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Reasons Not to Buy a Comic

August 29th, 2009 by | Tags:

When talking about books in the past, I’ve been confronted with a lot of readers talking about why they choose not to buy a particular book.  I keep wondering whether that kind of feedback is a marketer’s dream or nightmare.  So much of the reasons I’ve seen contradict each other.

I’ve started a list under the cut.  Feel free to add on to it.

1.  The character is a legacy character, and you don’t like the replacement.

2.  Or you do like the replacement but don’t like how the last character was handled.

3.  You don’t like the writer’s style.

4.  Or grasp of the characters.

5.  Or political beliefs.

6.  Or sense of humor.

7.  Repeat 3-6 with the artist.

8.  And the editor.

9.  Or the Editor In Chief.

10.  The ad campaign was too long.

11.  Short.

12.  Vague.

13.  Cutesy.

14.  The comic is ____ist.  Just fill in the blank with whatever.

15.  The comic is too much like every other comic out there.

16.  Or too little.

17.  The character has a trait that’s just a little too common or too rare.

18.  From day one the book is caught up in events.

19.  Or it’s left out entirely of the larger universe.

20.  Too dark, too light, too bland, too self-referential.

21.  A character you don’t like is added to the mix.

22.  A character you like is taken out.

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17 comments to “Reasons Not to Buy a Comic”

  1. 23. The comic seeks to generate sales by returning us to a decades-old status quo to bring back readers that are my father’s age.


  2. Wow, those are a lot of hairs to split. I prefer boring/not boring.


  3. @zero democracy: I’ve always been annoyed by that train of thought. It’s never that a new (or new old) status quo is annoying, but specifically that the writer/editor behind it is a bad guy out to ruin creativity. Attempts at all-new, all-different franchises have turned out just as bad as continuity-laden wankfests.


  4. With so many good comics out there why not drop a comic if you do not like it.

    That being said i do not drop a comic if i did not like one issue, but 2 yes I drop it.


  5. I’m not sure in what way the reasons you list contradict each other unless we assume that the same person voices “contradictory” complaints about the same comic, otherwise it would just be different people saying different things about one comic (rather like one person saying a dish is too spicy and another it isn’t spicy enough) or one person sayind different things about different comics.


  6. 24. The title is anything involving the word “Titans” published after 1990.


  7. 25. Characters with well established personalities suddenly become nothing more than mouthpieces for whatever the writer’s personal beliefs are.

    26. Retcons


  8. but #2 means no Blue Beetle D:


  9. 27. The character is no longer the character you grew up with.

    28. The writer has exposed how profoundlystupid that version of the character was.


  10. @Menshevik: I suppose I was thinking of the reasons as condradictory from the point of view of someone creating/marketing the comic.

    @Nathan: I know! It is a cruel world! Mind you I didn’t say that, in this case, it was a *good* reason.


  11. Aside from #9, this is how I look at comics.


  12. 29. The title is a dull, overly in-depth, whiny autobiography.

    30. It’s nothing more than a silly “reaction” to superhero comics that uses snarky ad hominem criticism of the genre. (Related, I almost didn’t read Jimmy Corrigan because the text inside the cover is yet another indie comics jab at superhero comics fans – something that doesn’t have anything to do with the book itself. Was it mandated by the publisher? Before you accuse me of not having a sense of humour, I loved Pussey! and found it hilarious. It was just disappointing to see it in a place where it didn’t belong and perhaps would prevent people from reading it.)

    31. It resets the status quo in a particularly obtuse and disappointing way, like John Byrne returning the Sandman to villainy because obviously he can’t be a hero.


  13. 32. its written by John byrne.
    [please note; trend followers, replace that with "jeph leob" at your discretion.]


  14. 33. You only have so much money to spend on comics, and the comic doesn’t catch enough of your interest to make you stretch your dollar to make room for it.


  15. recommended amendment to #32

    written by [insert] after [point in time when he began sucking]


  16. @Nathan: You can’t apply that last one to Jeph Loeb unless it is amended to “After He Began Writing”.


  17. I’m more of a trade-waiter than dropper, and then mostly when I don’t hear about things in time to catch up with singles. Only thing I can recall dropping lately is Action Comics, even though it had just gotten better (but not enough). Even violent Kryptonians’ coitus interruptus wasn’t enough.