This week I'm endeavoring to introduce myself to the world of comic books (read about it here). So far, it's been an entertaining and eye-opening experience. Here's a break-down of my week in comic books:
Monday: Today I read Hack/Slash issues #1-3. The series opens (literally, the first page) with the main character getting her little toe cut off by a psycho slasher - woah! Yeah, it's a little gruesome, as you probably guessed from the title.
One thing that's caught me slightly off-guard is the length of time it takes to read a single comic book - in my case about 25-30 minutes. To the uninitiated me of just a couple of days ago, a comic book looked super-thin and my thought was 'It's all pictures - how long can it take?' Turns out it takes a while! I am still 100% committed to reading all 21 issues of Hack/Slash and the first 16 of Spawn, but I may have overextended myself in thinking I could do it in just one week...
Tuesday: Between working late, my taxes and my volleyball game, I hardly had any time to read comic books today, but managed to squeeze in one - Hack/Slash issue #4.
I also took it upon myself to kick back with a glass of wine and queue up yesterday's episode of "The Big Bang Theory" on my DVR. Oddly - or not so oddly, considering the fact that the show follows the lives of four supernerds - comic book banter was a cornerstone of this week's episode.
At one point in the show, Penny, the show's only non-geeky main character, asks the four aforementioned nerds to pick up some "comics" from the comic book store for her nephew's birthday. Her neighbor, Sheldon, is obviously irked and responds with a quick lecture: "I think you mean comic books. Comics are feeble attempts at humor..., found traditionally in the optimistically named 'funny pages.'"
And that's why I've always felt that it is too risky to try to talk to comic book readers about comic books. You never know what you might say to offend them. Another Big Bang case in point:
Penny: "What about this one for my nephew?”
Sheldon: "A superb choice..."
Sheldon: "... provided he has already read Infinite Crisis and 52 and is familiar with the re-establishment of the DC multiverse.”
Penny: "What's a multiverse?"
Sheldon: (to Leonard) "Get her out of here."
Wednesday: Today I read Hack/Slash issues #5-8. It was fun to sit at the dining room table with K and read comic books together. He said he could get used to this.
I find myself slowly getting attached to the characters of Cassie and her partner/sidekick Vlad. Yes, Cassie is a sexually confused, smoking-hot virgin, no doubt contrived to appeal to the 13 to 20-year-old boy-man demographic, but she is also portrayed as a powerful but sensitive woman who has meaningful relationships. And I like that.
Thursday: Well, I've finished Hack/Slash issue #9 and I'm still going strong. One thing I really like about the series is that it leaves a lot of unanswered questions about the characters and their back-stories. I think I might be - dare I say it? - a real follower now.
Clearly, this Intro to Comic Books project that I assigned myself was too ambitious for only one week. But I'll keep plugging away at it and hopefully finish by the end of next week. And in case you're wondering, a multiverse basically consists of a bunch of alternate universes and story lines, and allows writers the freedom to explore what-if? questions and alternate versions of their characters. I think.