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Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

My inspiration for this particular blog comes from a memorable moment (which parodies the climax to the film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington") from the under-appreciated TV show "The Critic", which starred Jon Lovitz as cynical film critic Jay Sherman:

I decided to take that bit of advice of his and expand it (they just abridged his essay in the episode), and also apply it to the state of comic books today. We don't know whether or not DC's New 52 can be called a success just yet, or if it will last; we don't know if Marvel's recent layoffs and cancellations are a cause for alarm. We don't know if the return of Extreme Studios will affect any inch of the market. It is for these uncertainties that I give you these words; whether you choose to heed them or not is your choice entirely. Here is my say on the outlook of the superhero comic, before this year is out:

I am a comic book fan by choice, and until recently, I found myself contributing to conversations regarding many big changes occurring within both the comic book industry and within superhero comics themselves. It was in these dialogues that I found myself telling people what books were good, which ones merely stink, and which ones you shouldn't read near an open flame. Deep down, I know and you all know that whatever we say on message boards doesn't affect the way the industry works at all. Well now I am encouraging you, instead of merely commenting on certain topics (the Cat/RedHood controversey, etc.), to take up the burden of actually making a move to change the industry itself, so that it may thrive without the things that give you headaches, and continue to produce material that may be enjoyed by people of all shapes, sizes, genders, and ages. It's very simple--if you stop buying bad comic books, they'll stop making bad comic books. How do you tell if it's a bad book, without violating a comic shop's "no reading rule"? All you do is skim the book--if it's one thing college has taught you how to greatly do, it's to skim a book for the important details. Once done, that is where you make your decision--do you buy it, or let it rot on the shelf? If it used to be a television show, a film, or a novel, just don't pick it up. After replacement creative team number two, give it a rest. If it's a reboot of a classic, read the classic! It's easy! If you don't want to be dropped in the middle of a six-issue story, pick up and support only the done-in-ones. If the book's character doesn't stick to his or her roots, read one where the character does. If it's a book where the character makes a change for convenience's sake, ignore it. If an event comic doesn't pique your interest, for you know that it's likely none of the changes introduced will stay, don't give in to curiosity and buy the first issue; go with your earlier decision and avoid it entirely--don't even bother to pick up a tie-in issue. If it's a series that hasn't gotten that much attention, give it your attention. If one comic doesn't treat women, children, or minorities properly, go out and seek one that does.

If it's a spin-off of a main title, buy only the main title, unless you're interested more in the spin-off; if neither the spin-off nor the main title interests you, look for a title that does. If you're tired of the overexposed characters, go out and read the lesser-known characters, and give them a chance. Take advantage of the letters column now that it's been reintroduced--but don't frame your letters in the "typical" fanboy/fangirl manner, actually voice your concerns and your feelings on what about the book you take issue with, but in a way that sounds professional and mature. If it's a book that does not live up to the expectations of the creator's original intent, read a book owned by the creator, where there is bound to be more quality. If you aren't a fan of the creator on the book, look for a run by a creator you do like. If you've been following a book for a long time, and don't like the direction it is currently going, just do the hard thing and drop it--let go of the collector's instinct for the moment and move on to a better opportunity. If you can't wrap your head around a high-concept Grant Morrison title, go out and read a middle-concept Gerry Conway title. If it's a book where the original creator's legacy has been mismanaged, go out and read the one that honors that legacy. If the book is about the less interesting, original version of the character, read the book featuring a more interesting incarnation. If it's a character whose "definitive take" is up in the air, look for a character who is what CBR's Tom Bondurant calls an "ideal aggregation", where all the best pieces of the one character are put together in a well-written package. If it's a book that has art which over-exaggerates the physical depictions of a man or woman, buy and read a book where they are more proportionate and realistic.

