Grotesque Anatomy
Thursday, November 06, 2003
  Point-Counterpoint: Comics Suck
One interesting thing about blogging is you're never sure what other people will respond to, or how they'll interpret what you've written.  On Tuesday I threw out some scattered thoughts I'd been having and called it a blog entry.  Over the last few days, a number of people have commented on and reacted to my grumblings: Dirk Deppey, Ron Phillips, David Allen Jones, Kevin Melrose, Rick Geerling, and Sean Collins.  While it was certainly interesting to read other people's thoughts and feelings about the ebb and flow of attachment to this hobby, I wanted to clarify my own position on the matter.  I wouldn't really describe my feelings as "burnout" and I wasn't trying to express despair about the current state of the art form; it was really just a strange observation about the floppy format that suddenly struck me.  Yeah, there was some ranting about cramped comic stores and the trap(s) of preordering in there, but none of it made me want to abandon comics or anything.  As I said in my original post,
I guess in the end my decision won't be anything dramatic:  I'm not going to give up comics or swear off floppies completely.  I'll just do what I do whenever I get in a mood like this:  Trim down the pull list and be more selective when I put together my monthly orders.
I can see how my reflections sparked others to comment on their own occasional ambivalence towards comics, but I didn't want anyone to come away with the impression that I hate comics.  I don't—not any more than I hate any other medium, at any rate.  I mean, it's not as though comics are unique in serving as a target for my ire:  I generally hate going out to see movies, because I always end up in front of some morons who think the theater is their private screening room, talking during the movie, making and receiving calls on their cell phones, etc.  I grow tired of TV shows that I've watched regularly.  I buy books, DVDs, and video games based on the recommendations of others and it's not as though I like everything they're so sure I'll love.

So if the question is, "Do Comics Suck?" as Sean Collins put it, I'd have to say:  Yes, but only to the extent that everything sucks.  And, No, because as Alan David Doane points out, there have been a lot of good comics that have come out this past year.  (I feel a special "Year End" retrospective coming on...)  And even with books that aren't as enjoyable or enriching as I might wish (Avengers/JLA #2, I'm looking at you), I still get the pleasure—the intellectual satisfaction—of thinking about why I didn't like the work, why I responded to the work the way that I did.  And for me, that's all I expect out of any form of literature, entertainment, or art.
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