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View Full Version : Has anything ever made you drop out of comics (and what brought you back)?



Simon Garth
10-03-2006, 01:26 PM
Reading Shellhead's post on the "Worst mini ever..." thread rang many bells for me - same events pushed him toward DC, while they pushed my out of comics altogether.

I was primarily a Marvel Zombie in my early years, but by mid/late 80s I was reading a fair number of First/Eclipse/other indie titles, and some of the better DC stuff.

But by the late 80s (ish), it really all went sour for me, and I lost interest from a combination of:

Secret Wars 2 - the first was was awful, but the 2nd one was a war crime. I'm not a fanatical collector in the way that some on here are - collecting things to have a set of all the issues with pink title lettering, or whatever - but I am a fairly obsessive completist - if I start a series, it takes me a lot to stop*. But even I couldn't stomach buying the end of that series - to this day, I don't know (or care) how it ended
Crisis on Infinite Earth - I'd got caught up in the hype and read this dreadful padded mishmash with increasing disbelief
Started reading more DC comics in the wake of COIE (Flash, Batman, Man of Steel, Green Lantern, JLA, Teen Titans), only to find that they were all just as bad as I remembered them from previous reading (apart from Batman: Year One)
Moore finished on Swamp Thing
Watchmen 11 - the uber-stupid ending had me literally throwing the book across the room in disgust
Marvel's terrible post SW2 slump - Stern's awful on Avengers, Claremont out of ideas on X-Men, Byrne crashing and..erm. Byrning on F4
Most of the non-major titles had got into a rut as well: Nexus had totally lost its way, Cerebus was very dull, Mage book 1 had finished and no sign of book 2, Marvelman was pretty much over, V for Vendetta had finished
All this lot came together at approximately the same time, and I just said - "sod it" and stopped.

Every now and then I'd browse my local comic shop and look on bemused at what was happening - Avengers / X-men etc all back to #1?? I even lapsed and had a spate of recollecting X-Men (Australia/Fall of Mutants era), for a couple of months, buying up about 20 back issues, only to discover that most (possibly all) of them were dire.

Eventually, a couple of years ago, I started browsing TPBs in Borders, and got interested again... led to Newsarama and then to here... and finally, bought Infinite Crisis #1, my first comic for about 10-15 years.

As it turned out IC was another turkey, that I nearly didn't bother to finish, but I'm hooked again. Not buying much that would count as classic, apart from Powers, which I've loved and collected all the back issues.

So - my blathering over. Has anything ever "forced" you away from comics - and if it did, what brought you back again?

Simon Garth
10-03-2006, 03:47 PM
* (forgot to add the postnote in the previous post). This series completion even extended to absolute garbage like the John Norman Gor books - these had well and truly jumped the shark by (let's be charitable) about the 6th book. I think I stopped around book 22....

benday-dot
10-03-2006, 04:12 PM
I quit buying comics perhaps a little before you indicated saying "goodbye to all that." Mid-80's in my case. I was entering university at the time, and I must say comics couldn't compete with Proust, Borges, Carver, Chekhov, Bowles and all the other greats I won't further bore anybody with. In other words literature trumped comics in my newly academic mind at the time. Comics, had been with me for about 15 years at that point and they all started to seem a little the same, impressing me with nothing more than their penchant for one upmanship in terms of levels of grit and supposed realism. The ennui lasted for about another 15 years, and I only broke my hiatus not with a return to anything new (that would come a little later), but with a nostalgic eye cast back to the silver and early bronze ages of yore. What attracted me to comics as a wee lad had brought back to them all over again, with the important difference being that the second time around I had Kirby, like Virgil conducting Dante through Paradise, to acompany me on the voyage "home."

The first time around I was a bit too young to appreciate Kirby, and regarded him as passe, or primitive, now I believe I get him as well as the next fan, and he has truly captained me back on a wonderful and varied trip to silver and bronze age glory... he's brought me to Ditko, Toth, Adams, Wood and the panoply of DC 60's absurdity (the connection here being more wistful than factual).

