For a few weeks, I'm running a series of guest posts from my friends over at That Comic Smell podcast. The pieces are any length, style, whatever. The only brief I gave was to write something about comics. First up is Tom Stewart.
I think it’s about high time you and me sat down for a little chat. Don’t worry I won’t take up too much of your time. Before you ask, yes I have been fine. No I haven’t had time to read any of your vast back catalogues as of recent. I’m still trying to plough my way through “The Stand” which is taking approximately 100 years. I’m sure you will still be there when I finish up though.
Enough about me, let’s talk about you. Haven’t you been a busy lot recently? Not only have all of your medium been taken and adapted into various films and TV Shows (Some good. Some utter shit) but your vast array of genres, subject matter and styles are getting bigger and bigger by the day. No your bum doesn’t look big on that shelf, although some of your works do come in all shapes and sizes. I’m just getting a bit shocked at how far you have come over the years. The snowball that is comics (you) shows no signs of stopping either. With the sheer enormity of comic conventions cropping up these days, also the size that some of them have become is crazy!! It almost seems like you’re a respected art form. Yet... are you?
As far as I am aware, whenever I mention you to people I still get “oh, that thing about superheroes. Isn’t that a bit kiddy” I honestly thought that with the popularity of the superheroes these days that, that kind of thing wouldn’t matter. It’s funny as well seeing as how the folks that come away with such phrases are usually the first people to sprout things like “Have you seen the new Avengers?” or “Spoder-min looks AWESOME doesn’t it?” and that’s the problem isn’t it? People only take you seriously when it suits them. They don’t see you as this platform for artists and writers to get down some of the most gutting punching and heart wrenching philosophical/political ideologies on paper in an understandable manner by accompanying it with diagrams and detailed references. To show how really fucked up the world can be or similarly how their world can be. To show the most romantic feelings ever conveyed or the most evil even one person can commit. The power to tell someone’s entire life and have it beautifully rendered also. To have 2 worlds colliding in perfect synchronicity on paper. Writing and pictures. I’ve got to say, you do one hell of a good job. These folks don’t understand you the way we do. By “We” I of course mean your fans. Now stop blushing, you know you have a massive fan base out there. I mean hell, there is an entire industry of incredible writers and artists that have worked with you over the years, there’s no need to modest. Stand proud. You have worked with some of the best. Alan Moore, Frank Quitely, Moebius, Frank Miller, Robert Crumb, Derf Backderf, Scott Snyder, Jack “The King” Kirby, Stan “The Man” Lee, Bill Finger, Steve Ditko, Mike Allred, to name but a few. These folks have been eager to work with you too. You have a lot to be proud of. So why do you reckon the stigma still?
Maybe it’s that when you put pictures with words people think that it lacks intelligence. Maybe that you lack imagination, even though I can’t think of anything more imaginative than the majority of the stories to come out of your being. Who knows?
All I know is, those folks are missing out.
It’s so good catching up with you. I know you don’t get a lot of time due to the aforementioned rate in which you are growing. Yet, the more you grow, the more I feel we all have time to catch up with you.
I best let you get off though. You’ve got more minds to mould and melt. I’m sure we will sit down and have another one of these catch up’s soon. There are lots more we need to discuss in the future.