News / USA

Comic Book Heroes Expand Their Reach

Greg Flakus

Marvel Comics has entertained people for decades with characters like Spiderman, the Hulk and Captain America. But with the growing popularity of video games and Internet entertainment, comic book creators have had to expand the settings and themes of their stories. They are now bringing their characters and stories to various parts of the United States.

Fans from all over Houston and beyond came to the 8th Dimension Comic Book Store to meet the author and artist who created Marvel Comics new series “Scarlet Spider,” which is set right here.

“On behalf of the city of Houston, thank y'all for incorporating us," said a woman.

Scarlet Spider is the Houston-based character that was, er, “spun off” from Spiderman, and 18-year-old fan Stephanie Burgess recognizes some of the downtown settings.

“Looking through this was pretty cool because I see some of the buildings, they look pretty familiar," said comic book fan Stephanie Burgess.

It was a good business day for store owner Jeremy Bulloch, who is also excited about having a comic book story set in his home town.

“I own a comic shop, but first and foremost I am a comic book fan, so as a fan I am super-excited that this is going on," said Bulloch.

Bulloch says having a series like this also helps sales of older comics, which often sell well above their original cost as they become attractive to collectors.

“The collector mentality is a big part of the comic book industry and what makes comic books fun," he said.

These books attract young and old readers.

“My folks had a grocery store and we would stand in front of the comic books stand and go through all of them," said a woman.

Many fans say they enjoy the depictions of fantastic characters and the worlds they inhabit.

The author of the new Scarlet Spider series, Christopher Yost, tries to make those elements resonate with readers.

“I think comic books are the new mythology and if you look at movies and video games, so many of the big summer blockbusters are based on comic books," said Yost.

Most of Marvel Comics’ super heroes are based in New York, but the company is now establishing new characters in other cities, like Houston, where Yost sees lots of possibilities for story lines.

“Houston seemed like a good place because, A, it is a place the Marvel universe has not seen before and, B, with its proximity to Mexico and its proximity to the Gulf, it has a lot of new opportunities," he said.

Yost says a future episode will have scenes set on an oil rig in the nearby Gulf of Mexico.

Artist Ryan Stedman used online images for scenes in the first part of the series, but relatives who live here in Houston will be taking him around for a firsthand look.

“We are going to look at all the stuff and I am going to take pictures and try and get a good feel for the city so that I can do more of those little details that I think are so important," said Stedman.

But, given concerns about U.S. education, shouldn't young people be reading “real books?” Not according to fourth grade teacher and comic book fan Debbie Cook.

“Reading is reading, whatever you can do to get them to be better at reading, understanding - I encourage them to read anything they can," said Debbie Cook.

So, there you have it, comic books can be good for you, although Jeremy Bulloch says “fun” is still paramount.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs