#1 Posted by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

I write this less than a week after the culmination of Age of Ultron. After 10 issues (and $40 if you paid retail) readers have been rewarded with a climax with little reward that served mostly to launch other story-lines. Again.

I'm not wearing blinders. I know that major stories exist to gin up readership and pull people in for the next year. But why do readers come back each year, knowing the next big thing will just be more of the same?

Now, mind you, I'm not speaking of Marvel alone here, DC is just as guilty. The two top comic brands have fallen into a cycle of 1. Big annual story 2. New stories launched from it 3. Leading to next big story.

This editorially driven model has left little room for creators to create and led, in many cases to worse comics.

The question is, why does anyone (especially these days) have a brand loyalty to Marvel or DC? I'm saying this as a long-time reader of products of both companies (as well as others).

Writers, other than the top creators, are back-seat driven by editorial, leaving artists as the only ones with a high degree of creative freedom. Then, with Marvel's double shipping and DC's "no late comics policy) artists able to produce high quality work on a consistent monthly basis are often subbed out for lesser talents.

So what am I saying? Should you read only indie books?

Of course not!

But I am saying we, as readers, need to ditch fanboyish brand loyalties to companies.

If you read a book by Bendis or Snyder and enjoyed it, try some of their other work, even if it's not at a company you're familiar with or about a character you know.

If you enjoy an artist's work like Samnee or Jock check out some of their indie work.

As long as we bicker stupidly about brand and follow brand slavishly, we're only going to continue to be victims of products designed to be money grabs and not good stories.

#2 Edited by JulieDC (898 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly, I just read what I read due to the presence of a character I like, so it is more of a character loyalty thing than a brand loyalty for me.

#3 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6237 posts) - - Show Bio

@juliedc said:

Honestly, I just read what I read due to the presence of a character I like, so it is more of a character loyalty thing than a brand loyalty for me.

I'm the same. With Marvel I have a top ten of characters who I'll buy whatever titles they're in(except maybe small guest spots, cameos, etc), and a few others who I like, but aren't necessarily a huge selling point, who add a little extra appeal to a comic. Sometimes writers or artists affect my decision too though.

#4 Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale (10180 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm more character loyal like stated. But I won't buy certain Indy companies cause people keep telling me I should hehehe

#5 Posted by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

@v_scarlotte_rose Who are your "must have" characters? I've found that habit to be most common among X-Men readers.

I knew guys who read Uncanny X-Men for years, hating it the whole time, but having to have specific characters.

I was like that years ago, not wanting to have gaps in my reading...but then I realized I didn't care to own/read stuff if I didn't like it, and only bought things I was into.

#6 Posted by Wolverine08 (40820 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, I like Marvel more than DC. I like more characters in Marvel than I do DC and I like the Marvel Universe better. That doesn't mean I completely alienate DC though. For example, I think Aquaman is awesome and one of the top five comics being published right now. When I'm buying books I have to like the character and the writer. All in all, even though I have somewhat of a brand loyalty towards Marvel, I'll read comics from other companies if they are good.

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#7 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6237 posts) - - Show Bio

@crash_recovery: I've barely read any X-Men, though I will be buying and reading some soon. I'm an Avengers reader mostly.

My must haves, and where I currently get them are:

Captain Marvel(Carol Danvers) - Captain Marvel, Avengers, Avengers Assemble

Spider-Woman(Jessica Drew) - Avengers Assemble, Avengers

Wonder Man - Uncanny Avengers

Scarlet Witch - Uncanny Avengers

Wasp - Uncanny Avengers

She-Hulk - FF, Mighty Avengers(upcoming)

Monica Rambeau - Mighty Avengers(upcoming)

Hank Pym - Avengers A.I.(upcoming)

Vision - Avengers A.I.(upcoming)

Mar-Vell - N/A(Deceased. Not sure if he's coming back.)

#8 Posted by Decoy Elite (30041 posts) - - Show Bio

The only brand I'm loyal to is Valiant.

Although there are some creators that I will try and check out their stuff.

#9 Posted by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

I used to have strong loyalty to Ultimate-Spiderman, Batman, Justice League characters, among others.

I had to have their titles. If I missed an issue, I felt twitchy, I couldn't have a gap!

Over time, I've weened off this compulsion. I now only buy a book if I really am into its story and talent, and the characters take a back seat.

I'm actually much happier now and save a ton of money. I know this isn't for everyone, but it's worth a try.

