What comes to mind when you hear the words “comic book reader?” Do you imagine a young geeky kid or teenager? Is it some guy in his thirties who still lives with his mother? Or are you thinking of the guys from the Big Bang Theory? Stereotypes like this only stop us from seeing the whole truth. People say that only kids and collectors read comic books. However, many types of people enjoy a good comic book or graphic novel. Since August 28, 2010, many have participated in the act of reading comics out in the world to celebrate Read Comics in Public Day.
The concept of this day was created by Sarah Morean and Brian Hester of Indie comic website The Daily CrossHatch.
Like many others, Morean and Hester believed that there should be a day for celebrating the importance of comics as an art form. They chose August 28th because it’s Jack Kirby’s birthday — someone who has done so much for both Marvel Comics and DC comics. Moreover, he has created many major characters of X-Men and Fantastic Four under late writer-editor Stan Lee in the 1960s. Additionally, he has created Captain America with the partnership of Joe Simon. At DC, Kirby created comics like The New Gods and The Fourth World.
This year, I think I’m going to go sit in the French Quarter in New Orleans and read comics that represent my home state. Captain Marvel is a great comic book superhero that represents female empowerment. There is a character from the Captain Marvel series, Monica Rambeau, who is a police lieutenant in New Orleans. She ends up possessing the power that was transferred to her and becomes the second Captain Marvel. I think that her determination really showed in Avengers #291-#294. I also enjoy the Cloak and Dagger series. Although the older comics are really good, I prefer the Cloak and Dagger Shades of Grey series by Dennis Hopeless since it’s modern and dramatic. I’m also going to reread my favorite graphic novel Dark Rain by Mat Johnson. Dark Rain is a story about Hurricane Katrina. It’s a great contribution to what the people of New Orleans endured.
If you appreciate the wonderful craft of comics writers and artists then don’t be afraid to show it.
National Read Comics in Public Day also gives the comic industry the opportunity to learn about its audience and what comics they’re interested in the most. Taking a picture with your most favorite comic and discussing why you enjoy it so much can help the comics companies learn what works and what doesn’t. It doesn’t matter where you choose to read and take pictures. Most superheroes have day jobs or school too. Just have fun with it wherever you are!