As far as newer comics go I first found Chris Ware's dazzling brilliance while visiting the local comic shop, then the old lure coming from the wall of newly minted Marvels, followed by that of the DCs, ushered me back to some of the finer and "old familiar" mainstream titles put out today (All-Star Supes, Daredevil, Captain America, and Eternals I am finding not so bad)... Thanks for telling me your story Simon.

Shellhead
10-03-2006, 05:10 PM
I already mentioned in another thread my various reasons for dropping Marvel in the 80's, several of which are the same as Simon Garth's. But for the life of me, I can't remember why I dropped DC too in the early 90's. It was probably one bad crossover too many. I kept buying Sandman until the end, but otherwise I was done by late '92 or early '93 with comics in general.

What brought me back?

Top Ten brought me back to comics.

A preview of JLA/Avengers brought me back to the Big Two.


But I'm down to buying just one Marvel comic again. This time, I was driven off by another pushy EiC. Last time it was Shooter, this time it's Quesada. Like Shooter, Quesada has a strong sense of what he wants Marvel to publish, and he is pushing that on the writers and recruiting new writers who will do it his way. So I have been driven off from Marvel again by the following:

1. Decompressed storytelling
2. Boring poster covers, and worse yet, those Civil War covers with 50% less artwork
3. A severe overdose of Wolverine
4. Major heroes being written far out of character to serve short-term story requirements. Specifically, Iron Man, Captain America, and Mr. Fantastic
5. Too many Superman rip-offs
6. The careless destruction of my favorite team of heroes, the Avengers
7. The absence of Thor, soon to be replaced with an ill-conceived riff on Smallville
8. The racism of Reggie Hudlin
9. The lack of *current* continuity between Marvel titles
10. Too many missed deadlines, with no apparent pressure on either writers or artists

While I was very unhappy with Infinite Crisis and all the tie-ins and disruptions to the regular monthly titles, 52 has been great and some of the OYL issues have been excellent. So DC is getting most of my comic money these days.

glue
10-03-2006, 05:48 PM
As far as monthly purchases I'm pretty much in a constant leave-again-return-again cycle. Alot of times it's just financial, but the last time I left was INFINITE CRISIS. I collected all the minis leading up to it, but then just kinda walked away before it started. The idea of rebooting everything and then being hit with 52 didn't interest me at all. Granted, that was just a DC event, but it kinda ruined the whole thing for me.

As for what brought me back, that would be boredom and alot of relaunches/new series. There wasn't really one book in particular, and honestly if it wasn't for relaunches I'd be reading two current books (ASTONISHING X-MEN and CAPTAIN AMERICA). My DC pulls are all habit now, as none realy wow me. I'm actually enjoying Marvel books because they're all so new to me and ESSENTIAL allows me tons more to read than SHOWCASE.

Roquefort Raider
10-03-2006, 06:07 PM
I quit comics when Jean Grey was brought back to life. That event just killed my willing suspension of disbelief. Because of the hiatus that followed, I missed "the Dark knight returns" and "Watchmen" when they first came out. I slowly came back thanks to Moore's swamp thing.

The second time I quit pamphlets is when I moved back to Canada, too far away from a comic shop to be bothered. Since then I only read trades and whatever I can get my greedy paws on on EBay.

(I miss my American comic shop... it was really indie-friendly).

PanzerMega
10-03-2006, 08:44 PM
I started reading Marvel comics when GIJOE came out, but really got into superheroes with the Erik Larsen Amazing Spider-Man issues. Was pretty hardcore into both Marvel and DC for a bunch of years after that.

Then Zero Hour got hyped to no end, and in addition to the series itself, I also shelled out for almost all of the million tie-in comics. Well, Zero Hour sucked so bad and seemed like such a waste of money that I dropped comics the day the last issue (#0) came out.

From 20 books a month to none, just like that. That was the real zero hour.

About 5 years later a friend lent me pretty much the whole run of X-Men comics that I'd missed, and even though I thought they sucked, my curiosity was peaked and I went to a comic store for the first time in years. Grant Morrison's JLA and Kingdom Come got me hooked again.

