Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our Manifesto

Comics. Graphic novels. Whatever you call them. You can't go anywhere these days without hearing about them. It seems like every other movie is based on one, and your librarian always tries to suggest them. You're curious, but you're also confused. Part of you can't help but think that they're not really books. And you have no idea where to start. That's where I come in.

I remember being 16, dancing on the edge of the pool of comicsdom, wondering how or if I should jump in. And when I eventually did, it was loud and messy and it took me a long time to learn to navigate those waters. So I've decided to take my hard-earned lessons and love and pass them on to the world.

Some of you may still not be convinced that comics are even worth your time. Now, you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't up for having your mind changed, but you're skeptical and need to be convinced. That's cool. I can work with that.

Take a moment to think about your favorite movies. Now, take a moment to think about your favorite books. Next, take a moment to think of your favorite TV shows. Think about how all of them make you feel, why you love them so much, your favorite characters, your favorite lines, your favorite stories. Now, take out your favorite movies. You never watched them. In fact, you've never watched any movies. Those stories that so enthralled you and the characters you loved were never a part of your life.

Hurts to think about, don't it?

Ok, you can have your favorite movies back now. Just in time, since one of your favorite books is going to be adapted into a movie. Hooray? Nah. Not really. After all, the book is always better than the movie. Sure, the filmmakers might do a great job translating the story to the screen, but some of your favorite moments will have to be cut, the actors won't be exactly as you imagined their characters, and the author's unique narrative voice will be gone. But you don't love your favorite movies and TV shows less than your favorite books-- you just love them differently. Each medium has its own unique tools to work with that contributes to why you love them.

It's the same with comics. Comics bring something different to the table than prose or film or television, but they have the same capacity to captivate you as any other medium. And if you're a person who loves stories, can you really live with yourself knowing that there's a whole medium out there that you're unfamiliar with?

Welcome to Oh YA! Comics.

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