Sunday, October 12, 2008


I've been away from the comic book industry for some years. Although I still have a few friends who work in various aspects of that industry, I don't know much about it anymore. It's literally been about ten years since I've picked up a current comic book new off the rack and read it.

One reason for this is that the industry is dominated by the superhero genre. That's fine that there's a superhero genre, but for almost every single comic book published to be about superheroes is actually kind of creepy when you stop to
think about it. Imagine if you walked into a Borders Books or a Barnes & Noble Bookstore or your public library and 95% of all of the books in them were about superheroes. That's what walking into a comic book shop is like.

So I've tended to stay away from such shops, only occasionally attending a small comic convention run by friends. I haven't cared to read most new comics because...well, what else can you do with superheroes that hasn't already been done? Alan Moore and Frank Miller did the whole revisionist superhero and everyone who followed them pounded that idea into the ground. The whole scene
just got so terribly stale. I turned my back on it.

Today, I was a guest at the Charlotte Comicon that's run by two friends. I like going because I meet up with people I haven't seen in a while and I get to buy some back issues for my nostalgic Steve Ditko collection. But today, my pal Budd Root, who writes and illustrates CAVEWOMAN showed me a comic book called KICK ASS! (explanation point included).

I never thought that I'd say this, but I found a superhero comic that was actual
ly fun to read. Without spoiling too much, it's about a kid who lives in the "real" world. That is, a world in which superheroes are just in comic books and movies. A world in which there aren't really any superheroes. You know...a world just like this one.

This fifteen-year-old kid makes himself a costume, works out, eats right and then decides to go "on patrol". Again...without giving away too much, he gets his ass kicked. He gets knifed. He gets run over by a large sedan. He ends up in the hospital with life-threatening injuries and has to undergo months of physical rehabilitation.

Sounds pretty grim and final. But actually the book is extremely funny. Funny to the point that I was sitting in the middle of the convention hall laughing my ass
off. I couldn't help myself. The dialogue was spot on. Very realistic and very funny in the way that only logic can be when it's faced with insanity.

If you're a comic book fan disillusioned with comics, then take a look at KICK-ASS!. If you're not a comic fan, I still think you'll get a tremendous amount of pleasure out of reading KICK-ASS!.

And, yes, it's going to be a movie. Nicolas Cage is going to be in it. He plays a guy called BIG DADDY. I won't explain that. You'll have to read the comic. Mark M
illar (writer, creator) and John Romita Jr (artist) have really delivered the goods!

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