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by Roger Ash
Welcome to Roger’s love Fest. Calm down. This probably isn’t quite what you’re expecting.
I have written here in the past about how I get exhausted of seeing and hearing the barrage of negative comments made about comics on the Internet and elsewhere. The old saying “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” seems to have gone the way of the dodo. I want to change that. I want to spread some positivity. I want to share what I love about comics and the comics industry. In fact, I’ll share 20 things. Again, I welcome you to Roger’s love Fest.
1) I love the distinct storytelling offered by the juxtaposition of words and pictures. There really is nothing else like it.
Louise & Walter Simonson from Wizard world Chicago 2005. photo by Roger Ash.
2) Walter & Louise Simonson. aside from being talented creators, Walter & Weezie are two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
The library of American Comics’ cartoon Monarch: Otto Soglow and the little King
3) The library of American Comics. While I haven’t read everything they’ve published, I really delight in their classic comic strip collections and the effort they put into bringing this essential part of our history – as well as those who created it – into the light.
Pogo complete Syndicated Strips Vol. 1
4) Fantagraphics strip reprints. Popeye, Pogo, Charlie Brown, Mickey Mouse, and numerous other classic comic strip characters live on at Fantagraphics in exceptional collections. If you aren’t reading any of these, you ought to be.
Larry Marder, beau Smith, and your really from 1993.
5) beau Smith. one of the first pals I made in comics. I want him on my side in the coming Zombie Apocalypse.
Usagi Yojimbo #131
6) Usagi Yojimbo & Stan Sakai. My favorite comic and one of the nicest and many talented creators around. The two are inseparable in my head.
TwoMorrows’ Jack Kirby Collector
7) TwoMorrows. When I get interested in something, I typically want to know as much about it as I can. In comics, that involves learning about comics history and TwoMorrows does a terrific job of offering that history in their books and magazines. Yes, I do some freelance work for TwoMorrows, but I felt this way before I wrote for them.
8) Baltimore Comic-Con. I met convention organizer Marc Nathan a number of years back at a seller event sponsored by DC Comics. We hit it off and have been pals ever since. I attended the convention a few times and loved it. then Marc asked me to be part of the convention staff. If you’re searching for a convention focusing on comics, Baltimore is second to none.
9) new Comic book Day. Yep, I still get a thrill going in to pick up my new comics and hanging out at the shop.
10) Spider-Man. one of the first superheroes I followed and still one of my favorites.
A wonder woman piece George Perez did for me back in 1996.
11) The art of George Perez. George’s was one of my early favorite artists and his work has only gotten better over time. What an fantastic talent!
12) The access fans have to creators. I can’t think of any other hobby where fans have the access to creators that comic fans do. This can be both good and bad, but my personal experience has mostly been positive.
13) pointer that there are heroes. I’ve lived through the Gritty 90s and fully understand people who dislike the dark turn some heroes have taken in recent years. That being said, the bad in the world overwhelms me at times and heroes like Spider-Man, Superman, and the wonderful four helps remind me that there is good. There are real heroes in the world that the news typically doesn’t deign to tell me about who fight the darkness every day.
14) They make me happy. reading a good comic gives me a delight I can get no other way. Sappy but true.
DC Comics: The Sequential Art of Amanda Conner
15) Amanda Conner’s art. I’ve been a fan of her work because Soulsearchers and Company. She puts much more emotion into one facial expression than numerous put in a whole comic.
16) Jonathan Hickman. I really delight in his elaborate storylines.
Essential wonderful four Vol. 3
17) classic collections. When I first started collecting comics, if you wanted to read wonderful four #50, Superman #100, or R. Crumb’s underground work, it typically involved a lot of searching and typically a lot of money. now collections of classic comics are fairly easy and economical to come by. That’s a good thing.
Todd Dezago, me, and Craig Rousseau from Baltimore Comic-Con 2008.
18) Todd & Craig. I don’t recall exactly when I first met Todd Dezago and Craig Rousseau (creators of the Perhapanauts), but I’m delighted I did. We’ve spent numerous hours talking through email and hanging out after hours at convention watering holes.
19) You can doanything. people say you can do anything in film these days. That true – if you have the budget. All it takes to have a enormous space battle or a quiet, personal moment in a comic is imagination and a pencil.
20) Friends. I have made so numerous good pals in comics, whether in the industry, here at Westfield, or on the web. A few of them are discussed above; the large majority aren’t. They are the major reason I still love working in this wacky business.
That’s 20. I could have added much more because, and I can’t tension this highly enough, I love comics. I became enamored of them when I was young, I studied English because comics made me want to be a storyteller, and even though things didn’t go the way I expected, I think I’m insanely lucky to have made my living as an adult working in various aspects of the comics industry. If 13 year old me knew what 47 year old me does for a living, he’d freak. Those days when I lose sleep and am stressed out due to a deadline, I remind myself of that.
Now don’t think this implies I love all comics. I don’t. There are some things that just aren’t to my taste and that’s OK. I don’t expect everyone to have the same taste as me (that’d make life boring). variety is the spice of life, after all. but I love the artform and what creators can finish with it.
What do you love about comics and the comic industry? Please share your thoughts in the comment section and join Roger’s love Fest. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
Now, go read a comic!
After I started working on this column, I realized that it seemed familiar. That’s because beau Smith did something similar in his Admiration society column. I asked beau if it was ok to borrow the idea. He said yes. Is it any wonder that he’s on my list?