Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
After more than a quarter century, I found reading the last big stack of Marvel and DC books I brought home at tremendous expense to be the last thing I wanted to do. Trying to read the last few of them was incredibly difficult — the art was detailed but unclear, the scripting was clever but not informative, and the stories inched along at so slow a pace, with so little happening on any given page or in any given issue, that nothing registered as being remotely interesting. Six weeks later, or however long it’s been, I not only do not miss my weekly comics shop visit but I feel somewhat relieved. I no longer have to keep track of what I have and don’t have, what the big crossover of the moment is, or how much it’s going to cost and whether I can still afford it.
— Tom McLean, on why he gave up on superhero comics after 26 years of faithful reading. His lengthy essay at Bags and Boards charts his growing love of comics and then his disillusionment with the superhero genre, and it crystallizes what a lot of people have been saying for the past few years. And there’s a happy ending: McLean is still reading comics and finding plenty of satisfaction outside the superhero realm.