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  1. #46
    Darth Krispy Paul Render's Avatar
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    Marvel and DC lost me when the linewide crossovers started back with Infinity Crisis and Civil War. Now with 3.99 cover prices, I am not coming back. I barely read superhero comics anyway, why would I want to now with impenetrable storylines that just shift the status quo around everynow and again?

    Some of my favorite comics creators are doing these books, but I can't pick them up because of the navel gazing storylines and 3.99 prices.

  2. #47

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    First off, I agree with everything in the article. Comics nowadays alienate casual fans and new readers, are impenetrable and cost too much. As for price, way too high, but if it's a good read I don't mind.

    I actually hate over-wordy comics. Comics should flow and the pictures should tell as much of the story as the words, but the amount of decompression that goes on nowadays is insane. If this was the case when I firsdt started collecting I never would've gotten into comics. I started collecting in '89 and back then, with limited funds, I was able to go into a comic shop and rummage through the back issue bins, find a complete story that was usually 3-4 issues in length, and if the covers looked cool enough, I'd buy it. I could also follow the current storylines as each book was separate.

    I remember thinking that 4 titles for Batman, Superman, Spider-Man was insane. Now, as the article says, open a Previews and there's 5x that amount. And they all inter-connect! If I want to read Grant Morrison's story, essentially 1 long story, how many issues is that? How much is that? How do you start collecting today and afford that?

    I was miffed when Annuals went from "special" stories into line-wide crossovers. But at least it was contained. I could choose to just not buy the Annuals. Now, it's "all-event, all-the-time" and I'm so sick of it.

    And smaller companies do it too, but at least with GI Joe or Green Hornet, you might have 5 or 6 titles, but you can buy and enjoy just one.

    As for writinf for TPB, I've long contended that writers shouldn't have to tell a story in an artificial amount of space. Comics should be 18-30 pages per issue and priced according to the page count. Stories confined to no more than 6 standard length issues. Or, just write it for the TPB from scratch. I'd like to see that too. "Here's 130 pages or less, tell your story."

    The other thing that miffs me to no end is that writers can no longre tell a story about a character. Instead, it's all about what you can DO to that character. Daredevil is probably the best example, along with GM's Batman. Frankly, it is the worst of writing and the most unimaginative of stories to say "let's kill him, have his best friend betray him, bring him back, someone else in the costume, new costume, lose his fortune, lose his lover, kill all his friends, blah, blah, blah." Zero originality.

    Or, "lets take stories that were all Elseworlds stories and put them into continuity now!" I just don't get it, what was simple escapism for a cheap buck has become an untenable, tangled pile of expensive crap.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonedeafgeoff View Post
    The point of my article was to be more positive - what comics are you reading and enjoying?
    Good point. I've been reading comics since Weisinger's Superman universe hooked me, then added Schwartz's psuedo-science superheroes and was blown away by Lee'n'Kirby. I've been regularly visiting comic book stores since they were invented and still support my local comics shop.

    What do I read? Lesse... picked up the recent Inferior Five / Legion of Substitute Heroes book... Marvel's Marvelman reprints... the "Chonicles" books... Wednesday Comics... enjoyed the recent Superman "Secret Origin" mini-series... and Cooke's "New Frontiers" and "Spirit"... oh, and I buy "Girl Genius" (even after reading it online!).

    Here's what I don't and won't buy: Anything I can't pick up and be completly caught up with what's going on within the first five pages. Anything I have to buy more than one title of to understand.

    I'm certainly not prejudiced against new comics or continued comics (I really enjoyed Wednesday Comics and love "Girl Genius"), but I prefer my comics to be fun, escapist and, above all, ACCESSABLE!! "New Frontiers" was self-contained--yes, there were 'in-jokes", but the storyline didn't depend on them for the story to make sense! Wednesday Comics worked for me.. but I knew who most of the characters were beforehand.

    When I started reading the Fantastic Four and Spiderman, the Marvel Universe was already a couple of years old, but Lee knew how to include newbies like me into his universe with asides and "editor's notes". Today's universes are way too complex to do that in the first few pages? Too much history? Or too many books or too many "events" that change everything (I'm still unhappy that Byrne let Ma and Pa Kent live after Clark went to Metropolis) and leave someone like me completely out in the cold because, say, family and work make it impossible to buy and read every damn book that DC or Marvel publishes.