If you don't like one issue that is bloody or violent or whatnot, look for an issue where the action is still there, just not as extreme. If a book that is high in quality is on the verge of being cancelled, support it so that it may escape cancellation. If you want more mini-series, one-shots, or original graphic novels, campaign for more of those--actually crave stories with a clear beginning, middle and end. If you want to see a character change and grow, make it known. If you want to see more children reading comics, work to make the medium less insular and confined--it is the fault of us, the fan community, for inspiring the people working at the comic book companies to write stories that reflect the tastes of an audience craving more mature and explicit storytelling, for putting more emphasis on giving the stories a flair of needing 'insider knowledge' to understand them--in other words, transitioning the comic book from a mass medium to a niche medium. If you want more diversity in comics, both in the stories and in the storytellers, don't sit back and let things unfold, make recommendations for ideal up-and-coming talent, and make sure that whatever diverse characters are implemented, that they don't come across as a gross stereotype. If you are tired of recycled storytelling ideas and characters, don't mope about the lack of new things, campaign for new ideas and opportunities. If it's a book that's using controversy to encourage hype and curiosity in order to gain notice, don't give in to the hype; ignore it, ignore any stunt the companies wish to pull--none of those work half the time, unless they are planned cleverly enough. If the books are interrupted by a dispute between creator and editorial, work to hear both sides of the story and try to help resolve the conflict, so that the book may maintain its quality and schedule. If you are disappointed by a book's late arrival or delays, drop the book and look for something that is timely and efficient, yet not lacking in quality--or for the opposite matter, avoid the rushed books and look for the ones that had great amounts of time and care put into them. In a more broader aspect, if you don't like how one company focuses more on marketing than on craft, buy the output produced by a company that manages to balance both. If you feel like you don't want to follow the character(s) in the comic book format, then look to the television shows and (the more quality-laden) films for entertainment, as they showcase, again, the 'ideal aggregations' of the characters you know and love (or hate). Finally, if you, the average comic book reader, feel your voice isn't heard, don't squabble with other fans over which character can beat who--put differences aside, get together, compare notes, and organize, to make your voices truly heard, loud and clear. You are the consumers, you have the money the companies want, you have the power to keep them afloat or let them sink into oblivion--I respect those at the companies who care greatly about their craft, but for the business side of the industry, we have to let them acknowledge the basic fact that without our buying power and our interests, no company of any kind can survive--it's the equivalent of taking all the blood out of a living being.

So people, the next time you are at a DC panel, or a Marvel one, or an Image one, and so on, don't succumb to the excited fan impulse, don't be afraid to speak your mind, as long as you don't come off as super-aggressive or super-assertive: tell them, tell the creators and editors that you want stories about people, not 22 or 28 or who knows how many pages of blood and guts and mindless TNA and unnecessary ads and awkward out-of-character moments for prices bordering on the $5 mark. People, it's up to you--if the comic book stinks, just-don't-buy it!

#1 Edited by azza04 (1503 posts) - - Show Bio

The trouble is, with all the controversy that surrounded those books Catwoman (which I thought was fine) and Red Hood, all that hype and bad talk just makes people curious to see it for themseleves. That happened to me, I wasn't even going to read Red Hood and the Outlaws until I read all crap being said about the book, but then I wanted to see it for myself. And to be honest, yeh the first issue had some unnessesary moments and fan service in it but....so what? It's hardly a new Phenomenon, I remember reading an issue of the Justice League where every other panel was focused directly on Black Canarys ass, and I don't remember everyone being nearly so annoyed at that. Maybe I should feel more pissed off about it but as usual there has been so much talk and bitching about it that people just get sick of hearing about it, so it gets ignored.

Cool blog though BTW :)

#2 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@azza04: That's why I wrote this---so that I can inspire people to change trends, to curb the tide of comic book companies making bad decisions, or are about to. It shouldn't be just the companies trying to re-grow the industry; the fans have a responsibility to do the same. This is also just a way of making people stop and think about WHAT they want to read, what do they want in what they read, and what they want in what they hope to recommend to other people. I hope you watched the clip before reading this to get the idea of my blog: Jay Sherman said what he said, says what he says about the movies he reviews, because his is a love of cinema disillusioned by how commercialized the film making industry had become at that time, which is why he prefers Golden Age classics and foreign films--his favorite movies alone are Citizen Kane, The Red Balloon, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (on which the scene in the video is a spoof of). I don't want to sound rude or anything, but despite putting on a brave face, who knows how many comic book fans out there ARE disillusioned by how commercialized mainstream superhero comics have become? This little 'manifesto' (I don't know what else to call it) is meant to make them fully realize (and I know there are some who already know this) that THEY, the consumers of all this graphic entertainment, truly can decide the fate of the industry if they just try--I just hope that by seeing this, they might actually start exercising that capability.

#3 Posted by azza04 (1503 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1: I respect you for you passionate feelings on the subject :) Maybe reviewers of comic books need to take a different stance on those inappropriate books and just ignore them all together. Like I said all those angry reviews and news articles about the subject were probably half the reason why so many people went out and bought the comic. I certainly wasn't going to read it and wouldn't have picked it up at all if not out of curiosity to see for myself. So maybe the best way for people to vent their frustration about certain books they dislike is maybe to just ignore them and not report or talk about their existance at all?

