Sunday, August 05, 2007

My Final Crisis*

*If this post was an episode of [scrubs] :-P

I read most all the news coming out of San Diego. I can't think of anything that's super cool that I can't wait for-- at least as far as comics are concerned. I will admit the Iron Man Teaser was pretty awesome.

But I'm talking about comics. Readers will know I've been pruning down my collection considerably lately. And I'm buying less and less comics. I've fallen into the "wait for the trade" category of buyers, even then only on a few titles. For a long time, comics for me were about the stories as much as the art. It goes back and forth form my collection being story-centric to art-centric. But I found the story-centric stuff just takes up alot more space, and I don't have that much of an attachment to several hundred individual floppies when a few nicely bound trades will substitute nicely. Sure, I read almost every damn issue of JLA because I followed the characters and enjoyed the new art teams. But perhaps only Prometheus and Rock of Ages were worth keeping in the Morrison run, and the Brian Hitch run was pretty but it's no Ultimates. So whatever the mental switch was that made me think I needed to keep this collection flipped, and boom, some other lucky reader now has that whole damn run in a long box of his own.

The bigger picture here is content. Comics from the big two and their storylines simply do not hold the appeal they once did. You may call it some late version of growing up, but personally, I think most of them just suck. Marvel has been pretty crazy the last few years but the only books I ever picked up regular were for art. Nextwave is the only book that stands out to me in recent years. As cool as World War Hulk is, that book is all about Romita Jr. And their other little projects that peak an interest? Trades.

Yes, I'm a sucker for DC continuity but it's borderline tragic what they've done since Identity Crisis. I think it is possible that the river has simply flooded over, and that the longer any one person follows something (series of books, a television show, whatever) there comes a saturation point. I know I've reached that point with DC because I really don't care anymore. They can have a "Final Crisis" and reboot every book in the line (something they should have done years ago), but to me it's like the best excuse ever to stop reading DC altogether. Really, what's going to happen? Lois Lane will not know Clark Kent is Superman? Hal Jordan will have just received the ring? The Guardians are purple instead of blue? They'll pretend big changes are afoot, but it's really all the same stuff all over again.

As an artist it's hard to deny your favorite teams showing up on a book, tho in the face of my current collection I've got just about everyone covered. Sometimes you've got the craving to see new work, but in the decision to see who's working on comics versus, say, discovering new French artists... I've got enough cool drawings of Wonder Woman, thank you. Vive le France!

Does this mean I'm giving up comics? I doubt it. There are still way too many cool things going on in funnybooks, and it will always be a format dear to me. I've longed to re-enter self publishing for some time, and I've even got a graphic novel of my own in the works. So my love of the form isn't going away any time soon. I think I'm just in a transition period, not unlike when I gave up junk food and bachelor meals and learned to cook for myself. I am a much wiser (and healthier) person for it, and perhaps a similar awakening is at hand.

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