Comics Talk

I’ve written about or referenced plenty of comic-book–adjacent popular culture here at the Lounge, including forays into praising Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman from Batman Returns (1992). I haven’t, however, written much here about actual comic books themselves, which feels wrong. I grew up reading them, obsessively pouring over pages while learning to read and draw. They’re my first pop culture love, truly. I keep meaning to create a thematic series here that I can slot some comic book writing into now and then, but it just hasn’t happened yet.

Recently though, it did happen over at my friend Mark’s blog. With a site design resembling the classic ‘zine style from the heyday of comics fandom, DC in the 80s is run by two comics fans (Mark and Justin) and focuses on the comics and related media I grew up on. They even publish an old school ‘zine too. Their focus is the 1980s, but sometimes they cover stuff on either side of that decade too. I wrote for a few articles for them about six years ago—one explored my personal comic book origin and the other reviewed some Wonder Woman comics from the extreme, early nineties. It was about time I contributed there again.

Mark and I are the same age, so we were reading a lot of the same comics in the eighties. For this first post in what we hope will be a recurring series, we chatted about a particular run (a series of issues, for those not steeped in comic book lingo) from Detective Comics, in issues 569–574. It’s basically our favorite Batman run ever. For me, it’s all about writer Mike W. Barr and artist Alan Davis creating a perfect alchemy of words and images. The first two issues also feature my favorite, Catwoman. I already loved Catwoman when these issues were published in late 1986, so when Michelle Pfeiffer was cast as Selina Kyle a few years later you can imagine how stoked I was. This version, from Alan Davis, is my favorite artistic rendition of the character in her iconic Bronze Age purple slit-dress and green cloak outfit. No one draws impossibly beautiful people better than Davis, and you need look no further than his Catwoman to see what I mean.

Mark and I live about ten minutes away from each other, so we did some of the comics talk at a local coffee shop but otherwise put it together via Google Docs. It felt so good to set aside the time to reread these issues and then talk about them with another like-minded, comics-fluent friend. We’re always saying we need to hang out more, and this gives us just the kick in the pants we need to carve out time in our busy lives for quality, friend time. It’s a perfect excuse to get together over coffee or chat via Messenger about something we both love: 1980s comics. We’re already working on our next run to discuss.

I’m still working on ideas for comic book posts here, but in the meantime I’ll be blithering on about four-color fantasies over at DC in the 80s. I don’t know if many readers here are into comics, but if you are, definitely follow DC in the 80s. Also, feel free to let me know if you’re interested in seeing future comics posts here at the Starfire Lounge. Discussing movies and sharing my personal stories about connections to them will likely always be the focus here, but I wouldn’t mind if comic books made guest appearances here, now and then.

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