July 02, 2006

choices in underwear

The Washington Post has a funny little article about the way comic book fans typically split between the Marvel and DC houses, with Marvel as the rebellious, Mac-like upstart, DC as the staid, PC-like conservative — which is perhaps historically accurate, though both companies are now mainly devoted to servicing and trying to find new ways to refresh trademarks more than thirty years old. It also mentions Big Planet Comics, Washington, D.C.’s excellent comic store (certainly better than any in Manhattan), where I overheard plenty of people arguing about such things over the years. I was a Marvel kid growing up, for the record — I was way into the classic early 80’s Chris Claremont run of the X-Men, and didn’t care much for DC comics (besides some not-very-DC 80’s characters like Blue Beetle, The Creeper, and Booster Gold). But the DC kids didn’t seem any more or less cool — I mean, we were all reading comics, which was a common reason to get beat up, and they had all these great, gritty Batman books even Marvel fans were reading, like The Killing Joke and the one where DC’s readers actually voted for Robin to die.

The Post article might be an entertaining read if you didn’t know such levels of geekery existed, though thankfully, there are tons more choices in comics now than either company’s superheroes, and Big Planet devotes more than half its shelf space to those alternatives. I’m looking forward to getting out to Rocketship in Brooklyn sometime soon, which seems to be the only NYC shop I’ve heard of so far with a similar commitment to pushing the indies.