Remember when everyone thought you were a total nerd for reading comic books? Those dweebs who taunted you are the same ones who’re currently drooling over your expansive collection. It’s like the sweetest revenge in a dish served pretty cold. That’s due in part to the last decade which saw the popularity of comic books surge to epic proportions and spawn countless blockbuster films, award-winning television shows, and a bustling culture of geeky goodness.
It hasn’t always been the case, but comic books, television, and film finally learned to play nice with each other, and gained a collective goal of world domination. We’ve got popular television series The Walking Dead, The Flash, Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D; we’ve got Avengers, Black Panther, Spiderman 1-8000, Guardians of the Galaxy, all swarming the box office; merchandise exploding off the shelves and all of this is leading people back to the original source, comic books.
During a panel at Star Wars Celebration VII, Marvel highlighted just how much the comic book industry is flourishing. Outside of their massive expanse of superhero titles, they’ve reignited their relationship with the Star Wars franchise, which produced the highest-selling comic of the last 20 years—Star Wars #1. They’ve also developed a highly popular group of miniseries featuring crowd favorite characters within the universe including Vader, Leia, and, this summer, that loveable traitor, Lando Calressian.
Marvel’s rival, DC Entertainment, is also making waves this year, announcing an initiative that will include books, videos, apparel, and action figures aimed at girls ages 6-12. While there’s no shortage of women who are avid fans of comics currently, there’s been a lot of controversy as to the overtly sexual nature of female superheroes and the heroines in distress. DC and Marvel have both put forth efforts to eradicate some of the character sexism by highlighting just how much ass women can kick, even when their asses aren’t as visible—Much to the dismay of some, I’m sure.
The growth of comic fans can also, in part, be attributed to the advent of the digital age. While there’s something to be said for flipping through the pages of the latest issue and securing it back in its protective sleeve afterwards, the ease of viewing the latest issues on smart devices has attracted new audiences to the genre. Just don’t expect your digital copy to be worth anything to a collector.
One thing is for sure though, no matter how you view them, the comic industry isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and we’re okay with that. To The Stars might be a new player in the comic game, but big things are in store. If you haven’t checked out the first series, Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker yet, get on it . . . all the cool kids are.