Hi hi hi! I'm Bully, the little stuffed bull! How are you? I am fine. You know something? I like comic books! And here's what I believe about comic books:
Comics Oughta Be FUN!
Every week, usually on Wednesday at lunchtime, John goes to one of the very very excellent comic book stores in Manhattan (Midtown Comics, Jim Hanley's Universe, or Forbidden Planet) and buys himself a big sack o' comic books. He likes a lot of different times of comics: superheroes and independent comics are most of what he buys. John reads 'em first and then lets me read the ones that are appropriate for me. I get to read most of the superhero comics and SOME of the independent comics, but not all of them, because y'know, I am just a LITTLE stuffed bull! (For 'xample, I hardly never get to see most of the Fantagraphics comics that Mister Gary and Mister Kim put out!)
One thing I noticed is that the comics I like best are fun. That doesn't mean that they're funny (tho' they can be) or all have happy endings or are all written 'specially for kids (or even little stuffed bulls), but just that they are fun to read and when you turn the last page you can't wait to get next month's issue! John once described this as a comic that has a "sense of awe and wonder" and I guess that is as good a way as any to describe it. But I would describe it this way: COMICS OUGHTA BE FUN!
Horrible things can happen or story lines can be kind of dark and dangerous and a comic can still be fun. But a lot of the writers nowadays tend to just shovel on the dark 'n' gritty stuff until you can't hardly seen none of the fun of the characters and story underneath. Like this: what happened to Missus Elongated Man wasn't fun. What Mister J.M. Stravinsky said happened to Miss Gwen Stacy wasn't fun. But what happened to Wolverine when he was brainwashed and became a temp'rary bad guy was kinda fun (even if what happened to Northstar wasn't). Reed Richards taking over Latveria was fun. Runaways is about kids...well, running away. An' it's still fun. Blue Beetle in "I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League" is fun. Blue Beetle in Countdown to Infinite Crisis is NOT fun.
In the end, tho', it's just a little stuffed bull's opinion of which comics he likes. So join me, woncha, to celebrate comics old and new, have a few laffs, and if you're not careful, you may learn something. But most of all, always remember: COMICS OUGHTA BE FUN!