This is what I originally wrote for the Pocono Record’s now defunct magazine Sharp. Apparently the only way it would be readable is if the editor changed things around, adding and deleting wherever he saw fit. At least that’s what he told me. Since it was an opinion column I thought that was ridiculous. Everything people would read they would assume I wrote it, but alas that was not the case and since there was no hope of ever being paid even a few dollars I stopped writing a column I put much time and energy and money into (I bought some comics and The Encounter generously let me borrow some as well).
So for those interested, tell me if this is at all clear to you or in the opinion of the editor at large, only printable with his opinion thrown in. Now that is ironic.
It is called The Gamut because the column would have encompassed the many corners of the comic book world, thus running the gamut.
Compare the following of what I originally wrote with the actual column:
Click on the title or anywhere in the paragraphs below and you will be connected to the website it originally appeared. (I have no ill will against the editor – it’s just the way it works – I thought I’d publish this here to illustrate how journalism and the writing world mesh together with the ending result the only thing the public sees or reads.)
COMIC BOOK COLUMN VOL. 1 NO. 1
SCOTT THOMAS PIERCE
THE GAMUT VOL. 1 NO. 1
The Debut & Dispelling Myths
Welcome to the first installment of a column devoted to Comic Books. As denoted by the column title, reviews of new comics, a spotlight on certain comics over the years that may have not had much attention and readership or a new perspective on popular ones, interviews with creators, artists, writers, editors or anyone associated with the Comic Book medium could appear. To start I would like to dispel some myths about Comic Books.
Myth 1: Comic Books are for kids. Now the kids that grew up on comic books in the fifties and sixties and the seventies and eighties still read them and they may forever be kids at heart. However, it is an extreme rarity that kids today read comics and that they write them solely for kids. Language and ideas are quite sophisticated in Comic Books. Usually when a new blockbuster movie like Spider-Man or the recent Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk come out there is an increase in comic sales by kids that saw the film, but this is not a new trend. Conversely a well publicized event from the realm of Comics spotlighted in the media can trigger this as well like the Death of Superman from the early 90’s.
Myth 2: Comic Books can not be literature and are not a legitimate art form. Not true either. Say this to one of its best practitioners, Alan Moore, then you are taking your life in your hands. Some of the best artists and writers work exclusively in comics or have dabbled in them. Best selling authors such as Stephen King, Brad Meltzer, and Clive Barker or creators of hit television shows like Joss Whedon and J. Michael Straczynski continue to create or contribute to Comic Books.
Myth 3: Comic Books are just Super-Heroes. Emphatically not true. Every conceivable type of story has been presented in comics. Granted Super-Hero comics tend to be the most popular. Wanted in theaters now is based on a comic book. Constantine from a few years back was based on the longest running DC Comics Vertigo title Hellblazer and there will be many more to come. This year theaters are loaded with Comic Book properties turned into films. Those are the three main myths I have heard bandied about over the years. If you read Comics regularly maybe I’ll inspire you to try something you wouldn’t ordinarily pick up. If you haven’t read a Comic in a long time maybe you’ll return to one of your favorites. And if you have never read a Comic Book maybe you’ll check out what you’ve been missing. Comic Books are all about that one word “if.” If only I could fly, or heal faster or turn invisible or whatever else pops into your imagination. They place a microscope on the human in us all.
The longest running Comic-Book store in the area (since 1982), The Encounter, will once again have a street level view moving to 542 Main Street in Stroudsburg opening there in July. (more…)