Robot 6

With comics, what makes you say “okay, that’s enough”?

Blackest Night by Ivan Reis and Herogasm by Darick Robertson

Blackest Night by Ivan Reis and Herogasm by Darick Robertson

Green Lantern and Garth Ennis are responsible for very different comics; bloggers Tom Spurgeon and Tim O’Neil are two very different writers. Yet in recent days, both have posted about how they’ve reached their limit with comics about/by the aforementioned individuals — for very different reasons. And they’ve written some thought-provoking things about that tipping point where you decide “You know what? This comic isn’t for me anymore” in the process.

First up is Spurgeon, who in linking to Charles Hatfield’s negative review of Geoff Johns’s Green Lantern-starring opus Blackest Night said he hasn’t even read the series yet, simply because he has no interest in ever reading a comic about Green Lantern again. Says Spurgeon:

I firmly believe I’ve read my lifetime’s allotment of Green Lantern stories the same way I’ve seen my lifetime’s allotment of Becker and sat through more than enough South Pacific and never again should have to listen to anything by Bon Jovi.

I’ve heard Spurge talk about other superhero characters in similar terms before. If I’m reading him correctly, it’s not that he read anything particularly noxious or stupid or off-putting, any more than he had a traumatic Becker experience — it’s just that he feels he reached the point where he’s gotten whatever there is he’s going to get out of the Green Lantern character and concept and feels no need to go back to the well for diminishing returns.

Tim O’Neil, on the other hand, hasn’t simply had his fill of Garth Ennis comics — he’s recently read one that filled him with such loathing for the writer’s approach that it’s made him question his enjoyment of nearly every Ennis book he’s ever read. The comic in question is Herogasm, the sequence that did the trick (which is reprinted at the link) involves a talkative prostitute who spills her life story only to have it thrown back in her face when the man with whom she’s chatting threatens to murder her, and O’Neil’s take on it is this:

I don’t know if I can put my finger on exactly why this one scene was the tipping point for me, all I can say is that as soon as I finished this comic I felt a strong urge to never read another Ennis comic again. It seemed gratuitous – more than merely, say, a villain being villainous to prove his villainy, it seemed like just one more example of really horrible people saying really horrible things to each other, humiliating other people for no reason other than to allow us, the paying audience, to watch the fireworks….His comics just seem mean to me now, and its the kind of petty, unjustified meanness that makes me want to rethink my engagement with all his work, not just the rapidly diminishing returns of his last few years.

So you ask why I don’t like Ennis? Ultimately, I’m not really looking for an engagement or critical discussion: I no longer believe his work merits serious thought. If you add up everything he’s done since around 2000 it doesn’t add up to one tiny fraction of the worth of his 90s work. It’s grotesque and hysterical and frankly repulsive.

It’s not a question of having read his lifetime allotment of Ennis’s mordant superhero parodies, it’s a question of having become so disgusted with them that what once seemed like strengths have become weaknesses in his eyes.

Whether through an outraged falling-out like O’Neil’s or a simple realization that we’re kinda tired of something like Spurgeon’s, we’ve probably all permanently dropped a comic, a character, or a creator we once got something out of. My question for you is, What was it, and what did it? Did you outgrow a superhero you once loved? Did you see an ugly side to a writer you once admired? Or on the flipside, did you read a story so good about a particular character or topic that you feel a definitive statement has been made and you need read no further? Hit the comments and let us know!

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I said “enough” to Peter David’s work when I saw how he treats his fans, both in person and online.

Mark Millar. I used to enjoy his work, of course–most of us did. But the more of his recent work that I’ve read, and the more I’ve heard from him, the more I’ve grown to recognize a constant nastyness in every single one of his chartacters. The Ultimates? Great stuff, but everyone in it is such a collosal dick. (Except iron Man and Thor, for some reason.) Ultimate X-Men? Again, no one in it is even remotely likeable. Kick Ass? Please. Nemesis? Sickening.
Worse is Millar’s weird tendancy to make nasty comments in his work about the sort of people who he assumes read his work. Kick Ass, again, is an excellent example. So is Wanted. The moral is that you are stupid for enjoying this, and I am clever for pointing this out. I think that Millar works so hard and so cynically to be ‘cool’ that his stories lose all coherence. The constant, low level stream of racism and sexism is extremely tiring, and I’ve honestly gotten to the point where I can’t stomach any more. I find his work repulsive, mean spirited, weirdly racist, and just a huge middle finger to the reading audience.
So I am saying, “that’s enough,” to Mr. Millar. Your work may have merits–most things do. But I am no longer capable of recognizing them.

Hmmmmm…. I don’t think I’ve ever had an “Okay, that’s enough” moment yet. But then, I’ve only been reading comics in large quantities for about 4 years now. And with a large amount of diversity.

I tend to give up a book after a 3 month grace period if I have stopped enjoying it. Judd Winick leaves me cold for some reason. I’ve tried to give him a chance in the past (Outsiders, Green Arrow/Black Canary, Titans) but if his name is attached to a particular title, I probably will drop it (Power Girl) or not attempt to read it. So I guess he is my breaking point.

I guess I have to add Millar to mine as well for the same reasons as Winick.

I’m on the brink with Geoff Johns. Though he appeals to a part of me that wants stupid entertainment, he’s insulting in the same way Asher describes Millar–as allegories for the fandom, Superboy Prime and Larfleeze seem quite condescending of the fans who buy his work. Johns imagination isn’t very impressive (see that Hatfield for a good summary of why) and his penchant for violence (often misogynistic) as a plot device and, well…I’m finding the limits of just how much stupidity I can accept in my comics.

I loved Peter David’s HULK & X-Force in the 90s.
At the same time, he was openly mocking and attacking the Image brand.
A lot of it was warranted, but then at some point it became just cheap shots and smug one-upmanship.
It totally clouded my ability to read his work, and even any comics for a number of years.
I started reading again about 2 years ago and found I still can’t pick up anything w/ his name on it, or oddly the Image book I dug so much, or any Marvel material (I believe it all ties back to that stupid flame war he waged).
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve (oddly) gotten less and less cynical about my comics, and find I need to avoid the popular anti-hero books, and ironic meta-commentary titles. I suppose I miss some great writing, but at the same time, I’m loving the great sunny outlook of Tiny Titans, Batman Brave & Bold, and pitch perfect work like All Star Superman.

I called it quits on Millar’s stuff when he wrote a scene involving the entire Marvel Universe fighting a giant Captain America robot, but rather than show the fight, opted to show some guys watching it on monitors and describing it to each other.

http://michaelmay.blogspot.com/2008/05/made-me-quit-adventureblog-edition.html

Reasons I dumped the DC Universe and don’t regret it: JLA relaunch became a launch pad for spin offs and crossovers (Final Crisis, Tangent, Milestone) Death of the New Gods/Countdown/Final Crisis making no sense when looked at as a whole. JSA and both Titans books becoming unreadable. Superman not in his books. Batman dying again. The whole Wally/Bart death fiasco. DC deserves their sales. MAKE MINE MARVEL!!!!

Coincidentally, I also reached my fill of both Geoff Johns comics and Green Lantern comics after Blackest Night. I have nothing personally against Geoff Johns, fans of Geoff Johns, or fans of Green Lantern. But I’ve had my fill of Johns’ writing– Blackest Night really drove home for me that his writing just isn’t for me. As for Green Lantern– I just find Hal Jordan to be a rather unlikable character— becoming almost insufferable when he appears in books full of Hal Jordan Hero Worship (see also Geoff Johns’ writing).

I’m with JRC in that maybe I’ve lost my cynical edge and only like to read about heroes doing heroic stuff nowadays. I loved the dark 80′s and early Image 90′s until one day I no longer cared about the X-Men, which was my great love that I’d discovered in the Byrne/Claremont in my older brothers collection in the early 80′s, or the Avengers (why did they have matching jackets?). Maybe a combo of my age and where the stories were at so I stuck with some Vertigo stuff but eventually faded out altogether.

I think many superhero comics (and their big-name writers) have been reduced to a kind of pandering. I can’t tell if it’s a cynical grab at the lowest common denominator or if they honestly believe these are good stories, but I’m personally pretty tired of it. http://greatcaesarspost.blogspot.com/2010/04/grim-and-gritty-is-officially-old-and.html

Well, I kicked my Marvel Habit in the early 1990s when I had I didn’t have enough money to purchase all of the titles I wanted. I told myself, “I’ll pick it up next week”. Then I discovered that the next issue had come out, I hadn’t bought the previous issue, and didn’t miss it. I think McFarlane’s Spider-Man was the last regular Marvel title I bought from that period.

As for writers… I rarely “black list” anyone. I’ll give any new title a try, but will sometimes not continue reading if it does not interest me.

I recently read Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. It was so amazing and such a definitive statement –easily the greatest thing in comics I have personally ever read — that I have no interest in reading anything else on the subject.

A couple of signs, for me, anyway, that tell me when it is time to quit a title:

1) I realize I have a few issues of a title sitting in a pile because I just haven’t gotten to them yet. This is usually a sign that I either don’t really care about getting to them or that maybe I’d enjoy reading the story in larger chunks (i.e. waiting for the trade). In the case of DMZ, it turned out to be the latter … I enjoy it, but want to read it in big chunks vs. single issues.

2) When I sit down to read a comic and I can’t remember what happened in the last issue. Then I’ll wonder if I even read the last issue and go looking for it, only to realize I did read it but it didn’t make much of an impression on me.

For the most part, I’ve had to quit the comics that are episodic in nature and simply being published b/c that’s what they do: get published. I need a story with a point or a meaning. Not just a story that exists to further the adventures of [whoever].

Mostly this means I have to stick with creator-owned stuff or Vertigo books. I no longer have any interest in following the fake lives of fake characters. With the exception of Daredevil (and maybe Cap until Brubaker is finished), I’m pretty well done reading any “ongoing” super-hero books as they seem to just be a distraction from life rather than any real commentary on it.

I think I really started to realize this when I dropped Spider-Man in the middle of OMD.

My telltale signs of not enjoying a title or creator is if a book keeps getting pushed down in my to-read pile (similar to what J.K. said). That’s not always true. A lot of times mini-series will go to the bottom because they work better when read in one piece. But that was definitely what happened with Daredevil for me. I found that I’d have 4 or 5 issues waiting to be read and almost dreaded reading them.

I’ve given up on all of the DC Universe titles except Secret Six and Birds of Prey. Each title I’ve dropped has been for different reasons. For the JSA, I was on the fence before Johns even left. When he did, I stuck with the new creative team until they solicited a second title. That just caused me to drop the original. I’ve flirted with the Batman and Superman titles for a while now, but can’t seem to find myself too interested in either. JLA got dropped originally for the reasons Bob L pointed out. I went back when Robinson came aboard, but quickly left when I realized how bad it was. I used to be a huge Titans fan, but haven’t touched that franchise in a few years now (I’m currently reading one of the TPB’s from my library, but certainly wouldn’t have spent my own money on it). If these problems carry over to SS and BoP, then those will likely get dropped, too. I just find I’m not interested in DC’s product right now.

Of course, I might find myself back there at any moment, but considering the upper level management that just got appointed was already responsible for the majority of the reasons that I left, I can’t imagine that happening any time soon.

Coincidentally, I also reached my fill of both Geoff Johns comics and Green Lantern comics after Blackest Night. I have nothing personally against Geoff Johns, fans of Geoff Johns, or fans of Green Lantern. But I’ve had my fill of Johns’ writing– Blackest Night really drove home for me that his writing just isn’t for me. As for Green Lantern– I just find Hal Jordan to be a rather unlikable character— becoming almost insufferable when he appears in books full of Hal Jordan Hero Worship (see also Geoff Johns’ writing).

I think I’ve had my fill of Superman and Batman. All the interconnectedness across several books just leaves me cold, and after decades of reading about these characters, there’s enough of a backlog of good stuff that I just don’t need (or want) to read any more middling stories about the World’s Finest duo.

Batman & Robin, which somehow manages to feel classic while still moving the character forward, remains a must-read for me, and if I hear good things about JMS’ run on Superman, I’m willing to check it out, but unless a current Superman or Batman comic rises to the level of All-Star Superman, Batman: Year One, Superman: Secret Identity, Dark Knight or “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?,” I think I’d just be better off re-reading the old stuff. Not to mention, there are plenty of solid runs on the regular titles to enjoy from the past, from Grant-Breyfogle on Detective to Barr-Davis on the same title, from Byrne’s first year or so on the Superman titles to Jerry Ordway’s Superman work, from Doug Moench and Kelly Jones’ run on Batman to Geoff Johns’ recent stint on the Superman books. While the current mainline books on these characters aren’t horrible by any means, I don’t see them rising to that level.

And I’ll admit that a lot of this decision is economic. When comics were cheaper, it was a lot easier to justify spending cash on comics that were throwaway fun. Now that we’re at $3.99, I can’t justify it — a comic needs to be reread-worthy to reach that threshold. And the backups don’t help, unless it’s a perfect pairing — Batwoman and the Question in Detective, or Agents of Atlas running in Incredible Hercules — in those case, $3.99 seems OK. (And of course both of those examples no longer exist.)

Michael May: AGREED there. Man, that was one of the most disappointing moments of any comic I’ve ever read.

I think the only “Okay, that’s enough” moment I’ve had is with Jeph Loeb and Ultimates 3. As I was reading it (and I was foolish enough to wait until all 5 issues were out to read it), it just dawned on me that all of his comics are mysteries, but they had become mysteries I just didn’t care about. “Who Is Holiday?” Y’got me. “Who is the Red Hulk?” and “Who shot the Scarlet Witch?”, though? One issue later and I already didn’t care, and getting to those answers was just a slog. I used to buy everything with Jeph Loeb’s name on it blindly, but now, I’m pretty much done with him.

I have several of these, but rather than bashing Bendis and Johns like everyone else, I’ll point out some odd picks. For one, I’m really worn out on Hellboy and BPRD. Ever since the saga of Hellboy basically ground to a halt when the movies came out, and Mignola went on to say that at the 15 year mark, Hellboy was “almost halfway done,” I realized that he was moving so slowly I could no longer care, even though I did and do love the character. As for BPRD, Arcudi just wrote all the characters as so whiny, emo, and ineffectual, and when he (SPOILER ALERT) killed Roger the Homunculus, I basically just washed my hands of the whole series.

Also, I can’t really read anything new in comic form by Neil Gaiman or Alan Moore. I love a lot of their old work, but these days, it seems like Gaiman just phones his comics in, showing none of the old craft. Moore, on the other hand, still cares about his work, but that work has ventured into areas (literary porn and porn-based literature) I don’t really care about anymore. Both of these make me sad, but there you are.

Jesse, I’m right there with you on Gaiman’s recent comics work, though I think the man’s too much of a pro to ever phone anything in. I think the problem lies more in what he’s been doing lately in comics — twists on straight superhero stuff. The only superhero project he’s ever done that’s worked for me was his sadly interrupted Miracleman (Marvelman?) run. Eternals, 1602, Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader — it’s all just not my cuppa.

My telltale signs of not enjoying a title or creator is if a book keeps getting pushed down in my to-read pile (similar to what J.K. said). That’s not always true. A lot of times mini-series will go to the bottom because they work better when read in one piece. But that was definitely what happened with Daredevil for me. I found that I’d have 4 or 5 issues waiting to be read and almost dreaded reading them.

I’ve given up on all of the DC Universe titles except Secret Six and Birds of Prey. Each title I’ve dropped has been for different reasons. For the JSA, I was on the fence before Johns even left. When he did, I stuck with the new creative team until they solicited a second title. That just caused me to drop the original. I’ve flirted with the Batman and Superman titles for a while now, but can’t seem to find myself too interested in either. JLA got dropped originally for the reasons Bob L pointed out. I went back when Robinson came aboard, but quickly left when I realized how bad it was. I used to be a huge Titans fan, but haven’t touched that franchise in a few years now (I’m currently reading one of the TPB’s from my library, but certainly wouldn’t have spent my own money on it). If these problems carry over to SS and BoP, then those will likely get dropped, too. I just find I’m not interested in DC’s product right now.

Of course, I might find myself back there at any moment, but considering the upper level management that just got appointed was already responsible for the majority of the reasons that I left, I can’t imagine that happening any time soon.

Mark Millar: For the reasons discussed above

DC Comics in general: I’m tired of the constant tweaks and reboots. If I can no longer tell what’s in continuity and what’s not, whether or not character A has already met character B before, or if this is their first meeting, then I realized that it wasn’t for me any more. I’m not a stickler for continuity, but I do appreciate a consistent through line.

I’ve more than had enough to Grant Morrison and his drug induced clusterfuck of stories after the horrible double letdowns that were Final Crisis and Batman RIP. I will never ever bother with another comic of his again, it’s incredible to me that the guy who wrote one of the best JLA runs ever could actually buy into his hype so much that he would become a shell of his former self and write back to back failures like that.

I gave up on the two Green Lantern books about a year ago because I was tired of the cast of thousands and overcomplicating of the core mythology. I’d love to read a nice simple Kyle v Sonar or Hal v Hector Hammond story, with a core plot, a sub-plot and room for a few supporting characters. It’ll come round again, no doubt, but for now this lifelong GL fan is out.

Mark Millar no longer gets my cash for the reasons outlined by Asher and Michael above.

And while I used to love the X-Men when it was Uncanny and New Mutants, the past 20 years have seen so many books published that there’s little consistency of character, but too much consistency of theme (oh, we’re so oppressed).

Loved Millar in the 90′s, he lost me on Authority. Glad he got his due, too bad it was for far inferior work. (Brian Bendis falls into this category for me too.)

Ennis – Post Preacher he has phoned it in and is shocking for shocking sake.

Geoff Johns – Not a huge fan, never was.

Most superhero comics in general – When they wend decompressed (thanks Ellis, Bendis etc) and the hyper-realistic art. I stick with mainly indies at this point, Fanta, or D&Q, and some Image/Dark Horse/IDW is good as well. (Proof, Viking, Cowboy Ninja Viking, Hellboy etc). Too me it doesn’t have to be edgy or mature, it just has to be well told, and well drawn.

Bendis. I not only stopped reading his work nearly a decade ago, I detest seeing his work on the shelf every week.

Dixon. Used to be okay, but now writes as if he has suffered a stroke.
__________

Back in the day, I used to get to the LCS once a month or so. In order to get through the pile of comics without skipping any, I used to arrange them in order of interest, putting the most desirable on the bottom of the pile. That way the lesser-interesting titles had to be read before I got the the more-interesting titles. After a while, I finally realized that I didn;t have to buy all those lesser-interesting titles.

My interest tends to flag in just about anything around the 60 issue mark. If the same writer has been working a title for five straight years and there is not some progress toward a clear end-point for their themes, then I tend to punch out irrespective of how good it is. That holds true when a new writer pick up the baton and keeps running in the same general direction. It also holds true when a writer switches titles and brings the same schtick to a new cast.

It just seems like 1,300+ pages of anything should have a final, satisfying resolution.

Funny enough, the recent issue of The Boys inspired similar thoughts from me last week which I wrote about at Comic Book Galaxy’s blog “Trouble With Comics”

http://troublewithcomics.tumblr.com/tagged/Posts_by_Kevin_Pasquino

More than anything I think what’s most disappointing is the fact that this series is going to represent five years of work from Ennis and it is far, far from being the best material he has produced.

What a great topic. I can’t recall having ever dropped a comic permanently. I have had two scenarios come up:

1) I stop reading a book for whatever reason, and don’t go back to it. This mainly happened when I finished school and moved into (gulp) adult life. Budgets being what they are, I couldn’t keep reading the 50+ books a month that I had been before. (This was back when books maxed at, I dunno, $1.50.) Having pretty much worn out Superman, Batman, X-Men, Spider-Man, and whatever else, I scaled back to a select few and haven’t gone back to other titles based on priorities. I suppose, in theory, I could go back to any given title if my interests shift again, say, if a book I like is cancelled or I lose interest in something I’m reading now.

2) I’m the codependent spouse who keeps leaving and keeps coming back. There have been a few times where I swore I was done with a book, but went back to it. I remember dropping every Spider-title when they revealed that Peter Parker was the clone in the mid 90s. I finished out the story and decided to quit as Ben Reilly took over. I swore not to go back, but Marvel gradually drew me back in. Same with the Hulk: I quit once when Peter David finished on the title in the late 90s, but then decided I missed the Hulk too much and kept going back. I did drop it for an extended period during the Bruce Jones run when I became incredibly bored with the book. Then Planet Hulk turned out to be good.

To that end, I guess I’m somewhat skeptical of “okay, that’s enough.” It might just take the right storyline to get somebody back on a title.

Brian M. Bendis, after Secret Invasion # 3. Nuff said.

I hate to add to the chorus of Mark Millar, but he is the main name for me. Interestingly, my frustration is/was more due to his persona rather than the actual content he creates. I’ve only been seriously reading comics for a couple of years, and Civil War was one of first gateway comics. I also really liked The Ultimates, and the random issue or two of War Heroes that came out. But I remember reading a blurb he was supposed to be writing in praise/promotion of someone else’s book, and he couldn’t help name dropping his own titles instead. My immediate reaction was – what a dick. Then re-reading Civil War in the deluxe hardcover format, his intro contains the line “Like the Vietnam War, it all worked out in the end.” This really pushed me over the edge.

I think this really illustrates that there are elements that people who are deep into the comics culture will detest but may not have the same effect on newbies – may even be a draw. Perhaps that is why Millar is so popular – not old fans happy to re-swallow his hackery, but new fans who haven’t seen these tricks before, and so have no problems with them. I’ve certainly felt this way when more long term comics fans complain of tired techniques when they are fresh to me.

Similarity, I should say that even as I like the comics work of Alan Moore increasingly over time, I am becoming more disenchanted with the person. Again, like Millar, he says shit that infuriates me. This in turn makes me more hesitant towards comics.

Interestingly, what jesse said towards Hellboy applied to me in terms of the Wheel of Time series. Halfway through I just thought that this was taking forever to go nowhere, and washed my hands.

I also think there is a rather crucial distinction between the active disavowal that Collins addresses, and the more passive frustration or dismissal of various titles/creators. We may drop an ongoing serial and not really care, or become disenchanted with any depiction of Runaways post BKV, but we’d be happy to give it a whirl a couple years down the road, when our attitudes have shifted and/or the title is now fresh. It takes a special type of passion to have an active aversion to a thing.

I stopped buying Sean McKeever books after the Wonderdog incident in Titans.

I stopped buying Brad Meltzer books because of Identity Crisis.

I have dropped plenty of books over the years, but I will still give the creators another shot later, except for these two guys. I even stopped buying Buffy because Meltzer started writing it.

I refuse to read anything by Jeph Loeb anymore. I loved his work on Batman (the Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Hush) and I loved Millar’s Ultimates and Ultimate X-Men, so I was excited for Ultimates 3. And while the first issue wasn’t bad, after issue 2 I kept on out of hope it would get better. It kept getting worse, and I only finished that series because I wanted to see just how low it went. I’d have skipped Ultimatum if it wasn’t required reading to know what was going on in Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men. Now I avoid anything with his name attached to it.

“Worse is Millar’s weird tendancy to make nasty comments in his work about the sort of people who he assumes read his work. ” I hear Millar being called out for that all the time, but I’ve never heard anyone complain about Dan Slott writing that only overweight people with bad hygiene read comics (GLA #01).

In the 90′s I was such a DC fangirl. I mean I would buy all the crossover events,special appearances of my favorite characters, etc etc. and then some sort of shift happened and the highjinky fun of the comics I liked (Young Justice, Robin, Impulse, Superboy) disappeared to be replaced by these brooding, emo-driven…constructs. Its like they joined the Titans and instantly everything they swore to never become they became (its the Curse of the Titans). Dont’ get me started on Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) or Supergirl (Linda Danvers). Their recent huge Crossover Events (Blackest Night, Identity Crisis, etc) have left me cold as well. Can’t one single person just be left alone?

I was a Marvel girl for a while, but my head began to pound so for years I only bought their mini-series and now I really read only Runaways (when its actually in print), NYX and if its a mini-series about X-23 I’m likely to read it. I read a lot of Vertigo right now–Fables, The Unwritten, Madame Xanadu–and the rest of my interests are either tied up in Zombies, Farscape or Grimm’s Fairy Tales (from Zenoscope).

I’m kind of sick of the let’s be dark and gritty, kill off everyone’s beloved third tier characters and pets while trying to push a moral agenda. Comics are supposed to be FUN. The dark, gritty storylines–when they occurred–were that much more driven home because it didn’t happen every frakking day. Now the gun storylines are so few and you’ll get a few pages of chuckles per a trade if you’re lucky.

Oh wait I forgot, also Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Angel books–but like Farscape I read them because they further my love of the TV Shows and the characters therein. I’m reaching a breaking point on Buffy however, so I hope it takes a new direction very soon.