#4 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@azza04: Exactly. If you thought the book stunk, don't buy the next issue, there is no obligation. If the companies take notice, they know they've got a problem. Instead of venting their frustration, don't buy it and give it a negative review--leave it to wither on the shelf. I've just re-edited my thing to include a line about controversial books. It goes like this: "If it's a book that's using controversy to encourage hype and curiosity in order to gain notice, don't give in to the hype; ignore it, ignore any stunt the companies wish to pull--none of those work half the time, unless they are planned cleverly enough."

#5 Posted by Evil_Dog (39 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice Blog

#6 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio

Very well written blog!

#7 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@Evil_Dog:

Definitely something you could take to heart?

@InnerVenom123:

What do you like about it? I may plan on, if given the chance, read it at a comic convention, making sure writers, editors, etc. who are guests there are also in the audience.

#8 Posted by utotheg38 (18883 posts) - - Show Bio

cool blog bro.

#9 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@utotheg38:

What do you like about it?

#10 Posted by utotheg38 (18883 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1 said:

@utotheg38:

What do you like about it?

um..............ev.....everything was just great. <_</>_>

#11 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1: The advice to just not read bad comics. =P

#12 Posted by Jnr6Lil (7714 posts) - - Show Bio

Why Comics aren't doing big, Because comics aren't mainstream yet, They're not something that's read by the general audience. It's like the whole thing with the budget cuts and arts program, Arts is simply seen as something for a few gifted kids, Same with comics, Comics isn't really something everyone will be into, It's only something for a few group of nerds and nerdettes.

#13 Edited by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jnr6Lil: That wasn't always so (as I'm sure you know). I know you're going to sound annoyed by me saying what's already been said, but up till the introduction of the direct market, comic books were (and really should return to being) a mass medium. Jim Shooter himself couldn't have summed it up better:

http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/11/comic-book-distribution.html

http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/11/comic-book-distribution-part-2.html

The problem, as I see it, is that ever since we, the fans, introduced the concept of the direct market, we've been making comics less mainstream, and it's been slowly, but greatly, decreasing because of that.

#14 Posted by WarMachineMarkV (1214 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1 said:

@Jnr6Lil: That wasn't always so (as I'm sure you know). I know you're going to sound annoyed by me saying what's already been said, but up till the introduction of the direct market, comic books were (and really should return to being) a mass medium. Jim Shooter himself couldn't have summed it up better:

http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/11/comic-book-distribution.html

http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/11/comic-book-distribution-part-2.html

The problem, as I see it, is that ever since we, the fans, introduced the concept of the direct market, we've been making comics less mainstream, and it's been slowly, but greatly, decreasing because of that.

- Comics were mainstream at the time when they were marketed at kids, reading them was almost universally accepted for the age range and the cost of an issue was a lot lower.

- The current demographic is teens to young adults where reading comics still holds some kind of stigma to a degree depending on a particular persons clique. Oh, and the issues are 3-5 times more expensive now, way ahead of inflation.

#15 Posted by Jnr6Lil (7714 posts) - - Show Bio

@WarMachineMarkV said:

@Darkmount1 said:

@Jnr6Lil: That wasn't always so (as I'm sure you know). I know you're going to sound annoyed by me saying what's already been said, but up till the introduction of the direct market, comic books were (and really should return to being) a mass medium. Jim Shooter himself couldn't have summed it up better:

http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/11/comic-book-distribution.html

http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/11/comic-book-distribution-part-2.html

The problem, as I see it, is that ever since we, the fans, introduced the concept of the direct market, we've been making comics less mainstream, and it's been slowly, but greatly, decreasing because of that.

- Comics were mainstream at the time when they were marketed at kids, reading them was almost universally accepted for the age range and the cost of an issue was a lot lower.

- The current demographic is teens to young adults where reading comics still holds some kind of stigma to a degree depending on a particular persons clique. Oh, and the issues are 3-5 times more expensive now, way ahead of inflation.

Comics are mainstream yes but not to a general level, Outside of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash,Thor, Wolverine, Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America & Spider-Man, how many other heroes can the average person name, People know Superman but don't know that hes from DC.

#16 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@WarMachineMarkV:

There are a ton of problems, I get it. But solving one large one before tackling the next large one is what I have in mind: bringing comics kicking and screaming back to the public consciousness. The Bronze Age, from what I've read about it, was probably the only time that comics weren't too dumbed-down for kids, yet older audiences didn't find them immature. And that includes teens and young adults. What we need here is a Bronze Age sensibility, in terms of getting comics to be read not by just one specific audience, but by all audiences.

