May 07, 2016


            Deadpool. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Captain America: Civil War. X-Men: Apocalypse. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Suicide Squad. Doctor Strange. What do all of those have in common? Those are the big-budget blockbusters coming out this year based on comic books. Want to go smaller? How about the direct-to-video movies Justice League vs. Teen Titans, or Batman: The Killing Joke? And there’s more on the way.

A dated but telling infographic about forthcoming comicbook movies.

            The 21st Century has seen a renaissance in comicbook-based entertainment. Comics have been adapted into other media since the dawn of the Golden Age, with theatrical serials based on Superman, Batman and Captain America. Once television came into play, comics made their home there as well as far back as the 1950s with The Adventures of Superman, and again on Saturday mornings with Superman again leading the charge with The New Adventures of Superman. But it wasn’t until comicbook-based movies began taking themselves more seriously beginning with 1998’s Blade that the public at large began taking their source material seriously. Comics have become big business for Hollywood with no signs of slowing down.

"Quick! Somebody mention Martha!"

            This month, with both a new Captain America and X-Men movie due to hit theaters, as well as the annual Free Comic Book Day event the first Saturday, we celebrate the four-colored inspiration for many of the great movies and programs you currently enjoy. But wait, you ask “How does this month differ from the previous Marvel and Justice League months?” Very simple. Marvel and DC are collectively known as “The Big Two” in the comics industry, as they tend to dominate the store shelves and consciousness of the comic buying public. So, for this month, we’ll be focusing on the other aspect of the comics industry: the independent.

Some of the plethora of independent publishers.

            Independent publishers come in all shapes and sizes. Some were created by professionals who got tired of working for someone and decided to become their own bosses; eventually growing to become a corporate presence all their own. Some came into existence simply because they could, although many would fold due to economic realities and stiff competition from other companies with better financial backing. There are even a few out there created to house a professional’s own project that they wanted to maintain complete control over.

If you recognize half of these characters, congratulations: you read indies.

            While not all independent companies, creators or books are well-known, some have managed to achieve mainstream success. Perhaps you’ve heard of a little comic called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Or how about this little movie called The Crow? Or maybe Ghost World was more your thing? That’s right: the little guy sometimes makes good, and this month we recognize the ones that have on Saturday mornings.

Want more of a comic fix? You can check out these other comic-based shows we’ve already covered:

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