I’ve had a similar epiphany with Ennis a few months ago with The Boys. It’s resulted in me only valuing his run on Punisher MAX, and nothing else.

Here’s what I think about it: The Boys is so Garth Ennis. It’s so Garth Ennis it’s not even funny. Pure and unfiltered. And Garth Ennis unfiltered is not very compelling or interesting, he’s just kind of a shock jock. Realizing this decreased my retroactive enjoyment of a lot of his work, even Marvel Knights Punisher. Even Preacher.

In Punisher MAX, Ennis was forcing himself to follow an unsentimental template, a template that hearkens back to the gritty action films they don’t make anymore and the gritty comics that no one reads anymore, unless they’re ironic and winking at the reader every other panel. There is no proselytizing, there is no “moral,” the story just moves forward, like a freight train armored to the teeth. So I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Punisher MAX, and I’m kind of waiting for Ennis to get back to things in that vein. Crossed was sort of like that, but not as unique or enjoyable.

I’ve pretty much dropped Marvel comics (aside from Ultimate Spider-Man) simply because I’m tired of the trend twoards large-scale events over there. I like my events to be ridiculous and fun (Blackest Night), not overbearing (Norman Osborn). DC-wise I’m not reading Superman but thats because I realized I’m not a fan of the character in general. Looking forward to the JMS run, though.

I became disenchanted with the idea of buying single issues when they stopped coming out regularly. I get that sometimes there are circumstances beyond a person’s control, but it seems that most of the stories I want to follow with some kind of regularity never do (Flash: Rebirth, most of Warren Ellis’s recent stuff [though I still love most of his work]).

So nowadays I just say screw it and will pick them up in TPBs if I remember I was interested in them.

But as for giving on up on comics themselves because I could never keep up/afford to buy single issues without knowing when that particular storyline will end (I actually like the fact that most of the issues these days say “four of six” and are collectible in trade paperback form).

So far though, no particular author has annoyed me enough for me to swear off comics…yet…

Though of a few other things that bothers me about comics today, pop culture references which often date the book by the time they hit the shelves. Also the dialog that’s there to be more like Tarantino than it is to move a story forward, and unlike Tarantino it tells us nothing about the character.

There are other problems such as the fact most comics can be read in less than five minutes. Four bucks for five minutes? Really? Funny that in the time of grim and gritty that my favorite majors were JLA/JLE and the underrated Mr Miracle series. (Though in full disclosure I got enough grim and gritty from Marshal Law, Brat Pack, Hellblazer, Grendel and Elementals.)

The last and most important? Lack of new characters, the best new super powered character of the decade is creator owned (imagine that?). People mock Kirkman for his stance on creator owned work, I think it’s a valid argument. We’ve already seen so many Batman, Superman, Spider Man, X-Men, Captain AmeriBritain Soldier, and many others that what else can you tell.

It’s not all negative, I am enjoying Palmiotti/Gray/Connors soon to be ended run of Power Girl, I’ll check out Dini’s Zatanna, and Marvel had me at Roger Landridge for their new Thor series. But I wish there were more of these types of books from the “Big Two”, and less of the same ol’ same ol’.

I like to tell people that Bill Willingham made me stop buying comics. I was a Robin fangirl for a long time and would buy his comic every month (or any other comic that had him in it) even during long incredibly boring storylines. It was a habit. Then the issue that he wrote where Jack Drake discovered that Tim was Robin made me so annoyed that I couldn’t even finish reading it. I decided to stop buying Robin until he was off the book. I realized that 1: part of my frustration came from companies constantly replacing writers and artists and I was tired of having to get used to random character or art changes and 2: if I managed to stop buying the comic for my favorite character I could probably break the rest of my comic buying habits as well. I’ve only bought one or two single issues since then. Now I buy a few trades a year, and those usually aren’t traditional superhero books – I try to stick to single creator stories that aren’t going to change direction every time a writer is replaced.

I am an Old Man now, but I had that experience as a teenager reading the X-Men. . . I had followed the “New X-Men” from their start in Giant-Sized X-Men # 1, all the way through the Byrne years and into Paul Smith’s run until the characters began to repeatedly go through bizarre and often disgusting physical transformations (I recall Ororo becoming a giant insect at some point. . .) seemingly without experiencing any psychological effects. It seemed like too much: not only disgusting, but not realistic, even in terms of what passes for “comic book realism”, and especially for a series like the X-Men, which trafficked so much in the characters’ psychology. So I dropped it, the first major Marvel book that I had been following for ages, that I dropped.

Mark Millar, due to his lack of integrity. I realized on Kick-Ass #3 that he stopped trying to write interesting ideas, but was simply trying to get movies made with his name on them. He doesn’t write anymore so much as market. War Heroes was an obvious movie-waiting-to-be-made (did he actually finish it?) and when he changed the ending to Chosen, retitled it to American Jesus, it was clear that he was dumbing down his own work in order to make it more appealing en masse. Kick-Ass was a movie deal before the comic even finished it’s print run. I’m sure that’s what will happen with his new upcoming title. Wanted wouldn’t bug me if, being so divorced from it’s source material, Millar simply said “Well they changed it because Hollywood didn’t think it would play with the audience.” But the man was on every website and talk show touting his work being made into a movie that had nothing in common with his original work save for two character names and a genetic propensity for murder. He’s a spineless narcissist.

Geof Johns isn’t someone I read much of before, but I quickly decided to not bother. He has far too strong a love of continuity minutiae and he writes for an audience that glories in nostalgia and not in solid storytelling. He’s done great things for DC’s circulation though and I can’t fault him that. He just turns me off of reading his work.

Grant Morrison has almost done it for me with his near-constant attempts at personal navel-gazing disguised as “high brow” superheroics, but Absolute Superman was a triumph and I am far more interested in his work that he might write that has little to do with superheros.

Warren Elliss…I love the man but even he has come close once or twice with his nth iteration of superhero deconstruction. But then he does something like Gravel or Ignition City or Freak Angels and the bastard gets me back.

I mostly drop a book due to simple boredom. I no longer see the worth in following along because the stories stopped engaging me on some level. However, sometimes there are some stories that disappoint me so much that it sort of breaks my faith in the company and the franchise that I am following. That there is no real desire on the creators part to do anything truly interesting and forward thinking and simply just engage in cheap theatrics and superficial changes, and never truly live up to their promises.

Made a conscious decision back in ’95 when the fine folks at Marvel decided they needed to own 100% of the comic book market, and started spewing out crap because they could, and went bankrupt as a result, to never buy another Marvel comic book after. Been 100% successful on the purchasing part, not so much on the reading part….

As a result, my comic book buying has been focused on all things Batman, and the related titles ever since. I don’t know if this will change anytime soon, however, DC needs to make some dramatic top level staffing decisions pretty quickly.

God I hated Chuck Dixon back in the day when he wrote Detective. His love of Robin was disgusting to me. He and Doug Moench after Knightsend boring stories were the reason I dropped Batman until Rucka & Brubaker arrived.

Jeph Loeb: I´m done with this writer. His Hulk run was the last straw for me. Bad, bad, bad storytelling. There´s no mistery around who Red Hulk is. He DOES NOT KNOW!

John Byrne: Whatever he wanted to write in Wonder Woman was enough for me. I don´t like WW and I reached the book just for Byrne… Boom!

Grant Morrison: KIDDING! Morrison is GREAT! All Star Superman is a masterpiece. And all of his strange and moving Batman run is amazing. Batman R.I.P. I loved. Gets better every time I read it. So many details.
ok, Final Crisis I did not like so much, lol. Maybe it´s ahead of it´s time I dunno.

I love Johns…though admit some of his charms are wearing thin. What gets me to drop a book is much of what has been said already–it keeps finding its way to the bottom of my read pile, can’t remember what the hell happened last issue, etc.

But another thing that gets me to rethink a book is the politics of the writer. I almost dropped Fables at one point because Willingham began to wade a little too far into real world politics–particularly his unqualified heralding of Israel’ s domestic and foreign policies. I think there are some political issues that are just too complex to do any kind of service to them without becoming totally ideological—Israel, Zionism, the middle east are such issues. Of course if you share Willingham’ s politics than no prob.

I won’t touch any Chuck Dixon now that I have read a number of accounts of his homophobia…again a subjective process.

I absolutely couldn’t stand Chris Claremont on any X-title after the mid 90′s. Just awful writing, and dialogue that went on and on and on.

The writers who’ve saved my comics budget in the past few years are: Jeph Loeb, Mark Millar, Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis mostly, Joe Kelly and Joe Casey (I prefer one slightly over the other and can never remember which it is), anything X-Men as it all seems derivative to me, regardless of the writers, and Judd Winick. There are probably others, but these are the names that come to mind. Oh, Bendis too.

Anyone who likes whimsical comics not involving spandex should search out Jeremy Bastian’s Cursed Pirate Girl.

A writer or artist’s swipe at a political person,situation or group I care for can do it for me. I turn to comics to escape many everyday realities. I like Brubaker’s Cap run…but dropped it after the Tea Party “incident’. Same with Siege, due to to Embedded’s swipe on a current show host (not one I’m so into…but not deserving of a not-so-veiled portrayal as a villain).

Oh I forgot about Judd Winnick´s awful, awful writing!!! How does he stil gets work? lol

Great topic.

I’ve managed to keep up with the whole X-Men franchise for the better part of 20 years now, without dropping off, despite numerous points where I see why people did. First, I came on right after Claremont had left – this was thanks to the animated TV show. So really, the only X-Men I knew besides the show was what was being published at the time – “Fatal Attractions” being the first big crossover… oooh and those fabulous 90′s hologram covers that came with them… (I had not known any other era, so I wasn’t as annoyed as some then). I filled in my collection with back issues, discovering the big Claremont stuff as the 90′s were happening – it felt cool to get so many different styles of stories at once.

Then around 2000, I kind of lost interest, but still somehow bought the issues. I’d let them collect up, sometimes a year or so at a time, and then read the stories without a month-long wait. The cohesion was alright, but the stories were not what I knew. Morrison’s run was a big turn-off at the time, even though it’s still guiding the story today. I think I only stuck with it out of habit. I guess I’m glad I did.

And even now, when I’m more interested than I’ve been in about 10 years, I find myself asking why I still buy them? Times are tough, and I can’t really justify the $3.99 for the fifth monthly Deadpool comic if I find it uninspired and vaguely insulting and homophobic. If I do drop books at this point, it’ll be more because of cost basis than anything else.

But I still don’t appreciate Mark Millar’s Tarantino-influenced shock fests or Frank Quietly’s anus-lips.

I don’t really get sick of creators much, at least not where I originally enjoy their work then start hating it further down the line. Characters though I can easily get tired of. I love James Robinson like whoa, and enjoy most of the other creators on the S-books, but I’m just Superman’d out right now and have no interest in it.

I still read Millar’s work, but I’m disappointed in how self-indulgent he’s become: This was the man who wrote some of the best Superman stories ever (in the Superman Adventures book), but most of his recent work is light on characterization and heavy on the type of “bad-ass” attitude that wasn’t that interesting in the ’90′s…

EJ said everything I wanted to say about Grant Morrison, had enough of him.

Peace.

the only person who still makes me read superhero comics is Grant Morrison.

Garth Ennis is still my favorite writer overall, but I must say in recent years he didn’t show any signs of greatness. Had to give up on “the boys” (one trick pony) and his war stuff ranges from Ok to good.

Darth Eradicus

May 1, 2010 at 11:13 am

For me, it was AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. When they went to the three times a month format, I hung in there for over a year but then I realized that I had been suckered into buying two extra books a month I wouldn’t have if ASM was a monthly. I also wasn’t digging all of the art teams either, and it just got to a point where the book wasn’t really working for me anymore…

After 25 years of religious AVENGERS dedication, I finally packed it in in the middle of Secret Invasion. I’d made it through Liefeld’s reboot and Chuck Austen’s godawful run well enough. Even Bendis’s Disassembled was actually fun at the time…the interaction between Cap and Iron Man and Spidey and Luke Cage was a pleasure to read. But the book was getting more and more like X-MEN in the late ’80s/early ’90s…too many series, too many crossovers, too much money and work with not enough rewards.
The clincher, though? Bendis wrote Hawkeye horribly, horribly out of character. And that just wasn’t cool.
Seeing how many frickin’ AVENGERS titles are coming out of the latest crossover, I made the right decision. I’ll always have the glory days of Roger Stern and Kurt Busiek to look back on, but I’m done.

Frank Miller, sad to say. His Daredevil work, particularly the Elektra/Bullseye/Kingpin stories in issues 168-181, are still wonderful. The Dark Knight Returns (which I like to subtitle The Last Batman Story) can still get the old fanboy motor racing. Sin City, for all the pulpy overwriting, is still worth looking at for the art. But over the last few years, it seems like he lost something. He certainly lost me with his All-Star “Goddamn” Batman and Robin. I looked through the trade collection at the library some time ago. For the most part, I find his characterization of Batman as masked loon repulsive (the last few pages offered some glimmer of hope; it’s a shame he didn’t go that way in the beginning). I’m mildly curious about his second volume of Batman and Robin stories, but not enough to buy them.

I dropped everything Marvel a few years back. It came when I had had enough as an Alpha Flight fan of seeing my favourite characters crapped on constantly. When there is a new Alpha Flight ongoing in which the characters are written as heroes again, then I’ll give Marvel my money. Until then I’ll get my comic fix elsewhere.

I have only been heavily into comics a few years now. At first I just read for the characters, and I still do. Because so-and-so writer is on a book won’t make me run out and buy it. But there are a few they will keep me from getting it.

Morrison, I know he’s considered a literary genius to some but I find his stuff too meta, not to mention sexist. He just can’t seem to write women at all. Plus he doesn’t care for people who don’t get him and is quick with the sly insults. I also find his love for Batman a little disturbing.

Johns is okay but the storytelling is just too big. His older stuff is better. Now days he just puts too much on the plate for the reader and then rushes to an ending that doesn’t seem to fit. Like he got so caught up in it himself he had to stop and go, “Crap it’s the end. So how to have Hal save the day?”

I loved Gail Simone’s stuff on BoP but didn’t care for her run on WW. I liked Secret Six for awhile but when it came time to cut down my pull list it wasn’t as hard to stop reading it as I thought it might be. Gail’s presence on numerous message boards, ready to respond to any post that even seems like the slightest of critiques is off putting. When I want to discuss a comic I really don’t want to have to worry that the writer might show up right after I posted to tell me why I’m wrong.

Mine has to be Grant Morrison. To me his stories don’t seem to flow
and I don’t think he is that good. The Final Crisis did it for me. It seemed
the later it was delayed the less since it made. The final issue made
no sense. I know that he will later write a bridge between when Batman
disappeared and final crisis one but to little to late. I was the only one
between my friends that didn’t like his X-Men run. If it says “Written by
Grant Morrison” I walk away. To much hype, little substance.

Garth Ennis – I first got turned off Ennis’s work a long time ago, when he started to bash superheroes (Kyle Rayner in Hitman, Spidey and Wolverine in Punisher). There was always something smug about Ennis’s superhero bashing, like those cool kids who think superheroes are “retarded” and base this oppinion mostly on the Superfriends cartoon.

Mark Millar – Somewhere in the middle of his Fantastic Four run, Mark Millar’s “I am so cool” smugness started to really get to me.

Frank Miller – The ending of Dark Knight Strikes Again, with the weird homophobic vibes of the way Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson were portrayed.

The Internet – I’m still not completely turned off, but the negativity is scary. Do we really need one more thread for old, angry fans to air their grievances? :)

JayPhonomancer

May 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I had a similar experience with Ennis. I enjoyed Preacher even though I thought it lost a bit of steam towards the end and I absolutely LOVE his Hellblazer run. However when he returned to Hellblazer with the Son of Man story I was thouroughly turned off by it. Maybe my expectations were too high but even still it seemed such an underwhelming story with terrible gross-out “humour” it was hard to believe it was written by the same man. I haven’t read anything by him since and from everything I’ve read about his recent output he seems to be resorting to “shock for shock’s sake” a lot these days which is a shame as he is a great storyteller. Maybe I should check out his war stories where he has to rein those impulses in.

This is kinda a tough call for me, but an excellent question. Great topic! And lots of engaging responses.

For the most part, sadly enough, books that I’m getting sick of usually get axed almost around the same time— and I have too much of a completist urge not to just go ahead and get the last few issues. (Black Panther, Mighty Avengers, Iron Fist, and Spider Woman all fall into this category).

In the larger sense of giving up a property or a creator as in Green Lantern or Ennis, I don’t think I’m there yet— even after almost thirty years of collecting. My affection for certain franchises and properties tends to wax and wane, but I’ve not yet hit the point where I can say “Okay. Good on Batman stories. Don’t need anymore.” That said, I haven’t read any good Batman stories in a few years. (Haven’t been following DCU since One Year Later).

In terms of creators, I’ve been a pretty easy mark there, too. I got a more than a little tired of Mark Millar and his Hype-Me, Hype-Me thing: but then I got around to picking up OLD MAN LOGAN and absolutely loved it. Can’t say the same for his FF run, but nobody bats 1000.

By the same token, and I realize this is heresy, I got to a point where I think Alan Moore is a little over-rated. At some point in the last ten years, I felt like “Okay! Lovecraft and Orwell! We get it! You dig them!” And I’m frankly too embarrassed to actually buy LOST GIRLS and frankly afraid to keep it in my home. (This is the US, after all. Every now and then we decide comics with naked pictures are a criminal offense that get you on the sex offender list.) But I’m not prepared to say “I’m done with Alan Moore forever.” The dude who wrote FROM HELL and WATCHMEN has a lifetime pass from me.

Okay, I was a loyal reader of X-Men, starting with the early 80′s stories. I stuck with them through good times and bad. I managed to tough it out through the depressing 90′s and the mediocre storytelling of that era.

However, ‘House of M/Decimation’ was what did it for me. Years and years of creative progress undone in such a half-assed way (really, was having the Scarlet Witch say ‘No more mutants’ and instantly de-powering 90% of mutants THE best they could come up with?) I could no longer suspend disbelief. Basically, it was a big “The last several years sucked and you sucked for liking them” directed at those who liked ‘Academy X’ and the expansion of the Xavier institute as an actual school.

The 616 Spider-Man: Looking back, perhaps they should have done like the Sam Raimi movie series and quit after they killed off Harry Osborn, because things just went downhill after it (Harry’s death was well-done — it’s what came afterward that was bad). We had Maximum Carnage, then Peter’s returned parents turning out to be robot impostors, leading to him going nuts and claiming “I am the Spider! Peter is dead!” for a while. And that led us into the Clone Saga…

But the real Dethroning Moment of Suck for Spider-Man had to be ‘The Gathering of Five/The Final Chapter’. Perhaps the lowest moment in the franchise (and yes, I know many are claiming One More Day is the lowest moment, but THIS actually paved the way for One More Day in many ways). This was supposed to be the big resolution to the ‘return of Norman Osborn’ storyline that began when the Clone Saga ended, AND a ‘relaunch’ storyline, but it failed on every possible level. Norman Osborn’s whole ‘de-evolve the human race into primordial clay’ plan is ridiculously out of character, Mary Jane acts stupid, and Peter Parker is made to look like a complete idiot. Aunt May, who died a few years earlier in one of the most moving and tearjerking Spider-Man stories ever (ASM #400, ‘The Gift’) is back with one of THE most ridiculous explanations ever (are we REALLY supposed to believe that the Aunt May who died was a genetically re-engineered actress who spent a long time practicising Aunt May’s mannerisms, completely fooled Peter Parker, AND stayed in character on her deathbed?).

It was at this point that I dropped the 616 Spider-Man books for good, and haven’t purchased a single one since. It was Marvel saying “We don’t CARE if people are acting out of character. We don’t CARE if the story makes no sense. As long as the story gets the editors what they want, we’ll publish it.” One More Day, nearly ten years later, more or less said the same thing.

As for DC, Identity Crisis made me no longer care about most of their books. It combined the worst elements of the Silver Age (the sexism, the ridiculous character motivations) and the Dark Age (violence and gore, rape, anti-heroic behavior), paving the way for even more stupidity. After Infinite Crisis and its gratuously gory stuff, I gave up on their ‘event’ comics and stuck to reading mostly Birds of Prey and Green Lantern. Cry for Justice makes it clear they’re STILL going in that horrible direction.

And Marvel … Civil War pretty much killed any interest I still had in their 616 books. I’m sorry, Millar, but I don’t share your belief that superheroes have to be assholes. And all in all, it was a failed attempt at political allegory that forced many characters to just act stupid in order for the plot to work. I’m not a big fan of Idiot Plots, and Idiot Plots that drive the direction of an entire publishing company’s universe … (shakes head sadly).

I’m another person who no longer reads Mark Millar. I had enjoyed some of his Marvel work but after I read Wanted I started reflecting on his other work too and now avoid everything he does. Like the Ennis example in the OP, stuff that strikes me as unnecessarily vulgar, violent and/or grotesque and is ALSO devoid of heart can instantly turn me off these days.

A few more recent examples that instantly turned me off were Existence 2.0, Greek Street and Viking (a couple issues into this one actually). I even had more issues of these books that I pre-ordered and I didn’t even bother reading them when they arrived.

I’ve also specifically sworn off Bendis’ Avengers work after Secret Invasion. Actually, I’d say Secret Invasion #8 was the most disappointing comic I can remember reading. Add to that my finding his Avengers work hit and miss anyway and I’d had enough and now just avoid it.

Of course there are other creators I tend to avoid and characters I get tired off. I try not to completely blacklist creators and characters but so much comes out every month its easy to completely ignore some guys. Much better to read the work I’m most likely to enjoy. On that note, if people enjoy the stuff I’ve mentioned I’m perfectly happy for them. Nothing’s more annoying than the “You’re dumb for liking this” attitude.

Schnitzey Pretzelpants

May 1, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I agree that there is way to much harshness and brutality in comics these days, but I don’t think that the presence of those things is so much the problem as the fact that all to often the shocking and provocative are not in fact springing from a decent and compelling narrative.

As one of my favorite screenwriters has said for years – and he’s not alone – “Story is key”.

I’m becoming suspicious that few of these stories are springing from people saying: “You know I have this great idea for a story, and I think THIS would be a really cool way of telling it.”

I suspect that more often than not it is: “Let’s bring Barry Allen back”, “Let’s make Bart the Flash.” “Let’s reboot all the titles with almost no plan in mind”

I see someone else in this post has mentioned the Swamp Thing by Alan Moore. I have only now begun buying it in hardcover, and reading it. My god is it a good read. A solid, solid, read. It has aged incredibly well – and I have NO nostalgic ties to the series at all, NEVER read it at the time ever – Moore’s trades and reprints from almost 30 years ago read more solid and compelling than so much of this stuff.

I’m also buying Morrison’s JLA in deluxe hardcover. Again, man does it hold up well.

I’m just not getting it right now with the new stuff – certainly not most event stuff.

Where I am at:

> Batman and Robin is good to great
> Iron Man is a must read for me – probably the best the series has been in years
> Captain America is only now starting to feel like it might be losing me – 4 more issues and we’ll see.
> R.E.B.E.L.S. – a treat to read every month
> Incredible Hercules was a fantastic read

Almost everything else has left me flat .

Geoff Johns has Brightest Day to get me back. After that I will not be picking up a single story by him without some pretty loud endorsement from my peers.

I am looking forward to Michael J. Straczynski’s Wonder Woman and Superman though. At least let me put it this way, he has me to lose.

What I dropped in the last 2+ years:

> Flash
> JSA
> JLA
>Green Arrow
> Teen Titans, now Titans I gues
> Superman/Batman
> Booster Gold
> Wonder Woman

Mainly I dropped them because I just don’t care, and failed to be entertained. I always say that I’ll keep reading something if I know that I couldn’t have written something better.

Amazing Spider-man. I started collecting it with issue #347, and continued until just recenly. But the One More Day Peter Parker is not the guy I identified with anymore. He feels whiny and confrontational, and all that was classic and thrilling about his menagerie of villains has been tweaked and updated right out of the book. I have nothing against the One More Day idea, and think it has tremendous potential. I just miss the generally sunny temperment of the Michelinie/Mcfarlane/Larson/Bagely years.

I’ve become a bit of a serial series dropper over the last decade or so. Some examples:

DC’s complete misfire on One Year Later resulted in me staying with two or three titles out of the 15 or 20 that I sampled (and poor Bruce Jones never did recover in my eyes from those horrible first issues of Nightwing which really weren’t his fault). Catwoman didn’t survive much longer when it became clear that they never had a very good idea what to do with her kid or the whole “who is the father” storyline.

I later dropped JLA when it became clear that editorial was only going to use it as a promo for whatever big or small event they were getting ready to launch. Around the same time, I dropped JSA when it got mired in the Kingdom Come/Earth-2 storyline for two or three years (at least that is how long it felt to me). I still feel like that book has enormous potential, but haven’t picked up any of the new teams’ issues due to poor online reviews.