    I read "about" current comics online all the time--I love comics, but I don't much read or buy 'the new books. And now they're pricing themselves away from the few (fifteen thousand is a comic book print run??!?) hardcores left?

    The Foglios have the right business model, fer sure!

  4. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonedeafgeoff View Post
    Anyway. The point of my article was to be more positive - what comics are you reading and enjoying?
    I've happily been reading Legion of Super-Heroes since Paul Levitz returned. That and 2000 AD and Roger Langridge's Muppet Show are the only books I have any interest in, anymore. I am, however, enjoying the absolute daylights out of each and reread the heck out of them.

  5. #50
    Junior Member LUNI_TUNZ's Avatar
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    The price point comes up alot, but under this economy, where everything is going up, I'm not entirely surprised that comic prices are going up.

    Also, being an anime fan, I read forums where this comes up also, though prices are going down in that market, and people are complaining.

    However, after recently buying some issues of Ultimate Spider-Man. I totally see where people are coming from on books with numerous spalases, and even copy and pasted panels, making up a whole page.

  6. #51
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    Honestly, what I wish the big mainstream publishers would be doing more of is using whatever profits they might be making from selling their mainstream superhero comics and use them to nurture the production of new/different comics. Try to find that next big thing in comics that will become as popular as superheroes, but get an entirely new market of readers interested in comics.

    The problem with mainstream comics is not the comics (though churning out so many titles for the same series every month encourages bad storytelling, which in turn drives readers away). The problem is that the people that make up the majority of comic readers has changed and the publishers are not putting out enough books to appeal to the new market.

    Sabrina

  7. #52
    Spy Guy Ultraist's Avatar
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    My "pull-list" is down to it's lowest number ever, consisting of a single comic: Erik Larsen's SAVAGE DRAGON (which has been a fun no-holds-barred comic book classic for years now). I also get Dave Sim's glamourpuss bimonthly (although it can hardly be considered a comic in the classical sense of the term, but the photoreal art and commentary is incredible).

    Yeah. That's it.

    If it weren't for the few "indy friendly" stores I can travel to once or twice a year that stock alternative independent titles, and if it weren't for the ability to order interesting comics directly over the internet, and if it weren't for all the conventions I've been attending to promote my own comic, my reading pile would be next to nihil.

    As I mentioned over at The Beat; The majority of mainstream comic books I find on the shelf these days just donít captivate me (like they started to do again back in 2001-2006). Iíd even go as far as to say that the direct market has become a stagnant pond.
    Mike Kitchen - Ultraist Studios

  8. #53
    Spy Guy Ultraist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonedeafgeoff View Post
    William,But I believe in Astonishing Spider-Man Wolverine.
    Got to admit, this was the ONE book that caught my interest this week. Wasn't expecting anything out of it originally, but when I flipped through the issue and saw this:



    I got a dose of the sort of comic book "fun" I was looking for.
    If issue #4 catches my eye the same way this flip-through did, I'll be picking up the full run of back issues for sure.
    Mike Kitchen - Ultraist Studios

  9. #54
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    Default 100% agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by williambyron View Post
    geoff,

    i just can't get into it. i'm too 'aware' it's a "superstar" centric title, done by "superstar" creators, and with Wolverine- already, my interest has moved on. i'm aware i sound biased and whatnot, but i promise that isn't the case. it's like i said- i like escapism in my entertainment. when i'm too aware that i'm being given something which includes Wolverine for secured sales reasons, i find it harder to suspend disbelief and lose myself in it. that could just be a personal choice. i also would never watch a behind the scenes show about a film i want to see, simply because i don't want to think about that.

    for those reasons and others, i'm much more interested in certain things that have been coming out from idw's american library of comics, to my pleasant surprise. lil' abner, terry & the pirates.. these things aren't comic books as we know them, but they've been very rewarding, as have the EC archives and Dark Horse creepy/eerie archives. these are stories which were made and designed for one purpose: complete stories that were meant to give you value for your money.