#10 Edited by SOG7dc (6971 posts) - - Show Bio

I like dc more than marvel because I grew uo with batman and superman and theJL shows. but I still pick up deadpool, thor, superior spiderman, and xmen on a monthly basis. I love comics in general so I don't care much aabout the publisher loyalty. im more loyal to characters. but I do wish comic creators were more creative...

#11 Posted by Decoy Elite (30041 posts) - - Show Bio

@sog7dc said:

I like dc more than marvel because I grew uo with batman and superman and theJL shows. but I still pick up deadpool, thor, superior spiderman, and xmen on a monthly basis. I love comics in general so I don't care much aabout the publisher loyalty. im more loyal to characters. but I do wish comic creators were more creative...

Creator owned comics are what ya wanna check out if you wanna see the real crazy interesting stuff.

#12 Posted by Aiden Cross (15562 posts) - - Show Bio

I used to read mostly Marvel/DC, nowadays i branch out more. Just because those stories don't have the same appeal to me anymore. And the ones i do like get cancelled >_>

#13 Posted by RedLantern23 (884 posts) - - Show Bio

Well said. While i do enjoy my superhero comics, i think anyone who isnt checking out at least one or two indie titles is doing themselves a HUGE disservice. The storytelling is just a completely different monster.

#14 Posted by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

@decoy_elite: I agree. While there are still some big ideas in mainstream books (Like Snyder's Swamp Thing or anything by Hickman), creators really cut loose in creator owned books. When I was younger, I always assumed indie books were people that couldn't get work on Spider-Man worked.

Today, there's some amazing talent telling great stories on creator owned books. The best part is that since they own the entire concept there's very little restraint on what they can do. There are real stakes in a story, you can't assume that anyone is safe.

#15 Edited by Billy Batson (57922 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah brand/character sucks. Damn sheeps.

I used to read mostly Marvel/DC, nowadays i branch out more. Just because those stories don't have the same appeal to me anymore. And the ones i do like get cancelled >_>

I've been meaning to suggest the current Conan to you. I think you'd like it. It seems like a nice replacement for Gambit <_<

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#16 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (32993 posts) - - Show Bio

I really don't get the pepole who don't buy books because they "don't know the characters" what the hell kind of logic is that? What if back in the day pepole said "whos in this movie? Darth Vader? Never heard of him, forget it"

#17 Posted by RDClip (1129 posts) - - Show Bio

I do, in a way, understand editorial restriction on writers in the big two. If a writer has a Captain America or Batman book, they are writing a corporate owned character so they have to follow the guidelines set out by the company and can't just do whatever they want. That's the major problem with characters that have been around for 70+ years and have consistantly had monthly titles; change comes very slowly.

On the other hand, editors shouldn't constantly try to dictate the story of the book to the writer even when the writer be being true to the character. If editors want to write a book, they can become writers themselves and find their own book.

#18 Posted by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

@rdclip: I'd love to see an era, or even a title where writers are granted greater freedom, or at least free from continuity.

It could follow a Hellboy esque release schedule. A new story comes when its ready rather than having to drop monthly. This has been done from time to time on titles like Legends of the Dark Knight, but more of as a way to give developing talent a place to "try out" or give experienced talent a paycheck between big projects.

#19 Posted by Aiden Cross (15562 posts) - - Show Bio

@billy_batson: i've heard others mention that as well. Do you know what issue or volume i should start from?

#20 Edited by SOG7dc (6971 posts) - - Show Bio
#21 Posted by Billy Batson (57922 posts) - - Show Bio

@billy_batson: i've heard others mention that as well. Do you know what issue or volume i should start from?

The current series Conan the Barbarian has 17 issues so far. They've released one hardcover/softcover so far and the next hardcover is coming out next month. But I remember you being a digital reader and Dark Horse does bundles for their digital issues. You can get three issues for five dollars.

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#22 Posted by Aiden Cross (15562 posts) - - Show Bio

@billy_batson: oh awesome! I'll definitely check out the first three issues then to see if i like it! Thanks for the recommendation!

#23 Posted by SoA (4772 posts) - - Show Bio

im a comic fan , i dont have a bias with just one company i read a little bit of everything

#24 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (32993 posts) - - Show Bio

@aiden_cross said:

@billy_batson: i've heard others mention that as well. Do you know what issue or volume i should start from?