After reading all of Brubaker’s marvel output for about a year or so, I dropped his Daredevil because it was so relentlessly bleak (to be fair, though, bleakness is likely the reason that a lot of people love DD so I’m definitely in the minority). Not too long after, I dropped his Cap because the story stalled out for me (how many times could Sharon Carter almost escape the Red Skull only to be stopped at the last possible minute – 6? 7?). At the time, I told myself I’d get both series in trades but haven’t gotten around to buying any of the ones that have been released since I dropped the books.

Finally, I also stopped buying any Marvel series (and haven’t bought minis) that had their prices raised to $3.99. I’ve looked into getting some of the books in trades but will do so only through Amazon (apologies to my LCS) because of the discount.

I stopped buying all comics in the early ’90s when DC had that issue of Titans where they introduced the Team Titans in a special buy-two-and-a-half-issues-for-the-price-of-four deal.

I came back because of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Anything else is permanently on probation, though, and I’m ready to drop it for any reason at any time. (Pull list right now also includes The Incredibles, The Brave and the Bold, Groo, Captain Blood, First Wave, and Wild Cards.)

I was sure Ennis was going to lighten up after Herogasm, but Issue 40# of the Boys crosses the line IMO

I forgot Green Lantern. After getting on board with the relaunch, my enthusiasm was diminished with all of the gore of the Sinestro War/Rage of the Red Lanterns arcs (how many lanterns were killed in those issues? Hundreds?). However, the six part Secret Origin was what killed the book for me. The quickest way to push me off a series is to retell a well established character’s origin. I know that Johns felt he needed to do this to set up all that came after, but I couldn’t have cared less for the idea. I had originally planned to jump back on after Secret Origin was over and just never did. I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on stories that would have appealed to me. No crank against the direction of the franchise; it is obviously wildly successful. It just isn’t grabbing my attention.

Here, here on Bendis and Secret Invasion. That was the certainly the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. After House of M and Civil War I just couldn’t take another storyline that did not have a legitimate ending. I still feel burned from Professor X being left MIA at the end of House of M.

Instead Marvel kept establishing new “status quo’s” which are really just an excuse to not complete a story because they’re scared you won’t come back next month. It means they’ll have to come up with more ideas and more stories. That’s why I’ll never trust Bendis’ writing again. The Avengers have truly become the X-Men and there is just no way I’m going to make that kind of never-ending investment in half a dozen books that go nowhere.

I dropped Peter David when it became clear he saw his books as opportunities to grind personal axes.

I really feel like I don’t demand too much from a book or writer, yet I find myself constantly disappointed. All I want is a clearly defined story with a beginning, middle and end that does not string me out for years and years. And if the writer can do that without giving some lame spiel about sex or politics or race or religion or whatever then you’re aces. This is why I enjoy Jonah Hex, Hellboy one-shots and the like.

Just tell a good adventure. That’s why I’m there. If you’re going to make ‘an epic’ make sure it has a point and a satisfying ending.

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 1, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Pretty much any continuity-, iconic-, and event-driven titles is mostly the turn-off for me (which accounts up to 80% of the market).

I still like Ennis, Morrison, Ellis, Millar, Miller. Though I don’t read everything they do and only outside of the turn-off rules I listed. (ie. Still read The Boys, Joe the Barbarian, read Kick-ass, nothing by Miller lately).

the books i dropped was spider man mostly for the one more day crap. having peter go and make a deal with Mephistoe to save aunt may and give up his marriage to mary jane. mostly because some of marvel brain trust do not like some of their characters married. have not read a spider man book at all. and also dropped avengers titles mostly over how Bendis had the scarlet witch go totaly insane and destroy both the mutants population and also her fellow avengers and no one not even the holly trinity of the avengers could figure out one of their own has finaly lost it. . as for dc do not read superman for hate the whole krypton is back and now going to be war stuff

Wow. Open a window for people to complain about comics, and it fills up quick! ;o)

I bought the final issue of a mini the other day, and my first thought wasn’t “well, that was an awesome read” but “Yes! One last book to buy per month.” And I don’t think I’m the only one who ever thinks that.

I’m starting to swear off superheroes entirely (except Ultimate Spider-Man, though I can’t read any Bendis Avengers stuff any more after that ridiculous Siege 3 “told ya” moment) but can still appreciate the craft of a single issue every once in a while. No more blindly following titles.

One thing I think factors in to our generation (I’m 31) is that we grew up with advertising, and marketing, and we all have a pretty good understanding of how things work behind the scenes, and as soon as you start to realise characters can never be changed (at least for too long) because it’s mandated by the marketing department, you really have to wonder “what’s the point?”

Also, the writing is always just focused on heroes outsmarting villains. Why can’t heroes actually do something that matters? Averting natural disasters? Helping with charities? World Hunger? Transporting water to Africa (or California ;o) ? And so on.

I would like to see writers actually do some research into the real world we live in, and applying superheroes to doing good in this world. You know, looking at their powers, and looking at where they can help, rather than being completely reactive to bad guys.

Superhero comics these days seem to be all about conflict, and ‘cool’ moments, and nothing else. There is no message. No meat, just bones. Ugly, ugly bones.

Someone up there mentioned Cursed Pirate Girl? I second Cursed Pirate Girl! :o)

And oh yeah, I remember seeing an editor on twitter saying once that no matter who you are, you must always sell your latest idea to the publishers.

I have not read a lot of the comics from writers that most everyone seems to be complaining about here, but it looks like maybe some writers are getting published based off their past experience, and not because they had to sell their latest idea? Anyone believe that?

It’s almost like for anyone trying to get into (mainstream) comics, you gotta somehow get past a closed door, and behind that closed door is something akin to a vomitorium. I say share the food with some other hungry people.

I have to emphatically second Asher’s (about second post) analysis of Mark Millar. This guy’s arrogance and disrespect not only to readers, but the industry at large, has completely disgusted me. I made it through two issues of Kick Ass, and against my better judgement, picked up Nemesis. I’m happy to say I gave him every chance to redeem himself, and can wholeheartedly say, I’m done with him.

I think I made it through three issues of The Boys before I determined what was written in this article. I don’t know what would even warrant a spin-off of the most gratuitously moronic book ever written by Ennis, Dicks included.

And I’m a pretty forgiving guy. Despite the fact that I find Peter David’s and JMS’s writing highly sophomoric, and the way the write women borderline insulting (I am a dude, mind you), I will still give them a go if the book looks otherwise interesting. Well, maybe not David so much anymore.

And as for a definitive work, Jenkins and Lee’s Inhumans has yet to be topped, but I’ll still give people a chance to try.

I refuse to read any title in which a character has died or been crippled, and then “gets better” to avoid losing readers. So that’s everything by Marvel and DC.

I blame the retailers that keep pushing this crap on consumers. I say go read a book like 45 from comx or maybe chew from image. Wake up people — stop getting sucked in by hype. Diamond, wizard and the like are all to blame for fuck ups in this industry.

Very good topic. I picked up Captain America in 2002. I’d read it until the Homeland arc was finished, then I just lost interest. I heard that they renumbered the series sometime after, and I thought it was just dumb. The current series had barely been out for three years. Well, I was in the library, read some of the issues from Brubaker first arc, and off the strength of those issues I decided to purchase the hardcover of the first six issues. I then faithfully went to the comic book shop every month to pick up Captain America, as of issue 600. I will no longer be reading Cap, or pretty much any Marvel book. The Marvel I grew up with, I barely recognize. I was really pissed off after what they did with X Men after Morrison left. I hadn’t read a X Men book in almost a decade, but I decided to pick up all of the trades of his work, after reading a few from the public library. Millar is another writer I have no interest in reading. I have his run on the Authority, The Ultimates, I have Wanted, and I might pick up War Heroes. But his Wolverine run was less then impressive to me. I checked out his Fantastic Four books, and I couldn’t even finish it. With the money I’m not spending on Marvel, I’ll just find a few more independent comics to support.

DetectiveDupin

May 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I’ve got four at the moment- Geoff Johns, Gail Simone, photo-traced art, and DC comics in general.

Geoff Johns- He has a really great handle on villains, but when he writes heroes like Hal Jordan he seems like he’s forcing you to see how cool the character is. None of his stuff is really impressive IMO. With his GL work, it seems Geoff has added a tremendous amount of history to the GL mythos but has done very little for Hal Jordan’s character. I think his recent output as of late is showing that he is slowing down.

Gail Simone- Severely overrated, but that isn’t really her fault. Mostly her fans, I think she’s praised more for being a female writer than how good her work actually is. Her WW run was dull, I never clicked with BoP either, I’m not a fan of Deadpool, but her Secret Six is good. And really, besides this what cements her as a great writer? I think she’s a good comedy writer but just that. No really great on introspective character work or action. I think Marjorie Liu is a better female writer.

Photo-traced art- Oh boy, we see more and more of this in this day and age. I liked it when artists drew from their imagination, which is why I’m happy we still have John Romita Jr.

DC comics- Besides the Bat-books and Green Arrow, there is nothing interesting going on at DC. I think Barry Allen’s revival was a huge misstep, and there’s pretty much no way you can justify him coming back. Was there a small section of fandom that wanted him back? Yes. But for the most part, I don’t think a lot of people did. What is the point of reviving a Flash when you had a perfectly live and fine one already? Barry died one of the greatest and most heroic deaths in comics and Wally actually succeeded him in both the book and with fans. JLA is pretty much a mess. Superman and WW show some promise, but then again this is J. Michael “leave the book unfinished if I have to play with others” Stracynski. Brightest Day doesn’t really feature any characters I particularly love besides Aquaman.

Gotta say, Marvel holds my interest much more with all the Avengers stuff, Shadowland, Death of Dracula, and Amazing Spider-man.

I’m glad to see that I’m not the only person who isn’t enthralled with Mark Millar. I’ve noticed that he really doesn’t have that many original ideas. He started out at DC writing co writing with Morrision. Then he took over The Authority. He then did The Ultimates, which was basically a post millennial Avengers. Wanted, was originally supposed to be an Elseworlds story. War Heroes is his recycled idea for Ultimates 3 and Nemesis is very blatantly Batman as the Joker, versus James Gordon. With Bendis, I can’t really criticize him, because I’ve never read any of his work. I did skim through his first arc of Avengers at the public library, but I put it down, and decided it was worth my while. I will say this though, when I heard about his House of M, it immediately reminded me of the Age of Apocalypse, which itself wasn’t very good in retrospect.

There are a number of things that will cause me to drop a comic. Some of those are touched on in the article – a writer or editor’s decisions on a character direction are certainly one.

Bad art. I will drop a comic I ordinarily love due to bad art. I loved the original New Mutants to death, but eventually dropped it because of Bill Sienkiewicz’s art. Similarly, my pull box got down to about $6.00 worth in the 90′s because of all the Liefeld imitators.

Bad Casting Decisions. I loved Young Justice. I stopped reading it regularly when Robin went AWOL. Same with Outsiders, Teen Titans, Legion of Super Heroes and a number of other team books. I follow characters, not creators or titles. If you drop all my favorite characters, I’ll drop a book I’ve bought for years until something changes back. A particular dislike: let’s kill off a character, then bring in a female version of them because that’s shaking things up. No, no it’s not.

I don’t want an artist or writer thinking he can put his ‘personal stamp’ on a character, a book, a line, etc. Most of that is the height of arrogance because the vast majority of them simply are not good enough to pull that off.

Writing a character out of character. Usually this is caused by a writer or editor not bothering to learn about a character. Just this week, we have a guy talking about how he’s going to be writing Osiris and he has at the onset no idea who the hell this guy is, didn’t even know that the character existed. If you’re writing a character and can’t give a better detailed history of him than the cat-piss guy at the local comic store, you have no business being in that job. I’d certainly expect you to be aware of what’s been written over the last 10-15 years of a title.

Angst and Darkness = Character Development. This is probably the biggest problem I have with comics today. It’s just laziness and spotty work to take the writer’s mantra ‘Nothing interesting happens without problems’ and get just the surface understanding of that line. I’ve dropped more comics because of this reason than any other. Teen Titans, New X-Men are just two examples. I have no idea what it is with the almost industry-wide emphasis on killing or corrupting young heroes. Frankly, I’d rather read a book where our hero foils yet another bank robbery every month than have him ‘grow’ by having his girlfriend decapitated, his dad admit he sexually abused our hero for years, his best friend get paralyzed because our hero screwed up, on and on and on.

One or two minor character deaths across your entire line of books per ten years is a good yardstick to use.

I don’t mind change and growth, but the decisions these days that get labeled change and growth are, for the most part, bad bad decisions. Just as a random example, Kingdom Come is a bad decision. As a stand-alone book with no ties to continuity, it was very good. As a blueprint for the future of the DC universe, it’s a startlingly bad idea.

Events. I hate events, now. When you start referring to something as ‘The summer event’, then it’s no longer an event. It disrupts plans writers have for their books, editors have for their line, etc. I preferred things when most books were relatively self-contained. The world might be invaded by giant bees in the pages for Superman for three issues, while over in Batman he’s still dealing with tracking a mob witness instead of having to deal with, suddenly, giant bees for two or three issues. Something like Crisis once every, oh, five years or so is a good idea. Having it every year is a bad one. Going to ‘continuous crossover events’ like Marvel has done is an even worse one.

Another one: Late books. I will not wait a year for the next issue, even if you came to my house and gave me a foot massage in apology. Books have deadlines for a reason. There are any number of up-and-comers out there who can write and draw just as well or better than ‘the cool guy from Hollywood that does some comics when it fits into his personal schedule’.

I’m not overly sentimental when it comes to my comic reading. I’ll continue to buy a comic for as long as I’m enjoying it. Once I stop enjoying it, I stop buying.

I’m fortunate in that I’ve yet to have a moment where one single moment in a comic I’ve bought for a long time is so appalling that I say, “That’s it! I’m stopping reading this book FOREVER!” Though there have been times when I’ve picked up a single issue of a book to give it a try, and been unimpressed enough to never be inclined to pick up another. Normally, with books I’m currently reading, there’s a 3 issue grace period between me losing interest in them and me deciding to drop them. The warning sign is the previous month’s issue waiting to be read when the new issue hits the stands. When I had 3 issues of “Detective Comics” waiting to be read, I decided that – though I’ve been enjoying Rucka’s Batwoman stuff – the lack of motivation to keep on reading the story suggested I could afford to cut it.

Money is definitely a factor. I was quite liking “Secret Warriors” and “Daredevil”, but when trying to figure out what books to cut from my monthly haul to streamline my comic reading and help out my wallet, they were both easy cuts. And there are a couple of other books I regularly buy that are getting close to the chopping block:

JONAH HEX – I have a whole lot of love for this book, and have every issue of the Palmiotti/Gray relaunch from #1. But I’m finding recently that I’ll have an issue sitting around for several weeks before I am inclined to read it. I’ll keep on reading until the release of the movie, see if that reignites my passion for the character or snuffs it out altogether.

CAPTAIN AMERICA – Ed Brubaker’s run on “Captain America” is consistently good. A good, reliable, dependable book. But despite being good, it’s been quite a while since I could say the book’s been GREAT, like it used to be. If my budget gets any tighter, I could see it being an early casualty. However, I’ll hold on for the upcoming Baron Zemo arc – I’ve been a fan of that character since the “Thunderbolts” days.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS – I’ve loved Tomasi’s run on the book. But Tomasi’s leaving now… :(

WOLVERINE: WEAPON X – I only recently jumped onto this, with my love for everything else I’ve read by Jason Aaron driving me to give it a try. And it’s great stuff. I’m not a Wolverine fan or an X-Men fan, and I don’t buy any other X-book. But again, money’s tight, and if I have to make cuts, I’d probably drop this instead of a book I’ve been reading longer.

But for the most part, I try not to view comics as a commitment. I’ll drop in and out of “Amazing Spider-Man”, depending on the story. And though I haven’t picked up “Batman” since “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”, I’ll likely start buying it again once Morrison returns to the book.

Great subject! I have seen two old ex fans and ex buds,quit comics,one from everything published after 1970,and another Totally, even giving away his intire collection.As both a reader for about 8 years, then a collecter for the past42, I have 50 years dealing with the comic book experience.I loved Peter davids hulk run, but you could see that after the onslaught crossovers, his heart wasn’t as much in it.What followed after his departure, was about 85 misserble issues,until planer hulk. David’s return, to the character, was a great disapointment. I couldn’t beleave it was the same writer.I dont care how great the artist is,be it Steranko, smith,or Adams, cause a crummy writer came nullify the greatness of the art, making it gold or platinum plated turds. I have quit spidy, time and time and time again,since 1972.Yeah, the big finale with Osborn that led to re launching the title, that brough back aunt May, who had such a great meaningful passing in asm 400, left me cold.I used to give copies of that issue away,to non comic fans to show them what powerfull stuff is put out.I hate to say it, but I bought the entire misserble clone saga.I could have picked up one decent shape very early spidy for that cash. I expect a certain measure of nobility,of honor from a character, such as subby has. I do not find that in dark wolverine, and will no longer buy any book that stars him.As well,I hate it when a writer has a character do something totally out of character.I also don’t care for Millers writing either.I gave it a good chance.

Garth Ennis’ comics have always been filled with “example(s) of really horrible people saying really horrible things to each other, humiliating other people for no reason other than to allow us, the paying audience, to watch the fireworks. . . ” This s hardly a new development, and I’m reasonably sure it’s one of the things fans of his work love about it. It’s also the main reason I bailed on Preacher.

I dropped Green Arrow, the new Arsenal miniseries, and Justice League of America because I was disgusted with the direction they went/are going with thanks to Cry for Justice, as well as what they did to Arsenal and his daughter in that… thing, and I refuse to support it by giving them my money.

I dropped Air because I wasn’t reading the issues I was buying. I’ll start buying them again once I read the issues I already have.

I dropped Magog because I didn’t like it, and Outsiders long before Dan Didio started writing because it didn’t interest me.

Any miniseries I drop is because I need to save money and I don’t have to worry about how many issues I’ll have to start looking for when I can start buying them again.

Man, I’ve read most of the stuff people posted, and I’ve thought about my own history with title drops, but I haven’t ever dropped a book because of a particular creative team in the past or present. The only time I ever stopped buying any comics was because of money in the past and even now in the present….

I feel this way with Buffy after the “screwing in space” issue. I was already annoyed that Angel is Twilight was spoiled months early, but this comic has become really stupid. gonna buy good comics instead ^__^

You know what sucks? When you love a character, but hate what the company has done to it. Me, I wouldn’t mind reading some Spider-Man, but I’m also one of the people who won’t go back to the title on principle after the “One More Day” Fiasco.

I wish there were more “The End” titles as Marvel did a few years ago (realizing that some of these were hit-or-miss in quality.” “Hulk: The End” sits proudly at the end of my Hulk bookshelf. If I ever get so disgusted with Marvel’s take on the Hulk that I need to drop it permanently, at least I know how the story turns out.

I have had many a bête noire over the years………

I no longer read Bendis, Millar, Loeb. Claremont proved what a talentless hack he was/is during the 90′s. Many of the old ‘masters’ can’t write a good comic today. Gail Simone makes me cry everytime I read a comic ‘written’ by her – writing a ‘humourous’ internet column does not translate to actually writing a good comic.

Ennis? I picked up a trade once for The Boys. Thought I might like it seeing as I grew up with Moore etc during the 80′s – ‘heroes’ rutting? Really? That’s your big idea? I understand Ennis doesn’t like super-heroic fiction – so don’t bother your arse, mate!

bigbadbruins69

May 1, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Its not the characters I fall out of love with; it is shitty writers that ruin what was once great. Jeph Loeb comes to mind….

Personally for me and I might sound crazy but Grant Morrison can be a chore to read sometimes. I haven;t read a ton of his stuff, none of which was considered his classics, but I have only ever liked half of it. Kill Your Boyfriend sucked, WE3 I thought was kind of dumb, The Filth was completely incoherrent, Current Batman stuff is so-so, Marvel Boy was cool, and Animal Man was awesome.

What about the editors?

I totally agree with JK. If I haven’t read a title in months or can’t remember what happened last month, it is time to drop it.

I don’t know that I have ever said “never again” on any creator or character. However:

1) At some point in 2004, I hit the wall with Punisher. I felt that I was reading variations of the same story repeatedly. I have not looked at any Punisher title since.

2) I did not like Infinite Crises and hated the One Year Later jump. I dropped most DC universe titles at that time.
I still am at heart a DC guy, but I buy far less than I did before One Year Later

3) Frank Miller’s Batman-I loved Batman Year One and Dark Knight, but I hated Dark Knight Strikes Again. Still, I gave All-Star Batman a try. I did not last past issue 4.. I doubt I would buy another Miller Batman. (though I would would buy Sin City)..

4) Grant Morrison. I loved Animal Man. Doom Patrol grew on me. I hated Final Crisis-I am probably the only person who bought Final Crisis 6 for Tawky Tawny’s battle with Kalibak,, I felt like I was reading an old Marvel Saga highlight compilation book with the text bridges omitted. I definitely have not sworn off all Grant Morrison, but I doubt I would buy another superhero “worlds/legends will live/die” book by him.

I’ve grown tired of reading Spider-Man way back when the clone saga was printed in German in Germany after that I only enjoyed Spidey comics because of the villains or it was the ultimate version or Spider-Man Reign and Noir,
Same thing happened with the X-Men – at one point I just stopped caring about the whole concept.
When it comes to Ennis: I love his Punisher MAX stuff but The Boys is dead to me, just nothing new any more.

My favorite comics these days are: DMZ, Vengeance of Moon Knight, Secret Warriors, Black Widow & Siege.

X-Men, I had to give up following the Marvel mutants when Fraction and the rest took over. That however was just the tipping point, the drama heavy socially relevant comic story has been beat to death with this franchise alone.

All things with “Crisis” attached, nuff’ said there.

As far as creators, Morrison, Millar, and Bendis for much the same reason. Their hubris in their storytelling. The “I must make this an event to rival Alan Moore’s Watchmen so I may validate myself and be remembered as a God” bleeds all over their work now.

Francis Higstrom

May 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I’ll be the first to say John Romita Jr. My breaking point with him was directly after his first issue came out.

I’m surprised Frank Miller’s name isn’t in here more often. At one time, I had him on a level where it was just him and Alan Moore as the gods of comicdom. Dark Knight and Watchmen represented the pinnacle (at the time) of what comics could achieve.

Alan Moore still does some great stuff (but some unsavory literary porn/pornographic literature), but Frank Miller has totally fallen off the deep end. The creative choices he’s made in the 90′s and 2000′s have even gone so far as to make me question and now revile his previously brilliant work. I read Dark Knight Returns now, and I only see and experience Miller’s contempt for comics.

Where Alan Moore seems to truly love comics and delving into the corners that have never been explored, Frank Miller seems to hate comics and hate the people that read them. To me, Dark Knight Strikes Again was nothing more than “You people that read this comic are idiots and I’m going to do whatever crazy stuff I can think of, and you will proclaim it brilliant.” I slogged through DKSB, hoping it would somehow regain the magic of Dark Knight Returns. But I left DKSB with a sick feeling in my stomach.

That feeling stayed with me as I read more Sin City. His entire writing style consists of people yelling and vulgarity for the sake of just being vulgar. And knowing the ‘stupid fanboys’ (my read on it) would eat it up.

300 was more of the same (but by this point, I’m just skimming the comics in the store, not giving Miller any more of my cash). And the final nail was All-Star Batman. What a wretched insult to comics and comicdom.

I’m done with Miller, and that saddens me immensely, because he was one of the gods.

I stopped all the Marvel books after One More Day. I really disliked the direction of this spider-man book and it soured my appetite for marvel’s other heroes. At first i thought it was one of my more usual breaks in comics (at times i stopped reading them for a year except for a handful of issues but came back later). I still read a few books but nothing by Marvel anymore. I think it wasn’t OMD alone. It was event fatigue with the horrible World War Hulk and the early information about Secret Invasion, the horrible OMD and the dissapointment that even Civil War wasn’t used for changing the status quo in a real, believable and long enduring way.

Unlike most of the opinions mentioned here, my reasons for dropping a comic is more practical and pragmatic: If a key creator that headlines the book leaves, the comic is dropped. Moreso for writers than artists.

creators > characters

Morrison’s getting this way for me.

I’ve only been back reading comics since last August, but my arrival in the hobby via a friend’s copy of the first Batwoman issue of Detective left me scrambling to read everything Batwoman I could find, which led to reading everything Montoya I could find, which led to Gotham Central, which is probably my favorite series.

But in the midst of all this I started reading other current comics, and that included Grant Morrison’s work. I admit that I rather enjoy Batman and Robin… but the rest of his stuff I’ve read shows me that he doesn’t really understand what ideas (and what implementations of ideas) are good and which are bad.

