Thursday, 12 March 2009

Things What Are Rubbish #2 - Being A Comicbook Sucker

In a nutshell:- They tell me to hand over more money and I crack open the wallet*

The Basics:- The world of comics is a wonderful thing. People in stupid outfits beating the living snot out of other people in stupid outfits.** Marvellous stuff. However, there is a dark evil that lurks in the happy heart of comicland. It is called the "Crossover" and it saps the cash reserves of many an unsuspecting (and suspecting) fanboy. For those of you not in the comics know (which, quite wisely, is most of you), a crossover is quite simply a story that continues from one character's comic into another, forcing you to buy a title you may not normally buy if you want to get the rest of the story. It is cunning in its simplicity.

Why's it So Rubbish Then?:- Because, despite knowing that it's generally going to be rubbish, I fall for it every time. "Why do you keep falling for it, my gullible, baldy friend?", I hear you ask. Because I'm borderline obsessive compulsive, of course. I. Need. To. Know.*** So I buy it and, more often than not, it turns out to be disjointed (because it's written by many different writers and illustrated by many different artists), overlong (because they want to wring as much money as possible out of it, not only on a monthly basis but also when they collect it into many volumes) and ultimately disappointing ("Nothing Will Ever Be The Same!......Well, until we put it all back the way it was in a couple of months so we can do this all again in two years time").

Surely Some Of Must be Good:- Occasionally, yes, you do get a crossover that can entertain. My personal favourite being a Batman one, No Man's Land, in which the characters spent a year in a semi-destroyed Gotham City cut-off from the mainland after a devastating earthquake. All very character-based stuff. But, as with all these things, it got fixed and then mostly forgotten about.

So We Should Avoid This Thing Of Which You Speak At All Costs?:- If you're not a comics reader, well, that should be pretty easy. In fact, you're already doing it so well done to you. For myself, I know I should. I really know I should. But, as soon as summer rolls around and there's a theme in the air with words like "Secret", "Crisis" or "War" thrown in, well, you can be pretty sure that this fool and his money will very soon be parted.

* This is also known as George Lucas Syndrome. There is no known cure.

** My superhero character, the Living Snot, was rejected by every publisher on most grounds of taste and decency.

*** Well, that and the fact that, being English, I naturally crave disappointment (as Bill Bailey once said).


Anna Russell said...

If you're telling me I wasted money on the Lucifer series after reading Sandman, I'm having none of it matey! I loved that series.
But yeah, they do get you like that. Sometimes it's worth it though.

That Baldy Fella said...

No, you're more in spin-off territory there. I'm thinking more like something that starts in Batman then requires you to buy Detective Comics, Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Catwoman, Birds of Prey, Outsiders and Not-Even-Related-To-Batman-Man to get the rest of the story.

Anna Russell said...

Ahh, ok gotcha. Fair enough, it does get a bit much.