Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Big Questions

Something happened in the world of comics yesterday—something big, though long-expected.

DC Comics announced its 2015 move to Burbank. It makes sense in some ways, but it is worrying in others.

Comics are not just superhero magazines and movie and lunchbox offshoots. Superheroes can be, in a way, representative of a less-sophisticated culture, or of an innocence, the idea that you can bash your problems away. And the medium is so much more than that, and so much more than the Big Two. But still, my gut aches with the fear of the unknown, the idea that something which once supported an entire industry might end up being a few offices in two major corporations in Burbank.

But change happens. You have to stay nimble, not look back. Be sentimental, then wake up the next day and start in on a new project. Live through or submerge the pain. Try something new.

Also worrying to me is that so many things about Manhattan are already unrecognizable and to an extent, vile. The costs have skyrocketed past the reach of normal humans without luck or connections who haven't already been living in town long enough to have gotten something cheap back in the day. And who ARE these ridiculous cliched rich people littering the bars and restaurants? And when will the legend of Manhattan, NYC-which hasn't even been here in almost 15 years--stop showing up as gritty, mean streets in the movies which could just portray Chipotle, Cosi, and Au Bon Pain? (Note the Outer Boroughs, Harlem and above, Hudson Valley, and Hudson County are doing just fine, though some areas are imperiled by the same creeping gentry that walloped Manhattan below the north end of Central Park.)

I keep asking the DC move just a corporate decision which is ultimately meaningless except to the people with mortgages here and kids in school, or is this a symptom of something, not just in comics or publishing, but in New York City?

When is it time to go?

And then tonight, I went to see an an oddball musical about the Alison Bechdel graphic novel Fun Home. And I concluded: Not yet.

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