November 10, 2007

Red and Green

So it's been a while. Mainly because I've been spending a lot of my free time working on my portfolio. I'm getting back into drawing sequential pages again and kind of brushing up on things, which is fun and challenging at the same time. Right now I'm in the middle of some kind of cold/flu bug thing, so I'm passing the time finally updating this blog amongst other things.

Since I've been doing the sequential thing lately, I've been revisiting a lot of the comic books I grew up reading, and flipping through them is like a breath of fresh air. I remember how wide-eyed I was, pouring over these comics of my favorite characters and just being in awe at the artwork and storylines. These were fun comics. It also makes me realize just how much fun is lacking in comics these days.

Why does everything have to be so dark and moody? I'll admit, at first I welcomed this darker tone for my comics. I'd spent so many years growing up and hearing about how "comics are for kids!" and trying to convince my parents that comics could actually be read by adults and kids alike-- they weren't all bubblegum reads. (For the record, my attempts to get them to read GNs like Watchmen and V for Vendetta all fell by the wayside.) So when things started taking a darker road, I was excited. Then... it just got too overdone and I lost interest pretty quickly.

Take Robin, for example. Tim Drake is still my all time favorite superhero. I used to love reading the Robin title way back when, Chuck Dixon at the helm as a talented crew of artists passed through. Tim was like classic Peter Parker then-- juggling his regular identity with his Robin persona. Back in those days I was the same age as Tim and was going through much of the same things-- school life, homework, trying to fit in, etc. Except that he had the nifty superhero gig. It was a really fun book, and I really looked forward to reading it every month.

Then all of that changed pretty much as soon as Chuck left the series. All of a sudden, Tim's father and girlfriend (Stephanie Brown, aka the Spoiler, who I freakin' loved) were killed off. And I was really worried for the guy. Tim was always a happy kid. I wouldn't call him happy-go-lucky, but he wasn't a brooding character like Batman and he had a good head on his shoulders. I identified with him because he was a bit of a computer geek like me, and on at least a couple of occasions was seen scribbling doodles on his class notes in school (something I did frequently).

But all of a sudden he was orphaned, and lost his only other means of real support when Steph died. I was afraid it would turn him into one of those moody, brooding X-Men type teenagers. And it did in a way. But I still stuck with the guy, despite how horrible his series had become. Then came Tim's recent costume change to the darker red and black scheme-- kind of like the light was being sucked right out of him.

Going through some of these old Robin comics made me realize just how much I miss the red and greens and the fun that this series used to ooze. Fortunately Chuck Dixon will once again be writing the Robin series pretty soon, and I just can't wait. This title has missed him so much, and I hope he can inject it with life and fun again. As a huge Robin/Tim fan, I've really needed it. Especially lately.

Go, go, Chuck!!

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