Thursday, August 16, 2012

Assembled we are strong: The comic book community

One hundred years ago, your community was the town you lived in and the people you saw every day. In this age of the internet, community is a self defined.You are free to find the people you want to interact with, share your life with and do it on your own terms. The community of comics that I have immersed myself in these last few years has made me think deeply about what our community is, how it interacts, and why it’s so special and important.
     One of the amazing things I have discovered with the community of comics is how much the lines between a fan and a creator blur and shift rapidly. Finding out that most creators are they themselves fans of other creators, and have just as much love and passion for comics, humanizes the people I would idolize, and strengthens my appreciation for their work. Being able to talk with creators about their work, their process and their ideas online and at conventions ties me to comics in a way reading a work by itself never could.
     Comics are the only form of entertainment and education that I enjoy seeing "behind the scenes" of, and discovering how they are made, all the hard work involved in bringing them to us and the love people have for reading and creating them. Before I found this community I never understood the role of an inker, or a colorist, or a letterer. All I knew was there was someone who wrote a comic, and I thought someone who drew a comic, sometimes that was the same person. The amount of work that goes into the production of these works we all enjoy is staggering, and getting to understand that process through this community we have built has given me a deeper love of the format.
     Along that same line, the people I have met online who are fans like myself, have inspired me to read books I never would have before, and to understand comics in ways I never could have on my own, to write about comics that I never would have had the confidence to do by myself. Often, for me, the interactions I have with other people who are fans of comics are as important to me as the comics themselves. One of the most surprising things that has come from this community I've found is; what used to be a very isolated and singular hobby, now has outlets for vibrant discussions.
     I want to say thank you to all the friends I have made through comics in the last few years. Thank you to all the amazing creators who share their works with me. Thank you to the industry that works to bring comics to me for my enjoyment. Finally, thanks to this community of such great people, I am happy and honored to be a part of it.