Mark Dudley, Illustrator and Sequential Artist, read Steve Bennett's latest Confessions column about fearing change (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--We Fear Change") and had this to say:

I know Steve and I have tossed around our share of argument concerning the state of comics, particularly superhero comics but this time I have to say that Steve Bennett YOU HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD!!

In Dune there is this line "Fear is the mind killer."  I think commend Steve for coming to terms with this.  All change is not good change but change is the only constant we can count on.  I agree that change can be some what managed to lessen the blow but its' gonna happen whether we like it or not.

Superhero comics as we know them evolved to the point they are now.  Even what Steve and people his age read when they were growing up is a far cry from what was being read in the 30's and 40's.  I totally agree, that comics should have some age appropriate grading system that will help parents figure out if a book is for their young son and daughter or not.  However, that shouldn't stop more mature interpretations of the characters appearing in more mature audience narratives.  In other words, who mandated that we need a "one size fits all approach" to this stuff.

I am a big history buff, and I know my interpretation of ancient Egypt or the Heracles myths has changes over time, as I have become more mature and studied these subjects in more depth.  We are taught, as children, how great the Egyptians were and how heroic Heracles was, when in fact Heracles could be a bastard and bully and the ancient Egyptians built their society on caste systems and slavery.  But, because I am older know I can understand that as a kid knowing the negative stuff would probably have turned me off to learning anything else about these subjects.  It would have, in the very least, made me question things to the point where I would have missed the forest for the trees.

I am a hip hop head and I think that music is a good illustration of what’s going on in comics.  I came of age during, what is now called "The Golden Age of Hip Hop."  We had Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Eric B and Rakim, Ice T, Run DMC, LL Cool J etc., Wu Tang Clan, Gang Starr, Outkast, EPMD etc.  These guys knew their business, they were poets for a new age.  Now today’s kids have Lil Wayne, Lil Boosy, Cash Money Records, Kanye West and all that stuff, not particularly to my liking.  Kids are eating it up though, and Hip Hop has moved on from a primarily black audience to a more diverse audience, whether I like it or not.  It is what it is.  The great thing is that I still have choices, a lot of classic MC's are still making damn good records.  Some of them are collaborating with the younger guys.

I know it's in our natures to fear the unknown, at least in western cultures.  However, if being unemployed for almost 9 months has taught me anything it’s that we shouldn't fear change because we can't do anything about it.  In comics things are going to change to meet a different and more diverse demographic.  I'm sorry older guys (of which I count myself).  Respect change yes, like we respect all other natural forces.  Manage it to the best of our abilities, like when we decide to leave a place for a while when a hurricane strikes, but know that for good or ill you can't stop it.  They say that "fortune favors the bold" don't they?

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of