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Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio

  As everyone has noticed, the comic industry has been on a steady decline for a very long time.   It’s hard to exactly pin point when, and it’s even harder to describe why it has been so, but the average person would tell you that once people began making comics available via digital downloads, for free, that’s when the comic industry began to steadily decline, and I would agree, who wants to buy a 24 paged magazine (not including ads) when you can get said magazine online for free.   It’s inefficient, especially when the world economy is spiraling downwards at an unbelievable rate.

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  It’s hard to deny that kind of logic, when you could go and Google the latest issue of Wolverine, and have it on your computer within about, a minute. But, logically, this can’t be the only reason as to why the comic industry is declining, the music industry is still striving and people can go download every single Rolling Stones song since the 1970’s, all without leaving their computer seats.  

  Now, for me, I’ve pinpointed four things about the comic industry that has turned me away from superhero comics in general.   I still read comics, obviously or I wouldn’t still be on this site, but I don’t read half as much as I used to.   Before I would try and read every single Wolverine comic that came out each month, now I can’t read Marvel in general, nor can I stand DC.

  Problem #1 – The Comic Publishers are to Concerned with Money:

  This is true for any and everything thing retail wise.   Theres the saying “Money talks”, and anyone who has money understands this well.   A rich, famous man can get into the hottest restaurant without even waiting in line, while working class people have to wait two hours just to get into Red Lobster.   It’s true, money talks, you can’t deny that, but in the words of Richard Armour, “That money talks, I'll not deny, I heard it once:   It said, "Goodbye."

  Money doesn’t last, which is why big name publishers, DC and Marvel specifically, keep grabbing and grabbing for all the money they can possibly get.   Why is it that every 3 months, Marvel has some new big event that’ll “Change the entire workings of the Universe”?   It’s because they understand that these events attract curious people who read this line and think, “Oh my, if I read this, I could possibly reading history in the making” and they are, they’re reading this history that has been continuing for 3 to 4 decades now, it’s the history of these big name companies sacrificing quality over quantity, and to this day, it still goes on.

  This is why characters like Batman and Wolverine get about 8 series per year, because they sell, and they sell unbelievably well.   With how much they sell, you’d think that these characters were actually real and we could go and meet them down in California. What’s sad about this is that by over saturating these characters like the way they are, they’ll soon turn away the fan base these characters had created, and when that time comes, they’ll sooner kill off these characters instead of trying to get the fan base back, and it’s sad.

  These big name publishing companies don’t understand that if they focus on writing great stories, the money itself will come in turn, and it’s this stubborn-mindedness that turns away many readers today.   Instead of mindlessly pumping out events each and every years for the sake of making money, they should focus on the quality of their stories instead of the number of characters they can throw in our faces.

  Problem #2 – Comics Today Lack a Singular Vision for the Future:

  Why is it that Japanese comics completely out sell and destroy the comic industry in retail value and in sell ability?   It’s because with a manga, I never have to worry about some no-name writer coming out of nowhere to ruin the characters I love.   On the covers of manga there’s usually one name, and one alone.   On One Piece the name on the cover is Eichiro Oda, the author, and artist on the series.   But on Green Arrow #12, there was four names on the cover, J.T. Krul, Diogenes Neves, Vincente Cifuentes, and Oclair Albert.   Worst yet, in the very next issue most of those people aren’t even on the cover, heck, on the wiki for Green Arrow #12, there are 12 people given credit for this issue, and not a single one of them own the copyright to any of the characters that appeared in the issue.

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  In February of this year, Green Lantern was the highest selling comic out that month, selling over 71,500 copies of the issue.   In Japan however, this May the 62 volume

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 of One Piece sold over 1,788,455 copies in 6 days, May 2 to May 8.   Why is that, especially since that very volume is online for free?   It’s because, since 1997 One Piece has been under the regulation of a single author who has control over all the events and has a sound plan for the future of the story.   When I read One Piece, I never have to worry about any of my favorite characters being portrayed incorrectly, yet whenever I read a comic where Captain Marvel appears in, there always seems to be some incorrect portrayal of him that makes me stop reading the issue all together.

  If the comics industry was to just let singular writers take control of a series for a prolonged period of time, let’s say 3 years, and if they do unbelievable at it, I can say with much confidence that for those 3 years, they would have a lot more happy readers.  

  Problem #3 – Comics Simply, aren’t Fun Anymore:

  It’s true, when I read a comic, there’s always some unneeded drama, and some pointless killings for the sake of making a story awesome, which, unfortunately, it isn’t.   Heck, Alan Moore himself even said that:

“If I were, god forbid, still doing superhero comics today, just like my ABC work from a couple of years ago, they’d be very very different from the Watchmen or Marvelman template. They’d be much more about having fun—whether that be intellectual fun or just plain fun—much more about that than doing any revisions.”


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  And that’s the thing, there’s just nothing fun about comics anymore.   The last comic I read that actually made the act of reading the comic itself fun was Formerly Known as the Justice League.   The whole series itself was great to read, from the silly interactions of the naïve Mary Marvel with the other characters, to the funny back and forth between Ted Kord and Booster Gold.   What wasn’t to like about that, but despite how good it was, you don’t see many of these types of stories anymore.   Why is that?  

