Where Were You When You Found out Captain America Died? (And Other Random Comic Thoughts)

I was in the computer lab at the school where I work myself, helping my students do research for an essay. I saw it on the main page of Yahoo. That's the weirdest place I've seen a comics spoiler in. The best part of it was that they used a picture of a guy in an excruciatingly bad Cap costume to accompany the article.Speaking of comics on the main page of ISPs, here's a list of Moviefone's 20 best comic movies, with minimal comments from me:

It was nice to see some non-superhero stuff make the list. As much of a superhero nerd as I am, I probably would have listed Ghost World higher. American Splendor, too.

On a related note, isn't it funny that Scarlett Johansson is the biggest star in that movie, and she was in it for, what, 15 minutes?

Sin City as the top choice? Really? That's one for the "It wasn't that good" file, despite Alexis Bledel's portrayl of the most sympathetic ninja hooker traitor ever, and Robert Rodriguez achieving the amazing feet of making Mickey Rourke even uglier than usual. I mean, I'm glad it got Frank Miller all of the noteriety it did and all, but I think calling it the best comic book movie everOf course, my favorite movie on the list was Hellboy, so your mileage may vary.

On the other hand, 300 is the first comic adaptation I've been genuinely excited about in a long time. And I was underwhelemed by the comic. Which I do need to re-read, because I remember next to nothing about it, besides the surely historically accurate mutant hunchback.

Howard the Duck was robbed. And, because he was his fiction suit, so was Steve Gerber. Both of the phrases apply specifically and in general. But I seriously have a soft spot in my heart for that movie. It probably helped that I saw it when I was six or so. But can you think of a better portrayl of the love between a humanoid duck and Lea Thompson in cinema history?I need to Google around and find out what Gerber thought of the movie. That would probably be an entertaining read.Oh, and what about the Ninja Turtles? Do people even remember they came from comics? Also, is anyone suprised that they're still around and about to star in another movie? I was part of the generation that made them such a huge pop cultural phenomenon as kids, and I'm kind of amazed they've hung in there and look to be ready for a second (at least) wind.

Beyond Cap's death announcment being on every screen in the computer lab, I also encountered comics in another way at school today. The Scholastic Book Fair was set up in the library. I'd noticed they had some manga and color Bone volumes earlier, but was actually able to browse their full offerings today, and found some more comics content. They had a nice selection for the tween set (which all of their offerings seemed to be aimed at; why they were in a high school, I'm not sure). There was manga I was only vaguely familiar with, some Marvel Adventures Digests and Encyclopedias, and a Calvin and Hobbes collection. Not a bad mix.

So, of course, the book I gravitated to amongst all of these was the one featuring material produced beforeI was born. It was a digest sized, color reprint of the first six issues of Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson's Swamp Thing, which had to win the award for biggest sore thumb amongst the comics selections. But hey, I'd been meaning to pick this up, and I got it for five bucks, so I'm not complaining.

I'm always glad to see comics outside of their usual contexts, even if it's kind of sad that it makes me so excited. Part of it is being happy to see the medium start to make its way out of the "ghetto" of the direct market and sparse book store graphic novel sections, sure; but it's also the biggest form of nostalgia I indulge in within the medium (since I can't be nostalgic for the actual comics I grew up with, because I was a kid in the 90s). It reminds me of the days when comics were in every grocery and convenience store in town. Every time I see a GN, or even a single issue that seems to wind up in the magzine section by accident, at a place like Wal Mart or HEB (a big grocery store chain in Texas), it gives me hope for the future of the medium. And if I happen to get more cheap bronze age horror comic reprints out of it, that's just gravy.

I have the latest issues Jeff Smith's Shazam series and Darwyn Cooke's Spirit waiting for me in my pull box. That gives me hope for a giant nerd boner for the weekend. I'm still trying to get that phrase over. Slowly.

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