Let me tell you why I stopped buying comics.
Back in the 1990s, when comic book writers and artists became rock stars, there came an industry revolution. This revolution spawned (pardon the pun) Image Comics. Comic artists were no longer these creative mole people generating content for the public. They were artistic visionaries with important things to say and dazzling ways to present them. Creator-owned content begat some of the most enduring modern comic titles in the modern era. It also brought about an era where you could invest $30-40 in a title and get into it only to see the creative team miss deadlines, drop a book in mid-arc, or just go AWOL from the shelves for months at a time. Why this happened depends on who you believe and the circumstances, but I got to the point where I wasn’t going to subscribe to a new book until the series ended or the first trade hit the market.
After a span where I rekindled my love of monthly binging with Ghostbusters, The Shadow, Masks, The Walking Dead, Crossed, and a few other titles, I realized that sometimes the series just wasn’t worth it. I would forget details of the previous issue or the subscription service would forget to put my issue in the bin and I would have to look through 3-4 variant covers to see if I remembered anything… is this issues REALLY worth a gallon of milk? Is this batch of books really more valuable than a good case of beer or a new game or piece of software I’ve needed? More often than not, the answer was “Fuck, no.” I think the only titles I really WANT to read when they come out now are The Walking Dead and Eric Burnham’s Ghostbusters work.
So I stopped again. I’m older. I don’t have time for bullshit. If a story is good, I’ll sit down when it’s done and read the trade. Ever since my ENTIRE collection of The Walking Dead comics (#1-#101) was destroyed by a flood I’ve rejected the bullshit that I should buy the #1s, First Appearances, Origin Issues, and variant covers because they’ll make me rich someday. Yeah, tell that to a collector sitting on a shit-ton on 90s books valuable only to a recycler. The best thing they’ll do for me is provide kindling when the dead eventually DO rise up to eat the living.
What does this have to do with Captain America? Apparently he’s turned evil or was evil from the beginning and this latest issues “outs” him as Hydra. And people went batshit over it. My Facebook and Twitter shitploded the feed like Donald Trump cornholed a puppy before a Kardashian put a bullet in its brain.
Seriously. Shut the fuck up. You’ll live longer.
I’m not going to say “It’s just a comic book” because it isn’t “just” anything. If you love something and you’re a fan, you have emotions about things. But you apparently know nothing about comics if you think this anything more than an idea generated to make you dance like a fanboy monkey.
Back to my point about comics and trades – the fuckin’ story ain’t over yet, jackholes.
A comic book issue is not a novel, not a self-contained story, not a permanent fixture on the landscape. It’s a chapter in a graphic novel. So to be pissed off about this development after a couple dozen pages is like getting up at the cliffhang of a Republic Pictures serial and screaming that “DICK PURCELL’S CAP WOULD NEVER ALLY HIMSELF WITH DOCTOR HYPNOS TO KILL THE PRESIDENT!!!! THIS IS BULLSHIT!”
(Of course if you’re that big a purist, the fact that Dick Purcell’s Cap was “Grant Gardner” and not “Steve Rogers” would have already given you a stroke – but hey… I digress.)
It’s all about trades. You read a chapter, the chapter ends on a hang to bring you back the next month for another $3.99 or $4.99. It’s been a thing since the days of chapter books. This is why I wait. This is why I don’t collect all 128 issues of a maxi-crossover summer “EVENT” — well, that and I’d rather spend that money on a new lawn mower and help send a kid or two to college — because I’ve seen comics flame out and fail after I’ve invested hundreds of dollars in them. If this new Cap story is great, I’ll buy the trade. If it sucks, I won’t have a REAL reason to be pissed over the time and money I spent on that bullshit.