Hyper Epics: An Digital Return To The Spirit Of The Golden Age
Brevity is the soul of wit, said William Shakespeare, and that’s the motto at the heart of Hyper Epics, an online comic refuge that is home to three page stories where the stories are “a throwback to what comic book stories used to be–and can be again.” Offering a variety of genres, Hyper Epics has something available for almost everybody – as long as you’re looking for a quick five minute hit of comic awesomeness. When asked to expand upon the desire to create comics as a throwback to what they were, and could be again, Managing Edior/Lead Writer Thomas Tuna said the following:
One of the goals of our website that was outlined by Tom Hoover right from the start–and one I heartily embrace–is to simplify the comic-book experience for a whole new generation of comic book enthusiasts. I, perhaps, have a better empathy for the “Golden and Silver Ages” of Comics, simply by being older and having a first-hand appreciation for what it once meant to plunk down a shiny dime (yes, all that four-color magic for just 10 cents!) back in the early ’60s.
Comic book stories were magical then, with the creators striving for a real emotional connection to their readers. We’re doing this again here and now with our three-page Hyper Epics. It’s a real challenge for our writers and artists to tell a compelling story within this framework. But it’s also so rewarding when the job is done right and someone out there enjoys it.
Tuna isn’t wrong when he says that comics were simpler back during the Golden and Silver Ages when comics were often found on newsstands and specialty stores were few and far between. It was a time when missing an issue was far too easy, something that is nearly unthinkable today – after all if your local shop doesn’t have it the day you walk in they can probably reorder it, or you can find it online (whether a physical copy or a digital version if the story matters more than the physical comic). Back in the Golden and Silver Ages if a comic was missed it was very tough to find again, so most of the comics of the time were limited to one or two part stories that had a some carry over in future issues but not so much that it would leave you lost if you skipped an issue.
By offering short, three page stories, Hyper Epics brings you back to a time when you didn’t have to wait months to finish a story – something that is ideal in a world where many of us find ourselves busier than we’d like. Sitting down with a full trade may not be a possibility for all of us, but a ten minute break with a complete comic should be much more doable.
I’ve spent the last week or so doing just that while at work as I did a bit more research into the website, and I can honestly say I didn’t read a bad comic. Sure there were some that weren’t to my taste, but quality was never a concern. It may be a challenge for those creating the comics to tell a compelling story within three pages, but it is a challenge that has been met with each new hyper epic that I have read. Oh, and in case you wondered, the epics are completely free, so if you have a few minutes to kill, why not fill it with comics?