It’s really funny, cuz Kid Riot is totally the kind of debut creator-owned comic I always promised myself I’d write but comics aren’t the same. My Dad raised me around comics, and on those characters and stories, so, by the time I began “READING” comics (not just looking at them over my Dad’s shoulder), I had an idea of what I was getting into. I was about 10, and my Dad brought me home A BUNCH of comics one day so I could figure out if I loved the funny books themselves or just their characters. My first comics were: Batman and the Outsiders #20 (April 85), Daredevil: The Man Without Fear #1-5 (October 93), Daredevil: Fall From Grace (August 93), DC Silver Age Classics #76 (featuring classic Green Lantern stories, 1992), and then a bunch of X-Men trades (Dark Phoenix Saga, Mutant Massacre, X-Tinction Agenda, X-Cutioner’s Song, and Fatal Attractions).
So I read all these, then go back, and keep BEGGING my Dad to let me go through his boxes (which, when I was 10, the answer was no). He ultimately GOT BACK INTO REGULAR COLLECTING BECAUSE OF THIS so I wouldn’t touch his precious Silver/Bronze Age books. I really loved the titles I was reading – except, end of the day, I could see already that these weren’t the same as the comics my Dad kept in long boxes, stored safely on a shelf I couldn’t reach (alas, I was 6 feet tall by 12, soooo sucked for him). I read Dark Phoenix Saga. PHOENIX DIED. I read Mutant Massacre. LIKE, EVERYONE DIED. In fact, everything I read those first few months had some sort of, what appeared to me from my limited understanding of continuity, major and lasting effects.
Okay. So then I quit comics for a few years and I came back to comics for Joss Whedon’s Astonishing and haven’t quit since. But, it’s not the same. We no longer live in the age of comics where we’re afraid Wolverine may actually die on a Brood Acanti next issue because, well, a ton of solicits didn’t warn us it was coming. We no longer can have the exciting magic of the last page reveal because the next issue’s cover which has been all over the internet for longer than the previous issue has been out showed us the special guest star. In some ways, the internet broke comics.
I want to go on record as saying I still actively love the industry and love what creators are doing. You don’t get into comics for the money. It’s a love of the art, and industry, and I can’t wait til I’m freaking out about solicits ruining all of the cool surprises we have planned in all of our stories. But like many people who idealize a time they didn’t get to experience because they were born a bit late, it’s just not the same.
So it’s kinda fun that Kid Riot is a comic book on the web, which I guess makes it a webcomic, by definition. Because, secretly, we like to think we’re making a Bronze Age-early Modern Age comic, like the ones I read first (and ultimately made everyone else read first, too), back before it was impossible to keep a story under wraps. Maybe, JUUUUUST maybe, you’ll be worried when you see Riot board that Acanti ship. Well, you know, worried we’re gonna get sued because duh. But you get what I mean.