by Thomas LaPorte
A few weeks ago, I started reading “The Death of Superman” story arc. This was a massive comics storyline during the 1990s, one which is still discussed to this day. When I opened the first page, I noticed something I haven’t seen in a long time, something once considered a convention of comics: thought bubbles. See, I have dedicated my comic reading to issues from 2000-2011; by that time, thought bubbles had completely vanished from comic panels. In fact, comic storytelling overall had changed, and I believe a major part of it was due to the extinction of thought bubbles.
Since superhero comics first made their appearance in 1938 with the dawn of Superman, thought bubbles were used to convey plot and inner dialogue; they were a staple of the comics genre. However, somewhere in the 1990s, the thought bubbles seemingly vanished from comics. Comic thought bubbles are a hindrance to modern comic books and they should stay gone.