Okay, I'm not really
dead (but if I were, this would be the scariest weblog post ever! OoooooOOOOOOoooooh, spooky!), but I was, I don't know, in a morbid mood, I guess, and was thinking about what would happen to my collection of funnybooks after I kick the bucket.
I suppose it came to mind as I've recently been going through some of the old Comic Reader
fanzines that I own. Some of them were subscription copies that were purchased (along with a sizable chunk of a comics collection) from an estate sale a few years back, and had the name and address of the decedent printed on the back covers. Every time I espy this gentleman's name as I'm perusing decades-old comics news, I think about how he spent his spare time putting together a comics collection, only to have it split up and sold pretty much as soon as he passed on.
That's a bit depressing, though I really can't say that it's unsurprising. After all, following my eventual death, I don't expect that the vast Mikester Comic Archives will be sealed in high-grade industrial plastic and displayed as an eternal tribute to my greatness. But it would be nice...send enough PayPal donations to my e-mail address and I'll get right on it.
I've no intention of having children, so most likely I won't have any heirs to inherit my collection. Which is just as well, since more often than not geekiness tends to skip a generation, and any potential children of mine wouldn't be interested in comics anyway. They'd probably be more into crazy, out-there things like "sports," and "going out," and "having social lives," in total contrast to dear old Dad, and would probably sell my comics for just enough money to buy a tankful of fuel for their flying cars.
Selling is a tricky proposition as well...assuming I live to a ripe old age, there's no assurance that there'll still be a market for old comics after my passing. Or any kind of comics market at all. If we were to extrapolate from today's society, kids of the future will most likely communicate only in grunts and only occasionally turn away from their vid-screens long enough to eat their food-pills, and thus wouldn't be interested in "reading" anything printed on "paper." That would be something only the old and the poor do, and thus any hobby based on paper products would likely have no economic support.
On the other hand, by that time there may not be any trees left, what with the last remaining old-growth forests having been replaced by vast fields of drilling machinery futilely attempting to extract that last milliliter of oil, and most books and magazines having been converted to building materials to house the 17 billion people living on Earth at that point, so paper might be a rare, valuable commodity. 100 Nu-Dollars per cubic ton of paper! Woo-hoo!
I suppose I could will them to a library or something, but having worked in a library, I know the average lifespan for a comic book once it's on the shelves is about 46 seconds. Plus, there's no telling if libraries will still be around at that point, since, given the progressing reduction of funds for our local libraries over the years, I think they're open for approximately 3 hours a week now as it is.
Perhaps I could "take it with me," as it were, and be buried Egyptian pharaoh style, surrounded by golden long comic boxes, in an underground tomb. Or have my body burned, Viking-style, on a giant pyre made from my collection.
But no, most likely, my collection will go the way of the fellow whose Comic Reader
s I own, pieced out and divided up among comic stores and comic collectors, with no idea that particular copy of Superman
#202 came from my full run of Eighty-Page Giant
s, no idea that issue of Spider-Man
was bought because it came out on my birthday, no idea that those Sugar & Spike
s came from a run I was never able to complete.
Or maybe they'll just all be recycled into other paper products. Or into food..."Soylent Green is made of comics!"
Anyway, that's my depressing thought for the morning.
Have a nice day!
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the closure of Fanboy Rampage
, the comics weblog that read terrible, terrible comic message boards so you didn't have to. I've said before
that the Rampage was one of the inspirations for me to finally get my own weblog going...though it's hard to believe Graeme's site had only been around for a couple months at that point. It already seemed like a vital part of the comicsweblogosphere, even at that early stage.
, Graeme, and good luck to you.
So, who does that leave for the long-running webloggers? We have Comic Treadmill
, which just celebrated its two-year anniversary; Laura "Tegan" Gjovagg
, Aquaman's #1 proponent for nearly three years; Johnny Bacardi
, serving 'em up for about three years; and of course, the nigh-invincible Neilalien
, who showed everyone else how to do it. Plus, I'm just about
at the two year mark myself. And I'm sure I'm missing somebody, but that's what the comments section
There are also new comic webloggers popping up all the time
, so belay that "comic weblogs are dead" talk, mister! (As opposed to "the nature of discussion on the comicsweblogosphere is changing" talk, as Neilalien mentions
I'm not fooling myself...I know that the whole weblog fad won't last forever, and that sooner or later the current weblog boom will probably scale itself back to a relative handful of dedicated webloggers, leaving the desiccated corpses of abandoned journals and link-logs and Myspace accounts scattered across the internet. I mean, I was there for the late-70s CB radio boom, I've seen it happen before. ("Pathfinder Jr." in case you were wondering. Don't ask.)