Kan-Man
10-03-2006, 09:06 PM
By the early 80s, collecting had become an obsession with me. It was aided by my best friend at the time who was equally obsessed. We'd go to conventions, shops, yard sales, you name it. It was around this time that subscription services became popular and I probably wound up buying titles I never would have before because it was so easy to do so. At first, it was great. There was no better feeling than arriving home from school and seeing that cinder block sized package waiting for me on the front step.

It was also around this time that I realized I was more interested in filling gaps in my collection than actually reading them. I'd come home from a convention with 50 or 60 new books and spent more time cataloguing them than reading them.

But I remember the final straw vividly. I was sitting with a fresh stack of new releases, reading them one by one, and at the conclusion of a particular issue I thought to myself, "that could never happen." It was the first time in over 12 years of collecting that that ever bothered me before. I quit cold turkey. Another contributing factor was that comics were not socially acceptable when I was collecting. And I really wanted to meet girls. And I really didn't want to run into any more of them with a copy of Defenders 82 in my hands.

About 15 years later I was working with a woman whose fiancee was an inker for DC. She would give me a bunch of his comps. This was the late 90s and it didn't appear I was missing much.

A few years after that, I discovered I was working with some people who were still really into the scene. I enjoyed sharing stories with them and began to feel pangs of nostalgia. They started recommending some essential titles that I had missed. I stopped collecting before Dark Knight, Watchmen, Crisis, etc. It was a bit odd to them since these were the very titles that got them collecting in the first place.

I'm still not collecting comics. I read the occassional trade and I enjoy following what's going on with DC and Marvel but I could never bring myself to pay $2 or $3 for a new issue.

The biggest kick for me is discovering this forum. Sure, it's fun to read about what Batman is up to. But nothing beats reading an ongoing thread debating the merits of Irv Novick vs Dick Dillin. It's become my favorite nostalgic outlet.

Well, I passed rambling a few exits back, so I think I'll stop here.

moonlight_night78
10-04-2006, 12:12 AM
I quit buying comics about 2 years ago. When I first started collecting around the end of '88 (around age 10), it was very sporadic. The closest comic shop was a 30-minute drive, so it was only when my mom and I was in town, it would be a special treat. At the time, I never heard of COIE or Secret Wars, so I was buying old issues of Justice League. I had comics when I was younger, but they were long gone, so those are the first comics I started gettting when I started seriously collecting. Fast forward 15 years later, through thousands of comics, comics shops closing and driving all around Louisiana, I had about 90% of all DC comics from 1980-on and decent runs of the major Marvel titles (Avengers, Fantastic Four, Capt. America, Spider-Man, etc.) But my favorites by far were Justice League and Avengers.

So why did I quit...

By 2003, my collectng of Marvel was basically down to Thunderbolts and Avengers, but at DC, I was getting almost every ongoing superhero title. But then they had to go and mess things up with Avengers Disassembled and Identity Crisis/Infinite Crisis. Kill off Hawkeye and turn Thunderbolts into a Fight Club book, bye-bye Marvel. DC was worst... I had quit once before (around Zero Hour, killing off Ice was such a big mistake that even the writer Mark Waid regrets it, then Carlin and Jurgens decimates the JSA n Zero Hour), but came back for Morrison's JLA. Then DC came out with Identity Crisis/Identity Crisis and that was a wrap.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind death in comics, but the massive killing off of characters from both companies and crappy writing and followups (Civil War and 52) guarantee that I won't be coming back any time soon...

Graham Vingoe
10-04-2006, 12:25 AM
I've said before that I've never quit completely at any time but I've had interludes, for want of a better term. The most recent is 1998-99. I'd started going out with my soon to be wife and didn't have the confidence to tell her that I was a 33 year old who read comics (Only about 3 friends of mine in 20 years have read comics yet alone collected them, so it is quite a rarity in my neck of the woods), so I took the easy option and stopped buying them. This lasted a year until we moved in together, and my collection came with me. The sight of 5000 or so comics is not one that is easy to disguise so I told her! That opened the door and I've collected them again ever since. Nowaday's it's a bit more erratic than before. I get about 8 titles regularly, mostly Marvel- just dropped Supergirl and the LOSH and and stick with just 52 from DC. Trades are as and when I'm interested enough in them to buy otherwise I just get them via our library.

clayholio
10-04-2006, 12:55 AM
I haven't ever completely stopped, but I tapered off very, very heavily around 1997-2000. I also stopped drawing at that point, so my mind just wasn't into comics then. Plus I was trying to wrap up my degree at college, and that took up a lot of my time. I couldn't point at one book or event that made me drop out, but once Groo the Wanderer stopped going monthly, I didn't have that one guaranteed hook to get me into my LCS every couple of months or so.

