Miscellaneous Distracted Thoughts

My brain isn’t very focussed at the moment – it could be the winter months and the early nights – so this post will be a little disjointed, and it could explain why I haven’t posted since Saturday (I try to post every week day).

First off, a big congratulations to Comics Should Be Good! on their four-year anniversary. The guys over there have been providing positivity in the comic blogging world, and their the most enjoyable group blog out there who still have the real non-professional feel that is very endearing.

Second, go to CBR to see a preview for Incognito, the new series from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, about a supervillain in witness protection (which is a great high concept, and it’s amazing it hasn’t been done before). Even though it means no Criminal while they do this book, I’m looking forward to another book by this great creative team. Below is a sampler page from the preview:

Talking of previews, CBR has 50 previews of comic books on sale this week – fifty different samples of new comic books from a variety of different publishers (DC, Marvel, Image, Dynamite, Boom! Studios, Oni Press, Aspen, IDW). That’s a hell of a lot of comic book previews (I feel bad that there are only two I’ll be buying on Thursday). The question is – do previews actually work? Especially with comics in the middle of lengthy runs or stories. The internet only accounts for a percentage of the people who read comic books, so I can’t see that it would do any good. I know it doesn’t cost anything for the companies to provide these images to the news sites, I would be amazed that there is any return on it. Perhaps a new series might get some readers from a preview (such as Incognito above) but the only reason it seems to occur is that everyone does it so all the companies feel they have to keep doing it. Unless they expect comic book shop workers to print out copies to entice people, then I really don’t see the point.

When it comes to buying comic books, the future is shaky – with the advent of the $3.99 ‘regular’ comic book, when does the price turn an impulse buy into a luxury item? I know I’m old, so I can remember when comic books cost 30 pence, and I understand that the quality of the colouring and the printing are so much better (and I would say the writing and art as well), but the balance between the worth and pleasure derived is tilting into the negative. And, with the strength of the pound as it is, it means that the $3.99 comic book will cost £3.50 – over ten times more expensive than when I first started buying them. I’ve been opting towards trade paperbacks a lot more in recent times, and the number of floppies I buy regularly is quite small if you look at my new comic book purchase posts, and not to mention the amount of comic book reading I do via the library, but I can’t justify spending £3.50 on 22 pages of words and pictures. I did it for Secret Invasion, because it was supposed to be a special series, but I don’t want to do it for monthly series. And I don’t need to buy them just to be able to post topical reviews on my seriously behind-the-curve blog. I feel rather sad that I won’t be buying lots of individual comic books in the future – does this mean I’m not allowed to write a comic blog any more?

And now you see why I tend to write specific review-based posts. I hope to be more concise and concentrated in my next posts.

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