Thursday, January 26, 2012

Asking The Hard Questions (1-26-12)

What would it take for you to read and actually buy Marvel books again?

I asked Ryan Higgins this question and his answer was brutally honest and very true. He said, "It would take a lot for me to actually buy Marvel books again. Like Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, and other creators I love would have to move over to Marvel for me to even really start picking up Marvel books."
I've been having that same feeling for a few years now. The Marvel books I actually buy and take home for my collection have dwindled down to nothing, and part of me feels bad for this, but then the rational part of me remembers that Marvel books haven't been worth spending money on and then I don't feel so bad.
But why am I cutting Marvel titles from my pull list at such a aggressive rate? Higgins had said that part of his reasoning for taking a book home was a combination of writer, enjoyment of character and art, and if 75% of these things weren't met then it wasn't worth it to him to take something home.
Of course certain things weighed heavier than others, but the example he gave was the current Nova series that is set to come out. He likes Nova, he doesn't care for the writer, the Marvel Point.1 Nova story was shit, and he really likes Nova; so he will at least read it, but take it home, no chance unless it blows him away.
I would have to agree with his thought process, but for me Marvel books have been such a disappointment over the past few years that I would have to add the fact that the book needed to be worth the money I spent on it. If it was a $2.99 book I better get $2.99 worth of pages and if it is $3.99 then I better get $3.99 worth of pages, but over the years it seems Marvel's price per page count has gone up and doesn't seem to be going down.
Marvel is banking on people loving the characters so much that they will buy anything with that character in it; i.e. Spider-man or Wolverine have numerous titles under their belts and then appearing in other titles on a frequent basis. I'm past this. I want quality writing, art work and a quality character when it comes to my comic book reading. Marvel, for me, has not delivered these goods in a long time, and my current and future pull lists (stuff I take home) will reflect this unless a lot changes.


  1. Well stated, good sir.

  2. Ohhhhhhhh that image

  3. "Spider-man or Wolverine have numerous titles under their belts and then appearing in other titles on a frequent basis."

    Bro, Batman has four ongoings, and then appears in a bunch of other books. He's like DC's version of Spider-Man or Wolverine in terms of promotion (i think, including teams, six Batman books vs. the 4 or 5 Spidey books and 3 or 4 Wolverine books, but i might be missing some)

    "I'm past this. I want quality writing, art work and a quality character when it comes to my comic book reading."


    What Marvel characters do you like? Also, do you really judge things from a price-to-page ratio? Quality wise, I understand but I don't really care about quantity. I just need a really good book (JL is the exception, as I would say that there are better $3.99 titles IMO but i still get for a few reasons).

    1. When it comes to Batman having multiple titles I will admit this truth, but how many people buy The Dark Knight vs. something like Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man?

      Price per don't want to get the most out of your comic book purchase?

      I like Spider-Man, Wolverine, the X-Men, Hulk, Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, and Cable to name a few.

      I want to buy Marvel, I do. They just make it a difficult thing to do.

    2. Well, TDK has the name plus the relaunch backing it up plus the movie, to be fair.

      "Price per don't want to get the most out of your comic book purchase?"

      Ok, I don't like that Marvel has a bunch of $3.99 books. It's why i'm trade waiting on Moon Knight and Ellis' Secret Avengers. What I mean is that if a book is good enough (like REALLY good) I don't mind the $3.99 price point regardless of the number of pages. Likewise, I don't mind backups if they're good. But usually I don't buy 3.99 books on principle so whatever.

      Well, you ARE trade waiting some of their best stuff (DD, Punisher). Can't really speak for things like Hulk, Cable, GotG, or Nova, and you've already made up your mind on X-Men (though i've heard Aaron's Wolverine has been pretty good lately) and Spider-Man.

      Do you ever try the non-mainline (Cap, ASM, etc.) books?

  4. I do agree that a book is can be worth $3.99 even with a lower page count. Great books are worth the little extra.

    I am "trade waiting" (by the way great way to say it) for some Marvel titles, but I was addressing in this post the fact that Marvel titles are disappearing off my pull list (what I take home) because they aren't worth it to me.

    I did like issue one of Brain Wood's Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega series, but I didn't take it home.

    As for the X-Men, No More Mutants was a great concept that went on for way to long and I'm tired of seeing the same kind of story over and over again and Schism put me on the side of those who don't buy X-Books anymore.

    Non-mainline books? Depends on creative team, character and overall interest, but I don't shy away from them on purpose.

  5. Brock, why do you say you're sick of "same kind of story" from X-Men, yet you were so disgusted with Wolverine and the X-Men that you couldn't even make it through one issue? WatXM is widely considered the antithesis of everything the X-Men books have been since M-day. It's an amazing, lighthearted (yet still EXTREMELY relevant) X-men book and nearly unanimously everybody that reads it loves the heck out of it. Alpha and Omega was totally good, but it didn't even come close to reaching the same level of all-around crowd pleasing FUN that WatXM has managed to reach in four short issues.

    I get that you don't like to drop $4 on comics. I figure the extra money I'm spending on marquee Marvel books every week does add up (AND SUCK!), but you can't honestly pretend like there's no quality coming out of Marvel just because they are charging an extra dollar for some of the comics that you REALLY want.

    I really hate arguing with you about Marvel because business practices aside I feel like they do put out a lot of great books that I love to read. Of all books that you have tried and dropped I really hope you decide to give Uncanny X-force and WatXM another try in trades because some of the best stories I've ever read in recent comics has come out of those two stories.