Cactusakic
10-04-2006, 03:00 AM
I started collecting in the late 80's. My standing order/pull list from then until the mid 90's was around 5-10 titles per month.
Then when everything went bugs#!t in the mid 90's with all the new #1's every week and the variant/gatefold/chromium covers, etc, I stopped collecting everything with the exceptions of Spawn and Daredevil.
That was it for me until around 2001 when I started getting pulled back in again by things like Vertigo's output, Kev Smith's DD and Green Arrow runs, the Ultimate line and so on.
Now my monthly pull list is up to over 120 titles and growing every month. However, lately I have been re-assessing what titles I TRULY enjoy and I plan on dropping several over the coming months.
I don't believe I will ever drop out of comics again the way I did in the mid-90's, at least not as long as there are titles like The Walking Dead, Invincible, Fell, Fear Agent, Daredevil, Ultimates, Wasteland, Y: The Last Man, Runaways, 100 Bullets and Exterminators around.

Hintermann
10-04-2006, 03:04 AM
I used to be an avid comic collector as a kid in India in the 60s and by 1968 had a huge Silver Age collection of over 5000 comics. But a nasty auntie of mine 'accidentally' sold off the entire collection with scrap paper while I was away on holiday. I became very upset and disilluisioned and stopped collecting for the next 17 years. In 1985 I settled in the UK and restarted my Silver Age comic collection and it is now almost back to where I had started, albeit at a considerably higher cost and effort.

Simon Garth
10-04-2006, 04:24 AM
I used to be an avid comic collector as a kid in India in the 60s and by 1968 had a huge Silver Age collection of over 5000 comics. But a nasty auntie of mine 'accidentally' sold off the entire collection with scrap paper while I was away on holiday. I became very upset and disilluisioned and stopped collecting for the next 17 years. In 1985 I settled in the UK and restarted my Silver Age comic collection and it is now almost back to where I had started, albeit at a considerably higher cost and effort.

It's amazing the number of adults who "accidentally" get rid of comics or throw them out because "you'd already read it, so I didn't think you'd want it anymore" :rolleyes:

Hombre
10-04-2006, 05:39 AM
A severe overdose of Wolverine

Major heroes being written far out of character to serve short-term story requirements. Specifically, Iron Man, Captain America, and Mr. Fantastic

The careless destruction of my favorite team of heroes, the Avengers



I can certainly relate. But really you could say that of any number of heroes, not least of which T'Challa, Ororo and the X-people in general.

I think, especially with respect to the situation regarding Iron Man & Co., you have creators that have notions that they want to put into their work, and these notions trump the characters themselves, that they're supposed to stand for something.

In respect of the Wolverine situation, I don't think it's really that he's all over the place, but that he himself is also not the person he could be. When he was confirmed as joining the Avenger, and I still gave Bendis the benefit of the doubt, I was actually intrigued because he represented a chance to bring an interesting dynamic to the proceedings.

When I think of Logan, I always think of how Claremont has slowly elaborated on his complex background and his own moral dilemmas, and I usually refer to this little moment from Uncanny X-Men #152 as particularly indicative of his potential:

- Ororo... no!
- Stand aside Wolverine!
- And watch you destroy yourself? Not flamin' likely! Anyone can kill, Princess. It's easy, I know. What takes courage an' strenght... what separates the humans from the animals... is not killin'.
Some people are warriors darlin'... born to kill. That's me. And some exist to show us there's a better way. That's you. there's so much beauty in you, 'Roro. It'd be a shame to spoil it for the likes of her.