He’s brilliant, and seems to come up with an idea a second, but he’s got no sieve to sort them, which leads to him doing both amazing things like his current Batman & Robin run and Battle for the Cowl and awful things like Final Crisis… as well as absolutely pointless things like the Animal Man story in 52.

He’s also the only writer in any medium who’s left me saying, “Huh. That was simultaneously awesome and really, really bad.” He does this regularly, and I fear for Return of Bruce Wayne; that’s the kind of event he seems to botch most regularly.

Schnitzey Pretzelpants

May 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I wanted to add to my previous comments by also saying that something I don’t get either (as DC) is how many changes they have made in a short period of time that are so VERY similar.

Take Arsenal – admittedly what has just happened to him has been very brutal indeed, but in essence, didn’t we already see him taken down a very similar road in a one-shot with Deathstroke, during Final Crisis? Wasn’t this in an attempt to make him more viable too – make him ‘own Deathstroke’ in the process and toughen him up?

Green Arrow – am I mis-remembering things, or didn’t Merlin/The Secret Society destroy a huge portion of Star City before the One Year Later storyline? Never mind the fact that after Kevin Smith and others have gone out of their way to make the more classic-style of Green Arrow the version that we are reading, now we seem to be doing a quasi-retread of the Mike Grell years.

In general I have to say that I think DC painted itself into a real corner with OYL – because it forced a change on EVERY title rather than having something evolve organically it was mandated. Changes happened just because ‘they had to’.

Consequently, there were many, many, many missteps. It seems that initial bad choices and edicts were followed by ill-advised corrective measures, and only now is there at least some hope of more good stories emerging from DC.

I think bringing Barry Allen back was a huge mistake – or at least I will concede this: if it wasn’t a huge mistake there is absolutely nothing about his re-appearance, or any story with him since his return that makes me think his return was remotely justified or merited. Flash: Rebirth reached new levels of absolute awful. Even though some of John’s writing was already leaving me cold, Flash: Rebirth hit new levels of low.

I’m getting awfully tired of the mid-way switch too. Again, a central problem of DC more than Marvel – where clearly a story/mini changes direction somewhere mid-publishing. On the severe end of the spectrum I’m thinking of something like DC Countdown to Final Crisis, where I can’t think of one single aspect of that story that now isn’t merely ignored (though that may say more about how little I read these days).

On the lower end of the same spectrum is Johns’s Legion of 3 Worlds mini, where – the first or second issue has – Superman, in the final panel of the issue proclaiming the only way that they can save Superboy Prime (and I paraphrase here) is to: “Turn him back into the hero that he used to be/always was”.

Someone wanna tell me why there wasn’t even the remotest further reference to that summation that promised to be at least part of the crux of the mini-series? Not even a line where Superman admits it was his hope, but sees now that it just isn’t possible.

There was no attempt whatsoever to redeem Superboy in the series or reference that plan of Superman’s again. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t have cared whether he was redeemed or not in-and-of-itself. Matter of fact when I read that line, I kinda groaned and lamented that if this was going to be the direction of the mini-series then it was pretty strained – maybe it is me, but if you have massacred as many people as Prime had by then, I think/though: “We’re passed redemption here, that would be stupid”. However, simply dropping the idea altogether, with nary a passing mention of it after ending an issue with that proclamation is really, really bad writing. Lazy if nothing else.

It’s sad for me in a way, because John’s, and Robinson were the two principle writers who got me back into reading these damn things after almost a 10 year absence. Now, ironically the two of them in recent years -certainly the last two years – have all but driven me away.

For me I’ve been fortunate as most of the stuff I’ve only been reading for a short space of time (about 3 years) and some series I’ve collected has actually been cancelled. I usually give a series a 3 issue beta test to see if it’s my thing. if it isn’t then no harm, no foul and I look at something else.
For me though, X-force has recently been dropped. This is due to (in my opinion) very lackluster stories as well as pointless cross-overs. This may end up being a pointless exercise if they cancel the book after Second Coming, but it’s not a decision I feel I’ll regret either way.
I too have kinda had my fill of Mark Millar. When I first got into comics I started on the Ultimate imprint before moving to Marvel proper and from these Millar became my favourite writer. However, after his run on Fantastic Four, producing stories which did not fit the book, I’ve lost my enthusiasm for his work and now prefer to avoid him and read the works of newer writers.

agent_torpor

May 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm

MIllar’s Kick-Ass was my no-more moment.

Not so much a creator but a comic. I remember one day I was about the buy the next 100 Bullets trade and then said: “I can’t buy this.” It was never a pleasant tale, but the violence and humiliation really accelerated in every trade, especially as Lono become more prominent. It was truly unpleasant, and although the craft is high, I couldn’t imagine anyone enjoying this story.

But then again, Quentin Tarantino had that same effect for me eventually. I loved Pulp Fiction when it came out, but as I got older, he got more violent, and by the time Kill Bill rolled around… I was done. It’s the only movie I’ve ever walked out on (during the animated sequence when her father gets killed). Not really the creators’ fault, probably… more of me getting old.

No offense but some of you guys are pretty slow. I give an author a few issues to wow me, not years. I bailed on Preacher once Arseface was introduced and I saw the juvenile direction the series was going in. When I read that people stayed with Preacher until the end and bailed on The Boys when they realized they didn’t care for Ennis as a writer, I wonder why now? Maybe it’s as simple as growing up as a reader.

Frankly I can’t believe this is the same Ennis who wrote the wonderful Dear Billy comic. Anyways, my shortlist for writers whom I’ve stopped appreciating include B.M. Bendis, Frank Miller, Mark Millar, Jeff Leob and Ennis, if you couldn’t tell.

Geoff Johns (stop with the nonsensical gore, it doesn’t make lame characters cool) and Warren Ellis (Planetary is a masterpiece, but I’m not a fan of anything else he’s done) are in the danger zone for me. If I see Barry Allen covered in blood in the new Flash, I’m done with him.

Crabby Lioness

May 1, 2010 at 6:50 pm

After being a comic bookaholic in the 1980s 20 years ago I completely dropped Marvel, ten years ago I completely dropped DC, and until last year I was down to reading nothing but Girl Genius. Now I’m slowly dipping my toe back in.

For me supporting a title is a sign that I think it is valuable AND being properly handled. Dropping a title that has gone past its prime is not merely an act of satiation or repugnance, but a moral obligation I owe a title I once enjoyed. Only if enough readers drop a title that’s gone bad will the publishers finally take notice and act to turn things around. So dropping a title is not something I do merely out of disgust, but out of hope that my action will help convince TPTB to improve things.

Absolutely Mark Millar. (Which at this point noticing how many others have said they same really speaks volumes about the kind of work he’s publishing.)

Agreed- Some absolutely peerless older stuff. Red Son, Ultimates, and his run on Wolverine with Romita are among some of last decades best.

But recently, he’s produced trash. Pure, expletive garbage. I believe it was (most recently) Ultimate Avengers #5 with the whole Red Skull forcing the woman to kill her husband with the scissors, throwing the baby out the window, then gang raping the woman. Ok, Skull’s supposed to be evil. We get it. But c’mon. Have some taste…

Hu3y Fr33man

May 1, 2010 at 7:05 pm

I’m so sick of books being cancelled only to return a few months later with a brand new #1. Then after 10 -12 issues it reverts back to the old numbering just in time to celebrate an anniversary issue.

I currently avoid everything associated with Jeph Loeb.

After Cry for Justice, I’m on the verge of dropping DC Comics entirely. I’m tired of DC’s events being a showcase for senseless deaths. Or should I say the senseless megadeath. How times recently, have we seen a city in the in DC universe being completely decimated with it’s citizens being massacred in streets? Enough already.

I’m tired of Marvel’s events that promise “The Marvel Universe will never be the same!”

Most of all I AM SICK AND TIRED OF EVENTS!!!! Between Marvel and DC there must have been 30 reality altering events in the last 5 years! What I absolutely hate about comic events are the “special crossover issues” that the Big 2 try to make you purchase in order to understand the entire story, when they should be told in the regularmonthly title, e.g. Blackest Night: Wonder Woman, Blackest Night: JSA, Secret Invasion: Fantastic 4. Note to Marvel and DC, WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A RECESSION! Please, In the name of all that is decent, ease up on us fans. Some of us still get an allowance from our parents you know.

Anything written by Grant Morrison. He’s a writer who seems to smoke some nasty illegal narcotics before coming up with a script and must slip the same to the higher (pun intended)-ups at DC to be able to keep working. I wonder if his fans are smoking the same thing. He has no sense of characterization; everyone is either exchangeable, bland, or out of character to support his overly convoluted story structures. He also doesn’t have any ideas about what is appropriate for the characters he writes. Batman, travelling through time, since the Neal Adams restored realism to the character from the seventies? No. Maybe it would work with the Flash, but Batman? Wait… we’ve seen Morrison write Flash. Horrible too! After the claptrap travesty that was BATMAN R.I.P. and FINAL CRISIS, I never touch anything by him unless someone shows me his work. I liked his X-MEN until the last 5 issues where he rehashed killing Jean Grey yet again, and then launched into another future X-Men story. It was then that I realized that Morrison doesn’t actually have an original thought at all, but rather finds ways of repackaging other people’s work, and often not as well.
Another thing I stopped reading- TEEN TITANS, or ANY book with teen heroes. Somewhere in my adult life I realized that no government would allow anyone underage to operate in such an irresponsible manner, and I find no relatability to young Heroes.
Artist-wise, you will never see me purchase anything by John Byrne or John Romita Junior. One has lost his ability, the other never had any.

There have really only been two reason why I have dropped books. The first is simply money. I only alot myself so much money to spend on comics each week and sometimes I have to ask, “Do I need to read all 12 x-men books?” The answer is no, and I drop either the least interesting or the one with the least characters I care for.

The second is a stronger reason. I will drop a book if I find the writing to low-brow, outdated, or the kind of writing that I feel is stereotyped comic writing. Reginald Hudlin to me, should never be allowed near comics. I also feel its time for chris claremont to retire. We don’t need characters to explain their powers to us on every page.

Hm. I dropped Justice League after the Big Three were no longer in it. And I’ve decided to stop reading X-Men if Jean Grey ever shows up AGAIN.

I haven’t thought of any Bendis book in a positive light since he pointlessly killed off Alpha Flight, the team responsible for getting me interested in comics. Also Claremont, for destroying the Exiles, so much so that even the brilliant Jeff Parker relaunch couldn’t get enough people interested (and it was a great read btw). I’m also having trouble reading any new from James Robinson, his Starman was overrated but enjoyable, but Cry For Justice was rock bottom. How dialogue that bad got published I’ll never know.

GeneralBobby

May 1, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Some books I’ve dropped:

Action Comics- I just wanted to read about Superman in a story contained to one book.
Booster Gold- I didn’t care enough about Blue Beetle to spend the extra $1.
Secret Warriors- I missed an issue or two and realized I didn’t care.

Other than that, I will just drop a book because I no longer look forward to reading it. A writer and/or artist has never turned me of of a book. I have no issues with Millar, Bendis, Loeb, Liefield, Land, Benes or anyone else who the internet seems to hate.

David Copson

May 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm

When they do something to proverbially “change everything” I’m likely to drop a book. I stopped reading Spider-man when they killed Gwen Stacy and only bought a handful issues all those years until JMS took over. Dropped Spider-man again at OMD. Daredevil leading the Hand? 500 issues is a nice round number to end a collection.

I tend to read long runs of comics once I’m onboard – sometimes suffering through many unenjoyed comics waiting for things to get better . I’ve read every Superman comic since the Byrne reboot. Number 700 will be my last. Going forward, I’ll be reading selected trades, but generally, although I love the character, I think there aren’t many stories I haven’t already read. Overlong arcs don’t help much – like Electric Superman or New Krypton. Talk about not being able to recall what happened last issue.

But then there is Green Lantern. I’ve read every issue since 1959 and cannot see stopping no matter what. I got past Emerald Twilight OMG. I don’t like the militaristic overtones of Geoff’s run, but he certainly has brought GL back to the top.

The main one, other than just losing interest in a storyline, is when a writer feels the need to blatantly inject his/her personal political views into the story for no other reason than because he can. That’s not to say it can’t be done in an intelligent, meaningful way that enhances the story – it can. And that doesn’t bother me. But unfortunately that’s usually not the case. Another thing that can make a difference is whether the writer uses actual politicians or fictional characters based on real people. I can stomach it much more if they are fictional characters, even if thinly-veiled and even if I disagree with their politics, than I can if they are real. That is almost always an instant “stop buy” for me. (This also applies to reading comic-related blogs – I’m currently down to reading about one) The one fairly-recent instance of this happening that still bothers me is “Savage Dragon”. I enjoyed the series from its beginning. Creative stories, enjoyable art, etc. And from I read and heard, the writer/artist and I shared a lot of comics-related background that I could relate to. But politically we were worlds apart. And when he felt, at least in my opinion, the need to start using his stories as a soapbox for his politics, I had to walk away from a series I still enjoyed and a creator I enjoyed supporting.

I quit buying current superhero comics when I realized they were all about the next event.

..and the comments towards Garth Ennis are warranted, imo. The difference in quality between Preacher and something like Crossed is light years.

After finishing Final Crisis #7, I promptly decided to leave Grant Morrison behind. And most of the DC universe with him.

LeftHandKarima

May 1, 2010 at 9:04 pm

i love small informal team books. so i dropped Buffy when it became about the Slayer Army instead of the Scooby gang.

i dropped Supergirl when Kara suddenly started apologizing for everything and became Superman’s clone.

dropped WildCATS when it reverted to its mainstream superhero incarnation.

still very much enjoy Peter David’s writing in X-Factor.

Unfortunately most of the books I really liked have all been canceled. I know its a particularly obvious straw-man to note–but pricing is usually the determining factor in dropping books. Now it is cheaper to A) trade-wait on a title or B)wait for them to fall into the discount bins.

Comics are just like any other industry, what you buy from one publisher subtracts a potential buy from another. Events kept sales higher but everyone is fatigued with them now. Ironically the most effective way to keep a reader is with great stories.

For me there’s probably two or three levels at work in deciding to drop a title. First involves loyalty to certain characters. On a number of occasions I’ve dropped all or some of the X-titles, but I am always interested in those characters. So if a new creative team comes onboard, I will immediately consider the title again.

Then there’s loyalty to certain writers. I don’t usually read Batman or Superman, in fact I think Superman is generally a snoozer. But Grant Morrison comes on board, and not only will I consider it, likely I will buy at least a couple issues, or wait until a couple trades come out and then jump on. A couple months I jumped on Fantastic Four, another title I would never buy simply for its own merits. But I had been checking it out in store since Hickman came on, and eventually I decided to jump in.

Loyalty to writers can turn the other way, too. I grew up on Chris Claremont and just loved his X-Men, later his Fantastic Four. But, with the exception of his Xavier/Magneto/Genosha Excalibur, which I really liked, today I refuse his stuff pretty much on principle. It’s far too talky and I don’t know, convoluted in some way. Too many threads, not enough realistic character progression.

And that points to the last thing, which can pretty much overwhelm everything else. I can deal with anything from mutants to zombies to espionage and crime stuff. But if the characters aren’t believable or the stories don’t progress in a believeable way, I will cut them off at the knees. I like Geoff Johns’ stuff, a lot. A lot. But when he does events, I’m always a little nervous, because his third acts tend to lose coherency. The Flash mini-series… I could barely comprehend it, and I’ve read it a bunch at this point. I did buy all six issues, but I haven’t signed on to the series, and I don’t think I will (even though he’ll probably do better at that). I just felt sort of burned.

If a new creator comes on and completely changes the personality of a character I like, I will almost undoubtedly quit. The X-comics do this from time to time, and while I understand why, and sometimes it is a huge success (thank you, Joss Whedon, for turning Cyclops into the complex leader he was always supposed to be), usually it’s a disaster. Likewise, if the art changes significantly from the tone set by the comic, especially if it seems like the editorial staff has sort of stopped caring about a comic and assigned it inferior art (as happened to almost all of the Ultimate titles the last 3 or years), I will think about dropping. (But in that case, it might take me a very long while…)

Great question. Happy FCBD!

Alex Kerscher

May 1, 2010 at 9:15 pm

I dropped the whole X-Men franchise and Green Latern stuff because of the same reason: its so fanboy-ish that it looks like a dog darned fan fiction.

I dropped the X-Men franchise right on the beggining of Necrosha, ‘cuz Uncanny X-Men was Fraction’s EmmaXCiclops fan fiction (where Emma somehow has Jean’s personality, instead of being a mean bitch), Legacy was Carey’s Rogue fan fiction (yet it wasn’t that bad, in two post-messiah complex years he managed to close like 20 years of stupid sub-plots both with Rogue and Charles). And Yost/Kyle only want to write X-23 (not that I don’t like the character, but if they want so bad to write their biggest creation, why the hell is Marjorie Liu writing her solo series?). And to see the X-Men sparring against zombies (and we had that whole ‘in one of those issues someone is gonna DIE mwahahah’ feeling, and it got worse on Second Coming).

And Green Lantern is Johns fan fiction. I mean, I litteraly dropped Blackest Night in the spot the moment I’ve seen that (gorgeously looking) splash page where some DCU characters become “Lanterns for a day”. And the only characters that were able to fight against the Black Lanterns where the ones that Johns used to write. It was horrible! In that moment I knew that wasn’t a book for me anymore, I was done with that shlark.

Grant Morrison — I am completely and utterly done with him as a writer. I sorta like his JLA. I have found his X-Men and his All-Star Superman to be HIGHLY overrated. Those were alright stories, but there was absolutely nothing great or innovative going on there. His Batman run did actually build up to RIP and I respected that, but I didn’t think it came off very well. But then came Final Crisis and the whole thing was just a cluster that I said that I am done. I won’t buy anything else with his name attached to it. I told my comic guy that while I’m not a Batman guy, but am kinda interested in Bruce Wayne’s return, I won’t buy it since Morrison is writing it.

Oh, one other thing — if a comic goes $3.99, 90% chance I dump it. Or, in the case of Avengers, I get a subscription, so that I’m paying a ton less. I don’t want second characters, those stories never seem to work, and I really really can’t accept paying $3.99, other than for a limited series.

I had enough of DC (except Vertigo) after Blackest Night. Actually, I was almost through with it anyway, because I couldn’t understand what was going on because I don’t read 765 different titles and I’m not very familiar with DC’s past, specially Silver Age, which 98% of the comics seem to be inspired by.

The Silver Age inspiration is made worse by the fact that even the long-time fans don’t know what’s in continuity anymore, with the thousands of reboots.

Marvel, for all it’s problems, it’s better in that aspect (admittedly, I know more about Marvel’s past stories, including Silver Age, than DC, which also helps) and the recap pages are often helpful. Why Didio refuses to use them, I’ll never know.

I also don’t waste my time with Loeb anymore. I don’t know if this guy was any good one day, but he clearly isn’t anymore. Claremont is also someone that was actually good a long time ago, but now is simply pathetic.

Was a huge fan of Spider-Man until driven away by the offensively bad “art” of Mark Bagley.

Bendis. One panel. Killing off of the entire team Alpha Flight. No tragic battle, no heroism. Just one blast. poof. All Gone. Its absolutely incredible that Marvel would let a writer do that. As a Canadian, that was just plain insulting.

John Byrne. I used to love his work back in the day but anything he works on these days just seems so dated. The dialogue, characters…it just seems very nostalgic. It’s like his stuck in a time warp.

I usually drop a title for a few reasons – costs (sometimes it just gets too expensive, especially with a million crossovers) ; the lead character/s not doing it for me anymore (Incredible Hercules has just hit that for me & I won’t be bothering with it or the Amadeus Cho mini – in fact I have never liked Cho & really can’t see his appeal) ; like others have said – when I have 3 or 4 of a title sitting unread & really don’t have the inclination to read them.
The creators who put me off:
Geoff Johns – have never really liked his style & I hated his Avengers issues a few years ago.
Mark Millar – not so much for his material, but for the fact the guy cannot EVER seem to get a comic out on time. (Hint to the publishers: Wait til you have every issue written & drawn, THEN solict)
Judd Winick – leaves me cold
Chris Claremont – was awesome back in the day, now has nothing to say & his stuff is tedious.
Grant Morrison – never much of a fan & to me, his stuff is overrated.
John Romita Jr – seriously I cannot be the only person who loathes his artwork. He is poor at showing emotion ; expressions on faces are pretty much all the same (ie – open mouth, teeth clenched together (who does that??) or mouth wide open as if in shock) Considering how great his father was, it’s sad to see Marvel putting this very average artist on such a pedestal. I am a huge Avengers fan, but am seriously considering dropping the book while he’s on it – unless there is some massive change.

I personally have a fairly low budget for comics cause I go to school and that takes a lot of my income. So if I dont like a title, i will drop it and buy something else. Hopefully the avengers reboot will be good

Glenn Misztal

May 2, 2010 at 12:09 am

Usually, I buy the first couple of issues and if the dialogue just doesn’t hit me (DC’s Magog springs to mind) and is uninteresting, I’ll drop it.

My only absolute no when it comes to ongoing series is Greg Land, just because his women’s faces annoy me too much.

Beyond that, I’m willing to give most things a chance if they appeal to me to begin with and am relativly fussy about what I pick up to begin with. The only thing I decided to try out that I dropped out of choice rather than cancellation or it not arriving in the comic shop for consecutive months is the previous series of Moon Knight, far too grim and creepy for my tastes, not a bad comic, but just not to my tastes.

Wow, this whole litany seems a little oversensitive, to say the least, since most people here are fans enough of the industry that they’re on a website commenting about it. Oddly enough, most people are listing the biggest writers (Johns, Bendis, Millar, etc.).

Despite that, I will say that after Secret Invasion, I was greatly disillusioned with Bendis. While I did like the ending and Dark Reign, half of the series was a considerable waste of time. For awhile, I had no interest in reading New Avengers either. While I like those characters individually, like Spidey or Luke Cage, I’m just not interested in Bendis’s overly verbose take on them. I did enjoy his Dark Avengers thoroughly though.

I was annoyed with Brubaker for bringing back Cap and have no interest in reading that title now. It’s too expensive and it’s direction doesn’t interest me. Before ramping up to bring back Cap, his Captain America was pretty good but I think that’s the only thing I’ve read of his that was somewhat impressive, unlike his X-Men work. Admittedly, I’ll try his Secret Avengers, if not just for Deodato’s art.

I think I won’t be reading Hickman’s FF anymore. Eaglesham is on and off the book, so that doesn’t help. The title’s not bad by any means but his slow-burn style of writing doesn’t work for me, which is what I experienced on Secret Warriors too. I’d say I’m more than patient too (but cost has more to do with it these days).

That said, no writer is perfect and I don’t think any of them has done anything to really “offend” me (which is why I don’t consider this post contradictory to what I said in the beginning). I’m probably enjoying Johns the most these days, despite my considerable amount of problems with him.

It’s just comics.

Liam Kelleher

May 2, 2010 at 2:30 am

I started reading X-men in the 90′s around the time of the phalanx covenant, I loved those lobdell stories growing up (even though the general consensus is that they are crap) over the years I continued to follow the x-books until things started to take a nose dive with Chris Claremont’s diminishing returns to the book. I love the mans older body of work but his revolution relaunch was a huge mess, X-treme x-mens was alright up until about issue 20 but that had a lot to do with
Larroca’s artwork, his return to uncanny was so boring I had to drop it. Chuck Austen was another X-writer who made me drop the books as well.

One disturbing trend that I am tired of is using death as a selling point, was anybody suprised by the death of nightcrawler this week? Sure it was well written but it wasn’t a suprise, when colossus died years ago I remember being genuinely shocked and I miss that feeling when it comes to comics, it seems like most twists are blabbed about in interviews months before the book comes out.

Jeph Loeb: wtf happened to this guy? After the amazing double dose of hulk stories by greg pak, loeb came onto the hulk and absolutely killed any momentum the series had gained, had to drop it after 6 issues. Same with ultimatum/ultimates 3, the writting for these series was so atrociously bad I will never again read any of his work.

Mark Millar: I agree with almost everything I’ve read on here about the guy, his smugness and arrogance does tend to leap off the page (moreso in kickass/wanted) but I do enjoy some of his work like old man logan which is a guilty pleasure of mine.

JMS: I loved his Max supreme power series and was miffed when they made it all ages then he just walked away from it mid story. That seriously pissed me off. Similarly I loved his thor run, probably the best stories I’ve read about the character but then he left that series to without really finishing off the story he started. I found him to be totally mismatched on Spider-man but felt bad for the way he went out on that title having to write the editorially mandated one more day. I like his writing but not his general attitude.

