I suppose that this post could be considered as an entry in the ‘back in my day’ category but I’ll take my chances because my aim is to celebrate progress rather than decry the easy time people have now. Front-and-center in my celebration is the annual Halloween ComicFest (HCF) taking place tomorrow.
I look forward to seeing parents take their kids to HCF tomorrow. Things have changed substantially since I was a kid begging my mom to take me in search of comics. Back in that day comic books were considered the fare for the young, the weak-minded, and the emotionally stunted. All the cool kids played football and found a way to get beers for a night of underage drinking. Reading comics was more of an underground activity that one hid, or at least down-played, if one knew what was good for one. The idea of things fantastic as a reasonable pursuit either as a hobby or as a vocation was frowned upon.
Somehow Halloween broke this otherwise inflexible rule. One day a year where the all things fantastic were in bounds and people indulged in dress-up fantasies. This was allowed but not much more.
Over the years, I’ve seen comics wax and wane but little had prepared me for the growth of the Free Comic Book Day in the spring that started in 2002. Suddenly, not only were comics tolerated or acceptable, they were main stream. Parents, people my age, were raising their kids on comics as accepted art form and not as a poor substitute for adult fare.
The pinnacle of this total transformation was reached in 2012 when comics came full circle with the creation of Halloween ComicFest by Diamond Distributors. Comics had somehow grown, matured, and returned to its ‘roots’ in a respectable fashion. Quite a story.