  Well, let’s put it into terms of art for a second.   David Finch himself said that, when you draw a person smiling it’s a lot harder than drawing

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 someone angry.   With an angry person all you have to do is draw an upwards arc for a mouth, furrow the brows, and add some lines on the forehead, boom angry.   With a person grinning though, you have to draw the cheeks puffed out, you have to thin out the upper and lower lips, you have to make the eyes smaller, and then you have to draw the teeth.   It’s a lot more work to draw someone who is happy than it is to draw someone who is angry, and in terms of comics, it’s basically like this:

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  It’s a lot harder to write a fun story that is still well written and doesn’t make little of its intelligent readers, than it is to write a story about angry characters with wrathful things in it.   Because a story focused on angry characters seems much more serious than one about happier things, and it’s this thought of mind that puts comics way behind manga.  

  But the thing is, making a fun story that is still well thought out and developed isn’t impossible, just look at One Piece.   Even though some of the things in the story are just silly, I mean, the main character Monkey D. Luffy is a rubber man, and he fights with an array of attacks taking advantage of that rubber-ness, but still, the story is great.   At

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 one point, when Kizaru is about to attack someone with his light powers he says “Light is… weight.”   And if you don’t have any understanding of Einstein’s theory of Relativity, you’d have no idea what he is talking about, but that’s what we call fun on an intellectual level.   Even while reading that, you don’t have to understand what he is talking about, to still enjoy reading it.  Heck, even the TvTropes Page talks about this, they call it Fridge Brilliance, and One Piece has a lot of it.


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  When I was reading the Skypedia arc of One Piece, at the end when Luffy achieves the dreams of all the lands people by getting the bell to ring for the first time in 400 years, there was nothing that ever put such a wider smile on my face than that one scene, and even after reading it over and over for an unbelievable amount of time, I still have yet to not smile at that same scene, and that’s what comics need.   They need to make people smile again, comics should be about heroic characters doing heroic things, not dark characters doing dark things, because the world is horrible enough.   Every day hundreds to thousands of people die and me and you won’t even know, because it happens so much it becomes common place.   Comics should be a place to turn to when the world is giving you so much crap, you need a break.  

  I’m not saying get rid of all things dark, because that’s unnecessary.   We need characters like Batman and Wolverine to serve as foil to characters like Billy Batson and Peter Parker, but when every, single character seems to be dark and angsty, that’s when things are getting out of hand.

  Problem #4 – Comic Books Lack Variety as a Genre:

  If I were to ask the average superhero comic reader, “What type of genre are there in superhero comics?”  And they’ll say, superhero comics are a genre, there’s no other type of genre in superhero comics beside superhero comics.   Okay, that makes sense right?   When you go to read a book, libraries have them separated into differing genres, giving readers a wide array of books to choose from, so even if you don’t like science fiction, you could go and read historical fiction and etcetera, but with Superhero comics, not only are they a genre in themselves, they take up the vast majority of all comics that are out there today, and honestly not all readers want to read about angst.

  In manga’s though, you have an entire industry based on telling a wide array of stories.   You have 4-Koma (Comedy Manga), you have Seinen (Young Adult), you have Shounen (Young Boys), and even Shoujo (Young Girl), and then the sub genres within these sects of manga.   With comics everyone associates superhero comics as the only form of comics out there, and even though it’s not true, superhero comics make up about 75, maybe 80% of the entire comic book industry.

  The comic book industry as a whole has so many things it’s lacking.   There’s a reason why, here on the Vine, people like me, TurokofStone, Silkcuts, and so many others constantly view the comic book industry as a whole in such a negative light.   It’s because the heads of these companies just don’t understand what they’re doing.   Turok will tell you that that pushing away the older audience who’s been reading for ages, for a younger audience that is virtually non-existent is a moronic thing to do.   Silk will tell you how trying to destroy creator owned imprints like Vertigo for the sake of making money is an even more moronic thing to do.   And it’s all true.

  The industry has so many problems right now, to many to address.   Though, for me, these 4 problems are some of the things that keep turning me away from comics as a whole.     

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#1 Posted by IrishX (2870 posts) - - Show Bio

