Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The rise and fall of comic shops and comics.

This is the complete short version

From what I remember only two entities dominating the comic industry at the time were

Dc comics 
And a few independent companies coexisted with these giants. 
By the late 80's comics had a massively huge audience due to intense storytelling and a strong continuity process. It was easy to collect a series and 50 issues later still feel like you were following the story. And while Marvel and dc were reaping the benefits not everyone was content. And just how people unionize a workplace comic underlings had something better in mind...

Image comics

Is that a chromium cover! I love you Image!!

Creative control has always been an issue whether musician or artist. And while the big two had a strong grip it was time for artist to break free,  And what better way than to open your own comic company and give the artist and writers what they want. Full creative control. So yeah. Now we have 3 bigwigs in the market, How do you attract a comic audience?

Comic book gimmicks!!

It's gonna be worth a fortune!!! (notice collector's edition written all over it)

What better way to grab an audience but to invent characters that have no substance. Rebooting issues of major characters and having to force you to start reading a new series again only this time the origins have been altered. Using famous artist to boot a series and then switch to a mediocre one 3 issues later.  Releasing god knows how many chromium covers, Holographic covers, Poly bagged issues with card inserts, Bullet holes, Vomit bags, Ribbons and so forth until the market became completely overblown with utterly useless comics. There were no stories anymore. Just gimmicks. It became too much. Suddenly no one was interested in comics anymore, People were just buying up books because they released the same issue in 5 different colors, Who cared what the story was about, Everything had collector's edition stamped on it so it was cool,  New readers didn't know where to start reading and longtime readers were just too lost in the mess to stick around. And everyone felt it. 

 Comic gold!!

Oh wow the cover is ripped! This is gonna be my down payment on a house!!

And dc comics fared no better
 Oh my god! Now my collection is complete!

 Robin poly bagged!! I think i just busted a nut..

The plastic wrapping is worth more than the comic itself.

And independent comic companies?

Omg!! Rob liefeld...  I can't contain myself... hands... shaking... I want it!!

Omfgbleerrghghg!!!  I'll buy five please..

Lady death gold cover special edition, and it's worth.... Fuck all.

1993 was the year of The ferret... yes folks... The ferret. I can't even keep a straight face here.

This industry move spelled the end to just about every comic shop in the United states. One by one they closed down. Shuttered because companies thought that's what we wanted. But is was the opposite. All we wanted were some good solid stories and unfortunately that didn't happen for at least a decade,  While the ride was good for scores of fans and myself included over the years it was time for me to get off.  And now in the new era, movies and video games dominate the big industries with comics being completely last. Comic shops? Good luck finding one and if you do it's full of veteran readers holding the torch, Kids don't even know in what sequence to read comics page by page. Forget attending a comic convention, It's filled with people dressed up as god knows what and video game booths everywhere, Lost are the days of artists signing comics and feeling like they were the biggest thing since the back scratcher and The flowbee,  I haven't really looked back to see if comics are even worth reading anymore, Granted I've collected some good titles over the years and I'm not completely knocking the industry, It's just how things were in the 90's,  And my comic collection? You can buy everything from the two for a dollar bin. Fuck you comic book companies for ripping us off and goodnight..

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