Friday, December 02, 2005

The Best Comic You're Not Reading...

When I walk through Club Fishbowl (the teen space at Main) after a busy afternoon, I get a pretty good sense of what the teens who hang out there like to read, just by what’s left lying around on the tables.

(And the shelves…and the chairs…and the floor. Seriously people, were you born in a barn? )

Anyway, just by glancing around I can tell that more than a few of you like to read comics, or, as we librarian types call them, graphic novels. Manga seems to be the big-eyed, curse-enduring, deceptively fragile-looking, but still butt-kicking Ruler of teen fiction. However, a few of you still seem to like a good superhero comic.

Which makes me wonder why none of you are reading Astro City.

You see, Astro City is a great superhero comic – perfect, for old school fans like me AND for people who don’t really like superheroes. Unlike most “capes comics”, the action here focuses more on the interactions between the costumed heroes and everyday people, and how the two can live together in one remarkable city.

With some “realistic” superhero comics, the reader has to know a ton about some fictional universe in order for the book to make any sense. Not so with Astro City . There are no issues with “continuity” no “retconning” no “pre- and post-Crisis” or any of the other scary words that hardcore fanboys use when they talk to each other. This is a wonderful superhero story that you can pick up and read, just like that. The five volumes in the series can each stand on their own, there’s no need to go back to volume one, issue one to catch up on the story.

So please, if you enjoy stories about men in tights or women with super-strength, give Astro City a try. You’ll be happy you did.

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