#17 Posted by WarMachineMarkV (1214 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1 said:

My inspiration for this particular blog comes from a memorable moment (which parodies the climax to the film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington") from the under-appreciated TV show "The Critic", which starred Jon Lovitz as cynical film critic Jay Sherman:

I decided to take that bit of advice of his and expand it (they just abridged his essay in the episode), and also apply it to the state of comic books today. We don't know whether or not DC's New 52 can be called a success just yet, or if it will last; we don't know if Marvel's recent layoffs and cancellations are a cause for alarm. We don't know if the return of Extreme Studios will affect any inch of the market. It is for these uncertainties that I give you these words; whether you choose to heed them or not is your choice entirely. Here is my say on the outlook of the superhero comic, before this year is out:

I am a comic book fan by choice, and until recently, I found myself contributing to conversations regarding many big changes occurring within both the comic book industry and within superhero comics themselves. It was in these dialogues that I found myself telling people what books were good, which ones merely stink, and which ones you shouldn't read near an open flame. Deep down, I know and you all know that whatever we say on message boards doesn't affect the way the industry works at all. Well now I am encouraging you, instead of merely commenting on certain topics (the Cat/RedHood controversey, etc.), to take up the burden of actually making a move to change the industry itself, so that it may thrive without the things that give you headaches, and continue to produce material that may be enjoyed by people of all shapes, sizes, genders, and ages. It's very simple--if you stop buying bad comic books, they'll stop making bad comic books. How do you tell if it's a bad book, without violating a comic shop's "no reading rule"? All you do is skim the book--if it's one thing college has taught you how to greatly do, it's to skim a book for the important details. Once done, that is where you make your decision--do you buy it, or let it rot on the shelf? If it used to be a television show, a film, or a novel, just don't pick it up. After replacement creative team number two, give it a rest. If it's a reboot of a classic, read the classic! It's easy! If you don't want to be dropped in the middle of a six-issue story, pick up and support only the done-in-ones. If the book's character doesn't stick to his or her roots, read one where the character does. If it's a book where the character makes a change for convenience's sake, ignore it. If an event comic doesn't pique your interest, for you know that it's likely none of the changes introduced will stay, don't give in to curiosity and buy the first issue; go with your earlier decision and avoid it entirely--don't even bother to pick up a tie-in issue. If it's a series that hasn't gotten that much attention, give it your attention. If one comic doesn't treat women, children, or minorities properly, go out and seek one that does.

If it's a spin-off of a main title, buy only the main title, unless you're interested more in the spin-off; if neither the spin-off nor the main title interests you, look for a title that does. If you're tired of the overexposed characters, go out and read the lesser-known characters, and give them a chance. Take advantage of the letters column now that it's been reintroduced--but don't frame your letters in the "typical" fanboy/fangirl manner, actually voice your concerns and your feelings on what about the book you take issue with, but in a way that sounds professional and mature. If it's a book that does not live up to the expectations of the creator's original intent, read a book owned by the creator, where there is bound to be more quality. If you aren't a fan of the creator on the book, look for a run by a creator you do like. If you've been following a book for a long time, and don't like the direction it is currently going, just do the hard thing and drop it--let go of the collector's instinct for the moment and move on to a better opportunity. If you can't wrap your head around a high-concept Grant Morrison title, go out and read a middle-concept Gerry Conway title. If it's a book where the original creator's legacy has been mismanaged, go out and read the one that honors that legacy. If the book is about the less interesting, original version of the character, read the book featuring a more interesting incarnation. If it's a character whose "definitive take" is up in the air, look for a character who is what CBR's Tom Bondurant calls an "ideal aggregation", where all the best pieces of the one character are put together in a well-written package. If it's a book that has art which over-exaggerates the physical depictions of a man or woman, buy and read a book where they are more proportionate and realistic.

If you don't like one issue that is bloody or violent or whatnot, look for an issue where the action is still there, just not as extreme. If a book that is high in quality is on the verge of being cancelled, support it so that it may escape cancellation. If you want more mini-series, one-shots, or original graphic novels, call for more of those--actually crave stories with a clear beginning, middle and end. If you want to see a character change and grow, make it known. If you want to see more children reading comics, work to make the medium less insular and confined--it is the fault of us, the fan community, for inspiring the people working at the comic book companies to write stories that reflect the tastes of an audience craving more mature and explicit storytelling, for putting more emphasis on giving the stories a flair of needing 'insider knowledge' to understand them. If you want more diversity in comics, both in the stories and in the storytellers, don't sit back and let things unfold, make recommendations for ideal up-and-coming talent, and make sure that whatever diverse characters are implemented, that they don't come across as a gross stereotype. If you are tired of recycled storytelling ideas and characters, don't mope about the lack of new things, call for new ideas and opportunities. If it's a book that's using controversy to encourage hype and curiosity in order to gain notice, don't give in to the hype; ignore it, ignore any stunt the companies wish to pull--none of those work half the time, unless they are planned cleverly enough. If the books are interrupted by a dispute between creator and editorial, work to hear both sides of the story and try to help resolve the conflict, so that the book may maintain its quality and schedule. If you are disappointed by a book's late arrival or delays, drop the book and look for something that is timely and efficient, yet not lacking in quality--or for the opposite matter, avoid the rushed books and look for the ones that had great amounts of time and care put into them. In a more broader aspect, if you don't like how one company focuses more on marketing than on craft, buy the output produced by a company that manages to balance both. If you feel like you don't want to follow the character(s) in the comic book format, then look to the television shows and (quality-laden) films for entertainment, as they showcase, again, the 'ideal aggregations' of the characters you know and love (or hate). Finally, if you feel your voice isn't heard, don't squabble with other fans over which character can beat who--put differences aside, get together, compare notes, and organize, to make your voices truly heard. You are the consumers, you have the money the companies want, you have the power to keep them afloat or let them sink into oblivion.

