Sunday, September 23, 2012
I am getting pretty excited about Marvel NOW!, Marvel's upcoming comic relaunches. You can learn more about it at Wikipedia or on Marvel's site.
Reasons I'm excited:
Marvel is clearly going after the "new/lapsed" readers (like DC's recent New 52.) Given all the success of the movies, Marvel characters and stories are starting to have more general appeal. I am a big-time comics fan, and especially Marvel, but I have recently lapsed in my following of "the universe." Comics used to be easier to follow, both good and bad. Good in the way that you didn't have to buy a bunch of obscure titles and know about minor continuity elements to understand a story, but bad like TV used to be audience-is-stupid-bad, before many shows got all complex and awesome. Anyway, I needed an on-ramp back into the Marvel Universe, especially after the movies have me reinvigorated to the characters.
2) New Media Smarts
Many Marvel NOW! titles will have a free digital copy when you buy the physical copy. I know I will mostly be reading the comics on my tablet, but I just can't get into buying digital comics. I need to have the physical issue. I'm not someone who likes to bag or board my books; I just like having the thing in my hands. I like it to be hanging around my life for random encounters. This initiative will possibly get me more comfortable with buying digital books. Also, the titles are going to use the Marvel AR app. AR (Augmented Reality) has mostly only had curious and silly intersections with my life, but hey - these are comic books and superheros - bring on the curious and silly!
3) Isotope Comics
San Francisco has a badass comic shop, seriously one of the nicest on the planet: Isotope Comic Lounge. It is the sort of place you can walk into as a hardcore comic-reader, an alt-scene snob or a complete newbie and feel right at home. James is just plain rad. Having been a lapsed reader, I've only walked in a couple of times to grab a few issues off the rack, which is fun and lovely, but doesn't do a lot to support my local shop as I'd like. (Yes, they are my "local shop." Marin is comic-storeless.) It'll be fun to walk in and grab my pull books once a week or two. Also, I just got my first pull-list e-mail from James and it is quite a lovely utility.
I've been re-reading Naruto lately. I love manga, but sometimes all the black+white bums me out. Comics first caught my fancy because of the color. The Fantastic Four (my title of choice) had such dynamic use of color. (Seriously, in my school office - I chose the Thing's orange for a wall, the FF uniform blue for my rug and a bright Human Torch red pillow on my couch.) I like some of the early color play in Marvel NOW! The use of gray and orange (two of my favorite complementary colors) in Cable and X-Force and the red and black of both Thunderbolts and Avengers Academy. The art looks quite striking so far.
I've been following many of these series writers and artists on Twitter for a while now. Access into the process of creating comics and getting the personalities behind the creators are some of my favorite parts of Twitter. I'm looking forward to following along with them as these comics launch, even things like Jason Aaron's snarky comment to Denis Hopeless.
6) Being Passionate about my Passion
I ask my students to get serious about their passions. We discuss "passion projects" in the field of creative strategy quite frequently. (1) It elevates your interestingness. (2) It gives people a window into your depth. (3) It gives you perspective, an anchor. (4) It gives you inspiration beyond the industry. (5) It trains you in how to talk about something you are an expert in to people who are novices. Well, I've casually mentioned comics as a passion without truly being passionate for some time. I've simply known more than most people I encounter, so I could fake it. But I haven't been at that passion level for a bit now. I am already enjoying the fruits of passion, such as setting up alerts, following hashtags and doing long-reads.
So there you are. FYI - I'll probably do a monthly check-in on my Marvel NOW! experience on the blog. Excelsior!
at 8:11 AM