Do you read Hellboy? You should..... it's dark yet still fun and Hellboy does not smile.
I find Manga not appealing even in the slightest but to each their own. I do agree with your points about there being more variety (although there is some) and most importantly having a true vision for the future of a comic. 
In the end it seems many comic readers are a crowd that is very difficult to please no matter what. There is a never ending series of complaints and it will always be that way.
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#2 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@IrishX:  I agree with you, but if these companies could provide a wider array of things for people to read, they'll be less complaints.  People will always complain, sometimes their complaints are stupid, "Superman's costume looks to dark"  or something equally ridiculous, but some complaints are well founded and deserve some consideration.  But, doesn't matter, not a lot can change now if it hadn't for 40 years of people saying the same thing.
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#3 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@IrishX:  Also, I've never read Hellboy before, is it good?
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#4 Edited by sesquipedalophobe (5324 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that things become complicated in a company when everything becomes so connected that any tangible quality a protagonist had ceases to be. Case in point, Marvel superheroes were fine and exciting when every character was treated like a strange case, from the fact that Tony Stark started out as a captured industrialist who built something vital and necessary in his predicament and right down to the nitty gritty of the Hulk, whose persona was a childish yet elegant form of a man who otherwise wouldn't tie his shoes unless the army gave him permission. These strange cases gave you a sense of what the writers wanted to convey a perfect person is in unusual circumstances without the idea that a silhouette and a catchphrase could do them any more justice. Any character now is derivative of another character, never giving anyone an exact origin. Ronin seemed less interesting to me as a character because she didn't start with an origin story of her own, just that she was a side character in the pursuit of the perfect story arc. These new characters don't appeal to me.
Teams ruin everything for me, but back in the day the West Coast Avengers was a roster any comic fan could be proud of like Wonder Man, Tigra, Living Lightning, Spiderwoman, US Agent and Doctor Pym. They were typically underdogs in the Avengers scene, but the stories felt more alive and riveting since it was new it never entered my mind they were derived from the Avengers at all. They were solid, had weaknesses and set themselves apart from most heroes. I read them for the stories, not once thinking "I bet the Living Lightning could beat the Human Torch in a fight."
But apart from teams, every superhero in Marvel and DC seems to know each other. Nearly everyone has dealt with Stryfe, the Void, Apocalypse, Darkseid, Juggernaut, Doomsday, Deathstroke, Deadshot (my favorite) and Doctor Doom. The universes became so intermingled and expansive that they're imploding in on themselves, leaving no room for correcting any damage a one-shot or plot hole a writer may have written into continuity. Generally, I miss characters with standalone stories and antagonists.

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#5 Posted by MrUnknown (1727 posts) - - Show Bio

Very well thought out article!
 Just curious are you only up to Skypeia arc or are you up to the latest and feel that it was the highlight for you?

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#6 Posted by Billy Batson (59664 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita said:
@IrishX:  Also, I've never read Hellboy before, is it good?

It is. 


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#7 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@sesquipedalophobe:  I agree with you, once comics started having all the characters intermingle like it was a convention, that's when many of the stories started to lose their intrigue.  If I go and read a Batman comic, chances are, I want to read about Batman, but if you start throwing in guest appearances from the Justice League, and all these other characters, that's when you lose my interest.  Great post, and you make a lot of sense.  When writers start having all these characters, there's always some need to show one character is better than another, which often ends up offending many fans alike. 
@MrUnknown:  I'm glad you liked it.  I've read every chapter of One Piece to date, I just felt the Skypeia arc was the accumulation of what I was trying to talk about, stories being fun.  I love One Piece, but whenever I just want to read some great moments in One Piece history, I'll go read the Skypeia arc, the Enis Lobby arc, the Arlong Park Arc, and the Alabasta arc.  One Piece has many great moments. 
@Billy Batson:  Good to know, I'll have to go pick up a copy one of these days.
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#8 Posted by MrUnknown (1727 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita: I actually didn't like Skyeia all that much, but everything after that with Robin's backstory, Moria's arc, the War and now Fishman Island have all been super awesome!
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#9 Edited by TheBlueAngel93 (21064 posts) - - Show Bio

I can see where you're going with having a single person with their own vision of where they want the story going instead of having a constant rotation of writers and artist. Most times to make a good comic book is to find a creative team of a writer who understand the character he or she is writing and has ideas where to take the character that can be fun and exciting for the reader along with an artist who can truly capture that character and those stories.
For example, both Captain America and Invincible Iron Man have been fan favorites over the past few years, and in my opinion, the main reason of this is because they've had one creative team that has stuck with those titles and have had exciting stories that want to tell. Iron Man is a great series because Matt Fraction knows how to write Tony Stark, and Salvador's art truly captures the world of Iron Man and the characters he interacts with (not to mention his art is fantastic all on it's own). Captain America had Ed Brubaker who took the characters of Captain America and put them in stories that made characters like Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes fan favorites among many, and with Steve Epting, he was able to capture those characters and really I believe one of the biggest things that hurt the Captain America series was Epting leaving the book because after he left the series never had a permanent  artist on the book and was constantly rotating artists. Even though Brubaker was still putting out great stories, one of the things that always annoyed me personally was I would get use to one artist only to have a complete new one next storyline; which to me hurt the book a little.

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#10 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@MrUnknown:  For me everything about One Piece is great, the best part though is that it's a character driven story.  As long as there are good characters, then the stories themselves become excellent and One Piece is a prime example of that. 
@War Killer:  I'm glad you agreed with that.  If you have one person shaping the world of a character, you don't really have to worry about continuity issues because they know where they want to go with the series.  Take Grant Morrison on Batman for the past couple of years, his Batman stories have been some of the best released by DC because he knew where he wanted to take the character, but also, he took everything from before him and he tied them all together in an excellent and elogent way.  You don't need five writers to tell one story, you only need one person.  
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#11 Posted by Adnan (1042 posts) - - Show Bio

The point about one author > lots of authors is the reason I feel Image comics will be a leading publisher in the future. Because of their 'only publish creator-owned properties' ethic, you get consistent writing with characters, for better or for worse.