The current series Conan the Barbarian has 17 issues so far. They've released one hardcover/softcover so far and the next hardcover is coming out next month. But I remember you being a digital reader and Dark Horse does bundles for their digital issues. You can get three issues for five dollars.

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I second all this

#25 Edited by Billy Batson (57922 posts) - - Show Bio

@aiden_cross said:

@billy_batson: oh awesome! I'll definitely check out the first three issues then to see if i like it! Thanks for the recommendation!

Let us know if you like it :p

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#26 Posted by RDClip (1129 posts) - - Show Bio

@rdclip: I'd love to see an era, or even a title where writers are granted greater freedom, or at least free from continuity.

It could follow a Hellboy esque release schedule. A new story comes when its ready rather than having to drop monthly. This has been done from time to time on titles like Legends of the Dark Knight, but more of as a way to give developing talent a place to "try out" or give experienced talent a paycheck between big projects.

That would be an interesting idea. Kinda like releasing miniseries rather than a constant ongoing series. However, that would require a complete redo of their business practices that they have used since the inception of the companies.

#27 Posted by Catsnlynne (1016 posts) - - Show Bio

I have been reading/collecting comic books for just a little over a year. I used to think I would be disloyal to Marvel and DC if I bought a comic book from one of the other companies. But recently two new comic books Black Bat and Captain Midnight caught my attention, so I bought them. I really liked them and I'm glad I didn't just stick with buying Marvel and DC only.

#28 Posted by Rabbitearsblog (5834 posts) - - Show Bio

I tend to read comic books that has gain my interest and most of the time, I would follow a title if my favorite character is in it. But lately, I have been reading more independent comics because of the fact that the creators can actually go far with their stories and the stories in independent comics are much more self-contained than the ones at Marvel and DC.

#29 Posted by jloneblackheart (5506 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm mostly a Marvel guy, but I am only reading one Marvel book. I'm a big fan of the Fantastic Four, Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova - and I am reading none of them. I will not promote or support a book when writers are ruining the characters, regardless if they are my favorites. Like they always say, show them what you like with your wallet.

I learned my lesson with events long ago. Don't bother. Once upon a time they were good.

I am reading zero DC books right now.

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#30 Posted by Decoy Elite (30041 posts) - - Show Bio

@sog7dc said:

@decoy_elite:

any suggestions in particular?

Rice Boy is a favorite of mine to recommend. Mostly because it's free to read online.

#31 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

Brand Loyalty is for Noobs.

#32 Edited by WaveMotionCannon (5354 posts) - - Show Bio

I read whatever ; Marvel, DC, Image etc. one of my favorite books right now is Garth Ennis' Red Team a crime comic from Dynamite. If I like it I'll spend on it.

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#33 Edited by wundagoreborn (323 posts) - - Show Bio

Every new comic and trade purchase is a vote. My character loyalty would be to X-Men and Avengers, but I'm voting no to all that right now. I'll catch up with it from the budget bins later.

I'll read a Marvel solo book if it has indication it will run on its own outside the manipulative marketing of crossovers and "events." Current Captain America meets that definition and I'm voting Cap.

Otherwise, I follow my character loyalty away from the Big 2 and am focusing on licensed properties with the character I love (Star Trek, Doctor Who, X-Files) currently held by IDW. If those characters should find their back to the 2, I'd keep voting for them because they are outside the manipulation generally speaking.

#34 Edited by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

@rdclip: That's true, but they really need to consider a new business model anyway. The comic industry is anemic, new readers aren't pulled in any big number by any of the other gimmicks they've attempted. (Granted, most of these gimmicks have been events and relaunches)

Currently, physical comics aren't available to the masses unless they're already looking for them in a comic specialty retailer.

Comics are priced too high. People looking to try something new aren't down with dropping 3-4 dollars for 20 pages of content.

Comics need to expand their content. This is happening, but slowly. There's been several decades where many genres of content have been dramatically underrepresented in comics, leading to more cape and mask titles. There's nothing wrong with capes and masks, but comics are a medium, not a genre.

#35 Edited by tigerkaya (1262 posts) - - Show Bio

Since I've given up on the two I've been exploring my option. But I still have brand loyalties to other titles from IDW's Transformers More than meets the eye, Ghostbusters and sometimes TMNT. But when it comes to indie titles I have a hard time finding ones I like. Most of the time its either writers and artist indulging in the mega gore or just being to grounded. I've come to terms with Invincible for the fact that despite gore it has its depth of story and its a progressive super hero title. I guess for me I'm still waiting for the comic book style art and writing to show up in an indie title. Sure theres the back issues like Jersey Gods and Godlands but their canceled I'm just waiting when a new ongoing of that magnitude comes out.

