Photo: “A Mutant Trying to Read”. The Uncanny X-Men by Marvel Comics. Animal Farm by George Orwell. Photographed by kawaiidaigakusei. (October 2023)
Rogue: I figured you read this one already. But the cover looked pretty good.
Beast: Thomas Wolfe. An old favorite. I thank you.
Gambit: Beastie is easy to shop for, no? Just buy the books with the most dust on them.
X-Men: The Animated Series
Season One | Episode Eleven
“Days of Future Past - Part One”
Original Air Date: March 12, 1993
A new comic book shop sprung up in town over the last six months and it is a welcome addition to this comic book desert. The previous attempt to engage a comic book reading community in the city came in the form of a coffee shop that sold comics books lined on bookshelves in addition to hot brews. Sadly, the coffee and comics combo had trouble catching onto the community—its survival was dependent on the comics selected to be sold and the skill level of the baristas. The latest comic book venture proved to be a worthwhile visit because it stocked used comic books from the early nineties in cardboard boxes for two dollars a piece.
The requirements for a comic book to be added to my collection are tight and narrow. First, it must be X-Men; Second, it must be Uncanny; Third, it must be in the range of the 200s to 300s; Fourth, they need to be at least thirty years old. The reason is simple: I enjoy the creative team behind the artwork during that time. I am reading them all for the first time in the present day because when they were first available, I was in first grade and could not, for the life of me, make sense of the dialogue in the text bubbles. There is a relatable episode of X-Men: The Animated Series where Dr. Hank McCoy a.k.a. “Beast” is accused by some prison guards of being unable to read Animal Farm by George Orwell and that he was “just looking at the pictures”. In truth, my first grade self could only look and understand the pictures unlike the learned and cultured Beast. The concepts and topics covered in the Uncanny X-Men, such as war and mutant inequality, make more sense to an adult than a first grader.
(Beast picks up a copy of Animal Farm by George Orwell off the ground of a jail cell.)
Prison Guard (Number One): Well, Get a load of that. A mutant trying to read.
Prison Guard (Number Two): Look at the title. “Animal Farm”. He’s just looking at the pictures. See any old relatives in there? Hairball?
(Both guards laugh in unison.)
X-Men: The Animated Series
Season One | Episode Three
Original Air Date: November 26, 1992
The early days of my own personal comic book fandom started with looking at a lot of pictures instead of text. Comics were where I first started to learn how to “read” images—a skill very useful on The Duck. I suppose that is the reason cartoons are so popular because they include visual images and audio with very little reading ability required. Comic books are mainly visual images and written text, making the writing and visual art appeal equally important.
These days, it takes me so much longer to get through a single comic book than a text-only book because there is a joyful appreciation when savoring every little drawn detail and inked line on a page and following the text bubbles in the order intended by the writers. Definitely looking at more than just the pictures.
Do you have any original art to contribute to our stock image database, announcements, community projects, ideas, news, or milestones to report? Please leave general comments below or send a PQ to kawaiidaigakusei.
kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Oct. 2, 2023
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved Mastodon