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#12 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@Adnan:  There has to be some point where these companies start to understand that if you let one person have a singular vision of the future, and a singular portrayal of a character, everything will begin to fall into place with comics.  Instead of shifting Grant Morrison to all these other stories, let him keep writing Batman, and let his vision become the vision of Batman for as long as it's feasible.
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#13 Posted by Adnan (1042 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita: Perhaps your right. I wonder though, from a writer's point-of-view, would having such a wide choice (well, not really a 'choice', but you know what I mean) seem like a good thing? From the perspective of an individual, it'd be hard to resist depending on your outlook on things, though it does seem like it doesn't work as well in practice, when everything is considered.
It's definitely more of a problem with Marvel and DC though. I mean, Hellblazer has had a lot of writers, and I hear it's pretty much always been good.
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#14 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@Adnan:  I can't really comment on Hellblazer, but from what Silk tells me about it, Hellblazer has always been about telling a story, and in the case of Hellblazer, it was the story that took precedence over the money.  With DC and Marvel, it's money over the story.  
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#15 Posted by pikahyper (16857 posts) - - Show Bio

Great points, I really wish the big two would give up on the crossovers for a while, I bet if they announced "no events for two years" they would make more money then they make on the events cause it would bring more people back in that quit cause they were sick and tired of the non-stop events. As for the higher sales of manga I would say that a lot of that is due to the fact that manga/comics/books in general are a more acceptable form of entertainment then they are here, manga doesn't have the stigma attached to it that comics have here that relegates them to a niche market plus overall reading is a dying activity in the US, people here just hate to read and it is sad and it just gets worse every year as education quality plummets.

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#16 Edited by Adnan (1042 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita: Ah, I suppose that makes sense. That's a general principle regarding Vertigo I suppose.
I think DC did, until recently, hold the importance of 'story' higher than many people think, because quite a few of their titles had stories that weren't 5 or 6 issue arcs that ended quickly at the risk of getting cancelled mid-story. But now, they've announced that they're doing exactly that, and pulling titles that underperform quickly. Did that news have something do with you posting this? 'cos it's much more relelvant - to me anyway, as a mainly-DC reader - now than it was a few months back.
@pikahyper: It's much easier to get into too, what with the hundreds of online reading sites.
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#17 Edited by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@pikahyper:  The thing about manga is that here in America, it's okay to read manga.  In Japan, people who read manga are disgusting pigs, which is why the term Otaku is used to describe manga readers, it's a term used to label and dehumanize people who read manga.  Manga does exceptionally well all around the world, but in Japan even though it does so well, it's still seen as a negative to actually read manga.  But I do agree with the stopping of events, if the big two would just take the time to care about the story instead of the money, they'd actually make more money.  Especially since, their names are already known world wide. 
@Adnan:  The first time I noticed a series get cancelled before it was due was The Great Ten, last year.  Maybe they have been focusing on the story for awhile now, but they really don't focus their stories on anyone outside of the big name heroes.  You'd think with companies as big as DC and Marvel, with the thousands of characters they have ownership over they have the potential to write an undefined amount of stories for a great number of characters, thereby increasing their fan-base by expanding upon the characters they have already have.  Until DC Universe vs. Mortal Kombat, people didn't even know that there was a character like Captain  Marvel, and for all those people who became fans of him from the game, where do they go to read stories about him?  They have to go years back just to find great stories with him.  DC and Marvel have so many characters, yet a good majority of them will forever go unknown to the entire world.
  As for that news, I didn't even know about that, thank you for giving me some extra information on the world of comics today.
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#18 Posted by pikahyper (16857 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita: I dunno I've never seen much "disgust" towards manga readers in Japan, some probably from older generations but manga reading saturates everywhere over there, the book/manga stores are insane and they are right at the forefront, some of them that carry more socially unacceptable content usually come from more hidden underground stores but the majority of the ones I've seen have very prominent storefronts and nothing is hidden away. Everything I've seen of manga and anime over there has it as a common everyday aspect of society.
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#19 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@pikahyper:  True, but the term otaku is still a negative term.  On the other thing you said, that's something that we can see here in America, it's just cultural.  Now don't get me wrong, there is a lot wrong with manga, just as much so as there are with comics, but the thing about manga is that if I don't like a certain genre of manga, I can go read a different genre without having to go rummaging through the echelons of time to find them, here in america, It's Superhero comics, and the everything else.  It lacks that variety for people who don't want to read about people in tights. 
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#20 Posted by Primmaster64 (21668 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita: Qnother diference is that mangas do end and that characters do grow up.
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#21 Posted by pikahyper (16857 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita: ya definitely a negative term over there, not so much here though lol. You are right about the genre selection though, there is a decent enough genre type selection available but not many titles that fit into each of those genres so it limits the selection, with manga there are tons for each genre and even with crossover genre's, even more so when you get into the fetish type stuff :P
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#22 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@Primmaster64:   Ohmigod, dude I missed you.  I'm glad you're still alive ;D.  I thought you were eaten by the study monster.  Onto what you said, that's true.  Sure some manga never seem to end Hajime no Ippo ...  >.>, but at some point, despite their popularity, they end.  Dragon Ball and it's sequels are perfect examples of this.
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#23 Posted by cody1984 (1366 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not going to comment on the OP's entire post but I do tend to agree with most of it, especially the part about crossovers killing comics. I can use my favorite character the Punisher as a perfect example of this. The Punisher had an extremely successful run in marvel knights because he didn't feature a ton of crossovers with other characters and the whole thing was almost in its own self contained world. The Punisher than got move over to the MAX imprint and was slightly redone and the series is still going to this day where the regular 616 Punisher is about to be relaunched for the third time. Marvel tried to have Punisher in the marvel universe and Frank ended up being involved in a bunch of events that he really had no business being involved in and was listed as part of events that he wasn't really a part of. Marvel and Fraction really did a pretty horrible job with the Punisher in his second War Journal series and when Remender came along and he went straight for a pure gimmick with Franken-Castle. Punisher is a niche character and what he did was try to break that and the series ended up being cut short and dropped.

