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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
I read 8 comics last week: Avengers #12, Amazing Spider-Man #1.6, Black Panther #4, International Iron Man #5, Civil War II #4, Detective Comics #937, Action Comics #960 and Titans #1.
The best comic I read last week was Titans #1.
Titans! Titans! Titans!
I love these characters and I love them together. It is no exaggeration to say that I grew up with them and to get Dick Grayson, Wally West and Donna Troy (not to mention Roy Harper and Garth) back together again in one very well drawn and well written title is more than I thought readers would get ever again, especially in light of the New 52.
But the New 52 is over or, at least, is folded into a new and compelling continuity and the fact that Wally West and the Titans seem to be at or near the center of that continuity is icing on the cake.
Dan Abnett has been writing the Titans for almost a year now, first in the Titans Hunt miniseries and now in this Rebirth title. I’ve written of his wonderful feel for the characters and their interplay before and he’s joined by a perfect collaborator in Brett Booth. That Booth’s style recalls the 1990s is perfect for this title as the heyday of the Titans was around the same time.
I don’t collect physical comic books any longer. It’s been all digital, all the time for me lately. But, for some reason – the nostalgic pull of youth most likely – I find myself wanting to hold Titans in my hand, wanting to feel the glossy paper and flip the pages, wanting to stack up issue-after-issue.
I think Abnett and Booth are doing something very right in this title. I hope it has a long run.