I just wanted to spend today getting something off my chest, Its been bugging me a bit lately and I just need to get it out, so bear with me.

I’ve just been noticing thats there is this weird association in America of superheroes and comic books being synonyms for each other.  Now I expect this association from an older generation.  Maybe people who grew up in the 60’s when the only comics that were allowed were essentially superhero comics, but that doesn’t bug me.  What’s been bothering me is that this association has been happening in my generation and younger.

It’s not the association in itself that bugs me, but what people say.  For instance I hear “All the women in comics have unrealistic boobs.”  or “Finally comics are becoming accepting of gays.” or “comics used to be for kids, now they’re too adult.”  It doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative, whatever’s being said is “comics are _______”

This bugs me because what these people really mean are “Super hero comics are _______” and even more accurately “Marvel and DC superhero comics are ________”  And it’s fine that they have these opinions, but it paints a whole media for something 2 big companies do.

COMICS don’t have women with unrealistically large boobs in them.  That’s usually in superhero and sword and sorcery comics.  If you don’t want to see that, there are literally hundreds of mystery, sci fi, fantasy, crime, humor, horror, and slice of life of life comics out there that don’t have that.

COMICS aren’t finally accepting gay culture. Mainstream superhero comics are.  Comics as a media has had accepted gay culture in it for a while now.  It’s only now that the mainstream books are getting on board.

COMIC is a media  SUPERHERO is a genre within the media. Just like crime, and comedy, and drama are all genres, you cannot make such broad statement about a media based on what happens in one genre. You wouldn’t say “Television is lame because they use unrealistic laugh tracks…”  Would you? Just sitcoms use laugh tracks.  You’d say sitcoms (the genre) are lame not television (the media).

I understand that Marvel and DC’s superhero comics are the most popular comics in the industry. They sell more books than any other company, but despite that, they are not an entire industry, nor an entire media.

It’s like saying “I wish someone would make a fruit flavored soda, it’s not right they neglect that sort of drink” ’cause the two biggest soda companies are Coke and Pepsi.  Then when They both introduce lime cola, you say “finally soda is starting to incorporate fruit. this has been a long time coming.  They still have a long way to go before its a complete fruit drink, but its a step in the right direction.”   But all this time there has been grape and orange soda around, and it’s been around for ages.

Just because the two biggest and best selling companies aren’t doing something, doesn’t mean its not out there, nor that hasn’t been out there for a while.  The big two does not define a media.

So please do me a favor next time you criticize or praise something main stream comics at Marvel and DC books are doing, please specify. Please say “I wish superhero comics were more realistic.” or “I’m happy Marvel has more gay characters in their comics.”   There are comics that are more realistic, and there are comics that have lots of gay characters, and these comics have been around for a while, you just have to take the time to find them, and its unfair to those creators and all their hard work when you say “Comics” when you really mean “superheroes”.

Sorry just wanted to get that off my chest.  Thanks for listening.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a new Tutorial tuesday.  until then find me around the web!

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