. Some
suggest that the "Crisis On Infinite Earths" was the beginning of the end, but
there is no definitive proof. Other people claim that the Bronze Age of comic
books never really left and that it continues with the dawn of the Modern Age
of comics. By either account, the Bronze Age of comic books was an important
one where social change took place on more than front.

The Modern Age of Comic Books

The Modern Age of American comic books of is thought to be between the mid-1980
until present day. This age saw a continuation of the Bronze Age with a notable
exception. The independent comic book publishers grew and rose from obscurity.
Some of the more well known people from the two big comic book publishers to
independent comic book companies. These include, but are not limited to
Pacific, Eclipse and First. Why would someone who had made a name for
themselves change companies? In independent comic books, the writers had more
freedom of expression. The creativity would have been a prized commodity. No
limitations or restraints produce some very interesting comic books. With such
freedom, they would be able to personify their works.

Moreover, the waned influence that the Comic Code Authority experienced was a
boom to the comic book industry of the Modern Age. Horror stories and science
fiction once again became popular. The novels of Conan the Destroyer were put
into comic book format with much success. Given the popularity of Conan, other
venues showed up. Dracula started making a comeback. Dracula once had an
encounter with The Batman. The ability to fuse two genres, horror and super
heroes, enabled the comic books to showcased two great characters. Thus, the
artistic expressions of the independent comic books were enhanced because the
readers had the pleasure of experiencing fine artwork, without the limitations
imposed by the other mainstream comic books.

The culmination of changes that rippled through the comic book industry created
a need for the creation of an anti- super hero. With super heroes and arch
villains exploring their dark side, it became apparent that that endeavor
needed exploration. The Batman had experienced a metamorphosis that turned him
into a darker character. Jason Todd, who was the second incarnation of Robin,
died at the hands of the Joker.

Another comic book hero that personified darkness was the Wolverine. From his
introduction, Wolverine had a bad attitude. He was the quintessential
anti-hero. He was a super hero who helped people in need. However, the darker
side held sway. He is a mutant and knows people's perception. He still does the
right thing, albeit sometimes he barely manages to hold his temper in check.

Daredevil typifies a hero who possesses a dark side. The devil costume he wears
is supposed to instill fear in criminals. Yet, wearing a devils costume also
illustrates his darker side. Indeed, Daredevil's original costume was yellow
and it would be a stretch to see any significance germane to his other half.
Another attribute that casts him in the category of anti-hero is his blindness.
He knows he is different from the rest of society with his amplification of
hearing, smelling, tasting and "seeing". Daredevil still maintains a resolute
personality, a key ingredient in any super hero. The Modern Age of Comic Books
inception is hard to pinpoint. It could be a continuation of the Bronze Age
with minor changes, or it could be an entity by itself. What matters most is
the comic book industry continues to evolve and create make believe characters
and make them believable.

Comic Book Collections

One of my favorite hobbies is the collection of used and new comic books. I
possess over fifteen hundred and fifty comic books that include first
printings, autographed copies and graphic novels. Almost all of my collection
is super heroes. Why do people collect comic books?

As with most young boys, comic books fascinated me. Adventures to strange
planets, odd beings bent on destroying earth just because they can, and the
super heroes who must stop the perpetrators. If you take all the elements
needed to draft a story, shake and toss the ideas around, brainstorm and throw
in a little drama, then you got a good story.

I had comic books growing up but never realized the potential market for it. On
occasion I find a comic book that I specifically remember reading as a child and
look at how much it is worth today. I am amazed and a little mad that I did not
keep them. My current comic book collection commenced in the mid-1980's when
comic books were only seventy-five cents. I was living at home and paid little
rent. I happened to notice a comic book store not far from where I had worked.
I walked in and entered another world. The best part was the comics that were
reduced in price. I would get bags full and read with delight into the wee
hours of the morning. Other times I found autographed copies from the artists
or writers and would buy those. When Batman and The Dark Knight series came out
I managed to get all four first printings. Unfortunately they were stolen, along
with some other valuable merchandise.

My comic book collection contains a great deal of graphic novels. I enjoy both
the comic book and the graphic novel. Oftentimes I come across people who
collect comic books and they try to explain to me that they do not read them;
they retain it for the potential value. While I do not engage in that practice,
if you believe the comic books you buy will be worth something, then by all
means do it. I know some of my comic books are worth money but that is not a
consideration when I buy them. If I want to read a particular comic book, and
it is worth money, I will read it anyway. It may deflate the price, but to
reiterate, that is not why I buy them.

A great many people buy covers for their comic books. That is a very good idea.
However, you want to make sure the bags are acid free or it will affect the look
of your comic books. Storing them in a dry, cool place is preferred. Boxes that
are equal in size to the comic book are a good idea since they bend very easily.

People collect comic books for various reasons and it is good to know how to
take care of them. The possibility of comic books rising in value is hard to
predict, yet it can be done. It takes a bit of research and some luck but the
risk is worth it to many people. I collect comic books because I love to read
them and determine how the hero will eventually catch the criminal. Whatever
the reason, comic books are a staple in our society.

Comic Book Companies

The genre of the comic book culture has many ardent fans. The readership proves
that true. In that venue, the proliferation of comic book companies is
astonishing. There are over one hundred comic book companies and many more that
are defunct. The competitions to produce, advertise and distribute comic books
are daunting. Each company tries to produce a character or characters that
appeal to the masses. There are exceptions to that.

There are underground comic book companies that cater to a different segment of
society. Sometimes they lead to mainstream because one or more of their
characters gains acceptance. The mainstream comic book companies like to create
characters that exhibit abilities that the public enjoys. Oftentimes it works.
The hero of the story is believable enough that it gains acceptance. The
acceptance is crucial for the comic book company to survive the harsh struggle
it has to endure.

In other circumstances, the hero or villain does not relate to the readership
and it quickly fizzles into obscurity. It is a painful process to the company,
or the individual, that does not fulfill its perceived duty to the readership.
All the painstaking work that goes into developing the whole spectrum of a
comic book company is intimidating. The creation of a hero into an actual comic
book denotes time, effort and a great deal of persistence. If the persistence is
not enough, the reader will never have the pleasure of seeing your creation into
fruition.

The list of defunct comic book companies suggests that many people have tried
taking the plunge into creating a comic book company and failed. Unfortunately,
failure is a realistic expectation in any business venture, especially the comic
book world.

