March 21st, 2012

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Announcing Nerdiodrome! All The Cool Kids Are Ignoring It!

This is a big one, people. It's been simmering in my mind for a while, and now I'm about to burst.

Reading comic books today isn't like it once was. I'll try to keep this from just being a place to gush about how things used to be, but in part I won't be able to.

Because once upon a time, all comic books were a place for fun. Nowadays, sure there's some fun here, some fun there, but not all comics are fun. Some, many, a lot of them are grim, depressing places. But ever since Action Comics #1 (way back before most of you were born, in 1938), comics have been delivering on a promise of fun, cool visuals.

I mean, look:
Action Comics #1, It all started here.
Action Comics #1 showed people the impossible. A man lifting--and running with--a car over his head.

Ever since then, comic books, and super-hero comic books in particular, have been a place for fun, amazing, strange, and cool things to happen. Sometimes that meant Aquaman throwing polar bears:
More Fun Comics 85 Aquaman Splash Page, Aquaman was always cool for people who read the comics.

Sometimes it meant the Flash being turned into a puppet:
The Flash 183 Cover, He's got the strangest feeling he's turning into a puppet.

Whatever the case, super hero comic books where meant to be wild, awesome, and above all fun.

They're not, anymore. Instead we have the Blue Beetle trying to convince his enemies he's been mind-controlled by slapping the face of one of his best friends:
Blue Beetle #6, He's just exercising his wrist, right guys?
(His teenage female friend.)

Or Spider-Man selling his marriage to the closest thing his universe has to Satan himself so that his aunt will survive a fatal gunshot:
Amazing Spider-Man 595 Page 12 Inset, Spider-Man sells his marriage to THE DEVIL so his Aunt May will live.

It's not like fun comics don't exist anymore, of course they do. They're not even that hard to find. Sometimes it's new comics:
Atomic Robo #1, Atomic Robo. He'll SCIENCE you and you'll love every second of it.

And sometimes it's reprints of old comics:
Showcase Booster Gold, His whole series in one handy dandy package.

But not all comic books are reprinted (this is actually an exaggeration: most comics aren't reprinted. Comic books, as we understand them, have been around since the early 1930s. There used to be over a dozen comic book publishers. Nowadays there's half a dozen or so, and usually only the bigger ones reprint comic books in any form. There are thousands of old comics that haven't been reprinted, and even in today's culture of stories told so that they'll fill out a trade paperback collection of comics, not even all of them get collected), so often you have no recourse but back issues. They aren't the only way you can, say, see Scrooge McDuck as a young turk taking on a barroom of frozen-north toughened gold-miners and ne'er-do-wells:
back to the klondike 14
"Weaklings and cowards have ten seconds to clear out," indeed.

But old back issues are the only way you can see an alien-influenced Batman and Superman pulling no punches:
World's Finest Comics 75, THE GREATEST PAGE COMIC BOOK PAGE IN HISTORY

Or an alternate Batman of the future deflecting a bullet in flight with a batarang:
Hex 11, Things that are impossible and impossibly cool.
I love how the guy who fired the shot, the indefatigable Jonah Hex--whose response to being time-tossed into a post-apocalyptic 21st century was "Enh. Who do I gotta shoot?"--was rendered speechless by this.

And so I unveil this blog: Nerdiodrome, a place where I can celebrate awesome comics, old, new, whatever. Golden Age Goofiness, Silver Age Silliness, Bronze Age Badassness, Iron Age Impressiveness, Titanium Age Terrificness, Current Comics Coolness. And if you think I'm missing something, comment here, or e-mail me, and if I agree, I'll do my utmost to show it off.

Like anyone's really reading this.

Hopefully this will be done bi-weekly, but I've never been able to stick to a schedule, so we'll just have to wait and see. This is a learning experience for me as much as you.

So sit back, have fun, and hopefully it will inspire comic creators to make a minimum of crap like this:
Wonder Woman #7 Page 14 Inset, These are the Amazons here. And just because it's "true to the myths" doesn't make it not bad.

And instead make more crap like this:
Wonder Woman 210, Wonder Woman in 2 panels.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; or at least I'll start doing it once I figure out how to post pictures on that space . . .