I think the problem with comic companies and even fans is they want characters involved in way to many different things and ends just exploding in their face and just ends up becoming convoluted and dumb than the sales usually plummet and those same people keep ending up scratching their heads wondering why it didn't work. Certain characters are niche characters and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that because when you pick up their comics you know what you are going to get. That also creates different genres within comics as well. Trying to have every character in every team and every team tackling way different problems is not helping comics at all. I don't want to read about the Punisher going into outer space trying to broker a deal between alien races to stop them from going to war. Just like I don't think most fantastic four readers (or future foundation as it’s called now) don't want to read about them breaking up a sexual slavery ring like you see in Punisher books.

Another big problem is everyone in marvel at least being in New York City. I will give DC credit here with having different cities the main characters hang out in unlike marvel where everyone is in NYC. The U.S. is a very large country there are plenty of other places these characters can go so they are not all clustered together. I mean how many times can NYC be destroyed in marvel comics? Hollywood is bad with this but marvel is a thousand times worse.

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#24 Posted by Primmaster64 (21668 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita: You did? LOL Dude...Not yer...but soon...though I am in The university. That's what I like about mangas, characters do grow up and you grow up with them, then the series end with an awesome ending. Now with comics..its kinda getting redundant. For example, I thought that Dick Grayson's ascension to Batman was a natural step up for him as he was always meant to be the second Batman...and now...we are back to to the same redundant crap.
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#25 Edited by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@pikahyper:  Can't help but agree with you there, up here in Baltimore we have a manga/ anime convention called Otakon:  Otaku and Convention.  You see the average manga reader going around saying "I"m totally an otaku dude", and in Japan if they say that same thing (in Japanese of course), they'll be looked at with disgust and horror.  It's just different cultures.   
@cody1984:  Your reference to the Punisher is an excellent example.  Comics need characters like the Punisher because they fit a niche, and when I read a Punisher comic, I know exactly what I should be getting, and if I don't get that, I've just been robbed of 3.50, or however overpriced that issue was.  When you have so many writers who constantly butt heads about whether this or that should happen to a character, we get a jumbled mess of crap that doesn't even deserve the light of day. 
@Primmaster64:  Yea dude, I totally thought you were dead.  That's what's great about manga, when Eyeshield 21 ended with issue 333, the ending was great and it left just enough open that we, the readers, could just imagine what was going to happen after that.  Or with Ichigo 100%, it ended on such a great note, with all the cast being adults and going on with their dreams and lives, there's a sense of closure with manga that you don't often get with comics, because they're focused on trying to last forever.  Like the example you used with Dick Grayson becoming Batman, that was a part of Grant Morrison's vision for Batman, and his Batman was growing, but then you have people like Geoffcon and Dan Didiot who have a totally different vision, and a higher status within DC Comics, who just overturn it.  At some point, the editors need to just give a writer a book, and let him roll with it for as long as it's possible.
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#26 Posted by Primmaster64 (21668 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita: Why would you think that? LOL Yes that's why I love Elseworlds...Those do have closure and we are left to imagine what will happen....Man Dick was always meant to be the second Batman...that's why Bruce made him Robin so he could carry his legacy.  Mangas do have closure and characters do grow, they don't stay young forever and they don't come back from the dead either....That's why Mangas always outsell comics...they are just more interesting.
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#27 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@Primmaster64:  You totally disappeared, usually you go writing "Shazam~!!" on my wall, during the week.  But ye, elseworlds are okay when they're written well.  But manga's outsell comics because, manga is actually houses a variety of genres for people to read.  In fact, I don't consider manga's comics, to me, they're books told through pictures.  Not only that, one volume of manga gives you more of your money than one comic issue.  The average manga is about 200 pages for around 7 dollars, a comic books is around 30 for 2.50.  See the difference?  
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#28 Posted by pikahyper (16857 posts) - - Show Bio

I wish we got more closure in the manga that gets translated to english, so much of that stuff never fully gets finished here and I hate it, I've been reading a ton of manga this year and series after series just ends with a cliffhanger and no longer gets translated and if I'm lucky I can find translated chapters online but more then a few I'll never get to finish cause they are obscure, recent examples: Dragon Eye & Kanpai!.

