I love comics. Have been reading them pretty much all my life. The various weird and wonderful worlds and characters that I have become familiar with has made me happier to have read them.
However recently, I go to my local comic shop, buy my pull list and they sit just waiting to be read some day. Titles that I would never want to miss have been added to a pile of “will read sometime” and there is a chance that I wont ever get around to it.
There are still titles I will read every issue, every month (Crossed, Young Avengers and New Xmen) but there used to be around 20 different ones.
I am a big Batman fan. Love the character and the supporting cast. Yet there seems to be something missing from the various Bat Titles every month. I am not sure it is even the mess that DC has made with the New 52 (although that has not helped), it is just….I dont care about todays versions that much.
When Grant Morrison was writing Batman and Batman Inc, I could not get enough. He had taken a made up character, which had loads of stupid ideas that had happened over the years and incorporated them all and wrote a great story. He gave us Damian Wayne and then took him away from us. However the other writers…they just don’t seem to have kept my attention the way I expected. Not that they are bad writers, just that there seems to be something missing. Now I do not know if this is me changing, or the nature of comics changing or something else.
I still buy comic books (or Graphic Novels if you wish) but most of them are older stories and titles from other publishers than the big two. I still love the medium, the way of telling a story and how it all hangs together so well. I just don’t seem to get that same feeling from most comics being published nowadays.
There are gems out there and if you only buy one comic each month, then you really should pick up Young Avengers. A comic that is full of fun and still tells a great story. The character of Young Loki is reason enough to buy it too.
Today I read of the basic storyline behind DC’s new event comic “Forever Evil”. It concerns Dick Grayson (was Robin, now Nightwing) and it does not surprise me but it does disappoint me. Thats ok though, not every story will enthrall every reader. It is just…lazy in my opinion. The New 52 change in characters messed up many of DCs old guard (Green Arrow for example went from being a great character to a kid with arrows….who somehow was still old enough to have had Speedy as his partner years before! They removed the goatee and suddenly the character became a generic kid superhero. I lasted one issue, hoping that when Jeff Lemire took over writing it, he would be able to win me back…he hasn’t. Oh and don’t get me started on John Constantine!!
So my pile of monthly comics grows each month and the ones I read, gets smaller. I don’t really want to stop buying monthly comics but I am the closest to moving to trade only than I think I ever have been.
(I wrote the above a month or so ago and had left it in drafts until I decided what I was doing)
So I have cut my monthly pull list right down and I feel slightly better for it. Out goes good comics like Wonder Woman and The Flash (to be honest the Flash was being read just due to the art…Barry is not my Flash and probably never will be – Yup I’m a fanboy!!). I even bought the first issue of Forever Evil and you know what? It was ok. But just ok and as such I will not bother buying any further issues. I may get the trade, assuming that the various Tie Ins are not required to make sense of it all.
Then I read that DC will be putting most of their titles up to $3.99 (£3 in proper Scottish money!!) and that just puts the final nail in the coffin for me. I would rather pay for a Trade and have everything in a neat order than buy monthly comics anymore. Comics should not be priced over the odds. How do we expect kids to get into comics when they are at that price. Comics cost a lot of money to make, that I accept but they should be at most £2 and kids comics less than a £1. They need to be within reach of peoples budgets, this new price is just too much. I had been buying a fair few Marvel comics for a while but the £3 price was too high, so I cut down on Marvel and will now be doing the same with DC. Of course Trades may work out to be more expensive than buying the same issues, plus you wont get the letters pages etc (Phonogram was one that I had to buy the issues and then the trade, simply because the extra stuff in the single issues was brilliant) but overall, I would rather have the story all in one place and not have to try and remember what happened the previous month.
I dont mind paying more for a comic I enjoy and I accept that the smaller publishers prices tend to be higher. However my enjoyment of the DC Universe is dropping fast and as they made up the vast majority of my monthly pull list, I find myself thinking that the pile of unread comics in my living room will never be read. So why add to that pile?
In other news…the 3d cover version of The Jokers Daughter comic is going for crazy money on Ebay. I paid £3 for mine…..who wants it and how much would you pay?
Remember now….I am a Scotsman!