I disagree a lot. My rebellious, youthful anger may contribute to that, or maybe I’m just a dick.
I should stop writing this post. Right now. In the end, these words will do harm and provide a bad representation. I bet most walk away from this post shaking their head. I bet some understand. Maybe one will applaud.
Or everyone just won’t care. (Probably this one.)
Stick till the end, though. The conclusion may differ from the heading.
I care little for characters or plot.
I care less for continuity or universes.
I read for execution.
I read for craft.
I love art, and I love storytelling.
Their application fascinates me.
Artists and writers applying them well …
… fascinates me more.
Yet, I read mainly Marvel and DC super-hero comics. I should not. My perspective probably flows more with a PictureBox crowd than a Hulk crowd. I might fit right in over there. You know, chatting about page composition and narrative structure and, of course, conversing about how flowers in one specific panel represent the backwards nature of the universe…
Yet, I read Savage Dragon every month, and I enjoy it. I enjoy super-heroes; they embody comicbooks through their basic visual appeal, and I smile at their wackiness and bright colors and punches. I just want to talk about them differently. Why? I tire from hearing everyone else’s discussion or point. Everyone else either fulfills the expected fanboy quota or offers lackluster criticism.
Well, not EVERYONE obviously, but the internet sure feels that way some days.
Everyone lets comics slip to something simpler. They ignore the makeup and construction in favor of price tags and Spider-man joining a team. No wonder the outside looks down on us. We give them reason. We tell them Spider-man and the Fantastic Four are friends, for christ’s sake. We portray these fictitious elements as truth. No wonder they look down. Our conversations doom comics to a poor reputation.
I probably should not care. At all. What stake do I hold in it? None. Comics live on with or without me. I love them though, and I cannot help but feel a burn when I read someone’s poorly conceived notion of critique. If I disagree, I yearn to jump into the conversation and shout, “no!’.
As mentioned, I love super-heroes, but I tire of how they are talked about. Continuity and plot need to occupy the backseat for a bit while craft and design grab the wheel. Let’s talk Marvel and DC like they are PictureBox. Let’s talk art or maybe lack of – however you see it, really. More exists on those pages than most let on to believe.
Of course, most stay put in their outlooks and keep comicbooks as strict surface entertainment.
The post may turn around right here. Or dampen.
I cannot argue this, really. I mean, comics do act as entertainment, and they are sold as entertainment. Why shouldn’t people be entertained and be entertained by the plot and surface material provided? That’s why they purchase it. Unlike myself, most people work traditional jobs and have families and obligations. Comics become that one moment in the day where they can relax. Why not allow them that? How can I argue that choice to read in a particular way? I cannot. They have every right.
These people who jump online, though…Obviously they put in extra time so why not read a bit closer? For all the individuals who bitch about price and “3.99,” you may feel a greater satisfaction by spending a little more time with your purchase. For those hitting up the message boards or recording a podcast, do a little homework and make your point worth a person’s time. Just a thought.
I would love more discussion on comics’ craft and execution. I believe it would take us away from the usual “comicbook guy” tropes. It would take us to another level of fanhood. The truth of the matter? DC characters and their magenta rings dominate the discussion and attention. That’s the extent of the reading experience.
What do I know, though? I’m probably a snob because my tastes and outlooks are slightly pretentious. Very few will agree with me. Most will shun me. I guess I will bite my lip, not step on toes, and keep my voice here to my blog. Best I can do.
And there lies the finish. Granted, there be plenty of exciting comics discussion online. Just not the majority. But, for the sake of linkage, here are voices that must be heard.