As a "Marvel Zombie", I stopped buying $3.99 comics last year, as I felt these 22 page stories were not worth the money. As a result, I doubled my DC titles, but that company is following Marvel's trend.
Bottom line: I'm spending 50% less each month on comics, and that spending amount is likely to continue to decline. $4 for a ten minute read is a waste of money, and I will not fork that over.
DC has been particularly dissappointing this year, as Green Lantern (for example) hasn't had a good tale in a long while... Everything is interconnected, and nothing happens!
..and the store owner mentioned good X-men comics. Well, I'm not buying them (because of pricing) and I don't feel that I'm missing anything.
...which brings us back to the same problem.... (Right on, Brian!)
Williambyron - Just to start off, no offense taken.
I think you missed a couple of my points.
I said nothing about compression or decompression as a story telling device. I understand that people want story for their buck. But I find reading some old comics *cough* Chris Claremont *cough* there are WAY too many words. I just care that the story is good. I will never complain about a story not having enough words, because to me that is not an accurate criticism. If you think the stories ramble and stretch on, I understand that. I realize this is a bit semantic, but whatever. Anyway, my point was that Avengers is by no means 'dark' or 'gritty' - it is fun and absorbing in my opinion - I said absolutely nothing about its length.
And my second point is that 'dark' and 'gritty' has been around since literally the inception of comics, not that that made stories better or worse. Gritty has always been here, and there are plenty of comics that aren't gritty.
Anyway. The point of my article was to be more positive - what comics are you reading and enjoying? Have you read Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine? The artwork is amazing, and I think the story is one of the best characterization of Spider-Man ever.
PS, I hate Catwoman and Batman's relationship. But I'm trying to be positive here.
Comics Should Be Good!
What I see from Marvel and DC is trying to make the most of a dieing industry. They are flooding the market with crap, and ancilary titles to every family, in hopes they can snare just the last of a person's money. And they are doing so in what feels to me as a "get it now, cause in 5 years there won't be any to get"
I don't read as many comics as I once did, that's for sure. Once you start cutting back it gets real easy.
Now, could Marvel or DC get me to buy more comics on a monthly basis? yes. They need to lower the price point of the individual comics. They also need to give a solid story that means something to either the Universe or to the character.
And if I cut back to only comics that I'm truly enjoying every month, I'd only be reading Green Lantern.
I agree with every single thing that Hibbs has said. Hell, I have been saying pretty much the exact same thing on the CBR forums and other message boards for several years now. Other people like John Byrne and QCCBOB (who is a retailer) have also been saying the same thing.
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.
I have a lot of customers that share your sentiment. But I believe in Astonishing Spider-Man Wolverine. I was not expecting a book as good as I got. And I started giving away #1, because so many people had your attitude about not having any interest in reading ANOTHER Wolverine book. And I understand I'm fighting an uphill battle here. And I understand that Wolverine has been slapped on every book Marvel has published to increase sales. But that doesn't mean this story isn't mind-blowing. I am mostly talking about the Spider-Man portion of the book. But it is the best characterization of Spider-Man I have ever read. So please check it out.
But he never did. However, he did throw a few criminals out of windows and off buildings.Superman threatened to rip criminal’s hearts out. (1930s-1940s)
Which led to the creation of the Comics Code.Have you ever read an EC crime comic from the Fifties? Eye gouging and decapitation abound. (1950s)
No, Yellowjacket hit his wife once. Also, it was clearly stated that the reason why YJ started acting irrational and hit his wife was because he suffered a complete mental breakdown which cause by being accidentally exposed to chemicals after his lab exploded.Yellowjacket beat his wife. (1980s)
This is a damn good article. One of the best I've read on this site. Are we possibly begining to see a backlash against the "grim&gritty" superhero comics of late? I hope so. I love my superhero books, but not the smut they're printing now. And I'm sure not going to shell out $4 for it.
Last night I went to my local store to pick up some books and a friend went with me. He's a Silver Age fan who gets back into his favorites (Superman, GL, Flash) every so often. I was explaining how "Blackest Night" led into "Brightest Day" and what the storyline was. He saw a collection of "Blackest Night Superman" (which I believe is a Superman mini-series outside of "Blackest Night" in addition to the regular Superman book). He asked in what order should he read it if he bought "Blackest Night" and the mini-series. I started explaining and then realized I had no idea what to tell him. It was just too complicated!
I think overexposure is a huge problem. An old bit of wisdom in the entertainment field is, "Leave them wanting more." Neither company is doing that, in fact it's quite the opposite. An example of doing it the right way is the current Fantastic Four. I saw some heavy praise for Hickman's run and decided to give it a try. Turns out I really liked it, so I began telling people about it and some of them tried it and some of them liked it and so on. This is a book that comes out once a month with a good creative team telling a good story that requires no additional purchases. Now i bet if there was ONE X-Men book with a good creative team telling stories that required no additional reading and a heavy reduction of any other X- titles that the sales on that ONE X-Men book would be quite good. Reduce the amount of titles, hire quality storytellers, and get out of their way. Don't mandate storytelling from a pure business point of view, in the long run that will surely destroy comics.
I am so tired of not getting any story in a comic or stories that are merely tiny, tertiary, incomplete pieces in a cash grab event that I have taken my pull file down to three books. And soon to be two.
When I do go in the store. I completely lose site of any multiple title on the racks. X-Men, Wolverine, Batman, Spider-Man and Superman all become noise because none of seem to represent the character. They are all twisted, funhouse mirror versions of a character seen through the lens of the latest hot writer eager to play up their vision and not bother to explore the character.
I can't find a Superman comic with Superman in it? I can't follow X-Men or Avenger without picking 38 other titles?
They are not being consistent with the characters their empires are built on and the comics and trades a re feeling like a rip-off.
I skip them all.
For DC and Marvel I will try out books that are following their own path and not reliant on the events. That has made me a buyer of Prince of Power, Atlas and Secret Six and yes, Madame Xanadu. I get actual stories from them that help me feel satisfied that my money went somewhere.
Beyond that, it's all alternative books that I know the creators can deliver. If I try something new and they get one issue to convince me.
As a writer I have been warned by an artist not to write more than four panels to a page (five tops) or they wouldn't be interested in drawing it. To much work. No fun.
So much for work ethic.
Did you know that here in Canada with the new HST tax, books can now be close to $5 apiece?
For that dough I want a story in that issue that I can savour and enjoy and feel good about.
Can't seem to find though.
And that means my comic shop sees me less and less.