It seems such a long time ago...

scratchie
10-04-2006, 06:07 AM
I dropped out of comics when I entered high school in 1979. The main reason was that I wanted to spend more time reading novels, but looking back on it now, the quality of most of the Marvel titles had really taken a dive by then, with a lot of their writing talent having moved to DC.

I read Watchmen and Dark Knight in paperback, but didn't start buying comics again until I discovered Hate and Eightball around 1992 or 1993. Bought those fairly regularly, and then started reading superhero comics again after I read Countdown to Infinite Crisis.

mrc1214
10-04-2006, 07:24 AM
I dropped out during high school basically cause i didnt have the money. But i feel like now i may stop getting new issues in the singles. I think alot of new stuff reads better in trades and i can read reviews on here to find out how good they were. Im a big Avengers fan and right now till who knows when the book is going to stink IMO. I find alot more enjoyment out of buying 50 cent back issues. For the price i pay for one issue now i can get 9 at the little monthly show in my area. And in most cases what i get for 50 cents will be better than most issues. I read Marvel for the most part but i just dont like where theyre going.
1. Theres gonna be some big huge event like Civil War which will get hyped to no end and will stink like CW.
2. The Avengers stink and i dont know how some writer can come in and salvage what was done to the book
3. No Thor and it appears after CW no Stark as Iron Man.
The X-books are good now but i think they would still read better in trade.

Cei-U!
10-04-2006, 08:12 AM
Like Ben, I walked away from comics after Jean Grey's resurrection. I was pretty disenchanted with both Marvel and DC at that point anyway and that particular case of wiping their ass with their own creative integrity sealed the deal. I sold or gave away 2/3 of my collection and put the rest in a closet, out of sight and out of mind.

It was a gift from a well-intentioned co-worker that sucked me back in: Jerry Ordway's Power of Shazam! graphic novel. I ended up following a handful of DC series in the mid- to late '90s--Sandman Mystery Theatre, Robinson and Harris' Starman, Ostrander and Mandrake's Spectre and Martian Manhunter, Morrison's JLA, the aforementioned Ordway Marvel Family title and the various animation-style Batman stuff--plus Busiek and Perez's Avengers over at Marvel and whatever Steve Rude was drawing.

In the last couple of years, the double whammy of the Big Two's frenzied trashing of their characters for shock value--Avengers Disassembled, Identity/Infinity Crisis, Civil War--and the bad bargain of contemporary comic book prices have driven me away again. This time, though, I haven't turned my back on collecting. Between Essentials, Showcases and dollar box back issues, I'm buying more while spending less. (Oh, and Justice. I'm buying Justice.) I've never had more fun as a comics fan than I am right now.

Cei-U!
I summon the halcyon present!

Slam_Bradley
10-04-2006, 08:13 AM
I started buying comics in 1975 and buying regularly in 1980. I went through a number of times when I'd cut back to one or two titles.

I stopped buying new comics in 1999. I graduated from law school and moved to a small town without any access to comics. The nearest comic shop is at least an hour and a half drive. So I haven't purchased a new "floppy" in seven years.

I buy quite a few tpbs, but those are largely based on me getting them cheap. At one point I had something in the neighborhood of 100,000 pages of comics to read in tpb form. I haven't purchased a trade in about five months though and I'm down to around 25,000 pages in my "to read" pile.

Given that I read around 12 issues a week, I'm not going to be hurting for reading material any time soon.

cactusmaac
10-04-2006, 08:23 AM
I started in 1995 thanks to Knightfall and quit when No Man's Land stared since I wasn't interested in keeping up with yet another mega-crossover.

Came back in 2003 thanks to Smallville and reading Superman: For All Seasons.

scratchie
10-04-2006, 08:42 AM
But i feel like now i may stop getting new issues in the singles. I think alot of new stuff reads better in trades and i can read reviews on here to find out how good they were.I've started to make this transitition myself. While I enjoy having a few comics to read every week, and I'll continue getting certain monthly titles for the forseeable future (e.g. Fables, Ultimate Spider-Man), I'm greatly cutting back on the number of new titles I pick up as single issues. If they're terrible (like Ultimate Extinction), I won't waste five or six months reading them at all. If they're good (like Batman and the Monster Men), I can read them all at once, and miniseries in particular seem much more written "for the trade" (i.e. as one long story rather than five or six episodes) than most montly titles. The only ongoing title I'm reading in trades right now is The Walking Dead, but it's definitely an option I'm considering more and more. There are just too many comics out there that don't deliver the big payoff in the end.

