Beginning a journey

Time is weird in comics. It’s weird on the page, the panel-to-panel transitions that can be seconds or minutes or years. But the relationship between time and the story and time and the reader is warped as well. The characters of 25 years ago are no older today. The medium, which seemed on the cusp of adulthood 25 years ago, can’t put down its childish things.

I was nine years old when comics moved to the forefront of my consiousness. 2000AD Prog 348, and the impact of Alan Moore on my childish mind a fortnight later, began an uninterrupted run of reading the comic that lasted more than 14 years, from childhood to however much manhood I can claim in my twenties. Those years saw comics move from children’s entertainment to cool new medium to investment opportunity to what we have now, a two-tier system where what was once alternative sells well in bookshops and what was once mainstream clings onto a half-life unaffected by the enormous success of its characters in other media.

This blog intends to track what’s happened to comics over the last 25 years; how they’ve grown up. It’s not about how I’ve grown up, but there will be times when putting the work into the context of its original publication means some reminiscing about when I was young. And it will, by necessity, follow my own route into comics from mainstream to alternative. Whatever those labels mean today.

Big intentions. What that means in practice is I’m planning to go through the Alan Moore Swamp Thing run, Rick Veitch’s Swamp Thing run, Jamie Delano’s run on Hellblazer and Mark Millar’s Swamp Thing run over the next few months, usually by writing about whole arcs rather than single issues. There should be a post on comics every Monday.

For the rest of the week I’ll maybe post about music, videogames, books, the one or two films I manage to watch each year, and anything else I have time for. Or perhaps I won’t, and this little statement of intent will hang in the ether of the internet, its promises forever unfulfilled, embarrassing you and causing me to quote Pink Floyd lyrics about half a page of scribbled lines whenever I’m asked about it. We’ll see.

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