When did growing up become a “thing”? I think that Peter Pan and whoever wrote the iconic jingle for the Toys-R-Us commercials (“I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys-R-Us kid….”) would be appalled by the amount of maturity in society today. People discover their first interests and hobbies when they are children, but so often those interests are abandoned as people get older. I started playing video games as a kid; in fact, one of the best Christmases ever was when my brother and I got Super Mario Bros 3 for the NES. I STILL play video games, albeit less frequently because I have a family, job, and am working on a Master’s degree. Regardless, so many people think that it is immature, childish, or irresponsible for people to continue loving the things that taught them how to love in the first place.
I still love to read graphic novels, more commonly known as comic books. One my favorite series is called The Runaways, about a group of teens who realize that they have super powers and that their parents are part of a criminal group called the Pride. It is well written and illustrated, and grabs my attention just as well as a “more mature” non-illustrated book would. I love The Walking Dead, recently read Batman: Year One, and I got seasons 1 & 2 of Batman Beyond for Christmas. I’m a self-respecting, hard-working adult; I love reading graphic novels, playing video games, and watching cartoons.
In fact, if you know me, you know that I also have my own comic strip (you can see an old one below). It isn’t meant to be laugh-out-loud HILARIOUS, but almost more of a journal of my experiences as a comedian. It is called “Comic About A Comic” (I agree, the title is clever. Thank you for noticing) and most weekdays I post a new one on my Facebook fan page as well as here on my website. It is loosely based on my comedy, and like comedy there are occasional exaggerations that are grounded in truth. None of the characters (other than yours truly) are based on real people, because not all of the things that I write about are “happy”.
By now you may be wondering why I titled this post the way that I did. The answer is because comic books aren’t for children. Any form of media, can be used and appreciated by people of all ages. When I watch Sesame Street with my son, I can appreciate the fact that someone took the time to write the episode and that the people in the episode are actors playing a role. But really, my appreciation of comic books goes deeper than that. I’m not usually into literary analysis, but comic books have room for plenty. In fact, I took an English class as an undergrad that was based solely on graphic novels. We read Batman: The Long Halloween, Blankets, Y: The Last Man, and others. It was one of, if not the greatest class that I have ever taken. The authors of these books are often pushing messages that can’t be seen at the surface, ones that children would easily miss.
So I create comics, and I read them. I will continue to do so until there are no more good ones to read, or I lose my eyesight. You should too, because you don’t know what you’re missing.