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Monday, February 03, 2020 

There's still a high school following for the medium?

The Leavenworth Times in Kansas has an article on a student's comic book club in a local school:
They are the predecessor to video games and TV cartoon shows. The classic comic book still has an avid following.

For a group of students at St. John-Hudson high school, comic books or graphic novels, are an important part of their lives.

The St. John Comic Book Club provides students with a forum to share their interest in comic books, graphic novels, anime (Japanese film and television animation aimed at children and adults), “Star Wars” and more.

Mark Bryant, Comic Book Club sponsor, said the club started five years ago. A group of students at the school weren’t involved with clubs or other group activities. But there was a common interest in comic books, so the Comic Book Club was born.

When Bryant was in school, comic books were a form of entertainment for him. It broke the monotony of school.

The students at St. John Hudson were doing the same thing.
Well that's impressive on its own, but I've got a feeling they're among the few actually getting into the hobby, even if there are comics aimed at younger readers they could be bringing there. Actually, I hope that's what they're bringing to the table, because these days, with propaganda that's otherwise unsuitable for children being pushed into their educational curriculum, you can't be sure what is coming about will be appropriate, no matter the subject and how it's handled.

The Pratt Tribune also reported about the club, and has a little extra:
It’s not surprising that Bryant has such an interest in a comic book club. He was a big collector as a child. As a teenager, his collection was between 1,400 to 1,500 books. His favorites were Star Wars, X Men, New Teen Titans, Captain America and Spiderman.

His passion for comic books continued when he was an adult. After serving in the military, he worked for Mile High Comics in Anaheim, Calif. He learned a great deal about running a comic book store and distribution. The high light of his comic book career was getting to meet Stan Lee, an icon in the comic book industry. He was a writer, editor, publisher and producer for Marvel Comics. He co-created many super heroes including Spider Man, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, Thor, the X-Men and more.

Lee took the entire Mile High crew out the dinner and Bryant enjoyed spending time with this comic book legend.

“It was a really big thing,” Bryant said.
I think it's great the teacher in focus was able to meet with Stan the Man years before when he worked at Mile High, but I'd sure like to know what he thinks of modern offerings for any age, from any company, and if he considers today's Marvel/DC good or bad, in contrast to what was around 20 years ago? It's not good enough to say you're running a school club, yet not get an unambiguous rundown of whether the members give their opinions on the old and new offerings, and what they think of any story and the accompanying artwork.

Only if you encourage students to take an objective view of the arts and most importantly, report about it in the news, will something significant be taking place.

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" It's not good enough to say you're running a school club, yet not get an unambiguous rundown of whether the members give their opinions on the old and new offerings, and what they think of any story and the accompanying artwork."

Sounds like a lot of work. Cant they just relax and have fun and share their interests with like-minded people, without having to get all polemical and obsessed about a political agenda?

Comparison to comics of 20 years ago sets a despairingly low bar. The period from the early 90s to the early 2000s was marvel's lowest ebb, when they were churning out gimmick covers and endless spin offs, flooding the market with uglily drawn books. There had been a short lived resurgence at the beginning of the 90s, when some of the best artists and writers of the 60s and 70s came back to the company, but it did not last. DC had some decent vertigo titles. But the comics of the major publishers were mostly a creative desert 20 years ago.

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