Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The post where I compare buying comics to heroin, and probably flog a metaphor into the dirt.

Pictures not scanning today, so we'll have to wait a day or two before we get into Captain America's (and possibly Mark Waid's) increasingly worrying forgetfulness, and why the Winter Soldier had a trunkful of Nazi memorabilia...seriously.

So, what then? Well, one thing I should mention is that I don't respond to comments very often, I very much appreciate them. And the other day, 'bandini2828' had a pretty good one on the topic of buying monthly floppy comics, or not:

Just stop buying comics. Give it a try...enjoy the hell out of your old ones, save some money, and build a model rocket or something in your spare time.

I went six months without buying CDs because I realized I wasn't really enjoying listening to anything as much as I was just used to going to to the record shop every payday.

Go six months without any new comics at all...you won't die, and the world won't end, and it's a safe bet they'll still be around in August.
Plus, the withdrawl will make a great subject for the blog.

Bandini has a point there, as I too eventually fell of the CD habit as well. But my enjoyment of CD's reached a point where I wasn't enjoying them at all. But there's a lot of other things I've given up, some easily, some hard; and I don't want to lose my love of comics like that.

Some of you may be old enough to remember buying comics in grocery stores, which is where I read (and occasionally, purchased) the vast majority of my comics for over a decade. The direct market took a while to get to Montana, but it did eventually, and I remember buying an issue of Jon Sable, Freelance on my first trip to a comic book shop. (I was watching the short-lived TV show at the time. Pretty sure it was around #32.) Of course, by that point I was good and hooked on comics, but this was my first taste of the hard stuff.

There was a Hastings in Great Falls, Montana, that cleared out comics as cheap as forty-nine cents, and that's where I was introduced to Badger, then Nexus. There were at least three shops that regularly sold comics in Missoula when I started college there, and one pretty good shop there when I left. Over the years, I stopped getting comics at grocery or convenience stores, at least not regularly; but I hit a comic shop at least once a week. My collection would grow and grow, and occasionally I'd lend out comics never to be returned, or sell boxes of good comics and crap alike. (I think I miss the crap more, now that I'm blogging...)

And a comic shop has always been there. Some people probably regard the trip to the shop as a necessary evil--the only way to get the books, but all too often meaning a long drive to a dank store full of gaming manuals and crappy lighting and overpriced 90's Image books. Others may think of it as a meaningless ritual: a habit to be broken by switching over to trades, or online shopping, or god forbid, downloading.

But for me it's always been a reason to look forward to Wednesday. Even if I didn't have any new books, like I do this week, unless I somehow convince myself I need another Werewolf by Night revival...what is that, Greg Land? There's always quarter books and action figures or a title I don't buy consistently. (I think I'll get last month's Cable & Deadpool, featuring 'Pool asskicking Taskmaster again.) Maybe that last issue of Scud will finally come out. Who knows? (Is that coming as a single issue, or part of a collection? 'Cause I just need the single issue.)

And six months without new comics and not dying? Not if the last issue of Planetary comes out. Maybe I should just try to be less guilty about not buying crap.

I didn't pound the heroin metaphor as much as I expected, but I'm doing this on the fly and I'm ok with not comparing comic shops to needles...damnit!

For coming all this way, why not a Gene Colan panel?
No, the Subterraneans are the bad guys here. Really, I know it seems hard to believe, but Iron Man was the hero this time.
Sometimes, what I want from comics is pretty simple, really.

From Tales of Suspense #88, reprinted in Marvel Double Feature #5, "Beyond All Rescue!" Written by Stan Lee, pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Frank Giacoia. I don't think I have any long runs of Gene Colan's work, except for the Essential Tomb of Dracula and Nathaniel Dusk (which we'll come back to), but I think I have a ton of his work. I had a really strong image of a Colan-drawn Moon Knight, and was racking my poor brain to remember where I had seen it...duh, Avengers #211. So much for blogging to better remember comics.


Fortress Keeper said...

Well, the nearby Tower Records shut down so that pretty much took care of my CD habit - although I have so many I can probably go my entire life without buying another one.

As for comics, I've drastically cut down my pull list but not my love for comics. It's coming down to me wanting to save up for an archive edition of THUNDER Agents or Magnus: Robot Fighter than wait 10 months for the next issue of Wonder Woman.

I'll always visit a comic book store every week, though. Why, tomorrow there's an old Mr. Monster comic I have my eye on and if I wait a month it may disappear.

Then the world WOULD end.

SallyP said...

But...but I LOVE Wednesdays! It's the highlight of my week! Besides, I'd just blow the money on shoes or something stupid.

Van Doom said...

Yeah, I have too many fond memories. Like when an old coworker and I would disappear from the office every week, talking about how we were off to do "research."

I definitely think that the comics world would be better off if more readers just went for the books that they really liked and tried more new series because they weren't spending $4 on the latest crappy issue of Big Event Of The Moment (or whatever).

As I always say, we vote with our wallets, not our blogs.

Chris said...

*Applause for the Gene Colan panel*