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Why don't you read comics?  

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Alright, I've read a bit on this on a national level, thought I'd ask around the board:

Despite some status with recognizable pop-culture icons (many of which getting big-budget movies these days) and a number of good films based on the non-superhero ones, many people, after discovering my interest in comics, reply "Yeah, i used to love X-Men back in the day! Haven't read it in years, though."

This is ruling out those foolish enough to view the medium as a "little stock market" (read: they're not worth a lot), but many proceed to ask how the favorite character is doing. Despite a movie in that character's name and an easily approachable starter book (i.e., the Ultimate line), people simply don't pick them up. Common reasons are price, cultural view (Us Americans still see these things as childish, often), lack of availablity since they left the direct market (Comics are often only found in specialty stores), etc.

So what's your reason, and whY? C'mon, this could be interesting.

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Hmm, while I do read comics, I dont read em that much for a bunch of different reasons. They are indeed pretty expensive, and generally hard to obtain. I'd love to have transmet, so that I could read it again and let all my friends read it, but not only would it cost quite a bit, it's a bitch and a half to find all the trades. I'd have to order them from somewhere and expend all this effort. And keeping up with the characters is a bitch too, for one thing, because you'll be reading them regularly, then the writing will suck for a while and you'll drop the subscription. You have to put a bit of work into obtaining and keeping up with comics. My favorite stuff (format-wise) is of the Kingdom Come, Road to perdition variety. If I want to read these, I just order one book from someplace, and that's it, I'm set. And I can let people borrow the book ect etc. Of course that's not plausable with huge stuff like preacher and transmet, but how about some fucking BOX SETS eh? Goddamit. You figure they'd take a clue form the TV series people. Are we purchasing episodes of the simpsons and the sopranos one by one till we have the all? Missing a few in between? No! They come in fuckin BOXES! If these godforsaken comics came in nice box sets, we wouldnt have to worry about reading the whole series minus issues 13 and 64 because those are really hard to find. And we'd only have to buy one big thing at amazon.com or whatever, and everyone would go home happy. Might still be pricey, but the bulk buying should make it cheaper than collecting it all. Do they have box sets like this? I'd kill for a transmet, preacher, or lone wolf and cub box set. Just excuse me if I cant hunt down two dozen trades of something just cause I want to read a story.

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Well, he didnt cast an actual vote yet, but some good ideas from Mr Junker - a box set would work. Closest thing most folks do is look to Ebay for the complete set of trades of one series - theyve actually got a sepearate section to search just for them.

But, no it oughta be an offical-like thing, that's a great idea. I'd kill for a complete hardback set of say, Preacher, with supplemental sketches, scripts etc in it to sucker me in. For the longest time, many were trying to get all of Sandman in trade but then the trades sold out and went up in value...it got dumb for a while, but thankfully Vertigo reprinted them last year or so.

Again, manga does some similar stuff - the whole of Akira is told across six or so trades, and theyre huge. Lone Wolf got the smaller size because the series is so long, but I've noticed: despite hefty price tags, people dont seem to shy away too much from anime box sets (Trigun's @ $200, and its not that long a series), I'm guessin the look of the box & having all the episodes in one place as Junker said does it for them.

That's a good fucking point. Even Marvel's churning out trades and hardback collections these days, why not a set of em? The only comic I can think of offhand that's done that is the famous independent title Bone, which offers chunks of its almost-finished series in slipcase.

...so how bout the rest of you? What keeps you from em?

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Well, I vote my own reason, here goes: I used to buy lots of Spider-Man in Middle school. And buy lots of Spider-Man I mean every issue of Amazing Spider-Man, Spectular Spider-Man, Web Of Spider-Man, and Spider-Man. I even bought the Scarlet Spider titles when they came out at the peak of the clone saga catastrophe (Nick hass asked me in the past never to mention the clone saga on this board, but it was what was going on at the peak of my interest in funny books). On top of buy every Spidey issue that came out, I bought back issues that looked interesting, and bought plenty of random Marvel titles if they seems to be in a good story arc or if a goings-on in that book was mentioned in a Spidey book I was reading. I also read some of my cousin Marcela's collection. She's about 10 years older than me and X-Men was her thing. She had tons of older issues that I got excited when I saw them. She has all 12 issues of Marvel Secret Wars, including the only issue from that series that matters, the one where Spide gets his alien symbiote costume (#8 I think). Anyway, it was an expensive hobby, and I noticed a few months into my collection era that though I was playing my video games as much as ever, I hadn't bought any new ones in a while. Then I moved to Argentina. Movign to Argentina made collecting pretty tough, but buying video games was still doable, between a subscribtion to EGM and access to the internet and having a social circle that always had someone or someone's mom going up to the states within a few weeks. Video games I could buy with going into a game store, comics I couldn't. So I fell out of that world (and years later feel out of video games into obsession with movies and music). That's my story and I'm stickign to it.

