Confession time

I don’t know if I’ve ever revealed that I’m a comic book fan.  Now, before you judge, these aren’t your father’s comic books — comic books today are actually aimed at an adult audience.  I’ve used all sorts of professional rationalizations, reading them sharpens my visual eye, they’re like storyboards, blah, blah, blah.  All that’s true, but the bottom line is I enjoy the combination of story and pictures, I enjoy reading them.

If you still doubt me or if you’re curious and want to get a taste of some great comics here are some recommendations:

DMZ: New York is a DMZ in a civil war between the government & the conservative forces that are trying to take over the country.

Y: The Last Man: A plague kills everyman on earth except Yorrick, the last man in a civilization gone to the women.

Fables (my current favorite): What if Cinderella, the Big Bad Wolf, Little Red Ridding Hood were real, and alive and living in downtown New York?

Ex Machina: Super hero, turned New York City Mayor.

Walking Dead: Zombies, people on the edge of survial.  Great read, though bleak, I had to stop around book 5 because I was too depressed.

Astro City: (An all-time favorite) The only pure super hero comic on this list,  the art here is beautiful, really gorgeous stuff.  It’s a new take on the classic hero, a blend of styles and tone that’s unique.

There’s also a great book called “Understanding Comics,” that in some ways is a must read for any visual artist.  I bring this up because I’ve seen more and more animated ads recently, and while I have some predilection for the technique, I think it’s an effective story telling tool.

Still not convinced? Take a look at this piece done by StoryCorps for Veterans Day.

That’s pretty moving stuff, animated or not.  It’s not perfect, I would have left out the end photo and text, but it’s pretty damned good storytelling if you ask me.

Look there are always people who are going to dislike something because of their preconceived notions.  I hate comic books or cartoons are for kids, whatever.  To cater to that kind of thinking is to cater to the lowest common denominator.  If I have one point to make with this blog, it’s that ads in general, and political ads in particular do not have to cater to that level.  You can make creatively interesting and challenging ads, that are still effective in conveying emotion and message.

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