Costumed Heroes and Their Real-Life Counterparts When I got back into comics in the early 2000s, I discovered the world of podcasting and was introduced to the joys of Queen & Country, Maus, Strangers in Paradise and other books I never knew before (not to mention the delightful works of Jeffrey Brown). But the thing all these books had in common was their level of seriousness – their realism, even – and it made me wonder: where were all the funny-books? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy both thoughtful fare and inconsequential cartoons as much as anyone. It was the meaningless fluff of the 1990s which lost my interest in comics, and now I found myself looking at comics in a new light, one which was vying for a place among legitimate literature. In 2014, I believe we have struck a balance, one where all types of stories are created, read and celebrated throughout the world of comics. These include biographical, historical and political stories; romance, horror, intrigue and science fiction galore; and traditional super-hero comics which continue to push the boundaries of credulity with their wonderful ridiculousness.