Everything returns to status quo after a few years. I loved the grant morrison years of New X-men, I could understand the editors/marketing wanting the characters back in costume but they completely gutted and undid everything he created and developed with the exception of the scott/emma relationship (which is a pale imitaion of how he wrote it these days). Same with amazing spiderman, why give him organic webshooters and have him go through all thaty crap in the other/civil war just to ignore it? I’ll be honest I enjoy amazing spider-man a lot more since BND
But I’m kinda sick of this casual attitude to disregarding years of work the moment a creative team moves on.

Remeber in the early 00′s when dead meant dead? Yeah I miss that too. For a long time I honestly thought colossus would stay dead, if you look at the line up of x-men now the amount of characters who have died then come back to life is staggering; Cyclops, phoenix, Magneto, psylocke, colossus, Magik, Doug Ramsey, Warlock, Havok, northstar etc I’m guessing that Banshee is still around after necrosha to and it’ll only be a matter of time before Nightcrawler is back. Its kind of a joke.

Holy crap, did I just read a tonne of responses. Lots of vitriol, but as preference is subjective, I get it.

Personally, I love me some Morrison, and while the blush might be off the Ennis rose for most, I’m still with the Boys. Sometimes, I like things to be so epically caricatured and melodramatic. Of course, I won’t watch a Michael Bay movie…

Let’s see: I dropped the X-titles during that god-awful, last-straw “gotta own ‘em all” crossover where Cameron Hodge went full techno-organic viral crazy and blah, blah, blah. First off, that techno-organic crap was its own death-knell, but the art and coloring were the comical feather that tipped the scales.

I mean, every damned summer, I had to buy two to four titles I didn’t even collect just to get the full story?

didn’t wash with me when I was in high school; it doesn’t wash with me now.

I swore I’d never buy the X-Men again unless someone like Grant Morrison took the reins. Sure as Hell, years later, I’m buying it for the duration of Grant’s run (though I almost dropped it when they kept bringing in Kordey or however his name was spelled – a good artist, but not suited to Morrison).

Claremont is another me-repellent. He’s…okay. Chris Claremont’s writing is like your first boy or girlfriend. The only problem is, that maybe you’ve measured all experiences since against that one. And you got nostalgic, and you look them up, and give them another chance. But you realize that you’ve grown as a person, and all they want to talk about is every damn thing that happened back in the day. And they won’t let it go. They dress the same way, talk the same way, and just blather on and on.

It’s over, Chris. Hell, Marvel gave you some weird time-machiney title of your own, so you can literally go back to 1990-whatever-the-hell-it-was and play in the sandbox so you can show us all just how you would’ve done it…

I could go on, but let’s move forward a bit so as to avoid too much irony….

I dropped Squadron Supreme shortly after the big shift in creative teams. Two things here: one, since the title was sort of an alternate-universe DC analogue, the introduction of Marvel analogues just didn’t work. Also, they were terrible. Just…terrible. Two, JMS (I’m not gonna try spelling that at 3:30 am) had established during his and Frank’s time on the title (and the one preceding it) that they were heading in a direction, and that said direction was pretty much inevitable.

and then I blink and it’s never adressed. Hell, I still have NO idea what the hell happened there.

Creative team shifts actually get me off of a lot of books. Power Girl, for example. I originally bought that book for no other reason than SOMEONE had finally given Amanda Conner a monthly. She’s just too damn good. But the writing kept me going.

And of all people, they’re bringing in Judd Winick. I’ve tried his stuff; it’s tepid to me.

Oh, and Loeb. Man, that Challengers of the Unknown miniseries sure bought you a lot of rope with me, but I actually dropped Ultimatum after two issues. I have never stopped reading a mini partway through, but this was the “two girls, one cup” of comics. No thank you, guy-who-probably-made-”heroes”-suck-more.
You actually made “Ultimates 3″ look good by comparison, and that thing needs to be handled with rubber gloves…

Bendis has been hit and miss with me, but I’m going to hold Marvel editorial in equal blame for the undignified elimination of Alpha Flight. And the “verisimilitude” of his conversations? Most entertainments would eliminate all the awkward, stop-start crap with the dialogue.

As ashamed as I am to admit that, in my most foolish of younger days, I read Spawn (I started when they had that run of guest-creators – Gaiman, Moore, etc), though it wasn’t long before I realized that, even though there was a literal countdown/timer device being used, the series was going NOWHERE.

More recently, I gave up Superman and Action when, for whatever reason, Superman buggered off to a different title, leaving pretenders to both thrones to look after Metropolis. an interesting decision, to be sure, but very, very annoying; I gave up the JLA because the relaunch iteration was uninteresting and Ed Benes is a terrible ’90′s throwback; Batman because, again, Winick.

“DC comics- Besides the Bat-books and Green Arrow, there is nothing interesting going on at DC. I think Barry Allen’s revival was a huge misstep, and there’s pretty much no way you can justify him coming back. Was there a small section of fandom that wanted him back? Yes. But for the most part, I don’t think a lot of people did. What is the point of reviving a Flash when you had a perfectly live and fine one already? Barry died one of the greatest and most heroic deaths in comics and Wally actually succeeded him in both the book and with fans. JLA is pretty much a mess. Superman and WW show some promise, but then again this is J. Michael “leave the book unfinished if I have to play with others” Stracynski. Brightest Day doesn’t really feature any characters I particularly love besides Aquaman.” -DetectiveDupin

I didn’t even realize it was Dupin until after I read it. Couldn’t agree more.

With comics, what makes you say “okay, that’s enough”?

Geoff Johns: His dialogue is amateurish and dated. Does he not realize that no one talks like that in the real world? He’s way too continuity and origin happy to the point where he’s given Barry Allen’s bow tie an origin. While we’re on the subject of Allen: What was the point of “Flash: Rebirth” again? Someone above me said something about Hal Jordan basically not being as interesting as the stuff going on around him… Couldn’t agree more. Somebody tell Johns that.

The Flash: Wally West was doing just fine as The Flash. He grew tremendously as a character after succeeding his mentor after that huge death. There was absolutely no need to replace him.

Brian Michael Bendis: Ever since he’s been involved w/ Marvel I’ve been done w/ them.

Gail Simone: You know what… never mind. @ least she tries. Moving on to a more deserving subject…

James Robinson: This impostor has single-handedly defeated Superman and the Justice League. I can’t wait until they bring back the original Robinson because this heavy handed, camp dialogued, writer has made me leave two of my favorites behind w/o looking back. Why’d they fire McDuffie again?

Mark Millar: ‘Nuff Said.

Marvel: (see Brian Michael Bendis)

Dan Didio: There aren’t enough writers out there to where you have to write ANYTHING?

Batwoman: Not necessarily her, just IMO what she represents in the genre of Comic Books. She’s a White, lesbian, Jew, that has is given her own series and has garnered enough media attention to save two books, yet they can’t seem to lend this much acclaim, focus, or stellar creativeness to a Black character. Something to think about.

Spider-Man “One More Day”: ‘Nuff said.

Jeph Loeb: ‘Nuff said.

Events (specifically side events ie “Cry For Justice”): DC and Marvel have both been extremely event happy. It’s beginning to fatigue its readers. What’s even more ridiculous than the amount of events are the ones that should occur w/in a core title, instead becoming forgotten mini-series. Why do we need “Cry For Justice” when we already had JLoA? Why do we need “War of the Supermen” when we already have the Superman titles to cover them?

This was a good question and a nice topic. Thanks!

Mark Millar, after the babydropping incident in “Ultimate Avengers”. “Wanted” was the book that set the lights to yellow, and after that I’ve slowly lost patience with him.

Editorial decisions about which heroes are supposed to be cool and the next big thing.

I wonder why comic publishers don’t have focus groups (or maybe they do?), because it would be so easy to find out which books will definitely flop.

Ask anyone who has read comics for a number of years and 90% of them will tell you that there is no way to make characters like Arsenal, Geo Force or Magog interesting concepts. People would also tell you that a one-shot of Deadpool or the Pet Avengers is a great idea, but that producing an abundance of those books will make the characters self-destruct and unusable for years.

Oh yeah, and Jeph Loeb, Judd Winick, and Mark Millar are pretty big turnoffs.

Geoff Johns was put in my bad books with the ending to Legion of 3 Worlds. I had such high hopes for the series, because I love George Perez’s art, but being shown the finger for being a fanboy was a bit much!

Interesting because I visit CBR every day, but haven’t been interested in monthly comics for a couple of years now. The reason being boredom, mostly. I began reading comics when I was 9, and quit around 24. I feel like nothing in the Marvel Universe is fresh or exciting (although it probably rarely was, but I could just admit it now). I’m tired on events that swear to have a huge, mission-changing, lasting effect on the entire universe, but things just seem to be back to normal in a few issues. I love Brubaker’s Captain America, and even though Steve Rogers isn’t really in the monthly, I’m still enjoying it less because he’s back. I quit buying the Boys because of the reasons listed in the article, but around issue 10. I said enough to the X-Men was Cyclops was saying “suck it” and Greg Land’s art made me eye roll every turn of the page. I feel like I’m just getting Buffy Season 8 just because I was obsessed with the show for a good chunk of my life. I even feel like I’ve had enough with Fables. I’m finding the best stuff is the detached-from-others stuff like Ex Machina, or how Y the Last Man was. You can’t have a senses-shattering-even with just one book. Then it would just have to be *gasp* the story that should logically be told.
Ellis and Immonen on Nextwave 2 might be the only thing that could draw me back into Marvel.

Leinil Francis Yu – I never cared much for his art, but the awful fight scene he drew in New Avengers #31 (or maybe the issue before but it was a big and very ugly mass fight scene panel) was just so awful I dropped anything he draws and in fact the whole Avengers and have not bought another Avengers title since

I was something of a latecomer to super-hero comics, being drawn in by the big movies around 2000. I loved both of Singer’s X-Men films, so I decided I wanted to read about the characters. When I got the first impressions of X-continuity in the 616 universe, I almost gave up from the start – but instead went to Ultimate X-Men. I read it through the runs of Mark Millar, Brian Bendis and BKV and loved every single issue. Then came Robert Kirkman. From the outset, everything felt slightly off the mark – and grew farther off as it progressed. All the characters I loved seemed to not be themselves anymore, and the stories became less and less interesting. The tipping point was the resurrection of Ultimate Beast, whose funeral still ranks as one of the best goodbye moments in comics to me. His pointless return said to me that the author didn’t care for the title anymore and didn’t have any ideas what to do with it. I dropped the first comic book I ever read at issue 89. When I heard it got dragged even lower in its final installments, then was cancelled and most of the cast killed off, I didn’t even mourn. To me, it had died with issue 65.

Having collected the Essential reprints of Claremont’s 70s/80s run in the meantime and become more familiar with the main universe, I started reading the 616 X-Men titles around Endangered Species and enjoyed most of it since.

I fairly recently came to the conclusion that I’m tired of Warren Ellis. I still believe he’s likely a genius, and he can be very clever when he’s on but there a couple things that just soured me to him. The first is his abysmal run on Astonishing X-Men, which highlights, perhaps more than any other work of his, that all of his characters sound exactly like Warren Ellis. The second is that, while all of his comics are full of wonderful ideas, he’s well into recycling those wonderful ideas now, such that if you’ve read his earlier work, you’ve probably read his new stuff already. The third is more personal in that I don’t really need an extra dose of negativity in my life right now–Ellis (or his online persona) is uniformly caustic, which, I know, is part of what people love about him. The attitude is also on display in his comics, which seem to all have a bit of nastiness at their core.

It is perfectly legitimate to stop buying a title if it no longer works for you. Based on my own experience, there is no point in having boxes and boxes of comics that you do not read and value. It is for this reason that I buy mostly trades. You do not have to treat them with kid gloves, and if you decided that it was a mistake to have ordered/purchased the volume it is easier to get rid off than monthly issue.

We do a disserve a disserrvice to fandom if we continue to buy the works of a writer or artist simply because we feel a need to have everything that a particular individual has done. Buy a series only as long as your read it and like it.

“It stopped being fun, Doctor”
Tegan Jovanka –Resurrection of the Daleks

I haven’t read most of Millar’s work, so I freely admit that my opinion of him is based on his self-promoted persona, but I can’t stand the man andrefuse to give him any of my money.

I have read synopsis of most of his storylines and books, and have a question: correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t he use RAPE as a plot point or joke in just about every major project he’s done? That alone is enough to make me despise him,

Well, I’m not very bright so it took me 50 issues of Brian Bendis’s New Avengers to realise that he has no intention of writing a story with a plot; you know, with a beginning, middle and end. He has many good ideas for stories, and some of them start well, but that’s all we get. Being a bit slow, I’ve only just realised that this kind of writing is part of a modern trend in comics and television in which story fragments are put together somewhat at random and the reader/viewer is left to construct a plot in their own head (not to mention puzzle over it endlessly and pointlessly on message boards or with friends). This method employs gratuitous and random story twists and “mysterious” events that exist simply to make the writing appear complex and clever and to keep us reading/watching but which are rarely resolved. New story threads start and the old ones are left dangling and there is no real overall plan or worked-out plot. It’s a bit like the old surrealist technique of decoupage, or “cut-ups” in which phrases or words are shuffled together in sequences which sound like they mean something, but the meaning is all in the reader’s head. Except that was art, and this is just a trick.

Captainamerica4

May 2, 2010 at 7:24 am

DC – Like other posts before me I dropped Batman after his death, gave it a few issues to try but didn’t like it. JLA abouth the same time. Thought I would give Blackest Night a chance but it did not impress me. Continued the series just to have it all but, meh.

Marvel – X-Men lost me with Necroshia. Tired of those attempting to cash in on zombie/ vampire/ undead whatevers. So I picked up Walking Dead instead and I am mad at myself for not reading this title earlier. I tapped out on the Punisher with the “Franken Castle” story. I understand the deeper socio-political background, but this is the Punisher!

The Boys – When it switched publishers, I agree with Tim O’Neil about the Boys being gratuitous for the sake of being gratuitous. Some of Ennis’s war books still interest me.

For me, lately it’s been about the price. If a comic I’m buying suddenly shoots up to $3.99 (Thor, for example), there’s a good chance I’m going to drop it. For reasons like this, I’ve gone from about 28 comics a month this time last year to just 17. There’s also times when a change in writers/artists kills it (Astonishing X-Men) or when a single arc just kills any interest I’ve had in it (Captain America: Reborn). Of course, there’s always things like Secret Warriors, too, which I just eventually realized will read far better in trade.

I reached my tipping point for whole industry last year. it’s just too event driven now, it has ceased to be about individuals/stars inhabiting a universe and more the universe being the selling point. also just too much emphasis on getting out as many avengers/x-men/superman etc titles at the expense of much more interesting work on stuff like Mi13 or Iron Fist. i really don’t feel like reading anything either Marvel or DC do right now and i can’t see it changing. i shall be looking to collect silver age stuff from now on.

i think its good that comics involve politics, so long as the analysis is astute. i dropped fables for willingham’s right wing smug fuckery regarding the one dimensional ‘isreal analogy’, which perpetuates the same anti-human antiquated myths that are shoved down our gullets in every other medium available.

DMZ i dropped after twenty issues or so. it was good, but too much like reading a newspaper. humourless.

personally, i think that ennis’s boys is the single greatest comic on the stands. in the words of the homelander, all you haters can ‘SUCK IT’

peace

Just to give a counterpoint, because a lot of people seem to really hate them – Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns are two of my favorite writers. :)

I quit monthly superhero comics a few years ago. I had been reading them since I was about 10 and collecting titles since about 15 (mostly X-men family since around the time of X-men 1 and X-force 1). I was buying 30 comics a month and I realised for a while I was getting tired of it but couldn’t bring myself to quit. When I did there was a variety of reasons. I had started getting Preacher/100 bullets/Fables trades. These made most superhero books seem immature and redundant. I finally quit when Grant morrison and Frank Quitely finshed their X-men run and the JLA/Avengers crossover was published. I realised that I would never read a better x-men run and the JLA /Avengers seemed to just wrap up superheroes for me. It was excellent. Again, I would never read a better superhero comic. Around the same time Mr Bendis disassembled the Avengers. I am not knocking that. I think, from a business point of view it was obviously a great move. But it destroyed what the Avengers meant to me. I have continued to pick up some trades, mostly Vertigo and independant stuff. The only out and out superhero I have read since was the Morrison/Quitely Superman (again,in trade form). I will never read another superhero comic, or even another monthy comic. I don’t regret anything I’ve read or bought but I think I made the right decision. I went out on a the high of Morrisons X-men and JLA/Avengers.

Three things quickly kill comics to me:

1) Boredom – If I have to slog through four books before anything substantial happens; sorry you’re gone.

2) The Writer’s complete lack of understanding of the characters – My perfect example is when Chuck Dixon killed off Oliver Queen/ Green Arrow for DC. Ollie’s strapped to a bomb in a plane and Superman is there to save him. Problem is, he’ll have to cut off GA’s hand to free him. GA says screw this and sets off the bomb and Superman leaps out of the plane to escape the explosion. Uh-huh! First off, Superman uses plane explosions to style his hair. He isn’t just going to let a fellow hero die just to escape a little boom. Second he’s quick enough to save and get out before the bomb goes off. He is faster the the Flash after all. Third, HE HAD A HERO KILL HIMSELF. A hero who taught himself how to survive on a desert island when he was shipwrecked. Yeah, we’re staying character here. I never bought another Chuck Dixon book after that, even if I was actively following the title when he took over.

3) The art – Sometimes I have seen art in comic books that looks like I drew it. If I pay good money, I expect – no demand – good art. The best guide to whether the Art in a book will suck is, If it’s all boobs on the cover, it’s gonna suck. But there are exceptions.

I’ll follow a book through a change of direction usually because you have to give some new things a chance. But I’ll drop it in a second if it bores or annoys me.

I gave up on Booster Gold after about 11 issues.

It was written decently enough but fells so ridiculously short of its premise. It could have been like Back to the Future 2 but with superheroes. But seeing as how they wernt allowed to alter the DC time-line too much it just kept retreading the same “Oh noes, cant change the past booster” plot.

I also gave up on Green Lantern/Blackest Night and Streets of Gotham for similar reasons.
There are so many plot points that arnt really taken advantage of in Blackest Night its rediculous. Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow and other become Black Lanterns and the tension holds for all of one splash page at the end of Blackest Night #5. Streets of Gotham teased a intrigue plot involving Hush personating Bruce Wayne but then Dick simply called the justice league and the story simply forgot about Hush.

If you’re not going to deliver what you promise, why should I read it.

This topic is hard to write about because it’s hard to express a sentiment without feeling one is getting personal about a specific creator.
One common thread or Litmus test that makes me leave a ‘writer’ is when I start to recognize a pattern in their work. And that pattern becomes an albatross.
It usually comes in two forms: the writer is writing way too many different characters in different monthlies and (to use a baseball analogy) you can begin to see him (her) stretching storylines like a runner stretching a single into a double.
And a style of writing that was “fresh”, “cutting edge” or “innovative” when the writer first made a splash has now become a formula used in all titles/projects or so identified with that writer, readers have moved beyond it and now find it cliché.

I’ve also completely quit buying Image comics. I’ve been burned too many times by extremely late or even unfinished minis, and I’m not just going to accept it as “part of the comic business”. How about some accountability for your products?, The creator-owned argument doesn’t work for me. It says Image in the top left corner, and that’s who I blame.

Bottom Line: read what you like. It’s no one’s business but your own.

Wow, lots of Millar hate. I can totally see where it is coming from, but I don’t feel the same way. All I have to do to continue enjoying Mark Millar’s comics is not read all of them. I loved Kick Ass, but in the interest of not tiring on the writer I’m going to sit it out for Nemesis, and maybe read the trade some day. I don’t want to burn out on his ultra-violent stuff so I’ll join Millar for his next marvel U project whatever that may be. At the same time I skipped his FF in order to better enjoy Old Man Logan. He is really easy to burn out on, but in little doses I think he’s great.

My burn out moment was Jeph Loeb. I loved all his work with Tim Sale (Batman Long Halloween/Dark Victory, Spider-man Blue, Hulk Gray etc.) so I was pretty pumped when he was starting to do his latest crop of Marvel stuff. Unfortunately it’s all unreadable. His Hulk might have turned me off from the character forever (especially disappointing because I loved planet hulk so much) and his ultimate work has been an utter nightmare. I never imagined a writer of whom I was so fond becoming a deal breaker on any given comic series. Bummer.

Also pardon me if this has been readdressed already, but I didn’t read a good deal of these posts because there are so many. I’m curious about the post that says Millar has racist undertones. I haven’t really picked up on it (unless you are talking about killing Goliath in Civil War which I didn’t consider racist). Can somebody elaborate on this for me?

Yikes.
An entire “Trash Creators” comment thread. I have to assume that the writer did not intend this, but maybe some ground rules should have been laid. Everyone is free to like and dislike any creators … but is it necessary to trash them? Can’t we all just read what we like? It’s rather obvious that each of us has unique, individual tastes and for everyone who loves *********** someone else hates **********.

Maybe we can focus on trends, stories, characters, cliches, or marketing issues that drive us away.
Just my opinion, tho.

The trends in comics that disappoint me most are the large universe changing events that seem to be the bread and butter of Marvel and DC. These stories create changes throughout the entire comic universe and force people into buying more titles than they want or need.

In the case of iconic heroes such as Spiderman, Batman, or Superman, the companies just seem to be all too eager to connect titles together. If companies want to maintain a fanbase for their major characters, it makes sense to have one on-going series that is not connected to continuity and is an easy entry point into the character.

Even though I am a fan of Gail Simone’s writing on BOP, I am not going to start picking up the book when she returns, but instead I will wait for the trades. I will also check reviews to determine whether or not the title is too intermeshed with the rest of the Batman tiitles.

The tipping point for me is the onslaught of dystopia and cynicism in comics. Whatever happened to super-heroes that were heroic — that lifted you up instead of making you feel dirty. Millar typifies this trend and I no longer have any inteerst in his work. Marvel’s Dark Reign was another example of rampant cynicism and a dystopian world. Also, there seems to be a misunderstanding on the term “edgy” as a synonym for cynical. Ultimately we grow up and realize that cynicism isn’t hip any more — it’s merely cowardice.

Hollowpoint_Ninja

May 2, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I’ve dropped most marvel books for financial reasons, shortly after Secret Invasion. The stories werent bad, but I was enjoying DC and other books i was reading more, now the only Marvel books I read are The Ultimate books and Fantasic Four. But I’ll probably drop FF if it ever starts getting into crossover events…

I was buying Captain America in trade form, but after the last part of The Death of Captain America story i just never bothered to get the later trades…

One area i did drop out completely of was X-Men. I’d been reading almost all the X-titles faithfully through good and bad since the early 90′s. But after Morrison’s and Whedon’s spectacular runs, I tried enjoying Fraction’s and the other books, but I just knew it was never going to be as good as it was with them. I enjoyed Carey’s X-men Legacy and Ellis’s Astonishing X-Men but when one started crossing over with books I dropped (Utopia X) and the other stopped coming out with one issue left (Astonishing) I just gave up… Astonishing 35 will be my last X-Book unless someone other than Loeb or Kirkman come out with a new Ultimate X-Men series…

Speaking of Loeb, I know people here like to hate on Cry For Justice, and I’ll be the first to admit it was pretty bad, but Ultimatum makes Cry for Justice look like the Batman Year One. thats all i got to say about that. But I must confess I pick up Ultimate X and new ultimates for two of my favorite artists…

I’ve dropped a number of series in my time. It usually comes from poor storylines, or stories. Bill Mantlo took over “Alpha Flight” after John Byrne left. His first story was the origin of Puck. This is a character that actually had some depth to him. Puck was a dwarf, and had overcome many obstacles to become a super-hero.

But, Mantlo (who had done good work with “Cloak & Dagger” and “Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man” crafted a ludicrous origin story involving a djinn of some sort. Mike Mignola was not a good choice for a series like “Alpha Flight”.

There’s also something called “plot fatigue” where a story just goes on too long. Walt Simonson’s first year on “Thor” was exciting: ditched the old alter ego; introduced Beta Ray Bill (who I liked moreso than Thor). But, then the whole Ragnarok storyline started, and it just went on, and on.

Sometimes, there just comes a time when the comics just stop working for us. I’ve dropped series that I followed for decades, example Hulk. I collected the entire 12 year Peter David run, but I dropped it during the Joe Casey run. I just couldn’t accept that the Abomination killed Betty by sneaking into the hospital and dosing her with his own radioactive blood. How could a man who is nine feet tall and bright green sneek anywhere? What did he do, put leaves on his head and pretend to be a tree? I went back for Paul Jenkins, but Bruce Jones lost me when he constantly had the dead villains revive at the end of each issue. I just felt there was no drama. I came back for Planet Hulk and WWHulk, but after everything I am just not a fan of the Red Hulk so I stopped buying it. Maybe, when this storyline is over and the Hulk is back I will start buying it again, at least until I stop enjoying it. My story is probably typical of many collectors.We buy as long as we are entertained, and stop when it stops working for us.

