posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 09:06 AM
A little while ago I was in a comic store here in Brisbane (not the Daily Planet, mind) and I saw a young kid eagerly searching through back issues of
his favourite comics. His eyes lit up as he took a collection of comics to the front counter. Of course, the clerk then pulled out his fabled "guide
to how much comics should cost" and then proceeded to charge ridiculously enormous sums for each of the issues. The way that poor kid's head sunk
when he was told how much the comics would cost just killed me.
Where I grew up, comics were an escape. I would go down to the local second-hand book store with my mate and we would purchase single issues of The
New Mutants and X-Men for less than $1 each. Comics gave us an escape from the banality of growing up in a small bush town. In truth, I don't know
what we would have done if we had not had access to comics. So to see a new generation of kids being effectively denied the joy of cheap,
easily-consumable comics makes me extremely angry. How are kids supposed to enjoy reading comics when an issue costs over $5? Ridiculous.
For myself, I find I cannot read single issues any longer. Graphic novels are the only way to go, in my opinion. I usually get through a decent-sized
graphic novel in about an hour or less, so single-issue comics would be essentially pointless. Now, having said that, there are a surprisingly large
number of graphic novels available at council libraries. You should check them out, Grimholt, the Brisbane City Council libraries have a wide
collection of great comics. The only problem I have with them is that they are placed in the adolescent section of the library, which can be a problem
when series which are intended solely for adults are picked up by kids because the librarians don't realise that not all comics are for children.
Normally I would find actually saying something about this to be a bit geeky, but there is no way young kids should be reading comics such as The
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or Sin City.
Of course, I'll still pay for those graphic novels I either cannot obtain through the library (such as the Preacher series) or wish to read over and
over (such as the Sandman series). But, for me, the days of reading single issues are long gone. I just wish they weren't gone for kids as well.