When you think of comic book companies, the two biggest and most popular are
the DC comics and Marvel comics. Likewise, there are many independent comic
book companies. Each one are vying for you to sustain their existence, and for
your hard earned money. The latter one is understandable. A comic book company
cannot survive without paid readership. The more circulation, the greater the
money. Supply and demand. The law of economics. All of those maxims hold true.
Once the comic book company gains credence, their ability to construct more
characters enhance their share of the market. The comic book figures are a
representation of the comic book company. Marvel comics contain more cosmic
powered heroes and villains than its main competition. DC has a horde of
figures that originate from outside the confines of earth, but do not possess
nearly the power levels of Marvel.

Other comic book companies, such as Dark Horse comics, use licensed
merchandising figures such as Star Wars and Buffy the vampire slayer. Since
Dark Horse comics is the third largest of the comic book companies, it must
work. Using established characters from television and the movies was a natural
extension of the comic book world. The popularity of the characters was well
known so the market was already in place.

A comprehensive list of current and defunct comic book companies is easy enough
to obtain. The reasons behind the success and failure are another matter. Some
of the reasons expounded in this article should make them more lucid.

Rare and First Printing Comic Books

Rare and first printing comic books are an industry that comprises serious
minded individual's intent on getting their moneys worth. There is a great deal
of information that needs to be understood prior to getting into the business.
The values placed on comic books are based on rare the comic book is, was it a
first edition, and most importantly the condition of the comic book. A good
comic pricing guide is essential to determine how much, if any, your comic book
is worth.

A prime example of this is my comic book collection. When the Batman's Dark
Knight Series came out, I bought the first issue. I purchased it because I
liked the concept of an old Bruce Wayne trying to gain back his lost youth. The
streets had fallen to the younger generation. In one segment he fought, and
barely won, a young person. In his prime, Batman would have had no problem
taking the young man out. However, old age crept in and he had to deal with his
lost youth, and his mortality. I never took into the account that it would end
up being worth anything. Imagine my surprise when I learned DC had only made a
certain number of issues, never dreaming the popularity would ensue. I bought
the three remaining first printing issues. They were worth, to me, a lot more
than I paid for them. When they were stolen, I was devastated. I was crushed
because I loved the comic books and not because they were worth a little money.

The pricing guide's most famous company is The Overstreet Comic Book Price
Guide. It has an extensive list of every comic book and a guide to its value.
Some of the grades of the comic book affect the pricing. Here are a few brief
examples. Mint- Mint condition comic books are probably as good as the comic
book will ever be. Everything from the fresh colors, to the absence of rust
from the staples, to the different shades of white the paper is. Who can say if
such a condition exists? I would love to see someone's version of a mint comic
book. Near mint-, this condition has somewhat lower standards than the mint.
Negligible flaws are to be expected, but none that would hamper the price.

Very fine- very fine condition has outstanding looks that are entreaty in
nature. There are many more categories to take into consideration when buying
comic books for their value. The monthly magazine, Wizard, also has a pricing
guide for comic books but I do not believe they are as comprehensive as The
Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.

Rare and first printing comic books can be very lucrative if you know how to
play the game. It takes patience and a keen, discerning eye, coupled with
knowledge of the market. Without the knowledge of the comic book market, the
rest of the objectives become useless. A great deal of research is required.
Going into a situation blind is not recommended unless you have deep pockets
and a jovial disposition.

Comic Books And The Movies

The movie industry is abuzz with comic books being adapted to the full screen.
Not only is it profitable for Hollywood to produce comic book characters, but
for the comic book industry too. There have been low budget movies and
television series based on the more popular comic books. Usually the low budget
movies do not fare well.

The blockbuster comic book movies usually use well-known actors and the
difference between the low budget movies and the high-end movies are palpable.

The television industry has had a love affair with comic book heroes for
generations. The old serial shorts showed a popular comic book hero. The
special affects were limited with the era but it introduced the character into
the mainstream. The advent of radio-helped pave the way for the comic books to
hit the ordinary folk that would never had the exposure to them.

As time advanced so did the technology and the special effects. Certain comic
book super heroes needed to employ certain feats to appear to fly and see
through walls. Wires were strung on the costumes, and hoisted in the air to
appear to defy gravity. Boulders that were huge in size were actually made of
paper. All kinds of primitive devices were used to entertain us. And entertain
they did. The advances in the special effects department gave Hollywood its
first glimpse into a lucrative enterprise. In 1978 the first big blockbuster
came onto the scene and the movie industry was taken aback at the amount of
money that was made. The comic book industry took notice to and continued with
three more sequels that never matched the first one. In 1989 Batman came out
and it was an instant success. Jack Nicholson portyrayed the Joker with fervent
appeal and was the only actor, at the time, to receive a share of the profits.

There have been a few Batman movies and each successive one had better special
effects. The comic books had finally come into majority of the households. The
Hulk, the Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer, Spiderman, The Punisher, and
soon to be released Iron Man.

With so man famous comic books hitting the big screen, the relationship between
the movie industry and the comic book business have cemented. Obviously, it
benefits both parties. The movie empire can be assured on profits, especially
if word of mouth is positive. Nothing can sink a movies fortune than a negative
response from people. I am not referring to the critics. Ordinary people who
spend their hard earned money are more influential than the critics. It helps
the comic book domain by getting more and more people exposed to their comic
book heroes and villains. Thus, people who normally would not read comic books
could be persuaded to buy some.

Comic books and the movies enjoy a relationship that has endured for a long
time. Each successive generation will be able to watch new movies with
different comic book characters. And each one will bring about changes in how
the movies are made and the special effects they use.

Comic Books and Graphic Novels

Comic books and graphic novels today represent a significant shift in how
society is feeling. Society as a whole portends what direction we are headed.
Comic book companies recognize that. The graphic novel is an extension of a
comic book in that it conveys content as a whole verses segmenting it.

Graphic novels are typically longer in length and cater to a more adult
audience since it deals with more mature content. If there is a mini series, in
either Marvel or DC comic books, or it is well liked, they are more apt to put
all the parts into one main book. That book is called the graphic novel.

