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December 2, 2009

No Apologies Necessary


The current issue of Entertainment Weekly (December 4) has an interesting letter in it. It's from a guy named Roy in Springfield, Virginia, who describes himself as "a 57-year-old comics fan" and thanks EW for including a comics bestseller list in a recent issue. So far so good. But then comes the parenthetical: "and yes, I also have a life."

Great. With fans like these, who needs detractors? Do we really have to defend our reading habits this vigorously? (Considering the number of people who haven't seen the inside of a bookstore, any bookstore, in ages, I would think readers of all stripes would feel a little satisfaction in their good qualities.)

There will always be heavy-handed debates about the value of comics as literature and the quality of the material on their pages. Fair enough. But we really don't have to be so self-deprecating that we lend credence to the weaker arguments of the other side. Shouldn't we have a little more self-respect than that?