[The Week in Geek is a weekly Tuesday column that plunges headfirst into a deep pool of genre geekiness without ever coming up for air.]
Comic fans know that it's difficult to get others to recognize comics as a story-telling medium and not a child's diversion. There's been some headway in the past ten years, mainly due to comic book movies, but, even then, it's not like everyone who pays nine bucks for a 'Dark Knight' ticket is running out to find Batman comics the very next day. At best, it lets the uninitiated understand, just a little bit, why you might like comics. My mom will probably never read 'X-Men,' but she'll see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine on opening weekend, no questions asked.
Of course, that's just the superhero stuff. If you really want to surprise somebody, follow 'The Road to Perdition' or 'A History of Violence' with the question, "Did you know it was based on a comic book?" The shock comes through ignorance; ignorance of the power of an entire medium. It's not just a matter of standing up and declaring that comics aren't just for kids -- it's the comic fan's desire to share this particular depth of storytelling with everyone they possibly can. Comics are no different than novels, film, or music; the storytelling limitations are only set by the talents of their respective creators -- not the medium itself. I don't think I've ever seen a movie that's understood this as well as John Cameron Mitchell's 'Rabbit Hole' does.
(Spoilers within...Be warned.)