MDG
10-04-2006, 08:44 AM
I bounced in and out through most of the 70s, but was mostly out after I graduated college in '81. The combination of Crisis and Ambush Bug pulled me back in a couple years later, into probably my biggest buying stretch in the mid-80s.

I tapered off in the 90s, and stopped cold turkey (as far as weekly or bi-weekly trips to the LCS) around 97. Since then, reprints and alternatives make up the bulk of my (meager) comic buying. And really, really cheap silver/bronze books when I go to a show.

MDG

mrc1214
10-04-2006, 09:23 AM
I've started to make this transitition myself. While I enjoy having a few comics to read every week, and I'll continue getting certain monthly titles for the forseeable future (e.g. Fables, Ultimate Spider-Man), I'm greatly cutting back on the number of new titles I pick up as single issues. If they're terrible (like Ultimate Extinction), I won't waste five or six months reading them at all. If they're good (like Batman and the Monster Men), I can read them all at once, and miniseries in particular seem much more written "for the trade" (i.e. as one long story rather than five or six episodes) than most montly titles. The only ongoing title I'm reading in trades right now is The Walking Dead, but it's definitely an option I'm considering more and more. There are just too many comics out there that don't deliver the big payoff in the end.

Thats how i see it. Im going all trade right now. Batman was ok (hard to believe im saying that about a Morrison title) but it just wasnt worth picking up every week. Alot of books arent right now. And i just have alot of backissues i want to read.

Rob Allen
10-04-2006, 12:46 PM
I started buying & reading comics in 1963, became a Marvel zombie in 1965, and stopped buying comics in 1969, the month that Stan announced the end of continued stories. That, plus the recent price increase to 15 cents, was more than I could handle.

A couple of years later I started re-reading my collection, and my younger brother read them too. Then he started buying new comics, and I was quickly hooked again. This time I broke out of Marvel zombiedom and started buying DC, Charlton, Warren and others.

In mid-1978, I graduated from college, got married, and started looking for an entry-level career-type job. In the midst of all that, I just stopped buying comics. I hadn't been able to keep up with all the comics I'd been buying anyway, and to be honest, mainstream comics weren't as interesting as they had been. If I had stayed in touch with the comics world, I would probably have shifted my focus to the independent stuff - Cerebus and Elfquest were starting up around that time.

I still haven't re-started buying or reading new comics since then.

Hintermann
10-04-2006, 01:09 PM
I started buying & reading comics in 1963, became a Marvel zombie in 1965, and stopped buying comics in 1969, the month that Stan announced the end of continued stories. That, plus the recent price increase to 15 cents, was more than I could handle.

A couple of years later I started re-reading my collection, and my younger brother read them too. Then he started buying new comics, and I was quickly hooked again. This time I broke out of Marvel zombiedom and started buying DC, Charlton, Warren and others.

In mid-1978, I graduated from college, got married, and started looking for an entry-level career-type job. In the midst of all that, I just stopped buying comics. I hadn't been able to keep up with all the comics I'd been buying anyway, and to be honest, mainstream comics weren't as interesting as they had been. If I had stayed in touch with the comics world, I would probably have shifted my focus to the independent stuff - Cerebus and Elfquest were starting up around that time.

I still haven't re-started buying or reading new comics since then.

We have some remarkable parallels. I too started reading & collecting comics in 1963 and stopped to a large extent after the aforementioned fiasco in 1969. I graduated in 1977 & got married in 1978. But unlike you, I restarted my comic interest in 1985 and it has grown since then into a huge collection.

Another area we differ is the type of comics we like. I am not a superhero comic person; my interests are Harvey, Dell / Gold Key, Archie Series, Classics Illustrated, Dennis the Menace, Phantom etc.

mrc1214
10-04-2006, 01:47 PM
the independent stuff - Cerebus and Elfquest were starting up around that time.