Adding graphic novels to the comic book forum helps boost sales and augments
customer loyalty. The customer loyalty in comic books and graphic novels are
paramount for the small and big comic book publishers. It is an effective means
to bring in more advertising income, boost readership and maintain the level of
professionalism that is required.

Within the framework of comic books and graphic novels, the genre is important.
You have the fictionalized version, the science fiction, science fantasy, and
real life stories. If you add all those components, you get a vast network of
titles to read and or collect.

The fictionalized comic book and graphic novel encompasses a great deal of
books. There are literally thousands of both types out there. The independent
publishers are just as good as the mainstream ones. Graphic novels and comic
books offer a slew of topics to choose. You can read about real life people
like Malcolm X or made up characters similar to people you meet in the street.
Some people who read graphic novels and comic books read all but the super
heroes. They consider it a waste of time because of the unrealistic aspect to
it.

In graphic novels that are not germane to super heroes, the reader gets the
sense that they could relate better to them, if portrayed with a sense of
realism. The younger readers are interested in stories and artwork that are
totally outside the realm of what older people are in to. That fact produces
some diverse comic books and graphic novels. A great many graphic novels
foretell of an impending disaster and the main figure in the story (usually a
young person) is the only one to avert the destruction. There is a plethora of
graphic novels with this subject matter. For the same reason, comic books for
the younger crowd do an excellent service providing content that are easily
assimilated into their culture.

Comic books and graphic novels are dissimilar from each other. However, the
dissimilarities are not necessarily that extensive. Both are creating what the
discerning reader conveys, but in a different format. The graphic novel's name
implies the content is more mature in nature. However, the differences inherent
in both products produce the same result. They attract an audience. The graphic
novel may be longer and have variant content than the comic book, but both
grant the audience entertainment.

Comic Book Merchandising

When a comic book hero becomes famous, the natural inclination is to profit
from it. The merchandising of comic book characters is such a venue. The
advertising agencies are cognizant of that fact, and so are the comic book
publishers. The merchandisings of movies are popular too. Star Wars is a prime
example of that. The movie came first. It became such a success that they sold
posters and action figures of all the main characters, and a wide assortment of
related materials. To put the merchandising power in perspective, consider
George Lucas's Star War films. All six of the movies grossed almost three and a
half billion dollars. The merchandising of the Star Wars totaled over nine
billion dollars. After you consider that, they made Star Wars into comic books!

Merchandising comic books is a serious art. If done correctly the amount of
revenue could be staggering. Never the less, there are points to mull over. The
location of the action figure in stores, are they displayed prominently where
they will receive the most attention? Is the box packaged in such a way that it
lures the target audience to it? In addition, one of the most important items is
the price. The price has to be reasonable to the public.

The merchandising of comic books also takes form in tee shirts. You can acquire
a Superman logo tee shirt from any comic book store. Moreover, you can buy a
Superman logo tee shirt at any local mall. The mainstreaming of merchandising
in local stores put the super heroes in the forefront of people's
consciousness. If you are bombarded with something long enough, it becomes
accepted and more people are apt to buy it.

There are psychological and sociological studies to determine the best course
of action for merchandising company's products. People's nonverbal movements
can be observed to determine if a product, in this case an action figure, tee
shirt or anything related to the comic book merchandising, is pleasing to the
consumer or not. Facial expressions are an important indicator to see if a
person will purchase your merchandise.

Another key area is word of mouth. When you see a movie, and really liked it,
you are more lilkely to tell everyone you know about it. When a comic book
company makes a movie, they advertise it extensively. The fast food restaurants
are an excellent place to market their merchandise for young children. What
better way to advertise than go to a local Burger King, Wendy's or McDonalds
and see the latest comic book movie's (or any other movie that pertains to
children) main characters as action figures?

There are so many aspects to merchandising comic books and the respective super
heroes. It does not take a qualified expert to see the prospect of making
copious amounts of money through seemingly harmless venues. The operative word
I chose was seemingly. Only time will tell the effects of the barrage of
advertising merchandise that takes place on a daily basis. Merchandising for
comic books is no exception.

Comic Books From Around the World

There are a vast number of comic books to choose since their inception. When
someone thinks about comic books, they think of everyday comics and their
heroes in this country.

However, comic books do not always come from the United States. The vast
majority of the world has comic books. The European Union houses copious
amounts of comic books. France, British, Italy are just some of the different
nations that partake. France has had comic books for a long time. The comic
book author generally decides when the next installment comes out. Since it is
the discretion of the author, he or she may take months or even years for the
next issue to be published. The audience does not seem to be bothered with
waiting. If it is the will of the author, so be it. The amount of comic books
that are produced from France is significant comparatively to the populace,
which would indicate that it is a popular form of entertainment. If there are
many authors to choose from, then this lends to the idea of people not caring
how long it takes to buy the next installment. The reader can buy a different
title from a different author.

The British comic books are not as well know as their American counterpart. One
of the more popular comic books that hailed from Britain was the Judge Dredd
series brought to life by Sylvester Stallone. Although it brought to light a
comic book character from Britain, most people did not know it originated from
there. Marvel comics opened up an office in Britain in 1972. DC and Dark Horse
comics did not open up offices there until the 1990's. It seems the English
enjoy our comic book heroes as well as we do.

Italian comic books are strongly influenced by other countries. They prefer
more adventure like stories that tell tales. Unlike America, where once a week
you can find a new edition, Italian comic books come out monthly and are
usually longer in length. The Italian comic book publishers immensely enjoy
Walt Disney characters. They are the largest manufacturers of Walt Disney
figures, other than the United States.

The Japanese also love comic books. In Japan, they are referred to as Magna.
They are known for their exaggerated facial features, which were inspired by
American authors. Japan had requested help from comic book artists from America
to go over to learn contours, shapes and colors to help revise their comic
books. The result was the exponential growth of comic books.

It appears that America has a big influence of comic books from around the
world. The result implies that everyone, no matter where you reside, wants a
form of pictorial entertainment. The pursuit of amusement with a glossy cover,
colored pages depicting figures that face immeasurable odds, only enhance the
benefit of reading comic books. The world needs a release, and through the
sequential formats they provide, there will be a never-ending deluge of comic
books to read. America is not alone in its need to escape and absorb into a
fantasy-based comic book.

Comic Book Awards

When you think of comic books, one of the last things you think about is if any
comic books receive any accolades. Is there such a thing as comic book awards?

