After getting over a very nasty virus (who am I kidding – I’m still coughing from it), I had a really good laugh at my local comic store the other day.
Every Wednesday when the new comics arrive, I get there shortly after opening as I have a busy day ahead of me usually. In fact, Wednesday’s are my only day off from my real-life job.
That’s beside the point.
There are regulars that come in every Wednesday like myself. A lot of the folks who come in are your typical comic nerds, while a few of them are the ones who are the stereotypical “living in your mothers basement and only come out on Wednesdays” kind of fans. I guess you could dub them the “social rejects” solely because their entire lives are based around comics. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about – the people who talk and argue totally for the sake of hearing their own voice; the people who are socially inept to have any conversation outside of comics; the type of person who will walk up to you while you’re minding your own business and say something out loud in hopes that you respond to it.
Yeah, those people.
Usually when those folks come into my LCS on Wednesday’s, everyone goes running and just tries to avoid them at all costs.
Well this past Wednesday, one of them actually said something worth-while. The conversation goes as follows:
LSC Owner: “So who do you think is going to win Avengers versus X-Men?”
Customer in a loud, boisterous voice: “I don’t know. But I can tell you who is going to lose. The fans, that’s who!”
The entire store erupted in laughter. Every week this customer comes in and just babbles on nonsense about comics which we all hear day-in and day-out. However this one comment really struck a chord with everyone.
I’ve been left thinking about it since Wednesday. Why, out of everything this customer said in the past, have they finally said something worth-while laughing to?
I think the answer is simple: He’s right.
Marvel’s big push with this whole AvX event is great for business, I’m sure, but also leaving a sour taste in comic fan’s mouths. How many more “life altering” or “status quo changing” events can we get each year? Last year’s Fear Itself was a major flop, while DC’s Brightest Day dragged on for so long that they rebooted their franchise! (And yes, I know that’s not why they started the New 52.)
How many more of these events can fans take until they realize that they’re being toyed with year in and year out?
The irony to this little discussion is that I’m currently collecting the Avengers vs. X-Men event. Not to mention, I also have the terrible Fear Itself that happened last year – the Siege that happened before it, Secret Invasion, Civil War, House of M, Avengers Disassembled, World War Hulk, and so on.
The core fans will still collect – regardless of how they’re treated because. . . I don’t know why.
After Fear Itself’s terrible story and The Avengers/New Avengers re-hashing the Siege’s “Dark Avengers,” I literally almost dropped comics all together. If it weren’t for my faith in a few titles for me – Uncanny X-Force, X-Factor, Swamp Thing, plus a few more, I wouldn’t have kept reading.
I collect most X-books now because of continuity, the sense of family, plus the history I have had with the comics.
Since Fear Itself hit me, I’ve branched out to many smaller comic companies and started reading things I never would have before, just so I could finally see what else was out there.
For example, I turned to Swamp Thing with DC’s new 52. (I’m aware that’s not a smaller company). But I’ve also picked up newer stories like Saucer Country, and am getting back in to The Walking Dead. I’ve picked up old trades of The Tick, and recently found the entire omnibus of Too Much Coffee Man. I’m on the look-out for newer horror series, and also some fun science-fiction plots. I’ve bought my first Star Wars comic (despite being a huge fan in real life) with Dark Horse’s “Dawn of the Jedi” series. Had I still been collecting the amount of Marvel books in the past, I never would’ve budgeted for anything outside of superhero books.
So let’s go back to the answer the customer at my LCS said: “But I can’t tell you who is going to lose. The fans, that’s who!”
Well I suppose that’s a matter of perspective. Although I “lost” because of some terrible story-crossovers, I’ve “won” by finding new stories and gems to now call my own.
If anything, the major crossovers make the major comic companies lose because their faithful ones like me start to drop particular books.
Keep on Space Truckin’!