Monday, August 1, 2016

Comics aren't for kids anymore... and maybe not for me either

As my writing schedule picks up more and more on a daily basis, I find myself reading less and less of what was once my primary source for superheroes in action: comic books.

My family's financial issues brought my comic purchases to a halt and I used that time to severely prune my pull list from my local comic shop. I went from a few dozen titles to about half of that, with several more cuts coming when limited series or current storylines come to an end.

Why?

As the song says, the thrill is gone.


Marvel has become little more than a sales scheme disguised as a publisher. DC has a never-ending identity crisis. Image continues to launch a ton of titles with limited or no interest to me. Even the independents don't feel like they have much interest in unique and thrilling visions of heroic fiction.


My habit isn't gone completely. I can still call out a few comics I won't give up. IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is probably the best action comic on the stand, while the out there antics of Fred Perry's Gold Digger the most fun (and the subject of a future Influential.) Ninjak at Valiant and Dept. H at Dark Horse prove Matt Kindt to be one of the few unique new voices of comics. Future Quest brings heroes I've wanted to see interpreted seriously for decades. Mark Waid's Archie, Marguerite Bennett's Insexts and Joe Casey's Sex remain compelling every month and will keep me aboard for the foreseeable future.

But beyond those titles, my pull list is mostly titles I'm curious enough to try or runs I know will be done within a year. It saddens me how little even DC Rebirth really thrills me. I want to love these books, but I just can't seem to care about anymore big revelations or character changes that mean little in the long run. The illusion of change isn't something I want anymore.

Maybe I'm just getting old. Or maybe it's time comics try to truly expand their audience instead of focusing on aging heroes and hipster trends. I'll leave that one up to you.

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