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Not bad - and EGM was a good gaming mag back then, too.

No, i wont rank on it - before it went to crap, i thought the Spider-clone thing was interesting, m'self.

But Brian Michael Bendis (Powers, Daredevil, Ultimate Spider-Man, etc) has often commented that he thinks the medium of comcis will one day be killed out by video games - the industry made more than American cinema 2 years ago, and the installment base is insane. Kids appreciate visual narratives, but the interactivity games provide apeals so much more. So, that and limited availability were your reasons then, I'll take it lack of interest is what keeps you from it now that Anime Hurricane's right across the street...? I recall you read the free ones at Marvel.com - just as Junker, artistic and numerous others here - but unlike them I havent known you to even buy a trade.

Not giving you shit here at all, mind you, but like i said: I'm curious what it is that keeps people from the medium. Good answer, but what keeps you from them these days more, pricing? Continuity? Or simply lack of interest?

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It's an expensive hobby to keep up. The story arcs are more grounded in continuity than ever, which means that financially, if you're going to enjoy it, it's a big investment. I'd feel like a poser getting into it casually, just buying one book every now and again. I've been collecting DVDs now in 2003 staring on my fifth year of collecting. I'm up to over 100 DVDs (that's counting 2 disc sets and such as 1 each), and I'm nowhere near feeling a sense of completion there. It would be a really effort to get back into that comic world again,a nd as great as I remember it can be, I really don't feel a void that needs to be filled, so to speak. Movies and music statisfy my needs. I don't feel a need for soemthing else, so I don't make that investment. Same reason I never really got into RPGs while playing video games. Didn't feel the urge, so why force it? My wallet isn't weighing me down so I don't feel like lightening in up any more.

 

And EGM was THE gaming mag in the day. I wouldn't know anything about it nowadays.

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'S a few reasons I stopped. One...I can't get to a decent comic store, anymore. 'S too far into the mall for my legs to take me. And two, I stopped reading because, let's face it, most of the easy-to-find ones are just...bad. So, generally, I'll wait for trades. It's easier to find the good books in a trade than it is to find them individually.

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Well for me its a bit of a many sided answer but Centered mostly on lack of advertising. I like comics and I own a decent few but I just can't keep up with them at the level I'd like to. Mostly the comics I used to read crapped out and I just never went back honestly no comic has been advertised out that I can remember since the Death of Superman and that one only because of the earthshattering concept of killing the Man of Steel.

 

The only comics I read anymore are good reccommendations from nick that consist of mostly trades or a short series run. I would read more but there really isn't much of an advertising market for comics. honestly as far as I know the only way you can get info is either going out and searching for inormation on the web or at comic shops or subscribing to the Wizard. And the neverending lines like X-men, or the suddenly branching 5 ways Superman comics kind of keep me from getting into the bigger stories. I really prefer the short runs when the storylines get interesting or popping in for a 1 shot issue where something interesting happens and then out again.

 

Otherwise i'm also kind of tired of the superhero style comics unless a particularly good shortrun is being done, i'm going more now for the preacher type stories or other non-standard comics. Trades are also a big winner for me because I don't have to wait 30 days between cliffhangers and usually the story starts and ends, letting me enjoy what i read and not giving a crap writer or lack of new ideas a chance to kill a good series.

 

Had I change in the piggybank so to speak i'd probably buy a good bit more comics if i were to hear some tell about them but as it is you have to already be into comics to know about them. So for the time being I'll just take recommendations from the irishman and continue my merbership to the national comic book library over at polo club.

 

:D

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That's interesting...so its not as much a price issue at heart with most of you, but of conveneince/access to and specifically with TD, not enough info going around to hype a series.

Ellis makes that point numerous times: most pop-culture magazines review movies & music, but only recnetly have ones like Entertainment actually started to review comis (mostly in trades, too), and many still dont know it.

Hell, Time magazine now has a "Top 10 graphic novels' list but again, not well known.

I pictured most of the function of this forum to help get the word out on good series, even if it is just me, NewType and a few others here doing the buying - it's cool that Yahven, Piggy, TD etc and others will read along, tho.