So people, the next time you are at a DC panel, or a Marvel one, or an Image one, and so on, don't succumb to the excited fan impulse, don't be afraid to speak your mind (as long as you don't come off as super-aggressive or assertive): tell them, tell the creators and editors that you want stories about people, not 22 or 28 or who knows how many pages of blood and guts and mindless TNA and unnecessary ads and awkward character moments for prices bordering on the $5 mark. People, it's up to you--if the comic book stinks, just-don't-buy it!

@darkmount1

1 - I agree that we really do not know how DC's 52 or Marvel's Cancellation Wave will turn out in the end, but when all you seem to hear is bad news its easy to see why many are pessimistic

2 - I understand what your trying to say about getting rid of bad books by not buying them, but to be honest I think most buyers are already doing it outside of long running titles (Uncanny X-Men, Avengers) they buy on auto-pilot. With the rising cost of issues many people only collect the books they really like and have already gave up on titles they were not in love with.

3 - Everyone's take on what is a good book and what is a bad book is different. If we made a list of 10 comics and asked for opinions on each, nobodies list would be the same and many would be vastly different. Just because the quality of a tile is high, does not mean the premise is popular enough to sustain it.

4 - I can see that you are frustrated with many of the books and/or the industry as a whole (as am I), but as cathartic as it would be to go to a panel and speak your mind, it really is not going to make any difference. Outside of an organized boycott that could prove that they had real influence (aka costing them enough money) would any of their suggestions/demands be heard, much less met

#18 Posted by Evil_Dog (39 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1: Yes a lot of readers complain how comic stories are lackluster yet they continue to buy them complaining wont change anything not buying them will.

#19 Posted by Jnr6Lil (7714 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1: Sorry but Comics are lame to the general audience "Comics are mainstream yes but not to a general level, Outside of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash,Thor, Wolverine, Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America & Spider-Man, how many other heroes can the average person name, People know Superman but don't know that hes from DC."

#20 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@WarMachineMarkV:

1. I also agree that we shouldn't sound pessimistic--it's only when we finally see (after a year or so) if either impacts the market and industry significantly that the 'tables can turn'.

2. I know about the whole "auto-pilot factor" thing, it's why in this speech that I heavily emphasize that if a fan doesn't like the direction a comic is going, instead of leaving him or herself on 'auto-pilot' devotion, they should drop it, they should do the hard thing and roll with it. That's why (in my opinion), whenever I read comments about people saying that they still pick a big title up despite its downs, I see hypocrisy (and counter-commentors point it out so sarcastically). That's what I want to get rid of--the 'devoted-through-the-downsides' hypocrisy.

3. I get what you mean in regards to people's opinions of what is a bad book, in this speech I want to inspire them to use that to their advantage to navigate the marketplace without regrets. And there's that old saying (paraphrased)--"one fan's trash is another fan's treasure." If one fan doesn't like the premise, another fan will. Yin-yang balance.

4. I understand that particular flaw in my thinking--sure, you couldn't do that amount of damage at a convention panel, but a boycott would work, or a petition, or a letter-writing campaign; but at the closing of my third paragraph, I'm encouraging fans to get together to iron out what their mutual ideas are like, and which ones they would express as a group to the people in charge--I'm calling for a unity based on mutual interests and concerns, not personal ones.

#21 Posted by Superguy0009e (2265 posts) - - Show Bio

i agree and disagree with this blog.

true, if something is bad, don't encourage it.

but also, don't be afraid to watch/read anything crappy, anything too good just ruins everything sometimes

i'm a HUGE fan of Shadowhawk, he almost never has a good comic, but i love reading his comics.

if you don't want something to happen, don't encourage it, but don't condemn those who just want to have a fun time

#22 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@Superguy0009e: I'm leaving that option in. It's all right at the preface before the speech starts--"Whether you choose to heed these words or not is your choice entirely."

