The last time I read a comic book I was fifteen years old. Some thirty or so years later, I find myself reading them on an iPad. There are still outlets that sell comics but I would not be caught dead going into one. Why you may ask? I felt it was childish. Is it so wrong for a man of almost fifty to go into a comic shop? In some cultures (like mine), it is considered childish, while in others it is not. In mine, however, a man my age could come up with the excuse that he is buying them for his kids. While plausible, it is still unacceptable especially if your children are old enough to do that for themselves.
You might ask – and quite rightly, so – what it is the shame in buying comics for your kids. Absolutely nothing is the answer to that. I just found myself conforming to the norm (shame on me!).
As time went by, I forgot completely about comics until a piece of hardware showed up. That hardware known as the iPad changed everything. I got one about two weeks ago from the UK and I unashamedly say it has not left my side since then except when having a shower.
I am not going to go into any details; most of you already know how this delightful tablet works. As I studied the use of my iPad, I read an article on the Internet about the ten best iPad apps to have. One of the top ten apps mentioned was the Marvel Comics app. I immediately proceeded to the iTunes Store to download the app more out of curiosity. On installing, I downloaded a few of the free comics. I cannot tell you what a delight it was to read about the super heroes again.
One such download was Civil War (2006) #1. I enjoyed it so much that I went on to download all six other episodes. The six episodes cost $1.99 each but I did not care. I wanted more; I began to think of what else I could read. I recalled battles of the past such as The Defenders versus The Avengers. I remembered characters like the Lizard and the Green Goblin. I remembered how we waited with baited breath on what the new episodes would hold. I found myself feeling the same way. I began to wonder whether men my age across the World felt the same way. I did not have long to wait. My older brother called me to say he had read a few of the comics and wanted more.
I have a new yearning in my soul; I want Marvel Comics to make holiday specials of three or even four hundred page long episodes. I know; Marvel could republish Spider Man versus the Lizard epic battles. Why not create a rift between the Fantastic Four and the Defenders? I am sure Marvel has all sorts of weird and wonderful characters we can enjoy. Eh, maybe I have gone too far in this request. Please tell me.
So what are your conclusions I hear you ask. For one, the iPad has given me a gift I would not have had – reasons for an adult to read a comic again. The iPad has also put paid to the shame of going to a comic store – Marvel App Store. I also realise that I need to read works of fiction once again. I have not read fiction since I was eighteen. I can do nothing but thank the iPad for that. I also found that I have taken life a little too seriously. It is time to loosen up.
As I mentioned earlier, I wonder how many more people feel the way I feel. I am convinced that the iPad could revive comic book reading even to those who never really did so as children. I hope someone from Marvel Comics might read this blog and consider what I have written. I am sure there are more people who would gladly pay for some good old-fashioned super hero entertainment. By the way, the same goes for DC Comics; I downloaded the app and have read a few stories, my experience, one word, awesome.
Comments from all the old men out there who are still in the comic book closet would be most appreciated.
Contributed by Olu Oyekanmi and he can be followed on Twitter here: twitter.com/oluoyekanmi