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#520781 - 08/25/03 01:22 PM My era has passed.
Samuel Catalino Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/99
Posts: 4447
I sent this off to CBG the end of July, but since they have not printed it, or had no room, I thought I might share my thoughts with the rest of you folks...

I have picked up my last new comic. Yesterday that is. There are no new comics coming from Previews for me now. It has been a while coming.

I lost my enthusiasm about new comics some time ago. I bought up to 50 to 60 titles a month and it became more of a chore to read most of them than a joy. I cut back dramatically a few months ago, and a few months ago I decided that it was time to stop purchasing new comics.

The rot began a few years ago and I discussed this with Maggie Thompson last year at San Diego when I complained there was nothing out there I really looked forward to each month. She suggested Fantastic Four (which Mark Waid had just begun to write), I actually did pick up a few copies and no offense to Mark, I could not generate any enthusiasm about it. There are no comic books out there that I have a desire to read on a monthly basis, it is that simple.

What happened? Well, I started buying comics over forty years ago when they were ten cents. The paper wasn't that great, it was not computer colored or lettered, but the stories appealed to me. I was a Superman fan, and bought DC comics in the early sixties, remembering all of the chains that Superman broke on the covers of Action Comics and Superman Annual #1 which Bill Schelly wrote about in his fine book: SENSE OF WONDER.

Several years later, I was introduced to Marvel Comics, and the wonderful world of Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, The Mighty Thor and all of the rest of the Marvel characters. I loved their western books as well. No, I confess I never read Millie The Model, probably the only Marvel comic I did not buy. I remember with great sadness picking up Amazing Spider-Man volume 1 issue 38 with the announcement that Steve Ditko was leaving Marvel and that was the last Spider-Man he will ever draw as well as Doctor Strange....A few years later, another announcement came that Jack Kirby had left Marvel and that would be the last of the Fantastic Four and Thor that he would draw.

I marveled at Conan The Barbarian at Marvel and the Fourth World Saga with Kirby at DC. I was sorry to see Jim Mooney leave Supergirl, but Kurt Schaffenerger did a fine job, but could never replace Jim Mooney in my heart. Curt Swan was still drawing Superman, but left (or was he retired?) by the advent of John Byrne's Superman.

I remember the return of Jack Kirby to Marvel, the Bicentennial he did so brilliantly in the Treasury Edition, the graphic novel about the Silver Surfer he did and The Hunger Dogs he did to wrap up the New Gods saga....

I remember the drug story and the guts Stan Lee showed in writing Amazing Spider-Man volume 1 issues 96 through 98, and the Green Arrow/Green Lantern stories which followed in their wake....

I saw the beginning of Eclipse Comics, Epic Comics, Dark Horse, CrossGen, Chaos, Valiant and I saw some of them fall by the wayside, and some which do well today.

I remember the big mini-series....Camelot 3000, Watchman (which I only bought #1 and #2), Ronin, The Dark Knight Returns, Secret Wars I and (gag!) II and a number of prestige format books I picked up along the way...

I also saw the crass commercialism in the Death of Superman, the Funeral of Superman, the multi covers of X-Men #1, the relaunches of all the Marvel (new number ones)comics, and they have the audacity to say that the current Fantastic Four is volume 1 issue 500? I saw the unending Kang story in Avengers, the art in all of the Superman books deteriorate to the point I can no longer look at them, much less purchase them.

Quality has gone downhill with the art in comics. There are some books out there I can not say that about: JSA, Hawkman, Sojourn, Ruse, Solus, Mystic, The Mighty Thor, Ultimate and Amazing Spider-Man, to mention a few. There are still some good books out there put out by good professionials, but I can't get excited about them or justify paying 2.25 to 2.99 for each of them.

Perhaps my interests in life have changed, but I still get a big thrill reading the Ditko Dr. Strange stories, but it just hit me why I get a thrill. That time reminded me of a special time of my years growing up, we had no television in France (when I discovered Marvel), and we lived in the heart of a French town. Then I realized that it is time for me to live in the present and not in the past. Will I still love the comics of the past? Yes! Should I buy ones in the present where I no longer have the joy of the past? No!