    an old timer in an Alter Ego interview said something very true, in that, comic fans and pros don't want to admit it, but the point of comics was to provide cheap thrills, nothing more and nothing less. it sounds dismissive to what comics can provide, but he didn't mean it in a crude sense. but he is exactly right. cheap thrills.. what could be better?

    i can't get into Avengers, when i have to know theres a New Avengers (where, incidentally, Spider-Man and Wolverine BOTH have time to be members of.. of course), plus Avengers Academy, Secret Avengers, Secret Defenders, this, that, whatver. it's amazing. I only recently looked at a TPB of Mighty Avengers and I am literally surprised more people weren't outraged that the first several issues are of people standing around, talking, looking at Ultron. Why should I read Bendis writing about Kang for 6 issues, with his sub-par, fractured 'movie-esque' dialogue, when there are dozens of stories I have yet to discover by Roy Thomas and John Buscema? that's my thought process.
    This is going to fall under the category of "who gives a flying crap" but just want to say, your statement above describes my attitude completely. Escapism, for lack of a better word, is pretty much why I got back into comics. I haven't bought a Marvel comic in about a year and I don't even look anymore. Just awful. I have, however, been thrilled mining the past. Like the Creepy/Eerie archives (if only they would do the same with the first 10 years of Heavy Metal) and others you mentioned.

    I stopped bitching and chose with my wallet, but I wish it weren't that way. I still buy a few DC/Vertigo titles and all the rest are indie. So I'll shut-up now, but it was interesting to see such a similar experience to my own.

  10. #55
    Junior Member MikeCr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorillamydreamz View Post
    Did you know that here in Canada with the new HST tax, books can now be close to $5 apiece?
    Did you know that some of the best-selling books of the last decade regularly had Canadian cover prices of $5.75 before tax? Go take a look at the cover prices of Civil War or Identity Crisis which where coming out back when the Canadian dollar was far less valuable than it is now.

    I can understand Americans moaning about prices over $4 but I can find you standard size mainstream books over a decade old that have had Canadian cover prices that high. I paid $4.25+tax for the first issue of Planetary eleven years ago and it was totally worth it then.

    And, to one of Geoffrey's points, anyone who's not reading Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine because they're fed up, for whatever reason, with the other titles for those characters is completely missing the point. Why would you not read something that IS good because other, different things are bad?
    ... and yet here I am arguing on the interwebs.

  11. #56
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    Default Erik Larsen, what a flashback

    It's great to read that Larsen article again, which is manna from heaven in the world of Geoff Johns writing the same continuity-obsessed story for years and everyone tagging along. My guess is that Waid's referring to the Brightest Day that came out the day before or the Brightest Day Atom one-shot, even though I will never read either. (Waid really likes the Atom; read his JLA.)

    Mike Mignola is the best example today of what Larsen talked about. The first Hellboy arc is totally leaden with John Byrne's contributions, with two to three narration boxes per panel.

    Mignola is a far superior storyteller by himself because he lays out his panels to tell the story. He doesn't really need dialogue, so his skill writing dialogue is just icing on the cake.

    I agree with Larsen. I can write but I can't draw. If I ever tried to enter the comics industry, I'd be doing so as a writer. But the industry's writers need a good shake-out, and the best way to do that is for artists to try their hand at writing, and for the industry players to welcome them.

  12. #57
    I like good comics. ScotsScribbler's Avatar
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    Could you please link to the Larsen article?

    Totally agree about Mignola, I love his style. The early Hellboys are yappy, and nowhere near as strong.

    I would like to see him redo all the Hellboy issues, keeping the style in continuity so to speak.

  13. #58
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    Excellent editorial, Brian.

    I agree with your sentiments. As merely a reader, I can easily walk away (as I have). I feel for retailers who have their future tied up in a floundering industry.

    13 Thor books? Clearly, as you stated, the character does not support one in healthy comic markets. I just don't understand the decision making at these companies.

    I bought about $150 in comics per month, and I walked away cold turkey about 5 months ago. Sadly, I do not miss it. (Although, I will always have a nostalgic spot for comics given their importance in my childhood).

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