Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bye To The Big Apple?


I'm a geezer of a comics fan. I've read tons of comics (literally) over the years and I've seen so many stories that I find little if anything surprises me anymore.

Superman dies! Big deal -- he'll get better. Spider-Man weds! No matter -- he'll recover. Batman kills Robin! Sheesh -- it's about frakkin' time.

It doesn't matter what the story is, whether it's about Captain America retiring yet again or the FF losing a member yet again or the Legion of Superheroes getting another series which bombs yet again. I've seen it all, twice or thrice or more.

So it's a real wonderment that I come to you today and say that a comics related news story actually startled me. I'll give you a moment to check it out.

Here's the link:

DC In New York City - Should It Stay Or Should It Go?

Now that my friends is news. New York City has been the headquarters for comic book production since the beginning of the industry, since Moses brought the first continuities down from the mountaintop. It was a logical enough place for it to begin, as most publishing in general was centered there. But NYC has become most associated with comics, in a way no other American city has. That cityscape is the background for superheroics.

Sure First Comics made a big deal of being in Chicago, little AC Comics is centered in Florida, and my beloved Charlton thrived for decades in the Connecticut hamlet of Derby, but by and large comics have always been a Big Apple phenomenon. At least in my imagination.

It's certainly true that Marvel has more affinity for the city, with Spider-Man's mileau firmly rooting the reader in a recognizable NYC. DC Comics have always had their fictional metros like Gotham, Metropolis, Coast City, Central City and such. But NYC is where the real thing we called National or DC Comics has always been, and the nature of the big city has always been part of its mystique. The hurly burly, the kinetics of sophisticated creativity is a downright cliche.

Or at least that's what I think.

Now if DC should leave and head out to the "Left Coast" something seemingly permanent and immutable will have at long last shifted. The uber-urban domain of Mort, Carmine, and Julie will be left behind. Forget all the "Elseworld" tales you've read, this is really shattering. The universe as we've known it will truly never be the same.

Or at least that's what I feel.


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