So count me out of the current comic book merry go round. I will still subscribe to the CBG, heck, my first issue was 89. I just am joining many of my peers (of my age group) who have stopped purchasing new books and have other interests.

Will I stop going to conventions? Well, other than the disastrous last one I went to, I may pop up just to listen in on the panels. Mark Evanier is still the best moderator of such things and I have fond memories of those panels, especially the one celebrating Gene Colan's 75th birthday and seeing John Buscema for the last time. I still have video and photos from that, and cherish it.

I have a lot of living left to do, and I intend to move on.
_________________________
"If we lose a hundred troops a week, then Dean will be our next Prez." Jack V, avid Dean supporter with no concern for the troops.

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#520782 - 08/25/03 01:55 PM Re: My era has passed.
Mark Allen Offline
Member

Registered: 10/12/01
Posts: 1677
Loc: Northwestern Oklahoma
What you're saying isn't all that surprising, and I'm not far from that point myself. I spend a lot more money on mags like Comic Book Artist, Alter Ego, and the like, than I do on new comics. My comic fix is largely derived from quarter bins and good ebay sales. My dime buys a lot more, that way.
_________________________
A comics blog! How unusual!
Four Color Commentary

A YouTube page! That's..., something.
Four Color Commentary

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#520783 - 08/25/03 01:57 PM Re: My era has passed.
C.Kent Offline
Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 286
Loc: New Jersey
Now, if only you could stop leaving Comic Message Boards.

Jeez, What do you want? Are we supposed to beg and scream for you to stick around?


Beat it and good riddance!
_________________________
Pat D.
",the molicular ley mo"

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#520784 - 08/25/03 02:23 PM Re: My era has passed.
Samuel Catalino Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/99
Posts: 4447
Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Allen:
What you're saying isn't all that surprising, and I'm not far from that point myself. I spend a lot more money on mags like Comic Book Artist, Alter Ego, and the like, than I do on new comics. My comic fix is largely derived from quarter bins and good ebay sales. My dime buys a lot more, that way.


Those are excellent mags. They review the past and they are quite informative. The Jack Kirby Collector is a fine magazine as well.
_________________________
"If we lose a hundred troops a week, then Dean will be our next Prez." Jack V, avid Dean supporter with no concern for the troops.

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#520785 - 08/25/03 02:35 PM Re: My era has passed.
Brent Grenier Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 2381
I can't imagine why they wouldn't print a letter that says "modern comics suck and I need a life."

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#520786 - 08/25/03 03:11 PM Re: My era has passed.
Kimota Offline
Member

Registered: 06/06/01
Posts: 1336
Loc: Louisville KY USA
"Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind...."

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#520787 - 08/25/03 03:19 PM Re: My era has passed.
Samuel Catalino Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/99
Posts: 4447
Quote:
Originally posted by Brent Grenier:
I can't imagine why they wouldn't print a letter that says "modern comics suck and I need a life."


Well, if the letter had said that, you might have had a point.
_________________________
"If we lose a hundred troops a week, then Dean will be our next Prez." Jack V, avid Dean supporter with no concern for the troops.

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#520788 - 08/25/03 03:21 PM Re: My era has passed.
Samuel Catalino Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/99
Posts: 4447
Quote:
Originally posted by Kimota:
"Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind...."



Now that was appropriate. smile
_________________________
"If we lose a hundred troops a week, then Dean will be our next Prez." Jack V, avid Dean supporter with no concern for the troops.

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#520789 - 08/25/03 04:09 PM Re: My era has passed.
Rich Koller Offline
Member

Registered: 02/24/02
Posts: 1537
Loc: Between the moon and Jersey Ci...
So what was the comic? I bet it was Dildo!

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#520790 - 08/25/03 04:50 PM Re: My era has passed.
Claude Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/03
Posts: 56
Loc: USA
Have you thought of investingating some of the non-DC/Marvel titles? "Cerebus" has less than a year to go, but has been utterly fascinating, "Love and Rockets" is routinely excellent, and there must be a zillion other small-press books begging for readers.

Next time you're at a convention, if you do indeed go, ask around for what's good among the alternative comics. The comics medium is still producing wonderful stuff.

--Claude

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