Apparently there are. In America alone, there are several companies that the
awards are given to different comic book genres.

One of the main companies that provide awards to the comic book industry is
called The National Cartoonist Society Awards, which houses fifteen categories.
A panel of judges does the selection. There are regional chapters and the
general members do the voting.

Another comic book award company is the comic buyers guide fan awards. The
first year the awards were handed out was in 1983. The awards are broken up
into several different categories from favorite publisher to favorite inker to
favorite comic book hero. In 2003, the most current year there are statistics,
the favorite publisher of comic books was DC, which held a forty-six percent
majority, with Marvel receiving about twenty-three percent. Dark Horse had a
merger two percent (rounded up) of the votes. The favorite comic book was the
JSA (Justice Society of America) with almost eight percent of the votes. The
favorite comic book hero was Batman with a little more than fourteen percent of
the tally. Americans are not the only country to give out awards for the comic
strip and comic book industries. The now defunct Eagle award came hailed from
England. In addition, England has, up until the year 2002, an award company
called the National Comics awards where a panel of judges award the best comic
of the year. All other awards are nominated by everyone and are open to
everyone.

France, Spain and Japan all have their equivalent awards.

France has an award called the Grand Prize of the City of Angouleme where a
living author, cartoonist or scriptwriters are recognized for their lifetime
contribution.

In Spain, one of the awards given is called the Haxtur Awards. The Haxtur
Awards celebrate the best long story, best short story, best cover and a host
of other awards that are given annually.

The Japanese have a slew of awards. One of them is called Japanese Cartoonists'
Association Awards. The nominations are open to all artists who submit their
work. The Association creed is the enrichment and expansion of cartooning in
Japan. Another example of Japan's dedicated environment for fostering the art
of comic books and its artist's is the Media Arts Awards. Its inception was in
1997 and like its counterpart, all nominations are based on artists who submit
there works. These countries, others not mentioned, and ours help spread the
word on comic books and their wide assortment of personnel. The bylaws in their
charter differ in there nomination process and the awards given out, but they
represent an industry that achieves greatness through their respective works.

To receive tributes is an honor and helps sustain the industry. Bestowing the
awards also helps the respective nations lure potential artists within their
country to seek out jobs related to the field. The awards and the ceremony help
cement the artists and the comic books.




The Science Fiction of Comic Books

The science fiction of comic books always fascinated the public. Where else
could you read a forty-eight page comic book and find alternate universes or
parallel universes? One could read a science fiction short story or a novel,
but to see a visual representation of what the writer and artist rendition of
foreign life is truly a unique experience. The connection between you and the
comic books version of alien life forms or parallel universes can be similar or
way off base. That is the beauty of the science fiction of comic books. You
never know if the comic books interpretation of alien life and alien technology
were meant to persuade you into their way of conceptualizing the unfathomable,
or not.

Perhaps it is their version from when they read comic books when they were
young. Comic books have a plethora of instances where alien life forms want to
destroy the earth. The strange beings seem only to want to destroy and conquer.
When a comic book portrays a benevolent species that traveled millennia to reach
earth, we are immediately suspicious and resort to violence. In comic books
where there are alternate timelines, havoc ensues and the hero or heroes must
return to the correct timeline. They were sent there on accident from a science
experiment or some other apparently plausible explanation.

The science fiction of comic books tends to bend the current law of physics and
stretch some truths to fit neatly into a good explanation. After the
ramifications from the story are fully examined, it becomes necessary to find
new ways in which to use them in future narratives. Thus, one storyline has
many possible outcomes for future comic books.

If a superhero destroys an alien bent on destroying earth and his body
dissipates, then you would think the alien is gone. However, matter cannot
dissipate. So where is the creature? It seems likely it will be back in the
future to reek more wide spread destruction on the unsuspecting populace. On
the other hand, it could be a robot that infiltrates machines, and has wrested
control from us. Alternatively, it could be ourselves from the distant future
that depleted their natural resources so they come back to steal ours. Whatever
the reason the strange beings wage warfare with us, or we are beamed to a
different reality, the imagination is the clear winner.

Almost every kid sometime or another wanted to take a story they read from a
comic book and try some type of experiment. Those kids are the future
scientists and perhaps in the meantime, our comic book creators. The science
fiction of yesterday becomes the science of tomorrow.

The science may be dubious in comic books but the thrill of pretending you are
in the shoes of someone else always held me captive. The comic books will
always be filled with science fiction themes and plots based on real science
and pseudo science. However, the real magic is that they can implement the two
into a comic book, and turn a make believe story into a great work of art that
will be remembered for a very long time.

The Ever-Changing Powers of Comic Book Heroes

From time to time a change, in one or more comic book hero's powers, occurs.
There can be a multitude of reasons behind this. Has the comic book hero become
stagnant? Has the readership declined over the past several months? Did a
metamorphosis happen while fighting? Did a depletion of their power make room
for the change? And, of course, the ever popular experimentation. A mad
scientist creates an experiment, an ordinary individual gets in the way, and
his or her DNA is altered. He or she is then morphed into a super hero or a
criminal based upon their disposition. Another version to that is a comic book
super hero or villain get in the way of an unsolicited experiment that went
awry.

Their molecular structure is mutated, which begs some questions. Does an
ordinary citizen received powers? Do the super heroes or villain's powers stay
the same? Do they exhibit the same powers, only augmented? Do their powers
change until it is unrecognizable from the original? Is the change a temporary
one, or is it a long-term modification? Will their powers ever go back to
normal? These issues are explored and examined, sometimes in minute detail.

The details that go into explaining the ever-changing powers of comic book
heroes are appealing. In the framework of comic books, where fantasy merges
with the imagination, the predicaments in which precipitates the change of the
powers suggests that the storyline was born, bred and raised for sometime.

Superman's powers changed him into two separated beings. One being was red and
the other being blue. Each one was a separate hero who displayed different
characteristics. They eventually combined and recreated the Superman we are
familiar with and love. The account took one year. The semantics behind the
change suggested superman needed revamping. The mighty Thor has seen his share
of transformations. He possessed the Odin power for a while. Thor has his share
of problems, and will continue to so because the readership can relate to his
problems or vices. With Superman's changes, the reader is confronted with
Superman's problems and can debate the best way to handle them.