One thing seems certain tho: Trades really do look like the way of the future, if the medium is gonna go back to mainstream ever again. Continous story arcs collected together are a world away from the old episodic searches for back issues and paying the hiked-up price because some vendors need to profit from a dying meduim.

Again, Marvel's doin much these days, between free online comics & putting out the trades so quickly, I'm very happy with em.

One sidenote: I think i've witnessed a slight crossing-over of the cutlures, tho: recently, this guy who's name evades me now put out a short mini-series called 30 Days of Night.

The concept was: take an Alaskan town where there's no sun for a whole month, and let it be overrun by vampires, with one lone sherrif trying to defend the few left alive till time runs out. Interestin, eh?

Hollywood thought so, and the wrtier's supposedly been given a check of close to a million for the movie rights (!), something unheard of these days outside of the franchise characters (Spidey, X-Men etc). The trade finally comes out this month, so expect a review soon...point is, people are paying attention now that the writing's being taken more seriously, and I can certainly see how TD has a problem finding out which of the many, many independent books are good - even I have to scour Preview guides & what little Wizard covers of them to find out what's worth trying out.

Keep it comin people, there's a few of you left.

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Hey, now that sounds badass! I'll definitely be looking to borrow that trade.

 

And as an addition, I think Comics should start having a little preview on the back in place of the usual ad. Like when you pick up a regular book and look on the back to get the gist of what the book is about. Nothing that gives anything away but maybe a paragraph explaining the direction of the particular book/series.

 

I mean, when folks walk in to Y2K and gaze up at the massive wall of comics, how the heck are we supposed to know whats a good read? You can't go just based on the cover, some good books have crap covers some good covers hide bad books. And those of us not connisours don't know writer names to watch for or questions to ask at the counter really.

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Yeah, the good thing is trades these days are all doing that, but comics themselves...the most they do is give a quick re-cap page on the inside cover, which i still belive is a great idea, even in solo series like the Ultimate line.

Another thing I wish we had here: real preview books (when i mention Preview guides here, theyre just solicitation books - giant order forms with pictures).

Wizard & a few others starting doing previews, and i stand by it: nothing sells or advertises better than a demo.

In the U.K, they have 2000 A.D., amongst others. Names like Grant Morrision (New X-Men, The Invisbles, etc) and Garth Ennis (Preacher, Punisher, etc) got their starts there, and people know to follow certain writers and artists from them.

In Japan, Chi-chan's told me of a popular magazine dedicated to manga previews. The artists of Dragonball Z, Ruroni Kenshin and Vision of Escaflowne (very popular anime series) got their starts there, and many people read the magazine to keep an eye on up & comers - sort of a way to test the waters, as we do with movies that lead to us following certain actros' or directors' careers. I think it's a great idea that we're not doing on the scale we should - inject some previews into pop culture magazines, and dedicate one of our own to just that: giving indie creators a real shot at exposure, the way MP3's have for musical artists. Whaddya think?

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Needed more input from other board members on why theyre not reading comics - which means they dont go in my comic forum, naturally - so into Stonehenge this one goes, for more exposure.

PS I should re-phrase the question for Junker, Silent Bob, etc - if youre reading trades, that counts as comics. If you read the free online ones at Marvel.com or wherever that counts too, just trying to find out why folks who dont read them in any format, don't.

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Cause they think its for kids. Thats obviously the reason why. They feel its beneath them. Shit, I need to save up some money to by Transmet, that shit's a collectors item I want my kids to read.

 

 

 

On another note, one of the perks of working at a B & N is the easy access to lots of trades. Since I can't buy crap, I'm almost done reading all the trades available from Cross-Gen comics. Call me the crossgen guy hehe. Why not marvel? Well I like the style of crossgen and the fact that its new, maybe also the fact that its the underdog. After I'm done, which shd be in a week or two, I'll start hitting their available ultimates line.

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Mm...Yahven's simplified answer might be a large part of it, like i said - hard to fight the public's view of a medium. Its interestin that video games have managed to slowly escape this over recent times: markerting of X-box's and PS2's (with sports & action lineups for us Americans) have been laregly adult-oriented, and the sales are showing it, at least in Sony's corner.

Have to figure out a way to get comics in this same vein...its a much bigger challenge.

Enjoy the CrossGen stuff, im reading The Path and Way of the Rat now, both good stuff so far. Cant argue with your logic, but if its non-continiuty, just good stories youre lookin for, i think youll enjoy the Marvel Ultimate line - thats what its all about.

Let's get some more votes here if we can, there's more of you active lately, male and female, who dont read comics...why or why not? Be honest, no one's casting stones here.

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