I genuinely feel humbled to have been allowed all of your thoughts on comics and your passions. Even though the questionnaire only required one-word answers, many of you gave your time to detail those answers! Boy has it been difficult to keep this post short, so forgive me for trimming comments and the length of the post!
It’s incredibly interesting how and what people like to read. I have noticed certain trends and people pick certain titles for specific reasons. There are those of you that are faithful to the heroes and those that are faithful to the creators. I personally moved from character to creator, as demonstrated by my falling out of love of Wolverine. Ultimately it becomes a mix of the two because there are a lot of books to choose from. I think it is important to mention that the majority of the people who I talk to collect a large variety of books, more completionist if you will. However there are further subsections still amongst the giant subsection that is the Twitterverse. We all communicate in one of many different forums, and there are many more people who read comics casually and those who talk about it on other networking sites. After the entire sample was of fifty people, it may not represent, but it certainly presents many different points of view. These are as follows;
The publisher question was certainly an interesting one, because I was convinced Image would take it! They have produced an astonishingly huge amount of great work, in the form of continuing series or short story arcs. They can focus on individual characters that develop certain nuances to the superhero stereotypes. They allow character progression but also permanent transformation. This is difficult to achieve in the mainstream but it is possible (Remender’s Cap is trying to do this now). Story and character arcs are allowed to reach a natural fruition and the central character need not be preserved for eternity. Once again people seem to vary in their preferences, many read a lot of independent work and mainstream comics. There are few that read indy books only and many more that stick to the commercial. Here are some thoughts:
“This year has been the first year I’ve started reading comics properly, as opposed to just buying random graphic novels, and I have to say that Image have wowed me the most. I’ve picked up a lot of new series this year, but everything by Image has been consistently good, and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
“Probably DC. I grew up a Marvel kid, but they fumbled AVX so badly in my opinion (the first five issues were poor at best, with #2 being one of the worst written comics I’ve read in years, not to mention JRJR phoning in the art), that I just can’t list them as my favourite. Many of the Marvel Now books I’ve read are a step above what they were doing last year though, so maybe there’s hope.”
“Marvel, Most of my purchases are its titles and it has been churning out excellent books consistently. I especially appreciated its including a digital copy with its every $3.99 book, gives the consumer more bang for their money.”
“Marvel, I’ve been reading it seen I was a kid and it’s all I know.”
“Although I have to say I’ve been very impressed with the new Marvel Now titles during the latter part of this year, I don’t think the quality at Marvel has been as consistent as DC’s. I think the bi weekly format is detrimental to the books overall. It is much more expensive to follow, even though I would like to read more. I think Marvel need to ease back or risk alienating fans simply because there are just too many issues for a lot of people to be able to afford and follow each month”
There are many of you that only read Marvel or DC, which has always baffled me. A friend tried to convince me that DC was edgier and darker than Marvel, which I think was solely based on Batman. My comic love was grounded with Batman and X-Men so I have always collected both publishers’ books. I think it would be a great article to write so if anyone has any views then feel free to comment. I genuinely feel that alienating one of the two publishers leads to missing some great works of art.
“Spider-Men – The meeting of Peter Parker and Miles Morales. This was a beautifully crafted crossover. Brian M Bendis even did the unthinkable. He trusted the audience to deliver an issue that did not include a fight. Just Peter Parker meeting the Ultimate versions of Aunt May and Gwen Stacey, while grappling with the fact that in that world, he was deceased. On a side note, my 3 year old daughter saw me reading it and basically stole it from me she liked it so much that we went to the store to find more age appropriate comics. Which has morphed into me reading her Avengers comics every morning during her breakfast.”
“The reason I picked these two issues is that they are directly responsible for me getting into comics in a big way. I picked up Avengers X-Sanction because I saw it was a limited series and figured it was a good place to start. Boy was I wrong!!!! What it did was lead me to go back to Avengers disassembled and House of M. These two issued got my interested in back story and now in just over a year I have gone crazy with comics.”
“The Underwater Welder, I know it’s a graphic novel and not an issue, but it spoke so deeply to me as a father, it was one of the most powerful books of the year.”
“Uncanny X-Force – every character in this book has had more character development this year than most characters get in their own solo series. Every thing is brilliant thought out and brought full circle.”
“Daredevil has always been one of my favourite characters. I must admit that I wasn’t very happy when Black Panther took over DD’s book after Shadowland, so I was thrilled with Mark Waid’s work. It has been great to see Matt emerge from the dark cloud that has hung over him for so long. The Man Without Fear has reached new heights in terms of story and art, I love this title to bits, and I think it richly deserves all the awards that it has won.”
“Prophet – just amazing ideas and sci-fi like I have never seen before. Can’t wait to set down my surgical instruments and treat every patient with a DolMantle!” And no this is not a comment from me!
The above two sections are revelatory, because you never really know why people love certain books. To bring in personal reasons to why you appreciate a book, means that it is there solely for you. As much as I may review a book or tweet a bad review, there is someone there who loves it for a reason I could never imagine. That is the biggest lesson I learnt from this, and its pretty amazing when you think about it.
Best Individual Comic
The passion for this is incredible and so I thought I would share some of your comments.