Many more comic book heroes have had their power altered in some way. It seems
to be a staple in the comic book world. Amending a super hero is necessary in
that type of environment. Introducing nemesis's and other comic book heroes
perpetuates the genre. Moreover, if there were no further introduction of
contrasting characters, the storylines would fizzle up and new ideas could not
germinate. It is therefore sometimes essential to introduce old comic book
characters with a twist. They can come back from the dead, or believed to be
dead, and emerge to take on a criminal. It has to make some semblance to the
discerning comic book reader. If the hero returns under circumstances that
would seem suspect, the public response would be swift and ruthless. People
expect some sense in the comic book world.

The ever-changing power of comic book heroes advocates a winning attitude for
the comic book reader and the people who create them. When the two parties are
in unison both sides win and the reader is left with a palpable appetite for
more.

The Comic Book Code Authority

The comic book code authority was formed in 1954 because people believed that
the comic book industry was becoming too graphic and violent. The content was
deemed inappropriate for the populace. Some of the restrictions included the
misrepresentation of the police, judges and governmental representatives. In
addition, the drawings of vampires and werewolves were prohibited. Titles could 
not use terminology like "horror" or "terror".

While the comic book authority had no legal jurisdiction over the comic book
publishers, they yielded a large influence. Some comic book companies went out
of business while others prospered. The restrictions placed were meant to help
society deal with the comic book industry. Society began to loosen some of the
taboos of that time, and the furor over the language suggested that the
loosened traits needed to be reined in. In such times, it becomes necessary to
look at why the comic book code authority was set up. In 1954, McCarthyism was
at its peak. Censorship abounded and the who, what, why, where and when all
dealt with Communism. A natural branch with that scenario was the printed
material. While there are no direct links to such a statement, one must
consider what was transpiring during the period. Celebrities were blacklisted
if deemed outside of conventional standards. Comic books could have linked the
publisher with Communist propaganda if the material was considered subversive
in nature. Again, this is conjecture on my part. Any words or statements can be
intentionally misconstrued and false analogies can be applied.

Another prominent explanation is a book written by Dr. Frederic Wertham
entitled 'The seduction of the innocent'. In the book, Dr. Wertham espoused
that the super hero genre had helped incite the rise of young people's
misbehavior. The public chorus of disapproval was pivotal in the implementation
of the comic book code authority. Both issues helped sustain the need for
something to be done.

The mentality was in place until the 1960's with the advent of the flower child
era. Without the suppression, underground comics took on a life of their own.
They developed comic books that were distributed through unconventional means.
That process enabled the fledging comic book industry not to adhere to the
restrictions the comic book code suggested. In 1971 Stan Lee, the editor- in
-chief did a three part mini series of Spiderman that depicted banned drug use.
The code stated that the topic of drug use was prohibited, so Stan Lee took the
seal off for the three issues and then put it back on. That took a lot of
courage to defy the code. Considering the wide spread use of illicit drug use,
that was an important step. If a topic that is controversial is banned in comic
books, then how do you draw attention to its negative side affects? That was the
quandary the comic book code authority faced. It did not want to become
irrelevant.

In the 2000's the influence of the comic book code started to diminish. More
and more publishers wanted to branch out and create comic books that
illustrated topics that were more controversial.

The comic book code authority of today is not what it used to be. Marvel comics
no longer align themselves. Instead, they created their own code. Some of DC
comics still submit to the comic book authority, but will publish it despite
their ruling. Archie comics regularly send their comic books to the comic book
authority for approval.

What was once a powerful and prominent organization has been reduced to a minor
player in the comic book world.

Social issues in comic books

One of the primer changes in comic books today is that they address social
issues. Social issues in comic books became prevalent in the last thirty-five
years. The revamping occurred when society decided to address social concerns.
Some of the comic books of today tackle homelessness, drug use, minorities,
gayness and the homophobic consequences.

It is important to note that such a slant toward portions of society in comic
books make people conscious of alternate ways of living. The concept of
homelessness has always been in the forefront of humanity but never depicted in
comic books. The idea of comic books portraying people living in the streets or
in some other seemingly derogatory means should not escape notice. Civilization
is growing up, albeit more slowly than what is needed. Comic books reflect what
emerges through an underground current and washes into mainstream. Those
changes happened slowly, but with the advent of controversial issues being
tackled, the changes are happening at an accelerated pace. Today comic books
mirror what society is thinking. If an issue becomes germane to warrant
people's attention, then the comic book industry will usually incorporate it
into their storylines.

An additional important element to consider in comic books is the rampant drug
use. If a person is a drug user, the comic book industry takes notice. The
prevailing notion is if it affects society, then it should affect how the comic
books echo modern day life. Drug use is widespread and needs to be dealt with.
What better way than to integrate it into a comic book. Let the superhero, the
villain, or an ordinary citizen have a drug problem and see how the issue is
handled. Not all resolutions are handled correctly and that is the realism that
makes social issues in comic books important. Not even the good guys come out
ahead all the time.

The homelessness and the drug usage are modern day blights. The topic of
minorities is dealt with realistic implications. By the same token illegal
aliens are minorities and they take great pains to make our culture sensitive
to both their plights. In a sense comic books are our watch dogs of our way of
life.

Moreover, the concept of homosexuality in comic books has had their share of
controversy since the public's perception is skewed by the theological mindset.
The topic is mentioned, but the comic book industry has treaded lightly since a
backlash could crop up. Despite the long held view that controversial views
should not be addressed in a public format, and best left at home, a new
prevailing thought has emerged. The comic books of today take torrid subject
matters, encase them in a comic book format, then let the paying public decide
if their gamble paid off. The result is a new significant way of looking at
public perceptions and gain insight to a varying way of looking at those issues.

The comic book industry realizes the customer is the real hero. They can decide
whether a character lives or dies. By giving the characters depth and exposing
them to real life dangers, the comic book industry can be assured on continual
readership.

Message Boards For Comic Books

Check out the search engine Google and see how many message boards, discussion
groups and general forums there are for comic books and you will be amazed.
There are close to two million hits. There are many redundancies in the hits
but you get the point.

Message boards for comic books is a place where like minded people can discuss
what is coming out new in the comic books, what you don't like, or what you are
fond of. Comic book forums are also a place to pool your resources and find out
tidbits of information. You can find sneak peaks of issues of comic books that
have not come to the stores yet, and catch a glimpse of where the main
character's storyline continues.