    No anger, no animosity man, just talking about good comics. Hope you don't dismiss my comments as just another LiQuid comment and be civil with me cause I'm really laid back about this kind of thing it just sucks seeing your blanket injustices towards all Marvel.

    Have a good weekend man!

    1. Ryan mentioned that Marvel was like a girlfriend you have broken up with. For Ryan this break up happened many years ago so he can look at it with some disconnect. For me it is a more recent break-up; so I am a little jaded and prone to lashing out at that bitch for the heartache she has caused me.
      Not to mention the fact that she is such a high maintenance ex-girlfriend. Costing me a lot of hard earned dollars on a lot of bull shit items.

      As for the current state of the X-Books.

      -Cyclops Team is the Gold Team and Wolverine is the Blue Team.

      -Uncanny X-Force was good until it brought Deathlok into the picture and then they started to revisit Age of Apocalypse and draw out the story for over 6 months. What happened to the sick as hell team of killers doing the dirty work the X-Men couldn't? They went away with the renumbering.

      -I enjoyed the Neil Gaiman Eternals series from 2006, but to take five years to do something with the Celestials? No longer care.

      -The X-Men have been trying to recover from the fall out from House of M since 2005. They were going somewhere with Hope, but then what? All the Hope build up and with Uncanny X-Men, X-Men Legacy, Astonishing X-Men, Generation Hope and the X-Men series the books couldn't seem to go anywhere. I know let's renumber. Schism was a hard thing to read. From the jarring change of artist every issue (plus filler guys) and Jason Aaron's (who I like on Scalped) blah story about a teenage Hellfire club of wannabe Grant Morrison New X-Men rebels I couldn't stomach anymore. Which left me in a position to jump off the X-Men titles with the renumbering of Uncanny X-Men and the addition of yet another X-title Wolverine and the X-men. I know you say, "WatXM is widely considered the antithesis of everything the X-Men books have been since M-day," but you have to realize that it has taken 6 years for them to get to this point and I don't care anymore.

      I have read Amazing Spider-Man since One More Day ($3.99 an issue) and then with Brand New Day we got 3 issues a month and an Extra issue. ($3.99 for the first issue of a story arc and then $2.99 for the rest of the issues of the arc and the Extra was $3.99) So, for just Amazing Spider-Man one would spend a minimum of $13.00 a month to read that title. Now it comes out every other week at $3.99 an issue and so I spend $8.00 for two titles when before four titles came out a month with an average price for two titles being $6.50. Nickels and Dimes add up and I wasn't impressed with every story that came out. When it comes to my dollar I want to uy something I like and feel I'm paying a fair and good price.

      I understand my opinion on Marvel is not yours and I respect your opinion when it comes to titles you enjoy, but remember I recently have broken up with Marvel and it is still a sore subject. As for revisiting Uncanny X-Force and Wolverine and the X-Men. Not going to happen any time soon. I would rather try some of the Punisher books or the new Daredevil or to be honest the new Star Wars book coming out by John Ostrander.

      And finally as to the "No anger, no animosity man" there is none. Talking comics is what we are doing and it is more fun to argue than agree. As for the fact that it sucks seeing me blanket injustices towards all Marvel; it sucks being dumped.

      Enjoying a weekend? I always attempt as should you.

    2. "What happened to the sick as hell team of killers doing the dirty work the X-Men couldn't? They went away with the renumbering."

      "but you have to realize that it has taken 6 years for them to get to this point and I don't care anymore."

      Didn't you say you were tired of "same old same old" X-Men stories? So, once it has been too long, you don't care if it's creative anymore? I dunno, that just seems odd to me. By the time W&tX came out you hadn't even jumped off X-Men yet. As for Hope, it looks like we'll see with AvX.

      I can see why you wouldn't want to stick with ASM anymore though, even though i hear it's been pretty good lately. It just seems odd to dislike something unique like UXF and W&tXM while at the same time buying some of DC's more mediocre (IMO) action books, like (I hate to go back to this well) Grifter or apparently the new Green Arrow. Or, why not give something different at Marvel a shot like you did with DC's New 52. But if it's a money thing, I understand. There are quite a few series I wanna try out but unfortunately I can't.

      But whatever, man. This will probably ultimately go nowhere, and we all have our tastes, and to each his own. Either way, hope your weekend was pretty good!

    3. "By the time W&tX came out you hadn't even jumped off X-Men yet."
      -Once I had heard (long before W&tX came out) that they where going to renumber Uncanny and split the X-Men up I started to evaluate my desire to keep X-Titles on my pull list. After Uncanny #1, W&tX #1 and the last "large as shit space station falling into a sun" story from Legacy, I was done.

      -As for giving the mediocre titles at DC a try I did on some because of the cross title rejiggering, but for Grifter I like the character and wanted to see what they were doing with him. As for Green Arrow, I'm off after this story arc ends.

      -I could give other Marvel titles a shot, but as I can relate, it is a matter of money. For example, I would love to give the Punisher Max series a go, but it is $19.99 for the first trade which only collects five issues($4.00 a book) doesn't seem like a good buy for me.
      And as for single issues, Marvel titles have been mediocre at best for me, so I'm not one to jump on a single issue habit for something that isn't up my alley and could jump in price at any time for any reason.

      To each his own! And desmond95, I hope you had a great weekend too!

  6. Since comics, video games, movies, etc aren't free, then price is always an issue. Also, customer cash is king, and price/page is just as valid as any other reason to buy or not buy anything. When a company needs to deal with the consequences of their pricing schemes.

  7. B9E19