“Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.” ― Dr. Seuss.
Earlier this week I had a good day paying a visit to a nearby comic book outlet. It had been quite a while since I had actually stepped into one and noticed that the nature of the modern day comic book has changed drastically since my younger days when I frequented the small family pharmacy on the corner to purchase that months’ recent comment book release.
In those days the cost may have been a lot cheaper than today, the advertising content more pronounced and the general story line a lot less believable. Modern scientific discoveries, medical advancements and reader sophistication and demands have converted the comic book into a more educational and entertaining media of discovery.
Many educators consider comic books to be the gateway to learning, literacy and creative thinking. They may well be considered the modern day opiate of the masses but in a good sense. They are an influential social medium capable of indirectly inspiring social change.
Over the past number of years comic book outlets have unfortunately become associated with pornography, juvenile delinquency, drugs and the seedier side of modern life. This is an unjustified label placed upon many honest and conscientious outlet owners who manage safe and personally regulated outlets.
Tyler Hoke, owner-manager of the Comic King outlet in West Edmonton Mall , has been in the business for more than 20 years and has noticed the way the general public and the media have labelled comic books as negative factors in their readers lives.
“You can’t really pin a generalized, negative label on all outlets” Hoke stated. “We cater to our readers and try to run the business in a reputable and responsible manner.”
“Female readers are now demanding their own genre of comic book and place special orders to have these issues offered here” he added.
“The comic book outlet is no longer a male domain and women want their own brands of reading material placed alongside the traditionally male dominated displays.”
A comic book offers the reader a chance to personally hold onto and turn the pages of something that is non electronic, tactile , and capable of being stored away in a place that the reader can refer to at a later date and time convenient to them.
This older form of palpable entertainment may well survive the modern day craze for electronic immediacy and mass consumption. The comic book is truly a personal , private entity.