Blah Blah Blog – The Transaction

A post from my Marvel blog of the 00s replying to a reader’s comment about what the act of buying a comic book entitles you to.

Thursday, 10:28

April 28, 2007 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

Hey, look! Somebody said something in a reply thread that rubbed me the wrong way a little bit! So now I get to reply right here in public–an absolute godsend when you’re trying to fill up a blog.

Okay, here’s the post in question, in response to the Continuity thread:

>… But I gave you MONEY!
My approach to continuity is simple: if I’ve paid good money for an issue, I don’t want to be told 10 years later that the events I read in the comic I *paid* for should be ignored.

That would be a big waste of my money, would it not?

Posted by Adrian J. Watts on 2006-06-22 01:29:15>

Adrian, I think you have the wrong idea as to what you’re buying from us.

The transaction is pretty simple: you put down your $2.99, and in return we try to entertain you for 22 pages. But that’s really all you’re entitled to. There’s absolutely no guarantee of permanence, any more than there is when you watch a television show (“Bobby Ewing’s still alive in the shower?”) or go to a movie (“You mean Superman III and Superman IV don’t count now?”)

You’re not buying permanence. You’re not buying a guarantee that nothing will ever change. And you’re buying the physical object–which WON’T ever change.

It’s entirely your personal choice whether you feel the reading experience is a waste of your money. That’s the choice that every read has to grapple with every day–and why we work so hard to make sure that it is. Same as with every other entertainment possibility available to you (“You mean TOMB RAIDER III isn’t cutting edge anymore?”) And if you read the comic and liked the comic, then you got what was promised you. And even if you read the comic and didn’t like the comic, if you got the experience of reading the comic, you got what was promised to you–it just means that you’re much less likely to buy another one thereafter.

Tom B

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