“Sorry, I can’t narrow it done to three. I’ll have to pass on this one, as there were just too many awesome books this year. Don’t make me pick, don’t make me pick… :)”
“Action Comics #13 – I like Action Comics and always have, especially with what Grant Morrison has done with it, but this particular issue was really endearing. The story of Krypto and his love for Kal-El; I’m a big softy for dogs and this issue will get you to tear up guaranteed!”
“Spider-Man #698 – It’s the comic equivalent of The Sixth Sense. You read it all the way through and then realized you had to read it again immediately, because you did not read the comic book that was in your hands. The rare treat of a situation where the crafting of the idea was as brilliant as the idea behind it. “
“Hawkeye #6 – Everything in this issue just works perfectly together. The writing, the art, the colours, everything.”
“Joe Kubert presents #1 – closest I’ve ever come to crying at the end of a comic book.”
“Batman Issue #13 – We had been waiting just over a year for this moment and when it came it exceeded all expectations. It was as if every page was laced with the Joker’s toxin, drawing you deeper and deeper into the Joker’s madness as the horror finally spilled into Wayne Manor itself to strike at Batman’s closest friend, Alfred Pennyworth! When the Joker leapt from the shadows to attack Alfred with a hammer, I don’t mind admitting, it chilled me to the bone!”
“Batman Issue #6 – This issue was just so amazing, it took Bruce/Batman to the edge of madness and back again. Trapped in their lair beneath Gotham, Batman found himself at the mercy of the Court of Owls. This issue still gives me the chills just thinking about it. I don’t think I have ever seen Batman as close to breaking point as this!”
“Earth 2 #1 – James Robinson has given us a quality story that is packed with action and adventure, with skilful attention paid to every detail as the new wonders of Earth 2 discover their powers and take their first steps towards becoming the JSA for a new generation of fans. It has been great fun noticing all the references to this classic era of comics, and with more characters about to be introduced. The Art by Nicola Scott and Terry Scott has also been magnificent!”
“Batman and Robin #15: Creepiest Joker ever, full stop. Even Alan Moore didn’t get close to this.”
Character we would most like to see die!
“I’m going to veer here. I don’t call for any one characters death, but I do beg the Big 2 to come to grips with how very little death means for their characters any longer. I’d like them to make a creative decision that any characters death must last at least a significant chunk of time. I’d like a promise that if any character dies that they will not be brought back for at least 10 years, otherwise it’s no longer even interesting to me when they die.”
“I’d rather none were killed off. Killing characters is a tired publicity driven cliché nowadays.”
“I don’t read comics with characters I hate.”
“Hal Jordan – seriously will a Green Lantern ever stay dead?! Don’t answer that. I know the answer, but that doesn’t mean I want that outcome.”
“Wolverine – We need a break”
“I really struggled with this one. I used to hate Deadpool, but now really like him (Curse you Remender!!!!) So I’m going to say Hawkman in the new 52. I love this character, visually stunning with a convoluted but interesting back story. Things started out ok, but once Liefield got hold of him, things just got worse. And he messed up Lobo too.”
“Cyborg – truly disappointed with his on-going role in the Justice League. The story would benefit far more from the drama of his death.”
“Don’t quite want to see her die, but 2012 was the year I realized what a judgmental b-word Kitty Pryde has become. She’s a bad as Beast now!”
“Die forever? Like that happens anymore. But if I could? Kill Harbinger, he’s a dick.”
“Alpha. Marvel, kill that bastard already.”
I do love the inherent dislike of killing characters that came from this question. Its interesting to see how you move from that perspective to killing Kitty Pryde! How extreme can you get?! Passion is passion, whether is positive or negative!
Character we would most like to date!
“Stephanie Brown – Though DC would try and pretend it never happened in the first place.”
“Rogue – I’ve always loved her; the need for a connection that can never be satisfied. Plus, since I can’t touch her, my wife probably wouldn’t divorce me if I met her for dinner.”
“Zatanna – I love a girl in a magician outfit who talks backwards.”
“Carter Hall, the Savage Hawkman – he’s into history and travel. However, no one else will vote for him, so I’ll go with Superman.” No-one voted for him either!
“Psylocke – British telepath in the body of an Asian ninja, what more could you want!”
“Rogue. But I’m married. So…. my wife! Right!”
“Illyana Rasputin. (Although I would probably have a better time with… oh, let’s say Kate Bishop; Is cool, has been known to hang out with huge geeks, and filthy rich too!)”
“Kate Bishop – rich and crazy? My kinda girl!”
“Questions like these are what give comic readers a bad name. It enforces the belief that fanboys use the source material not to escape into various adventures with their favourite character but cast themselves into the fantasy themselves as an object of affection for the sexualized character of their choice. What I mean is, Black Cat, no doubt.”
“Galactus. He knows the best places to eat.”
That brings us to the end of the dazzling week of my end of year awards. I decided that as we all discuss comics and your opinions are as valid as mine, we should all be involved. I can tell you that I am very thankful that I did! There are some hilarious answers in the above two sections and I would like to thank you all for participating. There is a great balance of serious commentary and love with humour and hatred! It is a shame it is all over, until next year! (I start working on new questions!)
This blog will now resume regular programming