Mike and I have been talking for a while about what we love about comics and what we love about criticism In a lot of ways, how we approach these loves is the same even as where we find that love overlaps but comes from different directions. And that’s one of the things we love about comics-- they’re so different. There are no defined statutes about what a comic needs to be. In a recent trip to the comic shop, I grabbed the latest issue of Jason Aaron’s Avengers and a recent edition of Dan Clowe’s Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron. The stack next to my desk (just one of many stacks in the house) has the aforementioned Gabrielle Bell and Kieron Gillen in it but it also has Rumiko Takahashi, Elsa Charrettier, John Porcellino, Grant Morrison, Joe Matt, and Lale Westvind in it. It’s not well balanced and will probably topple over at any moment but this is what we love about comics. It’s the voices, the creators, the stories, and the possibilities that start with a blank page.
And if you looked at a lot of comic websites, you would see only a portion of those comics and voices represented. I can’t say that Mike and I and whoever else we manage to coax into this thing are going to be all-encompassing because there’s just too much out there to be able to read everything. We’ve got our own blinders on as well and realize that there are cartoonists, writers, and artists out there that we don’t even know about. But we want to. We want to find voices and perspectives that will show us something new. And they can be the most established mainstream Marvel or DC creators but they could be doing something fascinating with decades-old characters or they could be some young person in a far corner of the world posting their first comic to Instagram.