29th April 22:52
Toronto Sun 6.21.04 RVD talks comics
RVD talks comics
Universal appeal: Reader
By PIERRE HAMILTON - Toronto Sun
At 6 feet, 220 pounds, WWE superstar Rob Van Dam's beefed up the
stereotypical image of the average comic book fan yesterday at The
Toronto Comicon. The wrestler, who recently opened RVD's 5 Star Comics
store in California, said he was at the show to bridge the gap between
wrestling and comic fans.
"(My store) turns a lot of wrestling fans onto comics because they
come to meet the superstars that are doing the monthly autographs
shows . . . and then they see the comics," Van Dam said.
The Comicon ended yesterday in the Queen Elizabeth Building at
Exhibition Place. More than 500 visitors had the opportunity to mingle
with the makers of well-known comics staples such as Batman and The
Will Eisner, creator of the original comic-novel hybrid, A Contract
with God, said comic books offer people an intimate reading
experience, something that other mediums of storytelling lack.
"Print has an intimacy that film or the Internet doesn't have," Eisner
said. "It's a medium where the reader can contribute something."
Despite the typical image of the comic book geek as someone who was
unpopular at school, 28-year old Mark Van Dooren said the appeal is
LOVE BUILT IN CHILDHOOD
"Just the fact that there a lot of stories that don't fit elsewhere,
fit in a comic," he said.
For fans, the love of comics is one that is built in childhood. Van
Dam echoes this sentiment as he fondly recalls purchasing Ghostrider
#27 when he was seven years old.
Whether it's the plastic slip and cardboard backing that preserve the
comics' quality or the fantasy aspect, ultimately most fans admit that
their devotion stems from the love a good story with pictures.
As Darren Racioppa, 10, picked up action figures and comics with his
dad, he explained why Spider-man is his favourite character.
"He's strong, he's cool, and I like his villains," Racioppa said.