But so long as weblogs are around, some percentage of them (about 0.000000002%) will be comic book weblogs, so comic 'blogs won't go away until 'blogs in general do. But I'm sure whatever follows weblogs as the primary form of World Wide Web communication, there'll be people using it to talk about the funnybooks...including me, I'm sure. (Unless it's online interpretive dance videos, in which case I draw the line.)
Pal Ian talks about Infinite Crisis
and brings up a point that I had been pondering myself...if the stated goal of IC
was to "lighten the tone" of the DC Universe, why use a crossover series to do it? Why not just start writing the books with a lighter tone?
Well, money, of course.
As everyone knows (or should
know), comic book crossovers started out as a way to get kids exposed to characters they otherwise wouldn't read. A Green Lantern fan would see that he's in a Justice Society story in the latest All-Star Comics
, so he'd want to buy that comic, too. In the process, maybe he'd see GL's fellow Society member the Flash, and think "hey, that Flash character is pretty neat...maybe I should look for his comic book, too!"
And so on.
That's what I see Infinite Crisis
doing as well, particularly with the tie-in series. "This
mini-series shows you all the cool super-villains we have, this
mini-series has our magical and oddball heroes, this
one has our space heroes...." I'm not a huge Batman fan, by any means, but IC
got me to buy Omac Project
, nominally a Batman mini-series. A lot of people bought the "Sacrifice" issue of Wonder Woman
that tied into the series, and stuck around for further issues.
You may not care for the content of the series (and judging by at least one page-by-page allegedly-humorous overview of IC
that pal Dorian
tried to warn you about, some of you really don't), you can't really fault DC on its planning. This is about as well-structured a "crossover event" I'd ever seen from the Big Two, that genuinely has readers excited about what's going on, and has them looking forward to, and buying, titles that they might not ordinarily have bought. I'm hearing very little griping about about being "forced" to buy IC
tie-ins as well, which is certainly unusual for a crossover event like this.
Note, that by "readers" in that last paragraph, I mean "people who come into our store and buy comics from us and discuss them with us as well." I don't
mean "people I see complaining online, who are probably buying IC
and all its tie-ins anyway." In the wild, at least in my direct experience, IC
is being quite well-received, thank you.
On a related note, just prior to IC
's release, I was singing an Infinite Crisis
theme song, much to Dorian's amusement, though darn if I can remember it now. The lyrics aren't
the ones in this post's title (I stole that from the Mystery Science Theatre 3000
ersatz theme song for Undersea Kingdom
), but I sure wish I knew what they were. (This would be sign #343 that I've sold comics for too long.)
So Dorian and I were discussing that the latest issue of a particular toy magazine seemed to have several articles that weren't toy-related, and in fact could have been easily put, with little or no changes, in other magazines from the same publisher. And we were thinking, how hard is it to stay on topic? Okay, I can understand if you want to diversify the mag a little, but why cover the same ground your sister magazines already cover?
And that got us on the topic, somehow, of how much we write on our goofy little weblogs, here. Dorian's topics are a little more wide-ranging, discussing horror movies, music and such, but I'm pretty much 98% comics (with the occasional Star Wars
and Star Trek
and Snakes on a Plane
post). Just on a whim, I took all my posts from the last month and cut 'n' pasted them into a word processing file. It came to about 62 pages, without images. If you take out the non-comics posts, it comes to about, say, 60 pages. That's enough to fill a small magazine (well, fanzine), just on my own. If we were to add in the comics-related writing from Dor, pal Tom
, and pal Ian
, we could have a respectably-sized publication.
Of course, putting out a comics magazine in this market would almost certainly have us looking back on the milk 'n' honey days of weblogging, where the money was free and easy. Plus, I'd need to find an editor to trim down my writing to something an actual human being could read.
So, I'm not sure what my point is really, beyond "I type too much." If you read all my crazy-talk on a regular basis, I appreciate it.
If you've read this far, here's a gallery/listing
of spy comics drawn by this person when he was a kid. Gave me some nostalgic feelings for my own young comic-drawing days, it did.