This went someplace I totally wasn’t planning.

§ August 9th, 2009 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on This went someplace I totally wasn’t planning.

JULY 1993


So we were processing a bunch of back issues at the shop on Saturday, when Employee Aaron whipped out this particular splash page and we just sort of giggled at the goofiness of it all. Yes, we giggled, what’s it to you? Anyway, while I of course remembered the generalities of this storyline (Batman gets crippled by Bane, is replaced by guy nobody likes), I’d forgotten some of the specifics. Like, for example, that classy full-pager with Bane shouting “…BREAK YOU!” in big bold letters. (Bane’s obviously finishing a sentence he began on the previous page…I think it was “Trying to carry a second mortgage in this economy will….”)

Aaron also said something interesting while perusing this comic. He said that back in ’93, when Employee Aaron was but The Adventures of Little Aaron, the whole Breaking the Bat/Knightfall/Knightsend/Knightrider saga was the talk of the playground. There was one little kid, he said, who would even make up elements of the story, like Bruce Wayne having a super-mechanized wheelchair that could transform into, I don’t know, a battletank or something. (Well, come to think of it, I really didn’t follow this particular saga…maybe Bruce Wayne did have a transforming mecha-robot wheelchair.)

But mostly I just like the idea of current comic book events being a topic of discussion among school-age kids. That’s not something I’ve considered, mostly because 1) I’m not a school-age kid, and thus don’t know what they usually discuss nowadays…I just assume they were all talking about that rock ‘n’ roll music and hula-hoops, and 2) the general feeling is that kids nowadays don’t care about superhero comics, which is such an overwhelming perception that even I get stuck in the mindset from time to time despite seeing, on a regular basis, with my own eyes, in our very own shop, kids buying superhero funnybooks.

Of course, during the time Aaron is talking about, comics were going through a boom period, and the likelihood of the number of comics-reading kids reaching a certain critical mass to allow for general discussion of comics was much greater, I’m thinking. I’m sure it wasn’t the whole playground, naturally…may very well have been just Aaron’s circle of oddball friends, but still, I like the idea of kids getting caught up in comic book storylines and having their roundtable discussions of them.

Nowadays, with readership as low as it is, I imagine the “critical mass” I mentioned is never reached in, say, your average school full of kids, so I wonder if anyone is having that kind of discussion anymore. I mean, sure, probably…we do tend to find our own, but with the advent of the internet no one is ever truly on their own. They could always talk about these things on a message board, or, God help them, a blog.

Which got me to thinking about how often I talk about comics and storylines and such. Well, in my case, it’s my job, so of course I talk about it at the shop. But outside the store…yeah, okay, there’s this blog thing I’m doing. But in actual, face-to-face conversation, outside the work/blog context…not very often, come to think of it. My girlfriend sometimes asks for backstory on the occasional character or situation we see in a comic-related TV show or movie (and I fall down on the job trying to pull out specifics regarding some X-Men characters, much to her disappointment), but that’s about it.

How often do any of you folks talk about comics just as part of your regular day-to-day conversation? Not at the comic shop, not on comic book internet sites, not as part of your comic-creating/publishing jobs, but just…you know, you get home from work, finish dinner, and then give your pal a call, during which you ask “Hey, did you happen to read the newest issue of Dr. Glockenspiel?” in between some casual talk about the weather and about how much you hate your job. You know, like that. Like I said, I don’t do it very often…but then, I already have a couple of outlets for that kind of discussion.

So, yeah, that was kind of rambling. Sorry about that…to think all I wanted to do was post that pic of Bane cracking Batman. That is a pretty awesome picture.

image from Batman #497 (July 1993) by Doug Moench, Jim Aparo & Dick Giordano

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