Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The end of buying new Marvel?

Well the time has come for some hard decisions. Finances are just too tight and dwindling in this economy. I read only one Marvel comic currently. That book is NOVA. I have enjoyed the book, yet it is at the top of the cut list. Why? Well why read a book that will be drawn into a Universe I have come not to care about anymore?

As I usually do when life sucks I turn to my older comics to read and I guess try to feel better. So I am right now reading ALPHA FLIGHT. It is nice to read an entire run
of a book and to remember a time when Marvel was a company that I could find heroism and enjoyment. Over the years I have grown as a reader. I branched out and tried other things, but the core of my comic love was always founded in Marvel Comics.

I remember the gift of comics I received when a cousin gave me those her son was finished reading. There was DC and Marvel comics there, but it was the MARVEL TWO IN ONE starring the Thing and Iron Fist that drew me in as a child. I have loved the Thing as a character ever since. The door was opened to Iron Man and then the best of all Spider-Man of whom I watched on TV.

From that first taste I was hooked. I lived in an area without a comic shop in the area. I had to beg
from the occasional spinner racks and then get them at yard sales and flea markets. It was a different type of collecting. I have noticed that it does make a difference now in my collecting habits. I was never really about the creators and stuff. It was the stories and finding number runs and characters I liked.

My collection grew and there was the time when I would buy a DC book when they looked interesting or had Green Lantern on the cover, but Marvel ruled. When in High School our local grocery started selling comics in the newstand section. I discovered THE NEW WARRIORS and was able to read THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN yet again. IRON MAN and AVENGERS came to me in all the glory of a rising comic industry. I went to college and found a shop and have been steady in my collecting ever since. I was still a loyal Marvel only reader. I even passed up the biggest speculating possibility of that day.

THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN came out while I was in college. I waited in a stupid line for my weekly books as people from hundreds of miles away tried to find a copy. I was just annoyed. I wanted my Marvel comics for the week.

There came a day when I started adding different comics to my reading. I branched out into different companies. I still scoured the flea markets and back issue boxes for many old Marvels. I have the entire run of ALPHA FLIGHT and I only purchased one of those issues new. It was the issue where Northstar comes out. All the rest were bought at flea markets our cheap sale boxes. Well, the Jim Lee first artwork ones cost a bit more, but still, I count it a neat feat.

I do not like spending a great deal on my books. I see the decision of Marvel to increase the price of their
product and not improve quality as a bad thing. Now for me quality is the basic writing partially. Still, to do what podcast and articles I read have said and increase price while only giving about eight pages of new content is suspect. Why pay $3.99 for a reprint with a bit of extra when the original probably is less in a shop's back issue box? I purchase some $3.99 books, not many. They are IDW books and they have in house ads and harder stock covers and the glossy paper that holds up better over the years. Marvel is still giving the old 22 page story count and the other ten doesn't even include a letters page anymore. It is coming down to a matter of content and Marvel may lose as even the die hard sheep lose jobs and income.

They made it easy at Marvel for us to leave. I stayed through the banckrupcy. I bought books and I am one of those die hards that kept the numbers up back then. I cared about the characters and I loved the stories
and face it, I bought almost every 2099 book in the Marvel line. I was a bit miffed when the man that was suppose to be one of us, a comic geek, said that if I didn't like the new Marvel I could go and read the old issues. OK Joe Quesada, I did. Slowly I have divested myself from buying new Marvel comics. I even look at the trades and think, maybe, then I see a cheaper DC book and know I probably will like that trade more, so you can guess where my money goes.

The conspiracy theorist in me thinks Marvel wants the industry to fold in publishing tangible comics and turn to digital only. That would be silly though, but it is as valid as the crap they write. Am I bitter? Maybe. I miss the continuing stories of my favorite characters. I am enjoying learning a freat deal about DC characters.

So soon I may drop the last Marvel title I am reading. I wonder if I am the only one? Well I know I am not. Check this out; Comic Overloadhas a dropping of both companies. This could be the start of a sad time for our beloved industry.

So can I live without new Marvel comics? I think so. Can I live without any comics at all? Let us not go there. I do not want to find that



SONICMAN2 said...

I know what you mena CBG. I have dropped several Marvel titles I was getting. And I can remember a time when heroes werent so steeped in the negativity of the real world. That what we were reading for was to get away from alot of this stuff. Not to read more about it.

iMike said...

Love your blog. Great write up!

Rich said...

I think you and I both know that we grew up liking the same books - Warriors, Alpha Flight, etc - and I agree that $3.99 is a lot for a comic...

...but there still are some good ones out there, even from Marvel. If you can, keep on trying new stuff if it looks appealing; although the real life demands on money take priority of course!