I still haven't re-started buying or reading new comics since then.


Ive heard of Cerebus but not Elfquest. How was that book?? Ill have to give it a try.

And you dont read any new books at all??

Erisu Kimu
10-04-2006, 02:50 PM
I quit reading comics midway through high school. I was still fascinated with the Marvel Universe, but not as much as I was when I was smaller and in elementary school. I think I just kind of forgot about the whole thing due to other interests. It wasn't until college that I took a comic class and was re-introduced to comics and 'graphic novels.' After visiting the comic shop, nostalgia came crawling back and after purchasing and reading some graphic novels, I was hooked once again.

Jonathan Bogart
10-04-2006, 06:04 PM
As for racism, it's very simple. When someone discriminates against somebody else based on skin color, that is racism.
That may be your definition of racism. Mine would run something like: racism is an institutional (though not necessarily explicit) set of cultural expectations which consistently prefer one or more poorly-defined "race(s)" to another or others. (Skin color has nothing to do with it, really, unless anti-Asian sentiment can't be described as racism.) To the degree that whites set the cultural agenda and control the institutions in America (which is to an enormous degree, though not always intentionally so), they're able to behave in racist ways. Black people, not having the same cultural/political/economic capital, are not able to be effectively racist in the ways that white people are. Black people hating white people is bad, sure, but not as bad as the kind of shit black people have to live with every day just for being black.

The difference between our definitions, I think, is that you put the emphasis on the person doing the discrimination; I think the effects are what matter. Black racism has harmed a statistically negligble amount of white people compared to the harmful effects of white racism, and that's the problem. There's nothing like an equivalence between the two.

Reggie Hudlin's writing may be stupid, ignorant, stereotyped, and guilty of a particularly inane kind of wishful thinking, but I wouldn't call it racist.

Okay, enough with the thread drift. On topic:

I've never really left comics entirely, though I go through high and low ebbs of interest. I haven't bought a regular comic-book series for several years now (and am barely aware that I even own any stapled comics anymore), but I'm deeply invested in many different forms of cartooning and illustration, some of which are comics.

I started as a slavering DC fanatic in 1997/98 (no real reason, other than I'd always been curious and due to life circumstances it was suddenly available); my boundaries opened up in a huge way circa 2000 when I read Understanding Comics and the Comics Journal's "100 Best Comics of the 20th Century" list; since about 2003 I've given up on superheroes and mainstream work in general almost entirely. Not out of pique that my favorite characters are being mishandled, or any silly "take a stand against the Man" ideology, but because I literally can't read them anymore. I've tried, and failed. My interest is zero.

But give me a fat chunk of 1920s newspaper strips, or current European arts-comics, or any John Stanley at all, and I couldn't be happier.

Aaron Kashtan
10-05-2006, 10:06 AM
Because this thread was drifting wildly off topic, I separated out the posts that were essentially or entirely about Hudlin and racism, and moved them to the Community board. Please go here (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=146660) to continue that discussion.

ticklepants
10-10-2006, 10:24 PM
It was not so much crisis, as the fall out. All star squadron fell apart during the run, infinity inc. lost something without the big guns of earth 2, and I was gone, without even deciding, I just stopped looking buying. Every now and then I'd run into something jsa related and buy it, thank god I missed zero hour.

I think I came back in with the jsa relaunch, and hawkman, impulse and some of those great flash stories they had going for a while. Identity worried me, and crisis 2 was done well, but once again the jsa fell apart while the big event was going on. I'm sticking around with 52 just out of curiosity, but if we are going to have these "big events" every couple of years I'll prob. wander off again. I think what keeps me coming back is the action figures, though the overabundance of the same characters and not the obscure has slowed me down there as well.

I forgot the geff justice league. That really had me back until it fell apart in the end. wish they'd stop killing off everbody from it though.

Jesse Hamm
10-11-2006, 01:25 AM
It's ironic that the the two biggest reasons for people quitting comics -- crossovers and character deaths/resurrections -- are designed to maximize sales.