#36 Posted by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

@tigerkaya: What genres do you enjoy (outside of 80s 'toons)?

I still read big two comics, but I'm not married to them. If things get bad, I jump ship and read something else.

#37 Edited by Billy Batson (57922 posts) - - Show Bio

@tigerkaya:

Godland isn't cancelled. It just has delays. It still has one issue to go.

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#38 Edited by GundamHeavyarms (701 posts) - - Show Bio

I used to have brand loyalty to Marvel/DC when I was younger, mostly because I thought indie books were for snobs. Ive branched out more and discovered that I like more indie books rather than the marvel dc stuff.

#39 Posted by tigerkaya (1262 posts) - - Show Bio

@crash_recovery: aside from that I'm into cosmic superhero comics, scfi comics Atomic Robo, cartoon style comics Bodie Troll, Reed Gunther, super heroes Astro City, dark humor comics like The Goon and Scud the disposable assassin. I only left Marvel from its current comics I still enjoy collecting and reading their old issues and enjoying much more once you look past Stans dialogue he can craft a story. As to DC currently reading the Perez Wonder Woman.

@billy_batson: that's great news, thanks!

#40 Posted by Billy Batson (57922 posts) - - Show Bio

@tigerkaya:

You might want to check out the current Prophet series if you're into sci-fi. The first issue is free on comixology right now.

The same goes to the OP. Warren Ellis likes the series as well^^ http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=13549

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#41 Edited by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

If you like horror books, you should give Severed a read.

Also, in terms of cosmic space-opera stuff, (thought it sputtered to a finish) Geoff Johns Green Lantern had some really great stories in the beginning, like the Sinestro Corps War. I read the trades a few years after they'd been out and loved the scope of the story. Fun stuff.

Another good book you can check out in 2 trades is The Mighty, written by Peter Tomasi. It's a super-hero/thriller Lt. Cole, an agent in the world's only super hero's police force who's investigating a series of murders inside his own organization. Great read.

@crash_recovery: aside from that I'm into cosmic superhero comics, scfi comics Atomic Robo, cartoon style comics Bodie Troll, Reed Gunther, super heroes Astro City, dark humor comics like The Goon and Scud the disposable assassin. I only left Marvel from its current comics I still enjoy collecting and reading their old issues and enjoying much more once you look past Stans dialogue he can craft a story. As to DC currently reading the Perez Wonder Woman.

@billy_batson: that's great news, thanks!

#42 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't have any loyalty to brands frankly. To me, Marvel and DC are just companies that produce the comics I love, I don't actually like them per se.

I buy comics based on whether or not I'll enjoy them. I'll admit, I do have character loyalty too, but I won't shell out dime for a crappy Cap comic just because Cap's in it.

#43 Posted by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark: That's exactly what I'm saying. I don't care what channel a show I like is on. I also quit watching the show if it gets crappy.

#44 Edited by tigerkaya (1262 posts) - - Show Bio

@crash_recovery: Read the beginning of Geoff's run until Blackest Night took a break from it after that. Might check out the trades. I heard about The Mighty though not on my highest list to read. Prophet from the sound of it looks promising.

#45 Posted by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

@tigerkaya: Post Blackest Night is where GL starts to slide...not to say it's awful, just a bit played out.

#46 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark: That's exactly what I'm saying. I don't care what channel a show I like is on. I also quit watching the show if it gets crappy.

Hmm weird...didn't get a notif for this. System's still buggy.

#47 Posted by Reignmaker (2235 posts) - - Show Bio

I base my pull list on my interests, budget, and the perceived quality of my reading experience. If the quality isn't there, it doesn't last long. As an example, I like Superman and Spider-Man, but they both have problems with their current crop of books. Superman's books have been noticeably mediocre since the New 52. Spider-Man's Now book is merely a continuation of a long drawn-out 'epic' that I wasn't there at the start for, so I don't feel inclined to try it now.

The best decision I've made of late is giving Valiant's stuff a try. If I end up dropping another DC/Marvel book, it'll likely get replaced by another Valiant book or Image.

#48 Posted by Pop123 (90 posts) - - Show Bio

I like Dark Horse and Image better. Also Mangas are fun to read due to this reason.