MUST-READ: John Hodgman on Comics and the New 52

15 Nov
John Hodgman at Barnes & Noble Union Square in...

(Image via Wikipedia)

by Mike Hansen

Another prominent comedian/nerd/celebrity has spoken out about the New 52 at Newsarama. Unlike Patton Oswalt’s complaints about DC’s customer survey, this time John “I’m a P.C.” Hodgman (The Daily Show) has some choice words for DC’s bizarre editorial choices on many of their superhero titles.

More importantly, he also talks about his love of Comics, and makes some great recommendations.

Some of my favorite quotes from the interview:

I am a great fan of the form, both in its corrupt fanboy nostalgia factor of pining for a time when I read superhero comics as a child, and also for its mature, challenging, artistic future.

The New 52 thing… my understanding of this relaunch of the line is that it was supposed to be giving new readers a chance to come in and experience these characters. And on those terms, I find many of the decisions in those comics to be really befuddling.

Shortpacked Starfire strip

The strip that forced a response from DC.

Everyone has their right to do their take on these characters. But I was really touched by a comic creator who had posted about her daughter feeling betrayed by the depiction of Starfire.

…to turn Starfire into essentially this dispassionate nymph, it’s a big statement to make, and I think one that if you make it, you’re going to have to suffer the reasonable criticisms that you’re letting a lot of people down who liked this character for a certain reason.

I’m all for being provocative, but I don’t think that being provocative for provocation’s sake is a legitimate art form. [emphasis mine – M.H.]

…the issue I read of Animal Man was great… if it were an issue of Animal Man that you read 30 or 40 or 50 or a hundred issues into a run. That’s how it read to me. Instead, you’re starting the story in the middle of the story.

…there are very few superhero comics I would feel comfortable showing someone else who I might want to entice into reading superhero comics.

What made comics special for me growing up, and what made me return to superhero stories as an adult, is not just nostalgia – which is toxic, I just hate nostalgia – but because the stories are great.

I really love comics… And I’d really like to have more superhero comics I could share with someone who isn’t already initiated.

I couldn’t agree more, Mr. Hodgman. I hope publishers of corporate superhero comics take heed and give us more comics worth reading.

The interview with Hodgman is here, and the whole thing is a must-read.

One Response to “MUST-READ: John Hodgman on Comics and the New 52”


  1. I read MYSTIC #1-4 « All Day Comics - November 17, 2011

    […] MUST-READ: John Hodgman on Comics and the New 52 ( […]

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