One things that really stood out in great relief this past year were filler books designed to keep every single character in the Marvel or DC U’s involved in the big sweeping epic while we waited for the increasingly late main issues. The entire Barry Allen 3 issue run consisted of him literally running in circles. And somewhere in there he kinda pulls Bart Allen form the speed force. At the end of the 3 issues he literally decides to stop running in circles.

Three… issues.. for that?

I avoid the main event books now and find the titles that just dip their toes in and keep their own stories going. For Marvel, it’s mighty Hercules and Atlas that get me through. For DC it’s… um… Well, let me get back to you on that one.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve been on the fence regarding Secret Six and X-Factor for years. I consistently hate the art. Despite some storytelling craft both books feature art that’s often ugly or feels like a filler issue. The stories and characters and reveals are just interesting enough to keep me hanging in as I wait for them to assign better artists or cancel the damn things.

I don’t miss them when I miss them and yet I still pick them up. So kudos to Simone and David for their work on those books. Then again, none of the other stuff they’re writing now is working for me. I guess it’s a case titles that each has carved truly unique takes on.

Runs it is.

“I’m on the brink with Geoff Johns. Though he appeals to a part of me that wants stupid entertainment, he’s insulting in the same way Asher describes Millar–as allegories for the fandom, Superboy Prime and Larfleeze seem quite condescending of the fans who buy his work. Johns imagination isn’t very impressive (see that Hatfield for a good summary of why) and his penchant for violence (often misogynistic) as a plot device and, well…I’m finding the limits of just how much stupidity I can accept in my comics.”

I find it hilarious that the writer who is most beloved by fandom is the one who shits on fandom the most (in the work of course).

At least Grant Morrison is subtle about it.

Well, when I was younger, I subscribed to DC’s Looney Tunes comic, and I thought it was awesome. That is, until they put in things like mazes and puzzles and crap instead of actual stories.

Other than that, the only title I’d ever consider dropping is the new Azrael (it just hasnt been interesting) but I’ll see what David Hines’ approach is like.

I lose interest when stories take so long to finish up. Writers these days write to fill pages for a 6 issue TPB edition. Bring us back to the days of the 80′s when quality writing was the primary goal for reading a great comic , not the over-the-top artwork. (God I hated the old Image Comics style) .

And more word boxes and thought balloons please! What’s so wrong about narrative and editor notes referring you to an important issue? How many times have you seen an editor’s note in an issue over the past 10 years? Are they worried it may cover some important piece of art? (Bah!) It kept us involved in the story. With the current releases, I feel that we are now on the outside looking in.

I believe that if comics companies looked back as to what made them successful in the first place and applied those same principals in storytelling today we would have more readers sticking around regardless of price point,

Finally, in an age where we have to more with less, why don’t the comics companies cut back on the amount of product they release every month? If there were less titles or jobs, they would need less writers, artists, letterers, colorists, etc which would benefit the readers. Cut the fat, use the best creators and bring a sense of continuity to the comics that has been lacking, Why does it seem a creative team who makes their mark on series always leaves after a year is up? Why bother signing a creator to a title if they can’t guarentee that their product will arrive on time and may not even last a year on a title?

There’s several things wrong with comics today they are overlooked by their respective management teams. But as long as the product still sells, regardless of quality and overall resentment to pricepoint, it’ll be quid pro quo.

First Johns is probably going through fan boy rebellion right now due to over saturation, far to many series. People begin to hate what gets pushed down their throats too much.

For me I will be Dropping Daredevil, First the series is good, but i cant go through another event comic series and shadowland and such are just a bit too much. I still have sticker shot from the 50 issues of blackest night and its tie ins.

I will be avoiding most of the James Robinson titles, I have been faithful to this Superman story line and i just feel i wasted a ton of money on those little sheilds in the corner. And his writing to this point on Justice League makes JL detroit look like JLI.

Now that Rucka is leaving DC for the forseeable future Action and Detective will get cut also.

Geek Gazette

May 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm

I used to really be into the works of Millar, Moore, Miller and David, but not so much any more. To me they all seem to think too highly of themselves. Once fans began to praise them, they started buying into the hype and now seem to think that pretty much any crap they put out is better than what’s put out by anyone else. The really bad part is the publishers seem to believe it as well.
I’m not saying they aren’t talented, they probably have more talent in their little fingers than I could ever hope to possess, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have bombs. All of them have had their fair share, they just seem unable to admit it. Instead it seems that it is the fans fault because they don’t “get it”. I’d much rather read a book by writer/artist that is consistently mediocre, but enjoyable than one that is hyped beyond belief just because the artist had a few great stories.
The same holds for Morrison. I was a big fan until Final Crisis.
I have never met any of these creators personally so I can’t say how they actually are, my opinion stems from how they appear in interviews and from second hand reports by people that have met them. For all I know they could be the most wonderful people on the planet, but in interviews they don’t come off that way.

Michael M. J.

May 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm

I gave up on anything Bruce Jones does after his awful Checkmate storyline. I’d already been wary of him and his tendancy to go nowhere fast before that, but that was the last straw,

I gave up on Jeph Loeb completely after Ultimatum, when I realized just how little I like his work. He’s been phoning it in for years, or so it seems, and Ultimates 3/Ultimatum were my final straw. Despite a near-complete run of the Ultimate Universe, I couldn’t bring myself to get Ultimate X or New Ultimates.

Chris Claremont… is very borderline for me. I tried his X-Men Forever, but after one arc I realized that he’s become too much of a self-parody, his stylistic quirks too ingrained, for me to eagerly keep up with anything but a few things he does.

James Robinson… is also very borderline. Cry For Justice almost did me in completely on him, but I can’t quite break away yet.

I bailed on the Green Arrow franchise just before Blackest Night, when I had to start making a few hard choices and I realized the storyline wasn’t doing it for me, nor was J.T. Krul. Simultaneously, I jumped ship on the already mediocre Titans, and Teen Titans may be soon behind if Felicia Henderson doesn’t get a better grip on character voices.

Outsiders, I left because I finally got sick of the frequent relaunches and changes in premise and team roster. DiDio coming on board made for a nice breaking point.

It takes a lot for me to leave a title midstream, but more and more, I’m finding reasons to do it as the fun value falls below the cost of the book. I stick to just one of the many Deadpool series, dropped Wolverinw when Daken took over, left Pixie Strikes Back midway through the series (as soon as I could stop preordering) when I realized Kathryn Immonen’s style isn’t for me… it breaks my heart every time, but sometimes, enough really is enough.

Generally, i leave when a creator i like leaves a book. So, when peter david left hulk, i left that. I came back on for world war hulk cos i liked the concept, but left again after the end ( though stayed with Hercules).

i will go back onto buying books if the reviews are good (Avengers Initiative for example). I am interested in some characters, and will buy books for them sometimes. For example, Booster Gold and the iredeemable ant man

Just to clarify, it’s not creator bashing to discuss why we don’t like certain creators’ work. I haven’t read any comments that seem to be personal attacks on the creators. As consumers, we are entitled to evaluate the product we are being offered. If I do a bad job at work, I’m going to hear about it, and I’ve got no business taking it personal. When your paid to do a job, that comes with the territory.

Hmmm. This may not be the forum, but I can’t really comment on “Blackest Night” as I haven’t read it, but i have read, and indeed do still read, “The Boys” and most anything Garth Ennis puts his hands to. Why? Because he seems to have an insight that few comic book writers have about the dark side of these characters. To say that Ennis is being gratuitous is not the point here. He is, and he’s good at gratuitous. But we need to look at the whole here. The sequence in question in “Herogasm” is pretty much what a hard boiled arsehole would do if he felt superior to the person he was talking to. I think it was pretty much in character and moved the story along even though it was an interlude.

As Ennis has said, and I can’t quote here as it would mean trolling through a load of stuff; but I believe it was here on CBR, was that ‘The Boys” and subsequently the characters, are finite. This character is going to get his comeuppence at some point and we will be all the gladder for that.

I have just read through Ennis’s run on “Punisher Max”and I think the violence there was even more graphic than anything in “The Boys” but there were moments of great sensitivity and subtlety. I think to drop a writer and condemn his whole body of work because of one sequence is a little childish and self-defeating. Is there anything in the other work that is annoying you? Well why did you like it in the first place?

I dumped *all* superhero comics when I realized the Justice League Unlimited TV series was “doing superheroes” far better than the source comics had done in years. I just walked away; it was like shedding a burden, to be honest. Once the series wrapped, I found that I had no desire to fill the void by returning to superhero comics. I’m not an anti-superhero snob (some of the best work done in American comics has been done in superhero comics); it’s just that the paradigm has nothing left with which to appeal to me.

I don’t collect any monthlies at all now: I’m strictly into trades and hardcovers.

First, let me say that I love superhero comics. But, in recent days, I find myself on the precipice of continuing my comic collecting hobby. I wouldn’t say it’s one particular thing, but rather the genre itself has become something that I’m liking less and less. Between all the special events that are happening all the time, I’m starting to feel some real “Event Fatigue” (I believe the phrase is). Between needless deaths, endless resurrections and the lack of continuity between books, I’m finding it less interesting to continue into the “Heroic Age” or “Brightest Day” without some idea of what I’m getting into. Yes, I’ve read the issues leading up to them, and sure, I have enjoyed some of the stories, but I guess I’m looking for some old fashion storytelling. Something where characters aren’t dying left and right, where the hero is just that, and the story works in the greater tale of the universe it works in. Marvel and DC had me for a few decades, and I enjoyed 90% of the things I read. But maybe I just need to pass the torch of enjoyment onto the next generation … I really don’t know at this point.

When Brubaker’s Captain America became yet another petty, partisan, political comic dealing with Captain America firmly representing one of the US’s political parties and the rabble rousers representing the other one. Hey, I could care less about Brubaker’s politics: I read comics for fun; not to get the same take on politics you can see on any cable network 24 hours a day. Geez, politics in comics is fine as long as the issues transcend the moment and speak to the great issues of humanity; issues that are bigger than the tiff-of-the-month between the two gigantic political parties that rule the US, and when Captain America picks on of those parties (as he does about every 10 years) it ALWAYS spells the end of the thrill for that particular run.

I’m done with Brubaker’s Captain America. Reborn felt forced and it’s like he’s been treading water for the last 12 issues.

Bendis. His Daredevil peaked about half way through his run and I’m thinking about getting rid of my nine USM hardcovers. I don’t even want to look at them anymore. And I lost all interest in Powers about three years ago (or two issues at the rate that comes out).

These days the only things I still read and buy are Invincible, Hellboy, and BPRD.

Geek Gazette

May 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm

@ mike
I agree 100% with JLU getting it right. That show was better than any comic put out by any publisher at the time. Heck it is still better than most of the comics put out now. Same with the old Batman toon, it was the best depiction of Batman.

Being a Marvel-fan I was disappointed that instead of allowing the Spider-Man to grow, they put him back in a position where he was when I was 10 yrs old. There are plenty of Spider titles that Marvel uses to catch new readers up to what would have been status quo. They just launched one that my 9 yr old daughter likes. They should understand readers grow up quicker than their characters. I have not purchased Spider-Man comics (my all time favorite) since OMD (it doesn’t matter that the writing has been great), it just doesn’t interest me.

@SketchPad – I stopped during 1996 and didn’t restart until after Civil War when talking to a comic shop guy when I went to take my daughter to buy her first comic book. I thought I would never enjoy them again, but I do. So take a breather, if you really miss it, you’ll go back.

Very nice thread. Here are a few of my picks for people I’ve thrown in the towel on. Most are just for personal reasons, changes in my taste.

Mark Millar – for reasons already very eloquently and at length stated. His work on the Authority and the Ultimates was great, even Civil War I could get into. Still, the whole thesis that Superheroes are ugly, mean fucks and that superhero culture is fundamentally childish and laughable rubs me the wrong way. I’m usually an enjoyer of seeing people poke fun at capes, but Millar does it so frequently, and exactly the same meanspirited, nasty way that I’m done with it.

John Romita Jr. – my inner Spiderman fanatic is weeping, but honestly, I feel like I “get” his art and it just doesn’t impress me anymore. I don’t want to disparage the guy as an artist: he’s still one of the most iconic, visually dynamic artists working today. NO ONE draws like he does, and his page layouts and action still pop like nobody’s business. It’s just that his style is so distinctive; I feel like once I’ve read one book by Romita Jr. and I’ve read ‘em all. In a way, it’s like getting sick of Kirby. Plus, some of his designs just don’t work for me. His drawing Iron Man always makes me cringe, he makes the streamlined, contoured suits look blocky and clunky. Not excited about him on Avengers.

Alex Ross – same reasons as Romita Jr. Great artist, iconic, has done work I’ve really enjoyed, but the novelty has worn off.

JMS – Rising Stars was a fucking great book for about 20 issues, but since then most everything he’s done has been really unappealing to me.

Warren Ellis – Warren Ellis has two personalities that he writes with. The first is the raving, nasty, “mirror to society” crank who uses his vitriol to express scary potential truths. The second is the transgressive, cyberpunk, post-human innovator, with a touch of optimism (or at least less cycnism). When he puts the to together (as he did in Planetary and Transmetropolitan) he can write a perfect book. Separate, it usually turns into a vicious, unwieldy mess.

The Walking Dead – Kirkman is a funny one for me. Invincible is one of the best written, most fun and exciting superhero comics out there. I did enjoy Walking Dead through the first few trades (I personally liked Tony Moore’s art better than the other guy, but could understand how he wasn’t going to stick around through the rest of the series), but found it got so relentlessly bleak and depressing I just couldn’t keep reading it. It wasn’t going anywhere, which I believe Kirkman has stated was his intent in the series. I remember reading somewhere that he wasn’t writing the book in terms of an arc or with a set ending; the characters in the book weren’t going to cure the zombie plague. It was just about life after the zombie holocaust. In that way, he’s doing a bang up job. It’s just not terribly interesting to me.

Frank Miller – honestly, not a huge fan to begin with but this dude needs to pack it in.

Jeph Loeb – he is writing SO EMBARASSINGLY BADLY that I feel stupid ever having liked his work. Everything he does these days is garbage, absolute garbage.

Buffy – I’m on my way to this, and it was even before Brad Meltzer showed up and dropped his particular brand of horseshit into it. Mostly it’s the art (cannot STAND Georges Jeanty), but honestly, I’ve been pretty consistently disappointed with almost all the issues not written by Joss Whedon. Even the issues by former Buffy writers have this really weird air of purposeless to them, like they aren’t sure exactly how to tell this story. Ironically, I think this might be symptomatic of a discomfort with the lack of constraints of medium: all the sudden, you no longer have to worry about money or time or the 22 episode season to tell a story. This means you get giant goofy gods, centaurs, slayer armies storming medieval castles. It feels so misguided. I actually think Bryan K Vaughn’s arc was nice because it was much more limited in focus, more character driven. It reminded me of the show. Anyway, I’ll be curious to see how the “season” ends, but not that curious.

Kevin Smith – stop writing comics. You should probably stop writing in general, but I’ll limit this to comics for the moment. Those Clerks comics you did with Jim Mahfood, good stuff. The “Guardian Devil” Daredevil arc… OK. Better for having Joe Quesada art. Green Arrow? Siiiiiiiiigh, decent. Everything else? FUCKING TERRIBLE.

James Robinson – this one surprises me. His Starman series basically changed how I thought about comics. Through honestly, re-reading the Omnibuses, I’m struck with how purple some of the prose is, how cringingly bad the dialogue can be (Jack Knight particularly comes off as a HUGE doucher) and how unimpressive Tony Harris’ art was on a bad day (his layouts were pretty stellar though. Peter Snejbjerg on the other hand? As much a genius then than now). Since then? He has risen to Jeph Loeb levels of stupidness in Cry For Justice. Worse than that, he’s become perfectly unremarkable on all his Superman stuff. What a waste.

Judd Winick – I have this feeling like I really enjoyed his stuff at one point, but now can’t seem to recall what it was I liked.

JSA – Loved it up until the Kingdom Come bullshit. Now I have no idea what’s going on and really don’t care.

Ennis/the Boys is an odd one. Around the Swingwing arc, I basically dropped the book in disgust. Oddly, this recent arc has drawn me back in. I think that it helped me to know the book will have a definite ending and to just accept the ugliness and violence of the book. It’s largely about this thesis, a similar one that Millar operates with: superheroes are assholes. Tremendous assholes. You need to buy this going in, check your optimism and naiveté at the door, and prepare to read about all the horrible, horrible ways superheroes ruin everyone’s lives. For some reason, it’s easier to swallow here than when Millar does it. Maybe because it’s SO over the top. Maybe because the world he’s playing in isn’t supposed to be the 616/DCU, so capes there can be as ugly/mean as he needs them to be. Also, I loved/love Preacher, even in it’s most ghoulish, juvenile moments.

Interestingly enough, one person who I feel should be on the list but haven’t gotten tired of: Bendis. The guy is prolific and iconoclastic, but largely I like what he does. I like him because I feel like he’s actually pretty fearless when it comes to storytelling within the rigid structure of the popular comics system. He definitely has his flaws: everyone talks the same way in his books, he fixates on certain characters and uses them EVERYWHERE, his big event books (Secret Invasion, Avengers Disassembled, Seige) all tend to be kinda pointless. But I like how he shook up the Avengers, made weird team choices, and generally focuses on quieter moments and characterization over “this guy beats up that guy” things. He’s got the same tendencies as Johns, but he operates on a more punk rock level, which I enjoy. He got David Mack/Stuart Immohnen on a major superhero book! He made me care about Luke Cage! Plus I think, as ugly and mean and stupid as it was/is, Dark Avengers is a really, really cool book. Ultimate Spiderman is really one of the most consistently entertaining superhero books in decades. He just seems like a guy motivated more by dynamic story choices than by editorial, “what will make a better toy” choices.

Grant Morrison? Solid gold. I could not for the life of me understand what was going on in Final Crisis until I picked up the trade and read it like 8 times. It’s dense, incredibly esoteric for a big event book, and definitely could have been told in a slower, more deliberate way (Morrison, as he gets more prestigious, has embraced a real stream of consciousness form of narrative that I find occasionally hard to follow. Depends a lot on who is illustrating…). But honestly, I think it’s amazing and thrilling that DC let the guy tell that kind of story in an event in the mold of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Every little thing he does is magic.

Also, anyone who posts on this with “ugh, so much hate! why can’t we all get along?” or “if ya don’t like it, don’t read it!” hasn’t taken the time to realize the purpose of the thread and sniffs butts. you heard me.

Having read a few comments after mine – I have realised that I dislike most comics at the moment :-/

JMS – didn’t mind his Spiderman work (hated the Romita Jr art tho), but as already noted he abandons projects part way thru like Supreme Power & The Twelve – may not be his fault, but it does annoy.
Warren Ellis – have never enjoyed his work & drop titles immediately he takes over. He just overcomplicates things & I find his style tedious & boring.
Leinil Francis Yu – seriously his art is a complete mess. I think a 10 year could do a better job.

I still buy Spiderman – some of the stories have been okay – but the OMD thing stank to high heaven & no amount of defending it from Joe Quesada & Co can mask the fact, it was a JOKE. It destroyed Spiderman & the rich history of the character. I’m giving Spidey until O.M.I.T, but if that doesn’t really turn things around, the book goes. I can think of better things to spend my money on 3 times a month. Oh & kill Aunt May already! The character is boring & attributes nothing storywise anymore. Let’s move on for crying out loud!

I also dumped Punisher after 3 issues of ‘FrankenCastle’ – so not the Punisher. Comics require you to suspend disbelief obviously, but this was just too ridiculous for words. Thankfully still got MAX!

Stuff I do like:

I enjoyed Old Man Logan – tho as I said Millar cannot stick to a deadline.
Daredevil is great – like Diggle’s work.
Anything Matt Fraction writes – his Iron Man is awesome & I loved Immortal Iron Fist.
Dan & Andy’s cosmic Marvel work – sometimes it doesn’t hit its target, but for the most part its entertaining, exciting stuff – Guardians of the Galaxy & Nova are awesome & hope they come back after the Thanos storyline (thanks for bringing him back – very happy!!)

Haven’t read DC in a wile – find it crosses over more than Marvel & the whole Blackest Night thing seemed to go on forever. Started the new Batman titles – but seriously Bruce Wayne lost in time?? No – can’t accept that.

Ditto to all Millar comments. I got so pissed at his blatant disrespect for people who supplied his paycheck I sold my Ultimates HC issues. I will no longer buy single issues, it is always wait for the trade, and I wait to see what the general reviews are before purchasing. I only stick to my core comic heroes. And I mean Heroes. Since I was a boy I worshiped Captain America and he will always stay in my collection (He is the reason I joined the Marine Corps. I respected how he was written as a straight shooter and always doing the right thing).. I agree with what several individuals stated about comics trying to be something they are not. I am happiest with a good hero story, great artwork, and little to no friggin crossovers (just a way to make a person purchase more and separate titles). I will admit to being a Geoff Johns and DC fan though. I think Marvel has become convoluted and lost sight of what is a true comic book hero. I like the return of Barry Allen and Hal Jordan (I am glad to see Blackest Night over). I just started reading Geoff Johns original run on Flash and like to see these classic heroes coming back. I think Marvel is too interested in the next big thing and just spits on their past (but Invincible Iron Man and Daredevil remain on that list too). BLUF: Tired of comics trying to be toooo gritty and dark, bring back the guys who do whats right and have fun doing it.

Oh yeah and when I see a author go to crap I do get embarrassed to own his work. Like comments made about Ennis I have often sold entire runs of an author when I see they stop caring.

I have a mote point to make,not about any comic artist,writer or artist.Im sure that most people, when they go into a target,k-mart/walmart or any store,are sick to death of all of the garbage being sold,with hanna montanna. Well, one sees just as much junk being sold,with spidy,hulk or iron man.More and more,when I pick up a book,I think “what a commodity, this character has become” The merchantization alone is starting to kill my love of the characters.One has to wonder, do they ever pass on anything, a company wants to stick the spidy,hulk or iron man mug on? I cringe seeing some of the deplorable junk.Superheroes have become a cash cow for marketing junk, not comics

Dave Anderson

May 2, 2010 at 8:38 pm

I said enough for all the super-hero books that Marvel and DC put out from the end of the 80s to the end of the 90s. I didn’t realize how completely I had eliminated these books until I finally catalogued my collection a couple years ago. I thought I still read some of the books sporadically, but, no, I discovered 10, 15, even 20 year breaks from titles that I had loved — Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron Man, Green Lantern, Justice Leage, Daredevil, Captain America, etc.

Twenty years after the fact, I still don’t get the appeal of the supposed “superstar” artists that left Marvel to form Image. Most couldn’t write. Many didn’t have strong technical skills as artists. I didn’t like what most of them did at Marvel. I didn’t follow them to Image. And I hated that they had such an influence on super-hero titles in the 90s. It just absolutely killed it for me. I came to all of these titles (although some only briefly), but only when they went back to basics: solid writing; strong artists; etc.

Going back a little further, I read and then dropped most of the First Comics titles long before the company closed its doors. It put out great titles, but they were unusual titles that only worked with their original creaters — American Flagg!, Jon Sable, Dreadstar, and the endless fill in issues on Nexus.

I’m not sure if there’s any long time favorite creator that I’ve entirely cut off, but both John Byrne and Frank Miller and really, really close. Once upon a time I could count on Byrne’s writing to be clever and his art to be smooth. But now it seems rushed and kind of thread bare. Miller’s stories always seemed inventive and powerful. Now, it seems slapped together, derivative, and, frankly, mean spirited. How did he go from DKR to Dark Knight Strikes Again and from Batman: Year One to All-Star Batman & Robin. Ugh!

More recently, I’m done with Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four. The characterizations are unconvincing, the dialogue is awkward, the stories are poorly paced, the “BIG IDEAS” are under-whelming, etc. It’s got me wondering why I like Secret Warriors and if I really have liked it since Brian Michael Bendis stopped collaborating with him on it.

I dropped Spider-man (in my heart) after Civil War #2. They obviously didn’t care. I read a couple more issues of each series and realized what garbage it was. Then I read a couple issues later and about three of the new Amazing. I think they made Peter Parker into the worst comic book character ever created. To give you an idea how bad that is I used to think he was the BEST comic book character ever. I’ve never seen anything so awful in my life. He’s a terrible person who become so lame with magical Babylon 5-ish ressurection stories that made no sense and then he has new powers and other stuff that are just set-up for that awful Civil War monster. Then you have the biggest ‘go to hell’ (I’m being polite with the swear words) in the ‘Unmasking’. Hell, I could come up with better stuff than that. We all new it was a lie because all they cared about was getting him unmarried.

