This is what you get when hypocritical people provide a lack of support for literature just because they happen to have pictures as opposed to "just" print.

Article by: Boyd

This is what you get when hypocritical people provide an egregious lack of support for literature just because they happen to have pictures as opposed to “just” print.  So read and watch the masses… turn to ashes…

The earliest written stories were in the form of pictures, on cave walls, and discovered in Lascaux, France. They are a reminder that our forebears did not always have a written language, but compelled their people to learn through the artistry and craft of pictures. It’s an important reminder, or, at least should be, of where we came from as people, and as learners. Not everything has been as elegant as written language, as spoken word…

With that being said, I was recently at the movies. It doesn’t matter which movie, but let’s just say it was a movie that was based on a current “hot” piece of literature. Sometimes, you hear some funny things before movies begin. Like, “I felt the caulk and it was still wet under the pipe, and the end of it was dripping.” I was amused at hearing this, trying to determine whether or not the person saying it had a plumbing issue or an issue of a more personal nature, but that’s beside the point. Other times, you hear some things that make you think. In this case, they made me wroth with fury. I overheard other movie patrons casually talking about reading books that have become successful film franchises: the Harry Potter novels, the trash Twilight series, and the newest, The Hunger Games. Other people began talking, and joining in on the conversation…

Well, suffice to say I have NEVER ONCE heard anyone in a cinema discuss or say, “Hey, have you read the latest issue of Dan Slott’s The Amazing Spider-Man? Are you ready for THAT movie?” or, “Hey, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley just finished up the first issue of Avengers Assemble. Have you checked it out in preparation for the movie that’s coming out this summer?” It just goes to show that, once again, the mentality of the average individual is that comic books are for children and yet they have no problem putting hypocrisy into practice and going to see the film when it comes out, giving NO SUPPORT to the source material.

Now, let’s take the “big three,” none of which I am a fan of. I am sure everyone read or supported the Harry Potter books when they came out, and rushed out in droves to go see the films. The Twilight masses flock to the bookstores and read that trash, then empty their movie dollar into the cinema when the newest film comes around. Now, The Hunger Games, where every pre-teen adolescent is supporting the source material and running out to give it a 155 million dollar box office killing on opening weekend, making it more successful than Twilight. So, I ask you, why do people not run out to support the comic source materials when the big comic book movies come out, or at least read or purchase comics on a regular basis? Is it the price of a hardcover or trade paperback? Is it the $3.99 price tag for a single book, and the fact that there are too many books on the shelves? It’s really hard to compartmentalize the problem… or it could just be general laziness on behalf of the public who is not part of the one percent or reads quite a bit regularly. I feel that the general public too easily dismisses comics as having no redeeming social or intellectual value, just like video games. Mark my words, shit like Twilight has no redeeming social or intellectual value. I bet a kid would get more out of reading V for Vendetta than they would out of Breaking Dawn.

So once again, I get back to the point where I began: Our ancestors began telling stories on cave walls with picture because they did not have the luxury of evolution that afforded them an opportunity to communicate with a written language. Now it is almost as if the roles are reversed: the masses flock to mass market paperbacks that are turned into highly successful film franchises marketed to teenagers, and any piece of literature with “pictures” in it is deemed worthless unless you are in, as I said, the one percent who understands the value of what is being printed on paper. The advent of Kindles and iPads have only made the problem worse, as the material of novels now proliferates more and more in the digital space and format. Comic movies DO NOT HAVE the source material discussed as much as the aforementioned three “successful” franchises, and this disgusts me.

My challenge this time around: When the summer of 2012 hits, and you see The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Dark Knight Rises, at least put down the trashy Scholastic literature for a minute and pick up a single comic or single trade each of these movies used as source material. Try to remember that our ancestors used pictures to tell stories, and picture/comic books are not just for children. To quote WWE wrestler CM Punk and what he said recently: “I feel sorry for people who want to make fun of me for reading comic books because they’re the ones missing out. They don’t get to experience these awesome stories and characters that I’ve been reading about, and I’ve just been a fan of them for my entire life.” Just give the source material a chance. You won’t be disappointed, and you won’t be a child. I can assure you wholeheartedly.

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  • For me it is very simple. Comic books are just too BIG. If I wanted to read the source material for The Avengers movie coming out this summer.. where do I start? Comic books are too much of a commitment. Three novels in the Hunger Games series certainly seems a lot less daunting than a series of comic books with over 500 issues. I simply don’t have the time to read up on The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America PLUS the actual Avengers comics themselves. Believe me, I would love to! I honestly don’t think it would be doing the source material any justice by picking up a random issue or two.
    That being said, I do think most people just go to see those blockbuster super hero movies to watch people punch each other and see stuff blow up, and the same people go to see movies like Twilight to get off on their little pretty-boy sparkly vampire romance daydreams. The problem is most people suck and GEEKS RULE!

  • One other thing to consider is for the majority of comic book based films, they are only based on the characters in the comics whereas films such as Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games are film adaptations of the books. The vast majority of folks who are seeing comic book films are familiar with the source material, even if they aren’t avid comic book readers. You’d be hard pressed to walk into a showing of a comic book film and find somebody who didn’t know anything about the characters. There will be the occasional girl (or guy) there with their significant other just to see a movie, but the majority of folks will know the basics.
    Now, there are exceptions to this…specifically limited run comics such as Watchmen and V for Vendetta. Watchmen was familiar to a fairly limited audience and if you weren’t familiar with the comic at all, you probably would have been very lost in the movie. I didn’t know anything about the comic before I heard about the movie, but I did obtain the comic so I would know what was going on in the movie. V for Vendetta is another one of those that a relatively small group of people were familiar with the comics, including me. I tried to watch the movie and didn’t completely understand what was going on. Maybe if I ever get around to reading the comics I’ll try to watch the movie again.
    And in closing, I’m going to steal from Anna’s comment…GEEKS RULE!!