One of the more interesting message boards for comic books is where comic book
heroes and villains alike are faced off against each other. It does not matter
if they all come from one comic book universe or not. A multitude of entries
pit individuals battling it out or they have clusters of comic book characters
battling it out against another group. What is interesting to note is the
passion the person who initially wrote the message and the responses. People
take this subject seriously. I have read arguments between adults on who can
win whom.

In order to relate to the message boards for comic books, you should either
delve into the comic book heroes and villains history, or already have at least
a basic knowledge of who is who. In an archetypal scenario, you have two super
heroes and a criminal versus two criminals and one super hero. The battle is
drawn and in your mind, you try to ascertain who is likely to beat who based on
their power levels, their intelligence and the weapons they employ. When you
take into consideration those factors and add location, or which universe they
would be fighting in, it can draw dissimilar conclusions to many different
people who know the comic book arena. If someone disagreed with your
conclusion, that person based it on his or her perception.

In some message boards, people can get mean. They will taunt you on your
apparent lack of knowledge of the characters and call you derogatory names.
Since message boards are not an exact science and comic book personas are not
real, it makes little sense for that type of behavior. A great deal of the
administrators that oversee the message boards allow this because of freedom of
expression. There should be a point where someone steps in and either strips
them of their privileges, or give them a stern warning. Having divergent
opinions in a comic book forum, or any forum for that matter, is a healthy way
to debate on topics you are interested in. Why make fun of someone that has a
difference of opinion? Variation is a good thing.

It is a necessary ingredient to maintain a healthy regard for other peoples
view. Message boards for comic books should be fun and with the intent to
inform and to learn peoples views. Like-minded people share a responsibility to
keep forums pleasurable while being careful to respect others and their ideas.

Learning New Words From Comic Books

When someone thinks of comic books, they probably don't take into account the
cache of words that are displayed on each page. Most people think comic books
are for kids and a waste of time for adults. Nothing could be further from the
truth. I have been a comic book fan since I was a child. Many of the words I've
learned through the years were the direct result of reading comic books. When I
was young and had comic books to read, I had the dictionary with me. My copious
vocabulary is, in part, due to reading comic books.

How can someone expect to decipher what was be revealed when you can't
understand words and their usage? The same is applicable with regular books,
but comic books are shorter in length so the words being used have to be chosen
carefully. The square that the characters are contained in can only have so much
dialogue. The selected words have to be descriptive, yet alluring to make the
reader remain interested.

To augment your vocabulary, comic books are a great place to start. I vividly
remember not knowing a particular word. I could not translate the meaning from
the context of the sentence. A dictionary proved invaluable. Learning new words
from comic books entails very little work. You have to have and know how to use
a dictionary and thesaurus, and you have to have the desire to find out what
the words mean.

The accumulation of words through reading of comic books can help in tests for
school. The vocabulary section of some of the levels of educational
requirements would elevate the national average, if everyone who read comic
books did the required look up of words they did not know. Some would view that
as a grandiose statement. Even an ignorant and ludicrous proclamation. If a
person has an insatiable curiosity and an eagerness to learn, comic books are a
great format to get started.

Children aside, a great deal of adults read comic books. From white collared to
the blue collared, age and work statuses are irrelevant. When I go to a comic
book store I often see men wearing ties and people wearing tee shirts. In
addition, I often hear conversations on what new things are happening in the
comic book world. It takes a life of its own when you stand there and listen in
on other people's discourse. The exchange may help you understand where a mini
series is headed or what happened to a certain villain or superhero. If you're
not sure of something the clerk usually is more than knowledgeable in that
genre. I have asked several questions on a particular super hero. One of the
clerks knew nothing about the character I asked about.

The other clerk was well versed and helped explain what I was not
understanding. In the final analysis one can find enjoyment reading comic
books. And you can learn new words from reading comic books. If you happen to
have a large vocabulary, then you can still benefit from reading comic books.
It would take you a shorter amount of time to read them and still learn in the
process. I have learned words from reading comic books and I believe that
anyone can if they have the yearning to take the little extra time it requires.

Heroes And Villains In Comic Books

Heroes and villains in comic books have made their mark in society. Not just in
comic books but in literature throughout the ages. Essentially literature and
comic books bring to life the drama associated between good and evil, and it is
that premise that becomes an indispensable guide to understand human nature.

In a nutshell, you will not know evil if you have never experience goodness.
The antithesis holds true. If you never experienced good, you have never
experienced evil. In comic books, the heroes and villains try to ante up the
stakes by pitting their resources against one another for the sake of besting
the other. The heroes usually come out victorious but criminals can be just as
successful. If the heroes always won, it would make comic books dull and
uninteresting. The villains have to be counted on to cause ruckus and mayhem
otherwise; the storyline does not coincide with a balance that must be struck.

Today's comic books have smarter criminals, weaponry that is more sophisticated
and more behavior that is aggressive. Does this make the hero more steadfast in
his or hers reaction to the villains aggressiveness? It depends on the hero.
You do not have to possess superhuman powers to outsmart a villain. In today's
comic books, a hero can employ a great deal of cunning to outsmart a villain.
The comic books of today offer a recipe for the balance of power.

A villain usually takes on a key role and if the hero does not thwart the
diabolical plan, the hero may lose confidence. In that vein, the comic book
looks at the human condition. Why was there failure? What could have prevented
the villain from escaping? With the loss of self-belief, the hero of the comic
book must take necessary steps to assure success or the villain, sensing
something amiss with the good guy, can utilize plans that are even more
ambitious. With the balance askew for the time being, the hero must reassert
his or her authority to impede the villains plan. The hero does not have to be
in the superhero genre. It could be any comic book that pertains to the right
or wrong in making a decision.

Heroes and villains in comic books enable the reader to make choices, and
within that framework, can get a better understanding of what both the villain
and the hero had to do to succeed. However, success is only a temporary
distraction. It permits a continuation of the story. So then, who is really the
victor and the loser? If both hero and the villain continually face off against
one another, where and when will it end? Quite possibly nothing short of the
demise of one or the both of them. Perhaps the villain may go to jail, but
eventually he or she will be released and the comic books prevail. There is
clearly no winner or loser. The only winner will be found out in the next
installment. Moreover, the only loser is the person who does not read the next
issue.

