Ryno spent a big chunk of his weekend meandering around the Mississippi Trade Mart, taking in the sights and sounds of the Mississippi Comic Con, and Rebecca just had to hear more about it. Ryno breaks down how “nerd culture” has become more mainstream, and how you see the influence of comic books everywhere you look, if you know where to look. Rebecca, while a novice when it comes to “geekdom” was fascinated by Ryno’s wealth of knowledge on the subject, but even Ryno threw out a warning if you want to dive into comic books. The world of comic books started in the late 1930’s with what has become known as “The Golden Age of Comics”.
The Golden Age saw a shift from pulp comics(i.e. Dick Tracy) to superhero stories, and the first ever superhero was Superman. After the Golden Age introduced fans to household names like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, the Silver Age brought characters like Spiderman and the X-Men into the pop culture lexicon, with writers like Stan Lee and artists like Jack Kirby shaped the way comics looked and told stories for generations to come. Following the Silver Age(around 1970), the Bronze Age ushered in a different take on comic books. Instead of being infallible creatures, writers and artists strove to humanize their characters, and no such story did the job quite as well as the Iron Man story “Demon in a Bottle”. The story took a hero like Tony Stark, a billionaire philanthropist and crime-fighter, and gave him a very human struggle, alcoholism. At the same time, the X-Men introduced a new crop of characters that would go on to shape pop culture forever, with a gritty realism and a larger introduction to the “anti-hero”. We are currently in the Modern Age of Comics, where like most media platforms, you can essentially create and publish your very own comic book, if you have the time, the creativity, and the means to do so.
The Mississippi Comic Con was so much more than just comic books though. From TV shows and cartoons to movies and video games, the MS Comic Con had you covered for anything you might want, to show off your passion or hobby. You could walk 10 steps and see an original art piece featuring Sherlock Holmes and turn to your left only to see a wall of T-shirts emblazoned with catch phrases from your favorite tv show. Down the row of booths you might find a box of comics, but directly behind you, there would be a booth selling jewelry, with your favorite movie star’s face on it. On top of all the artwork and merchandise, the Mississippi Comic Con also allowed fans to meet celebrities like Zack Taylor(the original Black Power Ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and C.J. Graham(the man behind the mask of Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th franchise).
Basically, the comic convention was a blast for anyone with even an inkling of nerd or geek inside them, and Ryno agreed to take Rebecca next time, so she can experience all the fun for herself!
You can hear the full conversation between Rebecca and Ryno on the MS Comic Con here