A post from my old Marvel blog concerning the frequent fan impulse to label certain stories as “filler”.
I keep seeing the term “filler” applied to more and more individual comic books and stories in the chatter around the internet, and I have to say that I neither like it nor agree with the sentiments expressed by it. “It’s pretty much filler” seems to be applied indiscriminately to any issue or storyline that isn’t absolutely world-shattering in its impact.
This seems like a strange sentiment to be so prevalent at the same time that many of the same people are crying out “enough!” when it comes to event books–like there’s no way to win. But more importantly, I think that “filler” has become the new “decompressed storytelling”–the new buzzword term that gets thrown at any book the reader in question doesn’t like, regardless of how well it actually describes the book.
It’s symptomatic of the fact that comics can be an expensive hobby, so people want to feel like they’re getting the maximum bang for their buck. But take this feeling to an extreme, and you start to miss the forest for the trees.
There may be times when a particular story is genuinely “filler” (or “Oreo middle” as we think of it around here.) Hopefully that doesn’t happen often. But a story that’s just a story isn’t filler. It may not be the greatest comic book event ever, but its got the blood, sweat and tears of a lot of dedicated people behind it. And its purpose is simply to entertain you for awhile–there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
What ever happened to the days when a story could simply be a story?