It is not often that an article on politics makes me stop and think of comics but a recent article in the Huffington Post Political section did just that. These were the comments that a politician made about art to an audience in Vietnam. Those words were:
“…it’s also the spirit that we have inside of us, and how is that expressed, and what are our vision and what are our ideals for the future, and how do we want to live together, and how do we treat each other.”
And to me that is what comics have always been, a way to express the spirit inside of all of us. Comics are a way to communicate with each other. And that communication cuts across all barriers. Young fans can just as easily chat with old fans, as male fans can just as easily chat to female fans. I can end up talking to people that I would otherwise not speak to.
Our visit to the Trades Hall in Glasgow today proved this perfectly as I chatted to two cosplayers. One with a Scottish accent, another with an East European accent and we were discussing an American comic character created for a TV series that was so good a character, it swiftly became part of the canon for the Batman universe.
This is a great shot of the two cosplayers each with a different take on Harley Quinn. One cosplayer went for the look that we are seeing in the Suicide Squad movie. And the other cosplayer went for the look that first made Harley famous in the animated series. Both cosplayers also demonstrated a confidence in themselves that made me proud that our love of comics allowed them to indulge their passion to this extent.
The other point that this politician’s comment made me realise is that comics are such an all encompassing hobby. We cannot express our ideas for going forward unless we acknowledge the whole of British comics. And by that, I don’t mean a monomania of looking at any one small part of British comics, but acknowledging the whole pantheon of comics from the days of Ally Sloper up to and including the current comics that exist today as part of a multi-platform engagement.
I can understand that if people don’t like certain types of comics then they don’t like it. Everyone has different values of what they like and what they don’t like. But I can’t understand people that will not even try a different type of comic as we always have something new to learn by reading that comic that we have never liked. I must admit that in my younger days, I would rarely read what I thought of as girls’ comics. But I have learned the error of my ways and now pick up each issue with excitement as I never know what treasures lie ahead of me.