I’ve been a fan of comic books for so long, I don’t remember how I started.
Okay, I was sixteen and waiting for a bus to take me home from school. Having some extra time on my hands, I went into a liquor/magazine store and on a whim bought Amazing Spider-Man #283. Fast-forward 5-10 years (give or take) and my life hasn’t been the same.
I love comics. I love the constant struggle of good versus evil for the hope of a better tomorrow where human, mutant, monster, vampire, alien, clone, robot, cat and dog can peacefully coexist. I love the duality of trying to do the right thing to make society better while struggling to not fall to the temptation to use godlike abilities for personal gain.
While my biggest draw to comics is the writing, what always catches my eye, especially for a new book, is the art. I love how different artists breathe new life into a book by providing their take on a character. I have a number of artist friends working in comics and I never tire of looking at their creations, their interpretations, their visions of how a character should be designed.
Let’s use Marvel Comic’s Spider-Man as an example. How an artist like Humberto Ramos draws the character is vastly different than how Todd McFarlane or John Romita Jr. drew him. Sure it’s the same character, but each interpretation has the artist’s distinct style and flare. Having followed each of these artists over the years, it’s amazing to see how they have evolved. I hope they’ve saved their early work.
Another site I spend a good deal of time surfing is deviantART. It’s a great showcase for artists to feature their works and you’ll find a wide array of mediums including paint, pencils, inks and, of course, even digital. Much of the work posted here is original, but you’ll definitely find some great fan art pieces. Just doing a search for Spider-Man on the site gave some great results.
As the comics medium moves to the digital age to reach new audiences through smartphones and tablets, I don’t know how much longer I can enjoy the weekly tradition of going into a store and savoring the scents of paper, coffee, and the bittersweet fragrance of humanity. But until doors close, I’ll continue going in my favorite shop to make mine Marvel…and DC…and Image…and Dark Horse…
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