An entry from my decade-old Marvel blog in which i talk about comic books that are neither good or bad but which are just kinda there.
Had an interesting conversation with somebody the other day about the evolution of our collecting habits, and he said something that set my mind racing down particular corridors. In talking about how what he was purchasing had changed, he remarked , “I can’t justify paying that kind of money for a comic book I might read only one or twice before I die.”
Now, focus on impending mortality aside, I’ve started to feel the same way a little bit in some respects. I don’t have quite the same hang-up about the money-it’s the time I don’t seem to have. My 12-year-old self would be horrified by the three long-boxes of comics that I have sitting around unread, all stuff I’ve gotten in the regular weekly freebie bundles that I haven’t had a chance to dive into just yet.
And that stuff has already made it past the first hurtle, in which I immediately discard anything that I know I’m never going to get around to reading. More recently, though, I’ve been cherry-picking this stack a little bit, because I’ve fallen so far behind-and now I can’t even seem to keep up with the cherry-pickin’ pile on a week-to-week basis.
I’m about as fast a comic book reader as there is. The typical issue of any title will take me under five minutes to polish off, less if I’m not engaged by the material and am just skimming through it. But there’s so much good material out there, and so many different options, that I find I’m having to limit my choices and decisions simply in order to be able to get through it all. I find the same is true with other media as well-I watch far fewer movies than I used to, and there’s almost always a stack of shows waiting for me on my Tivo at any given point.
What this all means is that the bar is being set higher and higher. I simply don’t have enough time to stick with mediocre comics over the long haul. And I suspect, whether it’s a financial imperative, or a time one, or an aesthetic one, there are a lot of readers who are feeling the same way. It’s no longer good enough to just be good enough.