Crossovers In Comic Books

One of the most popular and noteworthy of the comic book business is the
crossover between DC comics and Marvel comics. The crossovers commenced in 1975
with a tie in with the wizard of oz. In that comic book, it was Superman and
Spiderman. Whether you like the comic book crossover or not, the sensation it
caused reverberated throughout the comic book world. Many more crossovers
continued with the intent on bringing up lackluster sales. Their popularity
proved that the concept of incorporating both universes into one storyline was
feasible and profitable. However, issue abounded. Whereas in one crossover
Superman had heard of the super hero Spiderman. In another crossover, both had
never heard of each other. That should not have happened. There is no fluidity.
Each comic book heroes envelop a very different universe. There could be no way
Superman ever heard of Spiderman.

In 1996, the two comic book companies tried again with the four part series. In
this crossover, two cosmic beings that were identified as being some sort of
brothers became aware of each other existence. The testosterone coursed through
the brother's veins and he would not accept the other. They challenged each
other through their respective universes super heroes. The comic book readers
decided five of the winners of the eleven main contests, with various clashes
taken place within other super heroes. The Marvel and DC writers determined the
outcome of the other six battles. The five battles that the fans voted and
decided the winners were Spiderman versus Superboy with Spiderman being
victorious, Superman beat the incredible Hulk, Wolverine defeated Lobo, Storm
defeated Wonder Woman and Batman defeated Captain America.

Eventually the brothers accepted each other's presence to thwart the
destruction of each universe. The acceptance concept in the end placates the
comic book writers. The comic book readers (in my humble opinion) were left a
little flat. There will never be a clear winner because it is up to the reader
which comic books they like. Opinionated people will always choose their
favorite heroes. The scenario of comic books battling it out makes financial
sense. There can be no clear victor since opinions are subjective.

Both Marvel and DC attempted to rectify the dilemma of characters not knowing
each other by employing two things; creating a character that could breach both
universes. His name was aptly called Access.

The other event was the creation of an amalgam universe where two super heroes
merged into one being. An example was the merging of Spiderman and Superboy.
That created the amalgam character of Spiderboy. Access created the amalgam
universe to try to stabilize the two universes.

The popularity of the comic book heroes prompted the two main companies to
continue with the crossover concept. Superman met the Silver Surfer. The Green
Lantern met the Silver Surfer too. Galactus and Darkseid met. Galactus
attempted to devour Darkseid's planet (known as Apokalips). Galactus easily
defeated Darkseid's minions and Darkseid's Omega Beams, but he could not
consume the planet because it did not have any living force to it. Galactus was
amazed by Darkseid's attempt to thwart him knowing he would not be able to
garnish power from his planet. Darkseid make clear that Galactus would have
done the same thing if the position were reversed.

The financial aspect to the crossovers that had been looked at. The reader's
loyalty also helped propel the continuation. Since you cannot please everyone
in the comic book genre, the introduction of comic book heroes visiting each
other in their respective universe makes sense.

Creating Your Own Comic Book Hero

Making your own comic book hero is not as easy as it sounds. Many things go
into starting one. What are your hero's names? What are his or hers powers? Who
are the nemeses? Does it have the same science that is on earth, as we know it,
or divergent one? What weapons are there? Is their planet in trouble? Other
factors to consider are; will you do the writing, the artwork, a creative
consultant or the idea person? All of the above? How technology advanced is
your planet? Social issues? Physiological disorders of the villain or the
heroes?

A comic book heroes name should reflect the hero. Birdman should look like a
bird. Many comic book heroes are based on mythological deities and have exotic
powers. The name of your comic book heroes should be researched to make sure
the name is not being used elsewhere.

The powers that your comic book heroes will have will determine the villains.
Who would want super powered beings that constantly chases after a minor
criminals? It makes no sense to the balance of power. Conversely, if you have
comic book superheroes that have no powers, or limited powers, then the
villains can be considered right for your story. Then again, it would make
interesting stories if the villains were super powered and the heroes were not.
It would take the heroes brains and match it against either the villain's
intellect or his might. It could be a combination of both the attributes. The
antagonists come large and small. Do the criminals in your comic books fight
against each other or is there an affiliation that gives the heroes a headache?
Do they have a base of operations in your comic books?

Are their weapons a force to be reckoned with or is the technology still in its
infancy stage? Do the heroes fly or is there spacecraft that enables them to
leave their planet? The pollution option could be told and how they are dealing
with it. The population is a concern, is it a concern in your world? Are there
the rich and the poor who have continual conflict? Is your society a magical
one or will the magic be only for the elite? Would they be impervious to
everything? So many choices that can be entertaining and difficult to choose
from.

The government could be interesting in your comic books. Do the governments of
the world approve of the superheroes or are they determined to outlaw them?
Your comic books should resonate with richness and character appeal. The appeal
can be shown in many diverse venues. Will the artists portray your conception of
the heroes and the villains? Will you need special ink? How about the writers?
Do you share a commonality with them? Who will manage the storyboard? How much
influence would you allow before deciding that you can no longer recognize the
people you created? The amount of time it takes to create your own comic book
heroes and villains are dependant upon the time you have to work at it.

I have touched the surface of creating you own comic book heroes and villains.
There are many more details to consider. The average person has no inkling of
how to go about making their own comic book heroes. The tips discussed here
should help but as with any endeavor, you will need to see professional
guidance.

Conflict And Its Resolution In Comic Books

The conflict and its resolution in comic books is an interesting aspect to the
comic book world. The non-superhero comic book has conflict resolutions in them
because that is the basis of that type of story. In comic books, the detective
gets a client who has a problem that needs to be resolved. The detective seeks
out clues and it builds into a climax where an answer needs to be found soon.
The conflict captures the reader's attention and the resolution is tied into
the main character's persona. If the detective is inept then the conflict and
its resolution may disappoint the reader, or the incompetent detective may get
a flash of brilliance and captures the bad person. Whereas the main character
is portrayed as competent then the chances of catching the criminal is expected.

In comic books, from time to time, the bad person is just as intelligent as the
good one. A nemesis that can thwart the hero of the story has alluring appeal.
It may take several issues of the comic book for the hero to take the bad
people into custody. If a hero becomes to strong then the reader loses
interest. A balance should be struck where the hero screws up every
occasionally to make them appear more human.