#23 Posted by Jnr6Lil (7714 posts) - - Show Bio

Im confused now

#24 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jnr6Lil: By what, exactly? My response to Superguy0009e?

#25 Posted by Jnr6Lil (7714 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1: Yeah, It came random

#26 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jnr6Lil: Sorry. Heh heh....

#27 Posted by Jnr6Lil (7714 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1: Its cool

#28 Posted by BecauseISaidSo (100 posts) - - Show Bio

I love this article. It is very true and very beautiful as to what it stands for. You and others alike want a change to happen to make comics better by making it more suitable, more enjoyable, and more fun to experience. I understand that you're telling people to stop buying comics that aren't good but to them they think it is good and that is why they are displaying it to the public. If we stopped all together then the company will get shut down and we might have to resort in finding a new industry that will more pleasing. There was already a petition and a march for DC to get shut down because they were unhappy with the New 52 launch. So what exactly is the right thing to do, stop buying or to keep buy and hoping they will change it up???

#29 Edited by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@BecauseISaidSo: If you re-read the speech closely, you'll see indicators of people who do think like that in terms of 'one fan's trash is another's treasure'.

Did you like the video clip included?

Also, regarding that petition and the march---that was all bark. Where was the bite, the results????

#30 Posted by BecauseISaidSo (100 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1: I wouldn't call it trash but more like to some unreadable. And yes I did like the video clip you included of The Critic. I miss that show and I used to own the complete collection. The march and petition thing I'm not sure I stopped reading about those things, but you can't stop the freedom of speech.

#31 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@BecauseISaidSo: That last statement, of course, is true. But IMO, free speech works the best when it makes a difference AND gets results--when used for good, obviously.

#32 Posted by WarMachineMarkV (1214 posts) - - Show Bio

- It's not about freedom of speech, its focusing those with a collective want, vision, or purpose into something that they are unable to ignore due to its scope. Everyone is allowed their opinion, but nobody should really expect Marvel or DC to make business decisions based off of them alone.

- Unless a group can have a coherent point, and prove that ignoring them will have a significant effect on their sales, no one will take them seriously. You can get 1,000 people to complain online, but for all you know 900 of them bought it anyways. I have seen many online petitions over the years against companies and specific titles, none of them had the support to ever get anywhere.

- All you can really do is vote with your own pocketbook. If you look at the interviews with the comics insiders, its all BS, they always say the fans are loving it no matter how bad the reviews are, they look at sales numbers and what we think outside of that is irrelevant. If a book does not sell, they cancel it and blame the fans for not supporting it, not that the book was terrible and might have been supported in the right hands

#33 Posted by Squares (7519 posts) - - Show Bio

If your message is so transcendentally wise and earth-shattering, why do you whore it out on unrelated posts?

Have you never wondered exactly why comics are all the things you're condemning them for? It's because people buy it, and a disgustingly large amount of people like all the things you're complaining about. Sure, your boycotting could work, in theory, with a tiny company like Top Cow. But do you really think that getting a few of your friends to break their buying habits is going to make the least bit of differences to Marvel or DC?

Contrariwise, I find it rather silly that you think people often buy comic books they don't like in the first place. You must think of the rest of us in the fanbase as being pretty dim-witted. Sure, we're all prone to buying the occasional bad comic by mistake, and it's frustrating as hell, but you make it sound like you think we all go out and buy tons of comics we hate.

Also that cartoon clip sucked.

#34 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@WarMachineMarkV: Regarding your points

A) That's what I'm trying to encourage with this speech--finally ironing out the collective wants and needs of the fan community so they can do what our current congress failed to: unilaterally take a course of action to make the comic industry function a little better, and turn it from a niche industry back into a mass media industry, which it always should have been (save for the more mature stories that started appearing in the 80's and on, which I would've left direct-market exclusive).

B) This is a different thing than the usual online petitions--if Rachel Carson, with her one book that was beneath the surface an attack on the pesticide industry, could turn the tide of the pubic against that same industry, why couldn't I try with this? And I emphasize TRY.

C) That's what I'm trying to get the fan community to realize--it's time to start voting with your pocketbook and not with your message board comment. They're the consumers of this, THEY have the power to keep a company alive or pull the plug. Because ultimately, the lifeblood of any industry is the almighty dollar, and if cut off, any industry doesn't have that long to live. I'm also hoping for a domino affect: if the fans are moved, the heads at the helm of the industry should be moved by the fans being moved. Call me crazy, call me idealistic, this is what I wish to achieve...when the opportunity comes knocking.