What?

Just unmarry him already and do it without making him a horrible person. Peter Parker is an idiot who would rather betray his friends than tell the truth. He’s like Norman Bates who keeps his Aunt May alive in a proverbial cellar and then gets beaten up by some villians and bangs skanks all night. WHo cares about this guy. I give them credit, because people still read Amazing despite this fact and I kept coming back after the clone saga, the difference being Peter Parker and Ben Reilly actually seemed like Spider-man and they both seemed like good people.

I was always a Marvel reader. I’ve read some recent Green Lanter stuff, having hardly read any before. I think it’s very cool. I read Blackest Night #8 yesterday. It’s getting life out of death. maybe it’s because I’m not attatched to the characters.

Shurron Farmer

May 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm

I’ve always read comics based on the characters, not the creators. For example, I’ve read the Titans ever since the 80s, and I remember buying their first appearance in DC Comic Presents #26 not because it was created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, but because I enjoyed the story at the age of six. I’ve stuck with the Titans ever since; this includes New Teen Titans, New Titans, The Titans (90s series), Team Titans, Teen Titans Spotlight, and the current Teen Titans. At this time, I’m not very happy with the Titans books but I’m not about to drop them either because although I may interested in what a writer or artist does, I’m still interested in the CHARACTERS. It’s only when my interest in the characters ends that I’ll drop a title, and this has been my rule of comic book reading for the past 25 years.

I don’t consider myself to be a comic reader who follows a creator from title to title. If I was, I (for example) would’ve followed George Perez from his run on Wonder Woman to his tenures at CrossGen and Malibu/Ultraverse. This isn’t to say that I’ve been critical of creators on titles of interest. For instance, I started reading the X-Men consistently in 1991. However, as I didn’t like the way Marvel handled them post-Onslaught, my interest in the X-Men left and so did I. I gave the X-Men another shot in the late 90s with New X-Men and have been reading Uncanny X-Men and New X-Men/X-Men/X-Men: Legacy since. While I haven’t always enjoyed certain directions the X-Men have taken, my interest in them remains as strong as ever.

I started reading the Avengers during Roger Stern’s run in the 80s, and I’ve been reading the Avengers-related books ever since. There were times where I didn’t care for Bendis’ direction for the Avengers, but because I was interested in the characters, I stuck with the titles. I’m happy to see the end of the Dark Reign and the beginning of Marvel’s “Heroic Age.”

This isn’t to say that aren’t certain creators I acknowledge for their work. If I did that here, I’d probably end up writing a book. Nevertheless, I end my comments as I began them: enough is enough for me when I lose interest in a character, not a creator.

I liked Grant Morrison’s work on Animal Man, but like so many others I see commenting here and elsewhere, stories like R.I.P. Batman and Final Crisis just make me go, “Wait a minute…WHAT?!?!” His writing is so convoluted that I think he overextends himself then realizes he doesn’t have the pages to cram it all in.

I know it’s pretty much antithetical to the topic at hand, but after blowing off some steam and vitriol at some titles and creators, I should try and make some positive statements.

Before I do, though, for those who see this as becoming a creator-bashing thread, the question at hand was: when do you know it’s time to drop a title? For some, it takes a while, for others, it might be an incident.

It would seem that, more often than not amongst the contributors here, that experience has taught us that we do not like certain creators’ work. Certainly the author of the article has re-examined Garth Ennis’ body of work, and has made decisions from that point.

So, some of us have writers and/or artists that we will not abide. I already went into my own earlier.

However, I should like to say, in the spirit of positivity, that there are also creators whose names will have me picking up a title with little to no hesitation.

Amanda Conner I already mentioned. Power Girl was sold from issue one just based on her finally being on a monthly title. Wherever she winds up next, I’ll pick it up.

Grant Morrison – contentious in this thread, Grant’s work is a mindf**k almost all of the time, but I’ve been on the ride since he took over my beloved Doom Patrol and made them better than they’ve been, before or since. Seven Soldiers? Absolutely fantastic, especially once you step back and examine the work as a whole (a bit more of a financial commitment than I would normally submit to, but there you go). And the Invisibles is still my all-time favourite comic book.

I honestly don’t find him hit-or-miss; All Star Superman, We3, New X Men…(again, it was the only thing that got me back to reading an X-book), Arkham Asylum…(Dave McKean being another “I’ll buy it” artist).

Warren Ellis, J.H. Williams III, George Perez…

Are we just talking about “Mainstream” type comics? Because Seth or Chris Ware could design placemats for McDonald’s and I’d start eating there just to see them. Well, I’d start walking in just to take them…

I’ll often drop a writer when I find them repeating themselves and treading over the same territory again and again. I’ve found that Mark Millar writes most of his titles in the same style as he did Authority many years ago. While it worked on that book I’ve found myself less and less interest with each subsequent retread.

Same goes with Ennis. His shock tactics worked relatively well on Preacher but the humour has grown old on me very quickly. However, I’ve found that I’ve enjoyed his recent war comics.

For Bendis, it was his scripting. What seemed fresh and new scripting on books like Jinx, Powers and Alias has grown dull when applied to characters like Hawkeye and co.

With titles, it varies. Sometimes i’ll disagree with the direction a book is taking – I dropped Avengers after Disassembled and a few issues of New because I felt the book had lost everything that I loved about the team and the series. Sometimes a single storyline will do it for me – Sins of the Past is a good example. A change in creative teams might influence my decision as well.

Sometimes, the sheer volume of titles will turn me away. I began collecting X-Men when there was only one title and was loyal to the series and its spin off books for far longer than I should have been. Eventually it became too much for me in the 90′s. The drop in quality and number of titles turned me away.

Another highly annoying factor for me is constant changes in the status quo. Eventually, Morrison and Claremont’s X-Treme X-Men got me back into the books. But once Morrison was gone it seemed like the status quo changed in the books every year or so. Books never got a chance to settle so I just gave up. It seems to be continuing today and it’s completely turned me away from the X-titles.

A little bit of both and then some.
The first case brings most merit: when you see your favourite characters (as my case was with X-Men back in the late 80′s) go through motions YET AGAIN in a very similar fashion, adding a character, losing a character, but basically keeping the status quo, the wonder simply slips away after a while. This, of course, influenced my next 10+ years without them, but Morrison pulled me back for a while. Now, I’m content waiting to see how something pans out before I try it – but I do think Spurge will be back to GL some day.
The second case is, I think, limited to provocative writers whose provocations dry up. Ennis built his reputation on being angry about God, accenting honour and friendship and lifting a finger to authority. And we seen him do it OVER and OVER again – and yes, he stopped being relevant.
Now that I think about it, both cases have that “spent” feeling.
The end result?
I’m more careful about what I purchase and look for something a little different – which is basically the evolution of the reader.

I’ll throw my log on the fire too.

I won’t pick up anything with Grant Morrison’s name on the cover.

I’m a stubborn SOB and hung on through his New Xmen out of sheer habit (though looking back I have no idea why – I ditched them during them, along with all comics during the nadir that was the 90s) but reading through people’s comments and looking back I remember putting it at the bottom of my reading pile, and more importantly reading them without remembering (or particularly caring) what happened in the preceding issue. Potentially the book reads better in trade/larger blocks because of the overarching themes, but I haven’t the inclination to go and re-read it in the hope it does.

What really crystallized my dislike of his writing was his early work on Batman – his first issue didn’t make much sense to me, but I wrote that off as my lack of knowledge of the greater DCU continuity, then I didn’t like the Son of Batman concept, but the all-prose issue (of which I am yet to read completely) annoyed me so much I dropped the title, and the character entirely once he took control of it all leading into RIP (I was still enjoying Paul Dini’s Detectve Comics until then).

Again I will cede that I haven’t read some of his earlier, much feted work such as JLA, Doom Patrol etc, on the basis he took characters I liked and made me drop their books, what would it be like with characters I don’t know/don’t care for?

Due to my ambivalence/dislike of his comics I haven’t ever really read any interviews or the like from him – is it him ascribing the hi brow concepts to all of his works, or are people looking for metaphors because they think he is a genius?

Rob Liefield’s art is so excruciatingly bad I cannot bring myself to read any comic which features him, no matter how much I liked the writer – luckily he hasn’t doing anything that comes up on my radar for years.

As for the others that have copped the biggest whacks here:

Chris Claremont hasn’t written a title that has interested me since his heyday, so he could be writing rubbish, I wouldn’t know. Though I did find his short lived return to UXM intriguing, but I’m not sure if that was because of what he wrote or if I was giving him a lot of slack due to my love of his seminal work.

Millar – Ultimates 1 and 2 were excellent, but I was late to the party, only reading them quite recently, so I hadn’t put him on a pedestal and therefore wasn’t let down by his subsequent work – his FF run was meh, but a lot of people’s FF runs have been pretty ordinary.

Alan Moore – once magnificent, now I find him self indulgent and nigh on incomprehensible.

Jeph Loeb – I seem to remember enjoying some of his work, but I can’t think of anything but the trainwreck that is (was?) the Red Hulk. I bought the first couple because Planet Hulk had been so good, but soon realised the new book was quite possibly the worst comic I had ever read.

Garth Ennis – I cottoned onto his Punisher stuff late too, but thoroughly enjoyed it despite some quite ordinary art at times (like Barracuda looking like an afro-American Chuckie from the Goonies)and picked up The Boys on the strength of that, then promptly dropped it, it clearly wasn’t going in my direction. Ditto Preacher, enough people had talked it up I felt compelled to give it a go, but after a couple of trades, I subconsciously dropped it – I just never got around to buying the next one. I do note from my exposure to Preacher and The Boys, he does have an unhealthy obsession with sodomy though!

I’m a marvel fanboy, so I can’t comment on Johns or the other DC writers

As for artists, I can’t understand the JRJR love at all – great panel construction and dynamic fight scenes don’t make up for boxy heads, boxer’s broken noses and shoulderpads on everyone.

Cross-overwise, I wasn’t reading the Avengers for House of M, so I cannot comment on that, but Civil War was an interesting concept, which lead to some good stories, World Wat Hulk was an underwhelming end to a really good lead up, but I really enjoyed Secret Invasion, Dark Reign and Siege – though sometimes more for the stuff that’s in the tie in books than the actual minis.

While I don’t want these guys to take over my favourite books, I appreciate they’re the reasons some people buy the book they do – and good luck to them, they just don’t flat my boat.

I’m Kent Brockman, and that’s my two cents.

christopher wiebe

May 3, 2010 at 2:03 am

repitition – too much reptition and bad characterization, i’ve read plenty of mediocre stories carried by characterization that i enjoyed, but creators that have turned me off,,, all DC editors – so much retconing that i just didn’t care anymore and now hate dc editors, i’m not getting any dc at this point, and i loved blackest night,
morrison – if he narrated his own work i’d show up, but too often he comes off like he’s tricking people with ideas no one’s heard off. and then totally screwing up characters, new xmen was hack, drug induced crap, although i enjoyed murder at the mansion, and of course the white queen and cyclops getting together was more amoral than moral. not good for heroes.
and then marvel was stupid and stuck with it instead of redeeming him, one more day, bah,
- editor pushing their tastes on everyone instead of writers coming up with good ideas, quesada anyone?
- everyone talking like luke cage or saying “power to match”, and you know which 2 writers i’m talking about here
- Marvel going too left wing, “we’re a lefty rag and you know it” during spiderman dark reign? prop x? the tea party incident… although the rest of the story cleared that up. and the continual amount of religious villians. and with few exceptions those are all Christian related although i don’t see too many people in my congregation blowing up building and plotting genocide because people are different. that’s a different group that threatens comedy central and leaves bombs in cars in downtown NY.
- so now i’m going to graphics after seeing stuff, there’s alot that’s good right now but i’m wanting to see how it turns out. as well, the lack of payoff in xovers, BLACKEST NIGHT was one of the few xovers that actualy had that, with the Hawks finnaly reuniting.

I can’t believe more people haven’t mentioned more artists as the reason they’ve dropped books. While bad art won’t necessarily make me quit a title forever I will abandon it for the duration of an artist’s run. I don’t enjoy Frank Quitely’s art, so I don’t read books he’s involved with. Same with Rob Liefield. I also can’t stomach any books by Greg Land.

I’m also pretty much done with the main branches of the big two. Terminal event fatigue. They constantly careen from one “world-shattering” event to another and yet little seems to actually change. Really ‘Secret Invasion’? You killed the Wasp? Epic. It’s gotten to the point where I’m not sure where one event ends and the next begins. Did they even wrap up ‘Necrosha’ before they jumped into ‘Second Coming’?

I’m not anti-event, but you can’t have them constantly if you want them to feel special. I know most people hated ‘Ultimatum’, but at least it felt like something of actual consequence was happening. And for that reason alone I’m more likely to pick up the Ultimate books now to see how things are shaking out.

I’d like to add that certain circumstances will make me drop titles. If the artist keeps changing every month, then I think two things: the company must think that the book is a good place to “try out” artists and if the editor’s don’t care enough for the book and pull artists off at the drop of a hat, its not too long for this world.

The big thing that makes me drop a book more than any creative person involved is the death of a character to make the story “mean” something. I’ve heard horror stories of creators that come in and ask who they can kill before they do a story. Ridiculous.

Punisher, it’s a poor character, not to much to do with him, Now he’s frankestein (stupid) and in the Max serie, when I saw bullseye taking a dump, that was enough for me.

dr_hamburger

May 3, 2010 at 6:45 am

i had my fill of bendis after secret invasion went absolutely nowhere and the horribleness of ultimate spider-man vol 2 made me hate vol 1. i was this close to giving up on marvel altogether after the whole “villains are takin over” phase they just went through but now thats over so thank god. that got old really fast. i dropped spidey like a bad habbit after brand new day put out 2 horrible issues a month and 1 okay one and morrison has me seriously considering dropping batman. and james robinsons recent superman run sucked and made me drop that too

With writers, it’s when one aspect of their writing takes over completely…and it’s an aspect I truly dislike. That’s what’s happened for me with Ennis, Loeb and Millar.

Enis always had that twisted streak. It was in all of his books. He sort of came across as a good writer with a frat-boy sense. Now the frat-boy is the primary element, and the cleverness now seems on the ‘gross out’ level. He’s written some classics, but I’ll not go near his stuff presently.

Millar and Loeb are much the same. Absolutely LOVED their early stuff (Loeb’s Challengers of the Unknown is a gem to me)…but I won’t buy anything written by them currently because they’re so infatuated with their own cleverness…and they’re really not that clever.

Claremont? He’s disappeared into a black hole of his own writing style. He passed becoming a parody of himself a decade ago and is now in a sad state.

As for an individual book. I’ll rank books when I get them as ‘Read Soon’, ‘Heavy Reading’ or ‘Low Priority.’ Once in a while, I’ll just clean out the entire ‘Low Priority’ stack regardless of how long I’ve been reading a title. If I find it more of a chore to read than a pleasure…it’s gone.

It took a while to get that way, to be honest. But it’s kind of freeing. I’ll check back in on books or restarts once in a while. Sometimes that works…other times, books become so incredibly inbred and murky, it doesn’t work. I dropped the X-Men around 210 the first time…and over the decades, I’ve gone back for six issue or more runs…but only New X-Men and Astonishing have kept me. The regular continuity just boggles me.

Now, on the good news side…Joe Casey was a writer I couldn’t stand originally…more due to what he worked on than anything else. Now, his credit will get me to try a book more often than not.

Mario Di Giacomo

May 3, 2010 at 8:50 am

I drop a comic when I find myself not caring what happens next.

I have to admit that I don’t know the names of the creative teams of, probably, better than half of the titles that I read. I simply can’t think of anyone currently working in comics whose work I will automatically buy. If the story entertains me and the art is interesting and (most importantly) doesn’t have me going “what the #@%* is going on, here?” I’ll read the book. When that stops, I’ll drop it.

I seem to work on a different system than some who have posted — I read my books in what I expect (based on recollections of previous issues) will be an ASCENDING order, saving the best stuff for last. Titles that I haven’t read before (or for a while) go somewhere in the top half of the stack, being unknown quantities. If a title sits on the very top of the stack for more than a couple of months, I”m likely to drop it.

Chris Claremont – Big Hero Six and New Exiles did him in for me. He has the stiffest and stuffiest writing around. His dialogue is wordy and shallow. It is a burden to read his work

Stan Lee – Stan, the 60′s are over. Let it go. Mentioning cell phones or the Internet don’t make your writing “hip”. It makes it sad and pathetic. What worked 40-50 years ago doesn’t work now.

I think the larger issue is not whether or not a particular creator raises your ire- that happens over a long enough time line with any title. What is the crux here is whether or not a character is changed so dramatically that they no longer appeal to the reader. Wolverine was the man in 1982, but by the 1990s he was overused and no longer as interesting to the long-term reader. Millar and others have tried in more recent years to reinvent the character, to bring new depth and ignite new interest in him. One can argue the merits and success of their efforts, however, it is clear that it is necessary over a long time line to find that element of the character which had wide appeal and hold on to it.

I can understand feeling a certain writer has lost their touch and dropping their books. That said. I think Giving Blackest Night a negative review simply because one they’ve read enough Green lantern stories for a lifetime and shouldn’t be subjected to any more has got to be the stupidest excuse for a review I’ve ever heard.

Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but it should at least be an informed one if you’re going to spew negativity.

The right writer can make ANY character fascinating. With Blackest Night as well as the many GL stories that laid the foundation for the event, Geoff Johns has succeeded in doing something that many writers who work on well-known properties often attempt but rarely accomplish. He added many exciting new layers to an already complicated origin and history and managed to do so WITHOUT changing known facts.

As to Garth Ennis, I get it. I loved the Boys at first for its phenomenally irreverent humor, but it does go over the top A LOT, and I’ve been thinking about dropping it too.

And I want to second the nomination of Chris Claremont as over. His bizarre Exiles series and future X-tales did him in for me.

After nearly 30 years, I finally gave up on the X-Men completely (I’d been reading Uncanny since about 1981). The offshoot titles were less and less interesting to me, and I was no longer excited at all about the latest issue coming out, and grew tired of waiting for that excitement to return. The only Marvel I still read at all are the cosmic stories, which are amazing. (I’d long since given up on Spider-Man when they brought those fake parents back, Avengers when I got tired of the revolving door lineup, and FF twice – the latest when they decided that the cosmic rays weren’t an accident after all!). And based on last week, it looks like I quit X-Men just in time!!
With finances being what they are, I’ve decided to give more of my money to books I really care about, and that’s still only a handful of titles, most of them DC now after decades as a Marvel Zombie. Part of the push towards DC was that we missed the wonderful JL and JLU cartoons once the series wound up, and those series made the DC universe seem much more interesting than I had thought.

Three Strikes that have made me drop a title:

3. Stores that are silly, out of character and make no sense:

Highlights would include the rewriting of Spider-Man’s 20 year history simply because an out of control EIC had a disturbing obsession to undo an imaginary character’s marriage, something he talked about compulsively for years before he actually did it.

And this EIC coned them all. Because the ‘con’, story, he told to the media was that he did it because 10 year olds deserve to have an unmarried Spider-Man to read about. But did he truly care about ten year olds, I mean, really? Because how many ten year olds have $3.99 to spend on a Spider-Man comic… 3x a month.

Personally, I didn’t care whether he was married or not (neither did the 10 year olds who were buying Spider-Man when he was married for 20 years — at a cost that was priced for an adolescent’s budget/allowence) but this was my cue to stop reading because what the EIC inadvertently did by telling that story was reveal the ending of every single Spider-Man comic that would follow under his watch.

If the editorial edict is that the hero must always be a single loser, you as a reader already know how the story will finish. And if we already know what’s going to happen before we read the story, there’s no reason to buy it.

Dis-honorable mentions go to the idiocy in stories with revolting death, resurrections, reboots and gratuitious violence such as Identity Crisis, 52, Batman RIP, Civil War, anything Titans releated (Wolfman/Perez version absolutely excluded), anything Jason Todd, Avengers, X-Men and yes, Final Crisis. Ironically, the original Crisis simplifed the DCU and existed to serve as an entry point for many readers but the confusing mess of FC served as the opposite for me, a jumping off point.

2. Editors, Writers and Editors who believe they are more important than the characters:

Once upon a time, comics were written by creators who made it their career to service characters and story. In any given comic, Superman always sounded like Superman, Spider-Man like Spider-Man and so on no matter who was writing it.

Today, characters and stories have become subservient to the hubris of self-serving creators, writers and editors who are so focused on fulfilling their own amateur wishes that they dilute, drown out the voice of the character and what’s left is sometimes very pretty drawings of characters who look like the ones we know and love but instead have become twisted aberrations, zombie corpses.

Is it any wonder that vampires and zombies have become the new comic fad? Might be because the industry leaders and their sycophant underlinings decimated the concept of the inspirational hero, leaving characters who are the walking dead in their wake because people like Dan Didio and Joe Quesada have sucked the life and heart out of comics.

This is also best seen by the fact that almost every comic has the creators name above the character, sometimes even larger than the logo of the comic itself. Sometimes I glance at the new comic display and see not the characters logo but this unknown mook’s name in larger display than the logo. Often, I stare and just shake my head in amazement like, who the F*** are you and why should I care? Seeing someone like Stephen King’s name above the title on a book is one thing. Stephen King is a brand himself. But Christos Gage? Who the frig is he? If you’re looking to build an audience outside of the comics niche, putting someone’s name that no one has ever heard of more prominant than your character’s recognizable brand name isn’t going to do much to entice the masses who have never heard of or care about your unknown, larger than life name.

1. Late Comics

Zero tolerance. And if the arrogant creators want to bash me for believing I have a screwed up sense of entitlement because I think a comic should be delivered on its advertised delivery date and not 8 months or a year later, go ahead. Because during the long, long time that took you to finish the story, I forgot why I cared.

Dave Anderson

May 3, 2010 at 10:16 am

I know it’s off topic, but I wanted to resond to a comment about “religious villians.” I don’t like when the reason for some character’s villiany is identified as their religion. It’s divisive. It’s offensive. And it’s not accurate. Very few people in any of the world’s religions are “bad guys.”

I think we should all be able to agree on that. True, the issue becomes messy when some of the “villians” themselves point to religion as the thing that compels them to do the bad things that they do. But, that doesn’t alter the fact that almost everyone else in their religion is not acting like a “bad guy.”

I think we have to be careful when we decry “religious villians” by saying: “It’s not true of my religion, but it is true of some one else’s.” We can find plenty of examples of people trying to justify their villiany by wrapping it in Christianity without having to dredge up the inquisition, the crusades, the witch trials, etc. We don’t even have to look outside our borders. There are plenty of hate groups that are fighting for a “white Christian nation.” There are anti-abortion activists that justify bombing clinics and killing doctors based on their Christian faith. There are Christian broadcasters who blaim the victims of 9/11, Katrina, and the Haitian earthquake for their own suffering because they weren’t Christian or weren’t Christian enough.

And there are plenty of us who are Christian and don’t speak out and condemn the use of Christianity to justify these kinds of unjustifiable actions and comments.

Most of my reasons for dropping a book have already been echoed more than once in the responses so far (books dropping to the bottom of my read pile, constant lateness,

I’ve found when I catch myself reading page 1 or 2 and then flipping through the rest of it, that’s usually when I know it’s over. The action of flipping through, I think, is my way of desperately looking for SOMETHING to pull me back in. I think a lot of that unfortunately is the fault of the writer (creating an uninteresting story) and then becomes the responsibility of the artist (have a big in your face beauty of a page) to bring me back in. I think that may be one of my personal problems with most books today- it seems like the artist and writer aren’t really communicating at all about the final product. I honestly try NOT to look at the cover credits. I don’t want to know that Millar or Bendis wrote it or that Johns tag-teamed it with some other guy because then it will just set me up to judge it based on their prior works. More often than not, it’s becoming evident, in the final page, that the writer is farming his scripts out to anyone who fits the house style or has an available schedule instead of talking out the story with their artist and really creating a collaboration.

There are still some really great books out there where you can see in the content that the writer and artist are a team. You can see that they talk to their letterer and have some input with their colorist. It’s the difference between a project and a product.

hmmm… so many…

I gave up on Ennis after Preacher. Too distasteful for my enjoyment.

I gave up on Ex Machina when it got too liberal which it was from the start, but I gave it a go anyway).

I never warmed to Millar. His endings were always weak.

I never warmed to Loeb (outside of his work with Sale, but then again, the art sells those books, IMO).

I gave up on Bendis during the monkey sex issue of Powers.

I gave up on Claremont (Uncanny X-Men) as he left too many plot threads unresolved.

I gave up on Marvel when Quesada took over.

I’ll never give up on Morrison, as his works are so much head and shoulders above everyone else’s, and it just makes you stop and think. I’m re-reading his run on Doom Patrol right now, and it’s as solid now as ever.

Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis showed me that mainstream superhero comics are not for me anymore. Ugly, exploitative, and sleazy (only my opinon of course), lots of pretty pictures of people having horrible things done to them. It just made me feel like I needed to go take a long hot batch. These days I stick to a lot of back issues and collected editions of older stuff, and I read Marvel Adventures, Brave and the Bold and Super Friends with my kids, that’s really it.

This is a very interesting issue, the comments are well thought out and obviously voiced with passion, but the whole thing makes me very sad. I love reading comic books. I grew up reading them in the late late 80′s and early 90′s (I know that’s already strike 1 for some people). Once I got into H.S. I stopped reading, but about 4 years ago I started picking them back up (around the time of Civil War, again probably strike 2 with some people). and I was hooked. I know people are very unhappy with some of the trends in comics; cross-overs, to many titles for a character, price hikes and writers like Bendis/Millar. But I will say this, with all the crap movies, t.v. shows and the general state of the world, comics are a great place to read interesting stories. But I am very worried about the future of comics. Part of it is because most people who read comics are not kids, I am 27 and am usually one of the youngest guys in the store. But the other problem is the infighting on the internet, this notion that ” I’ve been collecting for 30 years and I have more rights to say how a character should behave than any writer who is paid to write them is”. It’s just sad. Comic collectors are such sensitive people (and they should have every right to be), but this negativity is killing the market. It’s also deterring new readers from coming in. Lord knows with video games and other electronic devices that getting a kid to read a comic is tough. But these “men” who read comics and put down anyone who doesn’t share their view of Millar being a dick or Superman’s continutity is ridiculous. Even the store owners, make their stores so dark and menancing so that a lot of parents wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing their kids in or turns away any kid old enough to come in on their own. Like I said before, I love comics, and right now there a lot of great books out there, non-superhoero and superhero. I inow things are bad, but there is also some good stuff out there. “It’s the best of times and the worst of times”. I just wanted to say, you all have your rights to boycott and speak your opinion, (I’m a Marine and I gladly defend those rights), but this negativity is killing our industry faster than anything else.

Crabby Lioness

May 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I left Marvel 20 years ago between John Byrne massacring Wanda’s twins, and Claremont killing the X-Men and sending them to Australia. (The latter decision was 100% reinforced by Mutant Genesis.) I felt that not only were the writers past their prime, but the editors were obviously not doing their job to allow such garbage in print.

I left DC over 10 years ago when Birds of Prey stopped being the Dinah and Babs Show and became a subsidiary Bat-book. I didn’t care about Bats, I cared about Dinah and Babs.

I came back this year for Marvel Adventures (a little too fluffy but better too much fluff than too much angst), X-Men First Class, and the Young Avengers. I stayed for the early Runaways, Mike Carey’s X-Men Legacy, and Peter David’s X-Factor. A lot of other writers don’t make the cut.

I avoid Jeph Loeb like the plague. All the character work that Millar did in Ultimates 1 & 2 was thrown out the window in Ultimates 3.

I don’t read any of Millar’s author-created stuff anymore. I get it. You like violence and the villians being in charge. I’m kind of over it.

Crabby Lioness

May 3, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Charlie I agree with you about comic book stores often not being places where children are welcome. That was a major deterent for me as well. I stopped going in comic book stores when the sexual harassment got to be too much, and with one exception I’ve never seen one I would feel safe taking my children in.

Grant Morrison & Final Crisis….

Other impacts that reduce my purchases & interest (in order):

1) Price (I avoid $4 books)
2) Events (I hate 50 book events)
3) Decompression (can I get a story in 23 pages, please?)

Charlie,

You bring up a topic that is referred to often but always, without a proper vantage point:

Negativity on the Internet.

Think of the internet like this: A public letter column.

The comics industry always had a place for consumer opinion in the place of writing a letter. When comics were good, editors encouraged letter writing. They cared about their readers and often, comics and stories appeared “Because YOU demanded it.” Whether people behind the scenes actually did care or not was irrelevant because they made you THINK they cared. .

Readers were never privy to what was in those mailbags except for a select handful of printed letters in columns, where editors again, encouraged readers to voice their opinion because they valued what their readers think. There could have been mountains of negativity in those mailbags; but we’ll never know because the people who were leading the industry at that time were too classy to air dirty laundry. It would have shattered the illusion that reading comics are fun.

But today we live in a time where the people running the industry clearly don’t care about their readers and it’s never been more obvious. All the derogatory sentiment about fandom comes from those working in the industry itself where writers like Geoff Johns illustrate their hideous contempt for the audience in thinly veiled metaphors like Superboy prime. They put down their readers, refer to them as compulsive addicts with a deluded sense of entitlement for any consumer who expects a quality product by the advertised delivery date.

They also did away with letter columns… and editors footnotes which were once used to help a reader as well as banishing thought balloons, because honestly, the vile abhoritions dressing up like your favorite character really doesn’t think. These are all examples of not people who care about readers but who think of you as disposable.

This is the toxic, degenerative environment your industry leaders at DC and Marvel have created. They may have done with letter columns in the comics but readers still want to vent their opinions and viola: you now have a vehicle — the internet. Only it’s not censored the way the letter columns were. Now you get to see what readers really think unabridged.

But think about this: after reading over 200 posts on this thread, don’t these people have just reason to complain? Many readers love comics as an artform but despise the awful, amateur material being published. Ten years ago, around the time letter columns disappeared, Joe Quesada and Dan Didio came in stating they wanted to change their respective universes at DC and Marvel.

You reap what you sow.

The comics during the past ten years represent the changes they have wrought. If there is a lot of negativity on the internet, you may want to look at why that is so and why has it been that way for so long. It can’t be because the industry has given their readers so much to be positive about — all comics of today are about rape, death, zombies and nonsense.

Blaming negativity on the internet or the readers is equivalent to a chef serving poop on a plate then getting mad at his patrons because they complained the food tasted like shit.

The audacity of some people!

meadowsopranospimp

May 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm

I bailed on comics around the time of the clone saga/Lobdell X-Men due to how awful the stories were. Came back briefly and left a few times, but I’m back to stay but purely in buying tpb’s.

I agree with a hell of a lot of the comments on here; Ennis in particular is a bad joke, a caricature of the worst moments of Preacher and Hitman manifested in stuff like The Boys.

Morrison: Loved All Star Superman and bits of his JLA; I can read his stuff but I really rather wouldn’t.

Millar: I simply never understood the hype.

Johns: Should have chucked it after Sinestro Corp storyline.

Gaiman: Sandman, for me, is the very peak of comics. Almost everything else he has done is pretty crap.

Moore: Adored the Top10 work; shame he’s so fucking precious about things.

Ellis: Swings between magic and drivel. He’s a funny one, clearly an educated man but sometimes his work is just plain dumb.

Claremont: Was a genius but is stuck in ‘Marvel Team-up circa 1978′ time. He’s never adapted his style to fit with contemporary comics.

Kevin Smith: That Black Cat origin was minging.

The people in this topic who are getting it tight are generally regarded as being good at their game at one point or another; I mean no-one that I’ve noticed named so far is as outright shit as someone like Tom De Falco.

Generally I trust Brubaker, David, Waid, Vaughan, Azzarello and JMS.

The non-ending of “Batman: Gotham Knights” #74–a cliffhanger, for the FINAL ISSUE, after a TWO-YEAR-LONG story arc–cured me of any desire to ever read anything written by A.J. Lieberman again.

I bailed on the X-titles in 1985 and didn’t come back until Morrison’s “New X-Men” in 2001. The next time I tried a Claremont book was “Sovereign Seven” at DC (1993?). When he failed to make me care about the characters by the end of issue 5, that was it for me.

I’m done with “Outsiders” at #30, unless DiDio does something that really grabs me. I bailed on the current “Teen Titans” run at #75 and “Titans” at #16 or so.

BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

For me the tipping point was SECRET INVASION, a comic i consider to have one of the worst endings I’ve ever read, and a microcosm of everything that’s wrong with Bendis as a writer. Which is to say, two or three years of sloooow-burning setup, dangling plotlines spread out over several different books, all culminating in one 15-page fight scene. I mean seriously, the Skrulls believe earth is their God-given right to rule, spend years infiltrating the highest levels of government, as well as several superhero teams, and they give up and go home simply because their queen dies? What? Frankly, I was beyond insulted. And I thought HOUSE OF M had a horrible ending (come to think about it, it had very nearly the same ending [I.E. 400 pages of setup, one fight scene to end it], to say nothing of the Dues Ex Machina character of Layla Miller, seemingly created because Bendis had written himself into yet another corner. but I digress.)

Looking back on his earlier work, I can see that this has been a problem in virtually every single story he’s ever told. Even his celebrated DAREDEVIL work started to drop off in quality once it came time to break his plotlines into five or six issue arcs.

It seems to me an utter inability to end a story is a more than small problem; it’s something so basic to the craft of writing it’s almost amazing he hasn’t learned how to do it just by accident.

And don’t get me started on his sub-Mamet dialogue. Let me tell you something about dialogue: it’s the least of Mamet’s talents. Mamet is a great writer because he can write a great STORY. It seems Bendis learned the wrong lesson.

NYRangerfan30

May 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I think I’ll be done with DC Comics after the Brightest Day, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, and the War of the Supermen arcs wrap up. ‘Cause I can’t take any more of the constant tweaking and retcons and reboots and pointless deaths. I mean Supes’ origin has been re-imagined twice within a six-year period! So now that they’ve decided to placate fan-boys by placing their entire universe in Geoff Johns’ overrated hands, I think it’s time for me to move on.

I still love Garth’s work but Herogasm wasn’t one of the better ones. Blackest Night was great except for the weaksauce ending.

Now, Jeph Loeb…that guy hasn’t written anything good in a long time and I tend not to read his books.

Last comics I read that I actually LIKED were PowerGirl (JimmyP) and Gail Simone’s bad@$$ run in WW. All others stink to this reader…

MAtthew Lane

May 3, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Runaways Volume 3. I own every issue of it, but if someone made a volume 4 with the same writers i would be out. We had 2 volumes of great storytelling & then BAM! 14 issues of nothing. Nothing achieved, nothing overcome, nothing experienced… NOTHING!

I stopped reading all comics during one more day(and I’ve been reading comics almost 30 years). I admit, I still keep up with what’s going on through reviews, etc. With Marvel, it wasn’t so much what they did to Spider-Man, or even how they did it, but the fact that it made 20 years of stories non exsistant. Why buy comics when any issue can come around say “whoops, sorry, but ah, that never happened.” This to me is lazy writing at it’s best and absolutely disrespectful to the fans. Now that I think of it, they did the same thing with The Clone saga. It too was dreadful, but loving the character, I bought two years of that crap only to see a lazy ending that reversed everything. Most of the comments above are pretty spot on, especially when talking about Bendis. ….And Tom Defalco. With DC, I always seem to enjoy the random comics not directly tied to thier major events. Maybe I’m alone on this one, but I’m sick to death of clones of heroes, and heroes from other worlds who are villains, and other “same but different worlds” altogether…AARGH, how many frickin super- somethings are running around now!? Jason Todd being alive? Are you kidding me!? Gwen Stacy having kids with Norman Osborn!? Ah, it felt good to vent. I will one day return to comics, maybe, but for now, I’m happy reading old issues and tbks. Final advice for Marvel, stop with the lame mega events already!! For DC, create new villains and heroes, not more rehashed versions of super-people from world 33 or where ever..
On a postive note, I still trust these guys….. Waid, Slott, Morrison(most of the time), Jenkins, Fraction

I pretty much quit both batman as a character, And frank Millers work, after his DK2 came out, after a 16 year wait.I am ashamed i picked up not just a copy for me, but also for my kid brother. I bailed with the second issue.now IF any one but Miller had handed in that job, DC would have loudly told him to re write and re draw it, cause they wouldnt print nor pay for such a mess.Only the most die hard fan has these in his collection.I feel considering what a high price the books were, royally burned by both DC and Miller.Likewise, i felt nearly as much burned by his all star batman and robin.If his names on a book, I wont pick it up anymore.

Bendis – a good talent spread a littler too thin
Millar – good with strong editor else self-indulgent
Morrison – too much DC continuity for the casual reader.
Johns – good highs but again serving the DC-verse too much.
Slott – good but uneven. His comment about comic readers is a little rich; have you seen him?? Looks like an extra from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Loeb – seriously trading on past glories. Hush was good but not great – Spidey Blue was ace – but but Ultimates 3 – killed the franchise cold-dead. What a hack!

My biggest bug-bear is THERE IS NEVER ANY F%*KING RESLUTION!!! Cool moment after cool moment but not overall defining story structure.
All comics are like the old Marvel WHat If? series – preposterous high-concept ideas, under-developed with very poor endings – and usually lots of silly violence. Siege has far too much stupid violence. Abd as for Blackest Night – WTF??? All those Red Lanterns vomiting blood page after page in glorious double-spread – jeez these are supposed to be fun.

Politics wise Miller is a nasty right-winger and Willingham’s analysis of Isreal in Fables is just grossly insulting.

The shock value of Ennis & Millar is wearing thing and starting to look juvenile, trouble with shock is diminishing returns; you have to keep topping your self – hence that unneccessary Red Skull scene in Ultimates – totally over the top. What next necrophilia??

Some writers do bring back the fun but too many seem to be writing for the pay check or film/TV show offer.

Finally too many books – too many books. Again the law of diminishing returns.
One shots, Tie-ins & too many f&*king Deadpools. A character Ok in small doses but now seen as the salvation of the comic age. Give me a break!

I think there will be an implosion and the industry will contract – I hope it does. But I get the feeiling all those Hollywood $$$ will keep them churning out mediocre garbage.

Brett I see your point. If you look at my post I never even said that fans don’t have a right to speak their mind. All I am saying is I love comics, I don’t think they that right now, the stories coming out are that bad and all this negativity that people are spewing on the internet isn’t helping the dire situation that the comic industry is in. If people are unhappy certain writers or the way some publishers are running their company that’s ok. If they don’t want to buy their books or feel like the writers are metephorically slapping them in the face, feel insulted and make your point. But just know that all of the way these writers feel or they way other people feel about comic fans in general is because of the way “we” react in these situations. It’s a perpetuating cycle that will eventually kill the industry. My whole thing is I don’t like to say anything negative, period. I feel that there is enough of that in the industy as is, and since I love comics so much, I want to take the higher road and try and bring the best points out ,not the worst. However I understand that not everbody feels that way. Again my point is, do you and say what you want, just understand how this effects the industry. But again Brett you made some very valid points and in no way am I saying your wrong. Like you said, “You reap what you sow.” And what we may be sowing in the end of comics. But I hope I am wrong.

Charlie,

I see your point as well.

The negativity does do a great deal of harm, both for consumers and the industry as a whole. That said, what do you propose readers do when industry leaders are flooding the market with material that is perpetually (and that’s the key) bad and doing more harm than good? And what are readers supposed to do when industry professionals use characters and stories as a weapon against their own customers; an audience they hideously disdain and condemn because they didn’t respond to your work the way you want?

Public opinion is a direct response to the quality of product you’re selling. What has the industry sold to their customers that gives them anything to be positive about? What have industry leaders supplied to the audience through the product they deliver?

Rob Ullman quoted Grant Morrison from the Invisibles written a decade ago in Charles Hatfields column: ‘A culture whose thoughts have turned to death is a culture that knows its dying.’

I think that about sums up what’s going on quite well. But the culture is not dying because of a negative audience, it’s dying because of the toxic product being sold.

I don’t think I’ve ever spent the time before to sit down and read 200+ reader comments but these are all pretty interesting.
For me, once the comic slips from GREAT (in all caps too) to ‘good’, I drop it. I might by the next issue to see if it’s a fluke or if I have a really strong feeling it isn’t then I’ll browse through the next issue and decide then whether to buy it. I usually follow the happenings of the series or browse through the next few issues in hopes that it’ll pick up before my interest completely dies. Recent titles to do this to me have been Blackest Night (issue 3), Ultimate Spider-Man (the Rick Jones storyline, issue 6 I think?), Guardians of the Galaxy (issue 18, which is a damn shame because I love the characters), and Batman and Robin (almost issue 4, and then issue 6 sealed the deal). Some comics just never reach their potential like Unknown Soldier so I drop them and others, like Walking Dead, just seem better as trades or as being bought in bulk.

Dave Anderson

May 4, 2010 at 11:29 am

I appreciate Charlie’s comments about excessive negativity. We clearly all have creators and comics that we’ve had enough of. And it can be satisfying to discover we’re not alone in that feeling, especially when it’s a superstar creator or a hit title. But, that’s probably all the more reason to celebrate the diversity of stories and creators we have out there today. There’s plenty out there for each and every one of us to passionately love and to just as passionately hate.

I guess my question is (and this probably the wrong forum to ask) is what do you all want to see? What are comics missing that they used to have or what do they need to evolve into to make things better? And please no answers like no more writing from Millar/Bendis/Johns or a change of EIC at Marvel. What would bring you back to buying a book that you dropped or pick up a new book for the first time?

Re: Charlie

Fun. I know it’s the simple answer but actually it all comes down to fun. Sure the price is high for a comic book but even if you’re paying 20 cents that’s 20 cents too much if you’re not having fun.

Over at i09 website they’ve asked why kids aren’t reading comics and one point raised was comic books took themselves so seriously they practically pushed kids away. Won’t’ go so far as to believe that entirely but there is a level of truth to it.

Crabby Lioness

May 4, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Charlie, I’d like to see more PG-rated comics I can share with my kids. Let them address adult issues, but not in graphic ways that make me hide the book from my children until they’re older. The new Doctor Who TV series has done a good job with this issue.

More fun, less angst. Angst should be caused by something the characters are tryng to overcome, and let them make progress in their efforts to overcome it. There’s nothing more disgusting than a perpetual loser. (Peter Parker, I’m looking at you. Immaturity is a fine excuse — at 16. Not now.)

And for Pete’s sake, let the characters grow up! Especially in Marvel. It’s ridiculous that I started out younger than Kitty Pryde, and now I’m old enough to be her mother.

Along the same note, let characters die and stay dead. No matter how much I personally love a character, I can’t relate to the resurrected. That will also give new writers room to create. I love Stan Lee, but I’d rather see a brand new Colleen Cheever superhero than a resurrected Stan Lee superhero.

Fewer cross-overs, more cross-references. In the late 70s and early 80s comics companies had a good handle on referring to events and picking up on threads in one book and continuing them in another book without having to bring all their stories to a crashing halt for 50-title crossovers with books I could care less about.

Better art. Land does not cut the mustard. If it looks photo-shopped, it needs to be redone. And good anatomy is not an optional extra.

Fantastic Four: After 25 years of reading it on and off I realised that there was nothing left that the writers could do that I had nto seen before. There are only so many ways that four characters can interact.

X-Men: After 25 years (again), this time reading religiously, I got sick of all the different titles. Reading was no longer fun and I dropped it. Unfortunately I am starting to get that feeling with Hulk and Avengers, both very over-exposed. Stragnely enough, not getting that feeling with Wolverine… yet…

Oh yeah and Secret Invasion killed me on Bendis too.

I’d like to see full stories where things are accomplished and not retconned a couple years later. I want a story that is well thought out of in advance with nice art. I want character consistency and no more bringing folks back from the dead. If they’re popular then don’t kill ‘em off in the first place. Or how about coming up with interesting new characters? I want creativity instead of the same old thing. I don’t want lots of decompression like the New Avengers fighting The Hood’s gang for 40 issues or whatever the hell was going on with Spider-Woman. I don’t mind violence and gore as long as it’s done well and with purpose but otherwise it’s a waste of my time. I want character’s with personality. Hank Pym hit his wife, Ben Grimm doesn’t like not looking human, and Superman is from the country and slightly naive (unless James Robinson’s writing him and then he’s borderline retarded), but that’s only one aspect of their personality. How about flushing them out a bit in interesting ways? And doing the same with less popular characters and in the process making them popular. There are still about 190 X-Men running around but none have been very popular since Giant Size (with the exception of maybe Emma). Though at least Marvel sometimes tries like with Nova, Deathlok, Darkhawk, and Speedball/Penance. When DC tries it’s usually kind of half-assed. And don’t let a couple of guys control the entire universe’s direction. Bendis and Loeb are not very good writiers anymore. Johns is alright but gets old and his stories are very cliched. Morrison is pretty niche as of late. Share the wealth!

Most of all, I wish comic fans didn’t buy tons and tons of comics that they don’t like just because they’ve been doing it in the past. $3.99 for New Avengers?! Still a Top 10 comic. Ultimatum? Sold in the 70k-80k range. JLA and JSA and Teen Titans? Seriously? If you want things to get better then stop buying the crap.

I wish X-men and Avengers were in better shape right now (though 2nd Coming hasn’t been bad).

It seems to me that, in the current mode of episodic “storytelling” in comics and on TV, the main purpose of a given episode is not to advance a narrative, but to act as an advertisement or incentive for us to buy the next. In other words, there is no storytelling, it’s all marketing. Those of us old-fashioned enough to expect a pre-planned plot structure and who either have some sort of investment in the characters or are fooled into thinking there will be a clever payoff will wait forever for the stories to resolve and keep handing over the money. It would be nice to read some proper adventure stories told with some stylish art.

Crabby Lioness

May 4, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Uncle John, you just gave out the best reason to watch the BBC. They haven’t caught the “strung-out story” disease yet, and still know how to wrap up a tale in 45 minutes.

I’ve given up on any comic that uses photo shopped art like Alex Maleevor super hero comics that use the overly gritty art approach

Charlie,

My practice is to never write off a creator or book forever, but read reviews from you fellow readers to see who’s hot or cold (I’m hoping Spidey will be back – see my previous post). Everyone at some point in their career can be on or off (some are off more than they’re on). Using your criticisms, I’ll pick up a book for an arc or run on top of what I normally get to see what’s special or be leery of a book that people have bashed. I don’t think we readers should view criticism as a bad thing but as a tool to helps each other.

Also, to the parents, they’re plenty of books out there that you can enjoy with your kids that introduces them to your favorite Marvel/DC superhero and at different ages. DC kids, Superhero Squad, Marvel Adventures, Billy Batson. My 20month old son already growls and says “Hulk” thanks to the Superhero Squad and my 9 year old daughter loves DC kids and the Power Pack minis. She also absolutely loved Spider-Man loves Mary Jane (I still don’t have the heart to tell her about OMD). There’s also BOOM studios that does the Disney characters.

Hopefully I didn’t waste your time (or anyone else’s) with my rambling, but I didn’t want you to think that because we critique something or someone we are invalidating their work (although in some cases we sure try) but it’s because we want comics to be such a positive experience. It’d be nice if some of the creators and editors listened to us, but we know they don’t or else someone would have started drawing feet correctly (if he bothered drawing them at all) a long time ago. But, we have each other to warn or encourage about a book.

Thanks,
Fred-O

I can’t abide anything with the name “Kevin Smith” on it. Not his movies and definitely not his comic books. I will never forgive or forget his disdainful attitude towards comic fans which were unprofessional and bush league in the wake of his twin fiascoes on Daredevil: The Target and Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do. It was either flippant, dismissive or smart-ass depending on what feeble excuse Smith would offer up. I have nothing but contempt for him as he does for deadlines and treating others with respect. If I want to pay to be humiliated and treated like crap, I’ll save my money and pay for a dominatrix.

When the story keeps on sucking (or when the price is too high) I drop a book. There are individual creators I don’t like but it’s because they’re consistently bad. I’m always willing to give people another change, I suppose. And I doubt I would ever stop reading someone’s work for any reason outside that work being bad. If some creator offends me then I might not buy his or her books but I doubt I could really stop reading my favorite stories if the creator rubbed me the wrong way. That seems petty to me.

This was one of THE best threads I’ve ever read on comics. Good job everyone!

As of this year I’ve been collecting/reading comics for 30 years. And I think the way things are going, it just may be my last. :-(

Back in my heyday I used to read on average between 40-50 titles a month. That number has been slowly dwindling over the past few years. Now I’m down to about a dozen titles, with several of them already announced as being cancelled by the end of the summer. I’ll be down to two Marvel books, six DC and two Image by then.

I recently made the decision to not buy any of the spinoff event books or relaunches of titles (b/c of higher price points) I’ve read faithfully for years. Just not doing it anymore. This has saved me a TON of money as you can imagine.

I also decided that when comics ALL hit $4 across the board, I’m out. Done. Finito. As it is, I find myself enjoying the selection available less and less.

I work part-time at my local comic book store, where I have plenty of opportunity to read for FREE the majority of output from the ‘Big Two’. Having had this option for years, I don’t even bother anymore to try titles out. Too much crap to wade through, not really worth my time or effort anymore.

Eh, even if I drop the hobby I’ve loved for so long, threre’s still the thousands of back issues I own to keep me busy for the next 30 years! :-D

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