Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stuff and nonsense on the comics internet

So all the big comic book news last week? I can't be bothered to care that much.

Sure, I'm bummed that DC is canceling my favorite super-hero book, but considering that the first two and a half years or so were pretty excellent, and that I have all those in convenient trade paperbacks that I can take off the shelf and re-read any time I like, well, I can't get too worked up about it. For one thing, as others have pointed out, it lasted longer than some other great series have through the years, so I'm thankful I got that much good story out of it. And I guess I'd rather have it go out sort of still on top (in my head, anyway), then see it begin the long descent into mediocre shelf-filler that so many of these things inevitably become. So there's that.

And the rest of the DC kills/reshuffles don't really have much effect on me, either, since I don't read any of those books in the first place. Well, Legion of Super-Heroes, but like the Legion ever really disappears for good, and it's already been more or less confirmed that they'll be part of the new Adventure Comics. So there's that. At this point, my only real complaint with The Powers That Be at DC is that they steadfastly refuse to give me the Sugar & Spike collections I so richly deserve. And yeah, dick move, but hardly reason to call for Dan DiDio's head upon a pike.

(I do have to wonder, though, how Joe Quesada feels about all the usual fan entitlement outrage being directed at DiDio and therefore, for the moment, away from him. Relieved? Jealous?)

And as for the steady march to $3.99 comic books... well, I've been on the way to reading my Marvel and DC books in trade only for a while now. Four dollar funny books will be the thing that officially pushes me that direction across the board. I don't know a lot about business, but even I know four clams for 5-15 minutes of reading is a crap return on investment.

And yes, I do realize that has floppy prices increase, so will the prices of the inevitable trade paperback and/or hardcover collections, due to both general inflation and the need to recoup losses from the drop in periodical sales as more people switch formats. But even so, a collected Marvel or DC story gives you more bang for the buck than the monthlies these days, so that's my format of choice.

All that being said, I can still see buying periodical comics from the smaller publishers, though. Indy books have always been pricier, but thanks to economies of scale and all that, their production costs are going to be higher, and they need to charge a little more to make any of that money back. But so long as the product is good, I don't mind paying a little extra for the little guys, the same way I don't mind paying a buck or two more for a CD at a local record store or for tomatoes from a farmer's market.

Mmm... farmer's market tomatoes.
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