@Squares:

I know that's the sad truth of the matter, it's the same with a consumer for ANY type of good or service or entertainment. I should know, because as a Transformers collector, I know a lot of people who buy on accident what turns out to be a terrible figure, and learning from their experience is key to avoiding that mistake. I know I've been doing so, which is why I strive for the higher-quality figures. My goal is to convince the people who like this stuff (as you refer to them as) of their folly, but give them the option of staying their course or trying something else. And no, I don't think all people buy comics they don't like all the time. I'm NOT making the mistake of insulting another person's intelligence. But what I want to do is offer them a means of trying to not make the mistake of buying the occasional bad comic again--thus, eliminating that particular frustration. "There IS a method to my madness."

And have you even seen a full episode of "The Critic"? It's a hilarious show!

#35 Posted by BecauseISaidSo (100 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1: Maybe in there opinion what they were fighting for was right to them.

#36 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@BecauseISaidSo: Exactly. And if you want to know what eventually happened, only a few hundred or so people actually did it, and then it lost steam. Good with the hype, poor on the execution--good try on their part, though.

#37 Posted by Squares (7519 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1 said:

@WarMachineMarkV: Regarding your points

A) That's what I'm trying to encourage with this speech--finally ironing out the collective wants and needs of the fan community so they can do what our current congress failed to: unilaterally take a course of action to make the comic industry function a little better, and turn it from a niche industry back into a mass media industry, which it always should have been (save for the more mature stories that started appearing in the 80's and on, which I would've left direct-market exclusive).

B) This is a different thing than the usual online petitions--if Rachel Carson, with her one book that was beneath the surface an attack on the pesticide industry, could turn the tide of the pubic against that same industry, why couldn't I try with this? And I emphasize TRY.

C) That's what I'm trying to get the fan community to realize--it's time to start voting with your pocketbook and not with your message board comment. They're the consumers of this, THEY have the power to keep a company alive or pull the plug. Because ultimately, the lifeblood of any industry is the almighty dollar, and if cut off, any industry doesn't have that long to live. I'm also hoping for a domino affect: if the fans are moved, the heads at the helm of the industry should be moved by the fans being moved. Call me crazy, call me idealistic, this is what I wish to achieve...when the opportunity comes knocking.

@Squares:

I know that's the sad truth of the matter, it's the same with a consumer for ANY type of good or service or entertainment. I should know, because as a Transformers collector, I know a lot of people who buy on accident what turns out to be a terrible figure, and learning from their experience is key to avoiding that mistake. I know I've been doing so, which is why I strive for the higher-quality figures. My goal is to convince the people who like this stuff (as you refer to them as) of their folly, but give them the option of staying their course or trying something else. And no, I don't think all people buy comics they don't like all the time. I'm NOT making the mistake of insulting another person's intelligence. But what I want to do is offer them a means of trying to not make the mistake of buying the occasional bad comic again--thus, eliminating that particular frustration. "There IS a method to my madness."

And have you even seen a full episode of "The Critic"? It's a hilarious show!

YOU are providing people with the means to make their own decisions? How noble of you!

How does your attempt at convincing people that they don't need to buy poor-quality goods somehow giving them the option to refrain from buying said goods? I'm pretty sure they had the ability to do that already, which means you aren't providing them with anything. And that's possibly the only quote from Hamlet I don't roll my eyes at.

The Critic isn't something that I find particularly amusing. It feels a little ham-fisted in terms of it's humor. But then again, I'm told that I have an odd sense of humor.

#38 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: I'm giving them a "friendly" reminder of how they have that ability, without trying to insult their intellects. And I can understand your reasons for not liking "The Critic" that much; people tell me I have an odd sense of humor too.

#39 Posted by Squares (7519 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkmount1: You may not be trying to, and yet you're doing so.

#40 Posted by Adnan (1037 posts) - - Show Bio

I always see complaints about Loeb's stuff. He still gets plenty of work though, so somebody has gotta be buying them lol

I assume you are partly referncing the fact that there are certain titles, some of them not being great in quality, that everyone seems to jump on to read. I think part of it is a really strange fear, that a lot of people seem to have, of buying a title that'll get cancelled. And I say "really strange", because the only reason to worry about a title being cancelled is if no one buys it, which is caused by this mindset in the first place.

And I like how you mentioned both character and writer loyalty. I think it's important to have some sorta balance between both...following a group of writers you enjoy will probably have most people content, but it comes with the assumption that writers you don't like won't improve. And following titles just because of character loyalty is silly, that goes without saying I guess.

