by Beau Smith
As a comic book reader, it’s not my job or duty to make sure the field of comic books are as diversified as possible. It’s my “duty” to myself to find, buy, and read comic books that entertain me. After all of these years, I realize that my personal tastes in comic books are pretty much set. Yeah, there are odd times when something out of left field will catch my eyeballs and mind for a while, but the bulk of my personal reading has its realm and is very comfortable in living there.
In my opinion, I believe that we’re all a little like that. We might not admit it in a public forum because we think our peers will unload a lecture on broadening our horizons, but for those brave enough to admit that they prefer superhero or fantasy comics only, well, I say more power to you! You know what you like and you support what you like. It’s the publisher’s duty to produce as much diverse product as possible for as many different readers as possible. It’s the creator’s duty to create the very best entertainment they can for the particular story they are writing and drawing. If everyone does their “duty” then everyone will be satisfied….In my opinion.
I can still remember the uproar in 1978 when the Clint Eastwood movie Every Which Way But Loose was released. Back then, film fans didn’t have the internet to tip the hand of what the movie studios were making and all the details of what the actors were starring in. In 1978, Clint Eastwood was most well known for his tough guy roles like that of Dirty Harry. When the word got out that he was starring in a movie with an orangutan and the movie was a comedy, well a lot of folks were shocked and ready to turn their movie thumb down….until they saw the movie.
When fans took the time to see Every Which Way But Loose, they found out that Clint Eastwood had a great sense of humor and they wanted more. Clint later gave them what they wanted when he gave them a sequel in 1980. It did great as well.
My point is this: wouldn’t it be fun if Marvel and especially DC Comics, stopped all the constipated seriousness for one dedicated month and gave the readers a month’s worth of superhero comedy? I don’t mean slapstick, imaginary tales; I mean stories that fit in the current continuity, but have a sense of humor. The more serious the character, such as Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, and Thor, the better. This would truly be a test for the writing ability of comic book creators to show they can step up and makes us all smile. Writing grim and serious is a much easier task than writing comedy. I know that as a writer, I would slobber at the chance to induce a little humor into the life of Batman or Wonder Woman. I believe that readers would also be pleasantly surprised to see the lighter side of some of their more serious superheroes. I think they would not only enjoy the fun, but they would also support it with their wallets…In my opinion.
The Flying Fist Ranch