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Evaluating the Current State of Comic Books

July 30, 2001

Comic strips are closer to extinction than comic books ("The Disappearing Comic Book," July 17). The writing and artwork in monthly comic books are at a peak, whereas daily comic strips are underwritten and indifferently drawn.

With its Vertigo, Wildstorm, America's Best Comics, Cliffhanger and Homage Comics imprints, DC Comics has the most impressive collection of talent in the industry. Marvel may have the big-screen projects coming out, but the comics that inspired them are in a messy state.

When films are made from DC books, we'll see another comic book-buying boom!

BRAD S. BARNES

Santa Ana

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I stopped reading comic books in 1965, when innocence became "outmoded" and the heroes were replaced by grimacing, angry antiheroes.

The decades that followed had many high points, but the pathological mutation that comics acquired in those years killed the fun and the wonder they had in the '40s and '50s.

It wasn't that comics couldn't be more reality based; it's that the reality the comic makers chose was the seamy, dark, violent, antisocial version of it.

Comics in the old days could, in the words of writer-fan Jerry Bails, " ... build ... a faith in the brighter side of humanity."

Thank goodness we are in a "golden age" of reprints now. The old comics are available in glossy, hard-bound reissues, and there must be a market for them because they keep cranking them out. Maybe it just means that some of us still need heroes.

ROCKY MIDYETT

Covina

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