Oh, and the "skim the title beforehand" strategy doesn't really work with 'slow burn story' titles...

#41 Posted by PulledaBrad (19 posts) - - Show Bio

Unfortunately people wont stop buying crap. Just the other day at the shop one of the customers was at the counter going through his pulls for that week and said "Man, I hope they cancel this book soon so I dont have to buy it anymore." It more than some book is bad, its the ingrained notion that they have to have the complete collection, no holes are allowed.

Sad to say that I dont think comics will be around in about 10 years time. Sure the big names will be around, but only as tokens for future development of other media products, be it either video games or movies. I mean, the biggest selling title a few months ago was struggling to break the 100k mark. Thats insane. And numbers are just gonna keep going down. The industry needs to switch its focus from year long, mega tie in, 38 individual 4 issue micro series and focus on younger readers. Thats where the renewed customer base is going to come from, not jaded nerds that have to have their favorite character in everything.

But focusing on the younger demographic is a tough sell. Kids dont read anymore. With the internet, cheap movies and flashy video games, what kid is going to shell out 3.99 for a comic that will last 5-10 minutes? Not many. I'm of the belief that they need to cut a majority of the comics that both Marvel and DC produces. A less bloated (and alot of it is bloat) catalog means less writers and artists and printing and shipping costs, which hopefully would bring prices back down to a more reasonable level. Along with demolishing Diamond Comics, who are pretty much single handedly dismantling the industry.

#42 Edited by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@Adnan:

That's another thing I want to encourage with this: convince people to throw off that fear you mentioned and achieve a balance between writer and character loyalty.

Regarding the "skim" part, this is what I mean: comic shops are bound to keep copies of the previous issue even while the new one's just come out. You skim one, then the other, and continue to do so till the story's wrapped. Then you decide if you let the book rot on the shelf, or pick it up. And all without breaking the "no reading in a comic shop rule".

@Squares: I tried using language throughout the entire thing that wouldn't set off any people. Would you mind pointing out where in the speech did I go wrong?

#43 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@PulledaBrad:

I see what you mean, and that's good coming from a shop owner, I could use the insight. Would you mind telling me what I got right and what I got wrong in this speech? I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd like a critique, please.

#44 Edited by Squares (7519 posts) - - Show Bio

@PulledaBrad: You know what's funny about comics and the younger demographic? The target audience for comic books is older than it used to be. Look at really old Avengers comics- they were assembled by the teen whatever guys who were basically a bunch of boy scouts that children reading the comics were supposed to relate to. Cut to modern day, where comics are aimed largely at teenagers and often center largely around violence and 'badassery', as opposed to the older fantasy-like storytelling theme.

@PulledaBrad said:

Unfortunately people wont stop buying crap. Just the other day at the shop one of the customers was at the counter going through his pulls for that week and said "Man, I hope they cancel this book soon so I dont have to buy it anymore." It more than some book is bad, its the ingrained notion that they have to have the complete collection, no holes are allowed.

People actually do that? I weep for the future of the comic industry.

@Darkmount1: I retract my previous statements, apparently some people really need to be told they don't have to buy crappy comics.

#45 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: Thank you. I'm sorry for my 'retaliatory' responses.

#46 Posted by VenomMelendez (407 posts) - - Show Bio

And if they like it? After all, what is 'good" is subjective and people will like different things.

#47 Posted by Darkmount1 (1282 posts) - - Show Bio

@VenomMelendez: I take into account people's tastes. It's in one line at the very start: "whether you choose to heed my words or not is your choice entirely". All I ask is that they hear me out first.

#48 Posted by knightinbatmanarmor (43 posts) - - Show Bio

alright, i have to say i disagree with this quite vehemently. the fact you tell people not to buy comics in an economy where its hard enough as it is for companies to stay afloat i think is the wrong way to do it. i don't believe that comics look at sales as importantly as television does their ratings. instead, i think that comics are all fanbase and mail readers, and they try to take into account responses. the problem was that people were complaining about this and that and so dc decided it was time to flip the table again and they just missed the mark. a few years back marvel was talking about scrapping 616 and turning ultimate into their primary universe. but fan responses stopped that from happening. i think it far better to find a way to read them, be it buying or through libraries or whatever means, and responding. tell them what you think instead of just outright not buying something.

#49 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio

@knightinbatmanarmor: It's hard to have faith in the companies taking fan responses seriously when the fanbase is known for being nitpicky and hating all forms of change.

#50 Posted by Jnr6Lil (7714 posts) - - Show Bio

Comics are never going to be as mainstream due to the fact more people focus on comic book MOVIES, and the fact that comics are still seen as something for the nerds in the basement.