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#29 Posted by Primmaster64 (21668 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita: SHAZAM!!!!!
Exactly bro...its sad.
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#30 Posted by MrSeaman70 (315 posts) - - Show Bio

I totally agree with all four points ! I also think the comic industry is targeting the wrong audience these days. I suspect they are targeting the kids 20-40 years ago who grew with the comics, and who are now adults. Hence, that's why there's so much drama, love triangles, partner exchanges, and dilemmas in comics these days. The reboots and revamps don't help either unless the reboot / revamp the comics to target the current generation of kids.
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#31 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@MrSeaman70:  I'm glad you agree ;D.  I agree with you on the audience these companies are trying to target.  What they're doing is just choke holding people to "Read what we put out or don't read at all", and you know what a lot of people have been doing?  They've looked at what they were given, and they left, and after they leave, the companies go we don't need you, who cares.  These companies keep pushing away their fan base, and they won't realize that they lost their fan base until they don't sell a single comic, and by then, it'll be to late and they'll be filing bankruptcy.   
  As for your second point, the quote i used from Alan Moore kind of answers that, he says that he'd make comics fun instead of trying to revise them.  DC and Marvel don't need reboots or revamps to fix mistakes, especially when they don't even bother trying to figure out the mistake they made that they needed to remedy, and they'll only end up making the same mistake again, in the words of George Santayana,   "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" 
  @Primmaster64:  THERE WE GO~!  Haven't seen that in forever ;D
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#32 Posted by sithfrog (977 posts) - - Show Bio

Solid points all around. 
Punisher is the perfect example of not only a niche character, but IMO not a "super hero" or at least should not be treated as one.  There need to be those characters who deal with human scum and villains without powers, battlesuits, etc.  Organized crime is still running strong and Frank is the man to deal with it, not the FF, Cap, or Tony Stark. 
I also agree that the massive crossovers are dragging down the industry.  They promise way more than they tend to deliver or go and change things (Brand New Day anyone?).  Oh well, I guess I will keep buying my titles for now. 
Again, great blog! 
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#33 Posted by Primmaster64 (21668 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita: You missed it?
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#34 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@sithfrog:  Thank you for the compliments, and that's a big thing about comics.  People should be able to pick up a comic, and without even having to read the issue, they should know exactly what they should expect from the issue.  You read Punisher for a person who tries to take down human crime and that crap.  When you read Silver Surfer, you don't read it because you expect him to swoop down to Earth just to punch out some petty thief.  Companies need to take advantage of the characters that play to a specific audience.   John Constantine shouldn't be in series like the Justice League, he plays to a completely different niche.  You can't tell me the average reader can pick up Hellblazer and understand what is exactly going on, that's because the story isn't meant for them, it's meant for a specific group of people.  There's a reason as to why it's been so successful for as long as it has been, because the writers of the story understands what niche the stories contribute to, and they play towards it.
@Primmaster64:  Of course, you don't know what you got till it's gone ;d.
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#35 Posted by Omega Ray Jay (8418 posts) - - Show Bio

I do agree with the staying (or not) of creative teams, it's sad that no one seems to want or is allowed to stay on a book for a prolonged period of time these days, they all just seem to want to be bouncing around different titles like some kid with ADD and it shows, even though the transitions are relativity smooth a couple or so issues in and you can really see the difference and when looked at on a larger scale it makes a characters recent history look like a patchwork quilt, It would be nice to see someone stay and build something deacent, like the Top Cow guys on the Darkness and Witchblade if I recall correctly.

