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Elliott Serrano Presents:









 

When Marc asked me if I’d be interested in writing a column for his site, little did he know that he was tampering with forces beyond his control.

Much like a devilish d’jinn that fools its master and torments him with each of the three wishes that it is asked to grant, I am going to unleash my powers in a way my master could have never imagined! Now…I write this as I huddle in my ramshackle office, the bitter cold just outside my window, a lone flickering candle providing me with light…and the time has come for me to declare my intentions!

THE COMIC CULTURE WARRIOR MANIFESTO- PART ONE

Comic Books are just that: Comic Books! – Enough with this ‘graphic novel’ baloney. Let’s call a spade a spade, a duck a duck, and a periodical with cartoon drawings and word balloons a COMIC BOOK. And why not? I’ve never seen the stigma in the term. Remember what the sign on the top of the spinner rack would say? ‘Hey Kids! Comics!’ What’s the big deal? Let me start everyone off with the very first Comic Culture Warrior Nation Motto: I READ COMIC BOOKS AND I’M PROUD OF IT!

Comic Books matter! – They grant a platform for expression of ideas that quite often can’t be translated into any other medium. (And when they are, you just don’t see the point behind it, i.e, Sin City the movie.) They are a cultural touchstone with characters spanning generations. They’ve helped some kids learn how to read and have compelled others to draw and explore many different artistic mediums. They have inspired millions and continue to do so.

Independent/Self Publishers aren’t ‘hobbyists’! - They are artists and entrepreneurs. They put their money where their mouth is. They are risk takers. They don’t have ‘guaranteed contracts’ and ‘page rates’ because they go without the multi-million dollar corporation that polices their ideas and tries to fit them into a marketing scheme.

Let the People read Comics! – Let’s get them back into all the 7-11’s, grocery stores and drug store chains. Let’s make them affordable and stop hiking the cover price every time we add an extra page or two along with extraneous reprinted materials (cough – One More Day - cough). Let’s support the direct market and not try to stiff comic shops with no-return policies that make it harder for them to embrace new titles and publishers. Let’s make buying a comic as easy and as common as buying a newspaper.

Comics are for EVERYONE! – They’re for both kids and adults; for both guys and gals; for people of all races, languages and creeds. And because of that, they should reflect the diversity and various tastes of their audience.

And I conclude the first chapter of the Comic Culture Warrior Manifesto with this final declaration:

CHICKS WHO READ COMICS ARE HOT! – Doesn’t matter if they’re reading Sailor Moon or Runaways, wearing a Buffy the Vampire Slayer t-shirt or goth wear, today’s comic-reading fangirl is smart, witty and drop-dead sexy. Give these gals their props for adding some class, culture and oh-so-sweet-smells to what was once a ‘boys-only club.’

And so ends the first chapter of the Comic Culture Warrior Manifesto. Future chapters will feature declarations on Comic Merchandising, e-Comics, Minorities in Publishing, and what will forever be known as: The Brian Bendis Directive.

####

I want to give mad props to Marc Mason and all the other writers here at Comics Waiting Room. You guys are true professionals who love your subject matter and know your stuff. Over the holiday hiatus, you can check out the Comic Culture Warrior Companion where I’ll be checking in from time to time and throwing out some bits and pieces that don’t make it into each column, as well as reading your comments and feedback. Thank you to all who have welcomed me to the CWR family and have given me free reign to speak my mind. A special thanks to Brandon Jerwa who thinks he’ll make a writer of me yet. (Dude, many before you have tried.) And last - but certainly not least - thanks to YOU, my readers, for your time and support.

See you all on the other side.

E. Ruben Serrano is a Writer/Columnist/Graphic Artist who wishes that there were as many cute comic-book reading girls ‘back in the day’ as there are today. He won’t say when his ‘day’ actually was because he feels old enough as it is. He will say that he was somewhat surprised that the local 7-11 still had the newest Marvel-Team-Up in stock when he and his family got of the Ark.

E.R. Serrano

 

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