Additionally sometimes heroes can become an antihero. Their methods of
incarcerating criminals might run contrary to their counterparts. Their
intentions were noble but their techniques were suspect. Usually the hero does
not understand other people's reaction since the punishment should fit the
crime. They become disenchanted with the heroes around them. If they belonged
to an affiliation, they soon leave and strike out on their own. That scenario
is played out because it is central to have a comic book hero have their own
magazine, or it helps build up suspense should he or she come in contact with
the other heroes again. In comic books, the antihero and the hero dilemma
underscore a growing trend. To humanize a character, whether or not he or she
is a hero, is important.

The antihero feels rejected by his or her peers, which is a human emotion. Many
people feel rejected so they can relate to the conflict the hero is facing.
Sometimes a resolution is not around the corner and the hero actually becomes
worse. The methods employed turn out to be far worse than intended. It usually
takes most of the heroes to confront the antihero and make him or her see their
discrepancies. If the antihero comprehends his erroneous methodology then change
is likely to happen for the better. If a resolution is not found then the
antihero usually falters and you are likely to see him or her becoming the main
nemesis.

Consequently, the conflict and its resolution in comic books is a decisive way
to figure out where you stand. Do you agree with the antihero and the means
employed? On the other hand, do you agree with the antihero but not with how it
was handled? Are the heroes in the right? Such questions only enhance the
imagination. Conflict and resolution in comic books are good recipes to sustain
readership.

Concerns With Comic Books

One of the areas of concern with comic books is the violence. The violence
contained in some of the comic books today is common. With more realism being
demanded, comic books of today assimilate real life situations into their
plots. The perilous undertaking of the hero or villain can be justified with a
realistic approach. If people want what is transpiring in today's world then
comic books will emulate that. Parents should caution their children with some
of the content published in various comic books. The graphics displayed today
are amazingly realistic. Children need to be aware and make responsible
choices. With that being said, the content being viewed on television makes
children desensitized to explicit situations. The graphic composition of some
comic books are illustrated through various categories. The super hero comic
books usually will be more graphic than a non-super hero comic book.

The question of reading a graphic comic book can be dispelled when a child's
age is taken into consideration. The comic book business has a rating system,
but if you make an analogy to the movie companies rating system then the
existing question remains. At what age would be appropriate for a person to
read a graphic comic book? There is no easy answer to that question because
each household embraces different standards. Family A allows their child to
watch adult movies but family B does not. They watched the same movie but in
different homes with differing standards. Common sense should dictate. However,
common sense is not so common.

If a superhero, villain or civilian gets wounded in a comic book, how much
should the artist show to illustrate their point? Should blood rush out in
steady bursts or would a trickle suffice? Again, it depends on the content of
the comic book. What kind of brawl was it? What, if any, kind of weapons were
used? The result is dependant upon the battle itself. Therefore, to suggest a
toning down of bloodshed would diminish the realism that is being sought.
Ultimately, it is the parent's decision to monitor what the children read while
being cautious not to initiate censorship. A delicate balance must be in accord
with the parent's belief structure.

A parent raised on comic books might be more apt to let their children read
them while a person who grew up in a stricter household would not. What becomes
right or wrong is distorted when viewed on an individual basis. Collectively a
standard exists with the current rating system in place. Individual bias toward
comic books need not render the system obsolete. Individuals should view comic
books according to the genre and read within the family's belief structure.

In addition to the graphic content of comic books, a different component
surfaces. While it is not widespread, cursing does appear in comic books. The
harsher of curse words are not necessarily shown but the more accepted ones
are. Children are going to learn derogatory words through friends, school and
the parents themselves. Even a great deal of novels contains curse words.

In comic books, the curse words are placed there to demonstrate a point of how
the characters are feeling. The anguished faces that are drawn suggest that a
curse word would be nestled in there to express their position. Whatever side
of the table you sit on, the comic books graphic content and the colorful
metaphors are an intricate part of the experience.

Comic Books In The 21st Century

Comic books have been around for over seventy years. Comic books in the
twenty-first century are quite different since its inception nearly a century
ago. The industry has matured and the characters are more fully developed. The
villains are more villainous, the superheroes are more powerful and the
relationship between the two has evolved.

Comic books in the twenty-first century possess much more complicated
storylines. Sometimes subplots are incorporated in the story so when a future
occurrence materializes, you are cognizant of it. The sophistication of comic
books have made Hollywood squeal in delight as the comic books come into the
film industry. Mainstream society has a voracious appetite when a hero is
brought from the pages of comic books to a full length film.

While there had been movies, serials and television shows that purport to
portray the costumed heroes, it did not do them justice. It took time for
technology to catch up to reprise the comic book hero. Comic books in the
twenty-first century allows readers to read and conceptualize the story, then
watch the big screen to see if the writer and director had the same perception
as you did. Oftentimes I was delighted at the movies, despite the fact that I
had a different version of what should have been done.

The twenty-first century of comic books can also be considered the bane of
superhero characters.

In today's world heroes can be hurt or even die. The demise doesn't usually
last long by human standards, but in a comic book's life, years could have
transpired. The realism sought by the writers and artists are a testimony to
the alteration that have taken place. If a character dies, you feel their
death. You feel cheated. Revenge on the villain is sought but is tempered by
the wisdom of the prevailing heroes. The heroes knew what they were getting
into when they donned their costume, and the realism displayed on the pages
suggests the artist and writers were attentive too. On occasion you may even
feel you were present when the incident occurred. If someone was injured,
either a scar or another feature was incorporated within the next comic book.

The comic book industry slightly altered the looks of heroes as the time went
by. The characters do not usually age, but in some cases age had been affected.
Another factor to consider is why the comic book industry changed the looks of
their characters. Perhaps another artist took the reins of the hero or villain.
Maybe an update was needed because some of his or hers costume or hairstyle
looked out of place, or do not reflect, today's styles or trends. So much has
changed over the years that some characters are unrecognizable from their
origin.

Whatever the case may be, the evolution of comic books is here to stay. I
applaud the decision to update the comic books so stagnation does not ingress
the industry. The comic books in the twenty-first century remind me why I
continue to read them. I had been enthralled as a young boy reading comic books
in my bed. I read them as an adult and am just as captivated. The content and
looks may have changed but the messages are still the same.





Peace
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