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#36 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@Omega Ray Jay:  That's what needs to be done for comic books as a whole.  They need to have a more complete vision for the comic.  People complain about continuity all the time, and this is because often time, one creative team will take over a book from another team, and ignore everything the past team did, and though it may not seem like much, but if one group of people ignore it, then it's simple to reason that many more will ignore it and there we have mis-continuity.  I love companies like Top Cow that can let a creative team morph and mold a series for as long as they can successfully, which is why you don't really hear any complaints from people about a character been portrayed incorrectly for those stories unlike with DC and Marvel stories.
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#37 Posted by GundamHeavyarms (703 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't agreed more on anything.  I just was thinking about the Wonder Woman TV show when I was doing the dishes, I thought maybe the show would have survived if David E. Kelly made it a comedy instead of a drama.  Then I thought about how she is normally depicted.  She's a strong, confident, stoic, powerful woman, but she isn't really allowed to be funny, like that would somehow weaken her character.  I'm not saying she has to crack jokes every five seconds like Spider-Man, to me she's just so...stiff.
One Piece is amazing isn't it?  The world is so surrealistic, there are giants, pirates, sea monsters, fishmen, mermen, cyborgs, people with all kinds of crazy powers and it all works.  Oda and his assistants do it so well. 
Manga also does offer a variety that american comics lack.  One of my favorite series to read is Whistle!  Its about a kid named  Sho and his goal to be a pro soccer player, and thats all there is.  No super powers, no tentacle monsters, no big fights, just the action, humor, and drama that comes with being a soccer player.  I mean you do meet other interesting characters but they aren't not over the top.  Something like Whistle wouldn't work as an american comic, not even as vertigo or image title, because there's no sex or over the top violence.  
About the lack of fun in comics, I call it "Miller Syndrome."  Frank Miller came along and wrote Batman Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, and The Dark Night Strikes again.  Making Batman the grim, gritty, angry, dark tortured avenger we know him as today triggered a trend to make all superhero books that way.  I don't mind sex in comics, I don't have a problem with violence, but it has to drive the story.  I don't like the mindlessness of it all, its just there to be there.  Almost everyone in mainstream books is angry and angsty and melodramatic, it's depressing.  I like Batman, but that doesn't mean I want everyone to be like him. In fact, the current run on the Legion of Super-Heroes is so much fun, I dropped X-men like a bad habit.  I get a great team book without any of that pesky mutant angst.
Then again, we comic fans can be fickle.  From the creators' perspective, we must be impossible to please.  If only there was a way we could come to a true consensus about what we want and then tell them in a respectful way without name calling, character attacks, or sounding whiny (I'm not saying you were, you weren't.  Its just that too many people do and that's why the big wigs don't listen to us.) 

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#38 Posted by Omega Ray Jay (8418 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita: Yeah I'm not a reader of the two titles I've mentioned yet but my best friend is and he regularly informs me of the inner workings of that universe and I have to say I do get jealous of the supreme continuity those guys have, it's not to much to ask really and would seem to be common sense if anything.
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#39 Edited by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@GundamHeavyarms:  I'm glad you enjoyed the blog I wrote.  I just love getting comments like yours, they make me know my efforts weren't completely wasted writing my thoughts out.  As for your Miller Syndrome, I'd actually take it one step further and call it the Watchman Syndrome, or Twilight Effect for those who read one of my earlier blogs.  In this interview, Alan Moore even goes to say that he apologizes for the aftereffects of what his graphic novel presented.  Watchmen is still one of the top selling Graphic Novels of the month, and it's been out for decades.  In Watchmen, Alan Moore created flawed heroes with unbelievable problems, but in making this, Alan didn't want to cause a trend, he even states that in the interview, he only wanted to show people what they can do with comics, but they took Watchmen's success as, "OHMIGOD, ALL PEOPLE ONLY WANT IS DARK AND ANGST, LET'S DO THAT."   
  It's true that comic fans can be fickle, but if they gave us a wide array of things to read, we could be fickle and just read whatever suits us, instead of having Superhero comics forced down our throats when we don't want them.   
  I agree, I love One Piece, did you look at the link I put into the blog about One Piece's Fridge Brilliance, after I read that, it made me realize just how much effort has been put into the story, and it's written so well that you don't really recognize them even if you reread the series 5, or 6 times.  It was just a great thing to realize for me.
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#40 Posted by difficlus (10659 posts) - - Show Bio
@Adnan said:
The point about one author > lots of authors is the reason I feel Image comics will be a leading publisher in the future. Because of their 'only publish creator-owned properties' ethic, you get consistent writing with characters, for better or for worse.
second that.
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#41 Posted by Liberty (9600 posts) - - Show Bio
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Well, I do not like Manga comics at all.  That said I agree with most of what you said.  Look at a character like Aquaman.  He is on the edge of being one of the top characters in DC yet even he is subject to the whims of an unsure vision in DC.  By 1993 Aquaman was about as exciting as a bowl of white rice.  He couldn't even sustain his own book.  That was until Peter David wrote for the character and changed his look.  Aquaman looked more like an ancient king with his beard and long hair.  He was like a super-powered King Arther.  He got rid of his orange shirt and wore armour like a gladiator.  He also did something that I am normally dead set against.  He lost his hand.  The reason this was an exception is because what was done with the character afterwards.  He was interesting again!  He looked and acted like the character always should have.  He had interesting supporting characters.  Remember when Dolphin wore his orange shirt as a dress.  Last but not least was Aquaman's hand was not replaced by some over cybornetic technology that is somehow only available to superhero characters in the DC universe.  His hand was basically a hook.  Not only was it simple and elegant it was appropriate for his character.  He had a unique look now.  He stood out.  He no longer looked like a blonde Superman and he was still human being handicapped by his missing hand.  No matter how cool his hook arm was it was still a hook.  He may of had other powers but he was still handicapped and that made him relateable.   The series lasted 77 issues not counting annuals and specials and was the longest run the character ever had.  The decision was made to cancel the book.  After that Aquaman was changed again and again piece by piece reverting him back to the stale charter he was when it all started.  Now it is 2011 and Aquaman, Hal and Barry back like it is the 1960's again.  Character's need to change and grow but it needs to be done well and the long standing implications need to be considered.  Why change Aquaman back to the boring character of the 1960's?  Why bring back characters like Hal and Barry when you have correctly replaced them with Kyle and Wally?  And can someone tell me why we still have Superhero's wearing panties on the outside of their spandex tights?
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#42 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@Liberty:   What you said completely goes in line with what I said in an earlier post.  For a good amount of time, Peter David had a set vision for the character of Aquaman, and it actually worked.  Yet we have people like Dan Didiot, and Geoffcon come with their own person views on how a character should be conveyed, and that would normally be okay, until you realize that they have higher positions in the echelons in DC and they have the ability to change whatever it is they wish, and we end up having the same redundant situations that we had many years before.  Whenever it seems like the characters in DC and Marvel are just about to finally grow into a new generation, they always seem to be able to recede back into what so many writers tried to get past, the past.  It's as if whenever a character is about to grow, you get a revamp and a reboot that renounces all that character did and defeats the purpose of having them grow in the first place.  Thank you for your response Liberty, it's always great to read your input on something.
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#43 Posted by Liberty (9600 posts) - - Show Bio
@Amegashita: You wrote a great blog.
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#44 Edited by Feliciano2040 (665 posts) - - Show Bio

