Comics

Hey Kids! Comics! Hey! Hey!! Kids, Get Back Here! Comics! Uh, Little Overpriced Pamphlets Filled With a Combination of Words and….Oh, Forget It.

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For those who miss our former Web editor Tim Cavanaugh around these parts as much as I do, check out his typically stylish meditation on the endless life and lingering death of the American comic book at the LA Times.

Here's me from reason in May 2001 on the bizarre dominance of the superhero in the comic book field.

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  1. Sure you gained Balko and his reporting of the abuses of power involved with the War on Drugs, but since Cavanaugh left, where am I supposed to find out what is going on with Mary Worth?

  2. If you take your kids to a comic shop (as I foolishly did a few weeks back), the cloying, creepy, did-I-accidentally-enter-a-porn-shop vibe will underscore just how empty and depressed the place is.
    At least in personal experience, the three comic book stores that are within driving distance of my aparment are fairly clean and well organized. Thinking about it, most of the comic book shops I’ve been to through out my life have been pretty clean.

  3. If it’s striking how many movies are based on comic book properties these days, it’s even more striking how few of those properties were minted within the last decade or so.

    I find this to be ridculous too. Filmmakers have adapted plenty of recent-era comics into movies, just they are overshadowed by the much more bigger, louder properties that draw a lot of asses into theaters.
    I mean what about Ghost World, American Slendor, 300, Sin City, V for Vendetta, Road to Perdition, A History of Violence, and Art School Confidental? And the upcoming Preacher TV show.

  4. If you take your kids to a comic shop (as I foolishly did a few weeks back), the cloying, creepy, did-I-accidentally-enter-a-porn-shop vibe will underscore just how empty and depressed the place is.

    It’s because all comic shop owners model their behavior on Randal from “Clerks.”

    And because of the way superheroines dress nowadays.

    And did you know that Wonder Woman’s creator was a freak* who was into BDSM with his wife and their girlfriend?

    This is where I again pimp my now infamous study of Thundercats bondage comics (which Jesse Walker linked to many moons ago).

    * I mean “freak” in nonjudgmental way.

  5. ‘It’s because all comic shop owners model their behavior on Randal from “Clerks.”‘

    Heh, the only comic store proprietor I’ve ever known never looked up from his computer games unless he was making a sale. Probably the least helpful specialty shop clerk I’ve ever met. I’d prefer Randall over that any day; at least it would provide amusement value…

  6. As a side note, their is a comic coming out in which the hero kills the president, i forget the name of the comic.

  7. i just found it, it is called Black Summer (issue #0 ) and from what i have gathered it is rather specific to our current president. i am curious to see if any one tries to block it.

  8. “i am curious to see if any one tries to block it.”

    I’m sure that’s what the creators and publisher are hoping.

  9. Reminding us what a bunch of fucking morons are left here now by saying the word “Cavanaugh” is not a good idea.

  10. One word: Crossovers.

    That’s what ripped it for me. Not the lame, pseudo first issues. Not the constant retcons and re-imaginings. Not the drive to turn every character into a brooding dark night. Not the sixteen different X-Men books.

    OK. All that was part of it.

    But, the single biggest reason I stopped reading comics was crossovers. You see I actually enjoyed reading the stories. It pissed me off to no end that in order to follow an already convoluted X-Men storyline I had to pick up copies of Speedball, The New Warriors and Power Pack.

    Now I stick to graphic novels and the occasional trade paperbacks of big story arcs. That’s how I caught up on the Ultimate Marvel stuff. Which, even though I bitched about retcons, was pretty cool.

  11. I don’t read new comics, but they seem to be a bright area of creativity these days. Too bad I’m just not interested in them.

    I am going back and slowly creating the silver & bronze age collection I’ve always wanted, though.

  12. About 8 years ago, while planning a big move, I took half my collection (about 5 long boxes) and simply gave it to Goodwill. Didn’t even bother writing it off. I’d been suckered into “collecting” comics by my mother, who was a yard sale/collecting phreak (and has a house full of sh!t to prove it).

    Anyhow, I still have 5 long boxes…and no idea what I’m ever going to do with them. I did briefly get back into comics a few years ago, buying Peter David’s Fallen Angel, but that regression was short lived.

    I do like the idea of getting back into Silver Age collecting. Not to make money, but there’s some fun stuff, my favorite being Jim Steranko’s work.

  13. I’ve never really understood the appeal of superhero comics. Then again, as a kid, my favorite superhero TV show was The Greatest American Hero which probably explains why the few comics I do read have been things like The Tick or PS 238 by the very funny Aaron Williams.

  14. comic book shop clerks are rude and unhelpful cause they know their base customers aren’t gonna stop coming cause of their various obsessions/addictions to particular comic series. it’s kinda drug dealers in that way. “you know you’re comin’ back”.
    at least they’re not as bad as hipster music store clerks. fuck. nothing is cool enough for them, even if you’re buying hipster-approved cool music, they’ll give you a look like like “yeah, i got into that like 5 years ago”. although, one funny event involving one of those types 5 years ago, i was buy a lou reed cd and the clerk personally apologized cause the only bags he had to put my cd and receight in, had advertisements for the new papa roach cd (shitty mtv nu-metal band popular at the time) on the bag. cracked me up for days afterwards.

  15. I’m probably the worst person in the world to comment on this thread, because I’m one of those people trying to break into the deaddeaddead comics industry (my first tpb I drew just came out and I won’t tell anyone what it is because I’m a huge sellout).
    But I can’t see any sort of reemergence of comics until everyone who used to read them as a kid is dead. Seriously. I blame nostalgia for holding back the idea that comics are just another darn medium for saying something. Then maybe they can die in peace like books and movies.

    Big win to Doherty for the title though.

  16. Neil Gamain’s Sandman. Only ‘comic book’ to win the World Fantasy Award for ‘Best Short Story’ (they changed the rules the next morning).

    I picked up his graphical novel version of Neverwhere a few weeks ago (I’ve read the book already).

  17. Neil Gamain’s Sandman. Only ‘comic book’ to win the World Fantasy Award for ‘Best Short Story’

    It’s also one of only three comic books the reading of which will not diminish your chances of having sex with a woman.

    For the record, the others are “Johnny the Homicidal Maniac” and “Lenore.” It also helps if the woman is goth.

  18. Comic book shop clerks are rude and unhelpful cause they know their base customers aren’t gonna stop coming cause of their various obsessions/addictions to particular comic series. it’s kinda drug dealers in that way. “you know you’re comin’ back”.

    For me, they’ve always been the exact opposite of the spectrum; creepy, manipultive Type “A” personalities. They’d be super-friendly to the point it makes you uncomfortable and mistrusting of their sincerity, doing stuff like calling you by your first name even though you’ve only been their a handful of times.

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