Sunday, October 03, 2010

My Life is a Comic- Part Deux

Well, you probably haven’t read my earlier post - My life is a Comic - pt 1. Go check it out, as this is the long delayed continuation.


Having seen The Dark Knight (twice!) in the theatres, I have to say, the movie is great and all, but how will people who don't know about Batman; who don't appreciate the subtle play between the Batman and Joker and Gordon and Dent really *get* it? To be quite honest, a lot of the people around me wouldn't know their Poison Ivy from Harley Quinn. In fact, I've oft heard the opinion, from some of my sadder friends, that reading comics is for kids. The people are invariable those who only read books like 'Who Moved My Cheese', and get to hear of stuff like Sin City or Hellboy when a movie is made of it. Quick Tip- If you’re reading self help books, you’re doing it wrong.

When I was in the sixth grade I moved to a new school, St Pauls in Kota, Rajasthan. I stayed there till seventh, before moving to a new school. St Pauls was, in many ways, one of my worst schools. I never performed really badly, but I was a lackadaisical student; daydreaming in a class which seemed, to me at least, to be full of the most detestable collection of little sneaks that I'd ever seen. I can still remember those little rotters - 'Sir! Viren's sleeping in class!' or "Ma'am, Viren's trying to look down your blouse again!". I hope they burn in hell! The teacher's too were quite god-awful, except for our maths teacher who taught us geometry by taking us out to the school field and making us measure and calculate the volume, diameter and radii of various objects like tree trunks, car tyres and so on. And of course, Miss Sehgal, who taught us physics, and on whom I had an aching crush. Of course, by the time I started paying attention in class, answering questions, and finally catching her attention, it was time to move on to a new place and a new school.

Spider-Ham So, not surprisingly, surrounded by people whom I would rather not associate with, I became a bit of a loner. Instead of spending my lunch breaks scuffling in the dirt with the rest of the plebes, I used to retire with my tiffin to the library. And what a library it was. To me it was a regular treasure trove of books and comics which I used to devour with lunch. It was here I encountered many a hitherto unknown comic, such as Strawberry Shortcake(okay, okay! I enjoyed it at the time). Try as I might, I cannot remember the names of the other comics I read, but I do recall some were mighty weird. And cool! Okay, having typed that I decided to google around, and found two more comics I loved at the time. The first was Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham. Heh, No it’s totally not a joke.




And then there was Planet Terry, this supercool scifi comic. I totally need to search these out!PlanetTerry


This library was where I discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs, and spent many a lunch deep in the jungles of Africa. The librarian was a nice man, and quite handy with arts and crafts. I was especially inspired by his money plant holder made out of a bulb, and resolved to make one for my mum on her birthday. I was quite pleased with the result, but my mother not so much when she discovered I had broken about thirty-six working bulbs before I found one that was suitable.

Moving on, Nainital was when I grew interested in comic strips. I collected the daily Garfield and Hagar from the paper. I continued with my Archies, and the occasional superhero comics. Batman was always my favourite, but Superman and the JLA would do in a pinch.

knightfall_batman Coimbatore was where I found a reasonably steady source of comics in the form of a modestly small but well stocked (and probably illegal) lending library called Choose and Read. I managed to get hold of the Batman Knightfall and Knightquest series; however the issues I got were later on in the series after Bane had broken Batman's back. I was quite shocked by all the changes; Batman retired.. Robin murdered.. Batgirl shot and paralysed! And the redesign of the Bat’s costume (see left)! In fact all the DC comics I picked up we strangely confused. Superman was killed, Lex Luthor was batting for the good side now and Batman had a son with Talia Al Ghul? A lot (but not all) of this confusion was due to stories set in alternate earths. and then DC had this major reboot with a series called Crisis on Multiple Earths, which I have not understood till now.

Marvel was a bit better with Spiderman as entertaining as ever, but more and more I began eschewing the fantastic four and Captain America for new comics abut these gang of mutants known as the Xmen. The XMen were a great hit and thousands of mutants (or metahumans as DC called them) started popping up all over comics. They’ve become a bit overused now, and it seems that Marvel’s writer just invent characters on whim. How about Maggot, Jazz or Zeitgeist? And often, I feel Marvel introduced female characters just coz they wanted to see how skimpy a outfit they could fit their heroines into before their comics started getting shrink wrapped and placed in the ‘adult’ shelves. Take a look at this, if you don’t believe me.

vixens001_cvr-668x1023 3340867548_cf631e236a quitelyemma 0006rxt8

Like a review by R. Fiore goes -

Being physically invulnerable and endowed with gnarly powers, their clothing need have no practical value aside from the practice of exhibitionism.  They are attired in one of three ways:  Scantily clad, partially nude, and almost completely nude.  If they were going to church, they would wear tight trousers and leather jackets.  The simpleminded viewer might conclude they are dressing simply to please men.  This would be wrong-headed.  Their dedication to self-exposure is as pure, selfless and inner-directed as the vocation of the most devout monk.

Okay, so I totally get where they are coming from. That’s why I put all those pics above. Hey, I DO want more people in here!


Anyways, next time anyone asks you Marvel or DC, you know the right answer. It’s DC all the way baby.

Okay, so this post has stretched a bit longer than expected. I will be back with more…


  1. ok.. thanx to all ur rants i am beginning to appreciate batman better.. i still think superman's a pansy though...

  2. He IS a pansy! Got beaten up by the bat a number of times. Superman stories are a bit cliche... They invent stronger and stronger villians and more n more insurmountable odds, so he get getting trashed to the very end till the time he recovers and wins with Truth, Justice and the American Way.

    Batman stories are a bit more gritty and have a better story line. Plus better witers get pulled to do Batman.


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