Great post, although I wouldn't say those are specifically the reasons why One Piece would outsell Green Lantern, can one pressume Michael Jackson's music is better because it has sold more than Beethoven ? I would say the reasons are in other things like the atractiveness of the drawings and the standardized genres, there's still mecha, cyberpunk, shojo, shonen, etc. as much as there is superhero, horror or sci-fi comics, and personally, people I know who read manga and watch anime aren't as sofisticated as some comic book readers I know.
That sounded snobbish as hell ! Nothing personal really, it's just my experience.
And boy am I GLAD to finally hear someone diss Dan Didio and Geoff Johns, those two are going to run DC comics to the ground.

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#45 Posted by JairamGanpat (1017 posts) - - Show Bio
Have you been reading Peter David's X-Factor? 72 issues, 6 more and he beats his record on Aquaman. :)
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#46 Posted by Silkcuts (6040 posts) - - Show Bio

Cheers mate for the shout out, means a lot.
I really enjoyed the blog and in many ways agree with everything to some extent.
I wouldn't use the same examples of course...lol
I am all about John Constantine, but the numbers speak for themselves
I really enjoyed the happy and angry faces, great touch.
This was a really refreshing blog, keep it up.

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#47 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@Liberty:   Thank you. 
@Feliciano2040:  Nothing wrong with experience, I actually agree.  People who read manga seem to either be a lot younger than comic readers, but even when they grow into adults and when the manga that were fun for them to read before seems more lackluster, they could just as easily go and read another genre.  There's more variety in manga, on another note, with manga everything is simplified to an extent.  In manga, when someone is angry, instead out the entire expression, they just draw the eyes closed and then draw the three stylized veins on the forehead and with that, anyone reading can understand that the character is still angry.  It's a fun simplification of a usually hard thing to express through art, and there's that fun I was talking about earlier. 
@JairamGanpat:  I actually just read X-Factor recently, can help but say that's the best Marvel series I've read in years. 
@Silkcuts:  Thank you my friend ;D, I'm glad you found the blog refreshing.  That's a great compliment to hear.
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#48 Posted by GundamHeavyarms (703 posts) - - Show Bio

So, if i'm reading the Alan Moore interview correctly, he feels like he started the grim and gritty trend, but regrets it because everyone else does it.  It's really a business thing, they do the research and give people what they think will sell the best, leaving some of us out in the cold.  Its kind of funny that he regrets the killing joke.  It was never supposed to be canon, it was just a one shot story.   I did look at the fridge thing, I thought that was pretty cool, Oda must do a ton of research about something before he writes it. 
The current Legion title is retrogressive writing.  Its the silver age legion written by Paul Levitz, it doesn't get more retro than that.  Levitz's writing style is kind of dated but it  holds up better than Chris Claremonts, his is so soapy and emo and melodramatic.  I like it though, it has science fiction, superhero fare, and a bit of fantasy, set in a futuristic universe.  I actually think it would make a great manga series. 

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#49 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@GundamHeavyarms:  Ye, from what he said in the interview, he only wanted to show what can be possible with comics, and inspire more creative thinking, but he feels like the creative thinking in comics has been forsaken.  The Fridge Brilliance was a very interesting read, it's pretty awesome to see writers like Oda who do so much to make their work even greater than ever before. 
  I haven't read the new legion, when you say silver age, I think of just throwing an idea out there, and then making it work through creativity.  Is that how it is?
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#50 Posted by Liberty (9600 posts) - - Show Bio
@JairamGanpat said:
@Liberty:  Have you been reading Peter David's X-Factor? 72 issues, 6 more and he beats his record on Aquaman. :)
No I have to say I haven't.  So many books. So little money and time to read them all.  =]