Thursday, August 23, 2007

Do you Suffer from Event Burnoout?

I received an email from the vivacious Vaneta, writer for Newsarama, asking retailers to participate in a column she's doing on event fatigue. As a store owner I have my own views on event driven comics and weather or not there is some fatigue from fans. But, I thought I'd ask you fair readers to share your feelings as well. After all, you are the ones that I have to use to base my buying decisions on.

Please reply here or via email: and let me know what your opinions are! I will share the results sometime next week.

Are you less interested in larger, multi-title comic book stories than you were, say two or three years ago?

When comics publishers have storylines that tie in to more than one title, do you buy those tie-in titles?

If you were not already reading that title but picked it up for the cross-over into the event, do you usually stop reading the title after the cross-over issues, or do you find that you typically continue to read that title?

What makes for a solid event?

What do you not like about "events?"

Are multi-title stories the only way the big two can sell anymore?

1 comment:

Ben from AZ said...

I'd say, no, I'm not that interested in large multi-title book stories than I was a couple years ago. I had just gotten back into comics at the tail end of House of M, and the beginning of Infinite Crisis and Civil War. Everything I'd been reading for more than a year had something to do with those events. I've been yearning for more stories that are self-contained, so I've hit up titles like "Y the Last Man," "Ex Machina," "The Goon," "100 Bullets" and "American Virgin" just to get away from the event-ridden superhero stories.

I usually like to start buying all the tie-in titles, but I really have to say that I'm usually disappointed in them. I mean, take Ghost Rider's tie in with WWH - TOTAL BULLSH*T!!! It was the WORST conceived tie in I've ever read. Perhaps you can attribute that to Daniel Way and his GAWDAWFUL writing, but I really think Marvel tried to scam its readers into buying two issues of a declining-in-popularity comic book. That's just one instance. Most of the tie-ins offer NOTHING ELSE to the story, I've found. So, lately, I've been trying to steer clear of those extraneous books and perhaps focusing more on the immediate event at hand.

Re: picking up a title having to do with the event and whether or not I continue reading it: I personally got a huge kick out of Cable & Deadpool and their tie in to Civil War. I liked the writing and I really got into the character of Deadpool - I'd forgotten how cool he was. I did continue reading that book...but it got sucky, so I put it down. It really depends on the story and the writer. I picked up New Avengers during Civil War and I liked the stories so much that I went back and bought all of the preceding New Avenger issues starting at #1. Most of the tie-in stuff, I just buy to see how it actually "ties-in" and I typically put it down. Those are really the only two instances that I've continued reading the comic due to the tie-in.

What makes for a solid event? A PAYOFF! Identity Crisis had one HELLUVA payoff! It was an intricate seven issue mystery in which we find out "whodunnit!" Infinite Crisis was pretty decent, I mean, you had the deaths of several characters - including a beloved Superboy, and you had an overall decent story - not a GREAT story, but decent. Too bad we had to wait a year to find out that Infinite Crisis had to do with the new 52 Multiverse a year later...meh... Civil War was quite possibly the BIGGEST disappointment I invested in. Yeah, Cap died, but I expected something GREATER than "OK, you win Tony." So I'm lookin' for PAYOFF...oh...and KICK ASS FIGHTS!! Civil War was ALL exposition and NO DECENT FIGHTS! At least World War Hulk is providing THAT. I suppose you could call me a hypocrite because there wasn't much fighting in Identity Crisis - but when you've got an awesome writer like Brad Meltzer putting together a tight 7 issue miniseries/event, well... I can look past lack of dukes flying around. (Hell, I thought the first 4 issues of Meltzer's JLA where nothing really happened was probably some of the best comic book reading I've experienced in a very long time!)

Events are TIRESOME. Events BURN READERS OUT. Sure they sell comic books, but the quality in stories sinks! Instead of reading 20 titles all with their own things going on, we end up pigeonholed into reading 20 titles pipelining into one FULL story. Having just become aware of DC's "Final Crisis"...I'm not so sure I'm gonna want to get into it. I'm tired of the checkerboard moving around. I want the godd*mn universe to SIT STILL for a second so my favorite characters can deal with their OWN messes for a change! When every tag line to every event says something like "THIS WILL CHANGE THE MARVEL/DC UNIVERSE FOREVER" - you KNOW that's a load of crap, because in 5 or 10 years, they're just gonna change things back! Captain America will come back alive and fight along side Iron Man again. Superman will be born of a birthing matrix and then Superboy will punch the universe making Supes fly to Earth on a rocket propelled by his parents' love... blah blah blah. Like I said in a previous post - I'm all about respecting the legacies of characters, because sometimes, these events just take all the fun outta things. I wish Marvel and DC would stop preaching to the FANBOYS and get back on the "LETS MAKE A FUN STORY" bus.

Are multi-title stories the only way Marvel and DC can sell titles? They're so narrow-minded that you'd think that's the only way they know HOW. If every comic book out there would use All-Star Superman as a template, they wouldn't HAVE to kowtow to the event gods. Of course, not every comic book lends itself to reminiscence and legacy loving (look at Wolverine Origins, for instance...pure garbage, yet still building on his legacy. Thanks Daniel Way). If the BIG TWO can stick with the times, and take notes from Brian K. Vaughan and Brian Azzarello and even early Jeph Loeb (up to and including "Batman Hush") - make more intimate stories that unfold into big events for THAT CHARACTER'd probably see sales maintain or even boost.

Events are OK, every five years or so, but NOT EVERY FRIGGIN YEAR! It's OVERKILL! I wish Marvel and DC could let their characters breathe for five minutes before making them deal with Monitors or Skrulls or whatever the hell else the big wigs wanna throw at 'em. The only thing EVENTS have taught me in comic books is that eventually, EVERYTHING goes back to zero.