Today, I downloaded my first1 real comic book.
(I imagine long-time comic book enthusiasts are cringing at the thought of my using the words “download” and “real” together with respect to comic books.)
I was never a comic book fan, not as a kid, not as a teenager, not at any point in my life. I’ve always been a fan of Superman, however, and when I heard that DC Comics was coming out with their “New 52” I was pretty excited. By rebooting re-launching some of those story lines, and bringing them up-to-date, DC Comics provided an opportunity for folks like me to start from the beginning2. It couldn’t have come at a better time. After 10 seasons, Smallville concluded (rather brilliantly, in my opinion) and I was left with nothing to fill my Superman cravings.
But today, DC Comics released Action Comics #1 which starts the Superman story in a new light. I’ve been deep into writing these last few days and I completely forgot that the issue was coming out today. If it wasn’t for my friend Michael A. Burstein running out to his local comic book store to buy a print copy of Action Comics and then telling everyone about it, I would have completely forgotten. I saw Michael’s post early in the afternoon. DC Comics didn’t release the digital version of Action Comics #1 until 2pm Eastern time. But you can be sure that at 2:01, my issue was downloading:
After I finished my second writing session of the day, I decided I had some time to sit down and read the re-launched Action Comics #1. I found a comfortable seat, opened up the DC Comics app on my iPad, selected the comic and started reading.
I like how the DC Comics app has the comic flow built into it. Otherwise, I might not follow the frames in the right order. Let me say that I thought the drawings in the comic were stunning. I have very little to compare to, but I was captivated by the drawings, I could stare at the for minutes at a time absorbing the details. I absolutely love the artwork in this comic.
I don’t want to give too much of the plot away to those who haven’t read it yet, but I’m not sure that I could even if I wanted to. I had a difficult time figuring out what was going on and why. Perhaps it was because the comic story line started in medias res; or maybe I’m just not used to the writing style of the comics. But I had a bit of a hard time figuring out what was going on. Ultimately, I think I know what’s happening (although I will admit to thinking that the Superman that appears in the comic was an impostor) and I get the cliff-hanger at the end, which I thought was a good one. I was just lost at some parts in the middle. Lois and Clark work for different papers? Lois coined the name Superman, but he’s only been around for six months? I’m hoping it’s not me and that all of this will fall into place as succeeding issues emerge.
I was also surprised at how short the comic was and how quickly I was able to get through it.
By the time I got to the end, however, I was hooked and I am eager for the next issue which will appear in four weeks. In the meantime, I have Superman #1 to look forward to in the near future.
Incidentally, I loved reading the comic on my iPad. The application is really well done and it feels like the perfect platform for reading comic books–this coming from someone who never read them in their paper form.