Rob Imes
10-11-2006, 06:20 AM
I've posted before about my disillusionment with new comics, but I'll give a recap here. You can read two of my previous posts at
http://members.tripod.com/~rimes12/journal/09-20-2000.html
and
http://members.tripod.com/~rimes12/journal/10-22-1998.html
(Wow, were those really written so long ago?)

Originally comics for me were a communal thing. I was 9 to 10 years old in 1980 and me & the kids my age on my street would not only buy Avengers (etc.), but we'd play out our own Marvel stories with the Mego action figures, even acting out scenes on front lawns and backyards, casting ourselves as the characters in our imaginations, with trash can lids standing in for Cap's shield. By the time I was 12 or 13, comics became more of a private obsession as the neighbor kids drifted away from things like comics and Mego action figures and playing games on front lawns. And anyway I started getting more interested in things the group wouldn't have cared for, like Steve Ditko's style of art which we had all thought looked "gay" before.

As I moved from elementary to middle to high school, I became interested in prose literature and increasingly older stuff. I stopped buying some of my old favorites (for a year or so) because they seemed to me to be like "soulless product." They had become generic and predictable in their format and I found myself more drawn to older comics and alternatives (everything non-Marvel and also some of Marvel's more "obscure" titles like Dr Strange and Conan) which were more unpredictable and "human" to me, less like sheer assembly-line product.

Then I got caught up in the whole "Crisis" hype at DC after the death of Supergirl (I ignored Crisis before that) and started "collecting" "soulless product" again simply because it had started over from #1. It seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to buy Superman from #1-on, but by issue #20 or so, I stopped, realizing that I wasn't reading them anymore, just buying them to have them, and that was no good.

By the late 1980s, I had begun reading The Comics Journal regularly, even had a subscription to it for awhile, and was adopting some of their snobbish attitude toward anything mainstream. At 18 to 20 years old, I had become a bit elitist about my tastes and looked down upon new mainstream comics. Like The Journal, I thought independents were the true comics, but unfortunately I didn't live near a comics shop that carried many independents. So I would praise indies but rarely get a chance to buy or read one. And the comics I did have access to, at the local bookstores and drugstores, were the mainstream ones that I looked down upon. So this, combined with lack of money because of no job, meant almost no new comics for me in the early 1990s.

I started working regularly in late 1995 and had money to spend again, so I focused on getting cheap back issues of comics I had enjoyed. When I would go to a comics shop, I would occasionally walk right past the new comics shelf and head straight to the back issue boxes, and I think I was a bit proud of that at the time, like I was too good for new comics or something. In 1996, I thought about wanting to submit some work to the comics companies, so I finally bought a small stack of new Marvel & DC issues to see what they were like now. Unfortunately, I pretty much hated what I had bought, couldn't even bring myself to read most of them. I was turned off by the slick paper, overpowering colors, computer effects, etc. which just seemed to emphasize that "soulless product" feeling to me, as opposed to the more human and charming indies and old comics. Not to mention that a lot of the art of the time was Image-inspired and the stories seemed aimed at readers with less intelligence. Iron Man, for example, was going through its "Teen Tony" period, which seemed like such blatant pandering to the dumbest younger reader.

I started buying new comics again in 1997 when I learned about the Previews catalog from my local shop, which would allow me to order through them any comic that was offered in that month's catalog. I found that there was always something, even if it was only one comic, that I'd want to order each month. Some of them never did get published -- like the romance and science-fiction comics of a company called Pyramid Comics, which I looked forward to but never got to buy. Or Steve Ditko's Strange Avenging Tales #2, the first comic on my pull list, a series which was cancelled after the first issue in 1997. But at least it kept me connected in some way to the current comics scene. When I learned (at CBR) that George Perez would be returning to Avengers, I started buying that series again -- and I haven't missed an issue of it since. (Not, I should hasten to add, because of any intention to collect the title, but simply because I haven't wanted to stop reading it yet, although there were a few moments where I got close to dropping it, shortly after Busiek left.)

These message boards have also kept my interest up in new comics to one degree or another. I always look forward to reading the new Marvel & DC solicitations that are posted as news items every month on CBR's main page and make mental notes about what to order (or not to order!) while reading them.