Thursday, January 24, 2008

Floundering: A Comics Conundrum

I don't know why, but my interest in reading comics has been floundering.

It's not like during those bygone years when I'd eagerly anticipate--drooling and all-- the next issue of my favorite comics. I still like making them, but reading them? Well...

In an effort to hopefully revive my fading interest, I registered for a one-year subscription to Marvel Digital where, for a relatively small amount, I get to read every comic book in their online archive. The P2,400 tag can only get me less than 20 printed comics at current prices, and I've already read more than that online in less than three months. In short, bawing-bawi na ako.

But I'm still not solved as far as the whole comics-reading experience is concerned.

There are those who may scoff at reading comics online, and I admit I was one of them. But times have changed as much as needs, and I've pretty much adapted to getting reading entertainment through the Web. Sometimes I wonder if it's the smell or the texture--in a way I miss the reliable color newsprints. I think printing comics on fancy glossy paper isn't very consumer-friendly since the quality of the stories isn't directly proportional to the price.

Or could my fading interest be attributed to the quality of the stories? Not really, methinks. I did like House of M, though Marvel Digital didn't have the complete set. I also liked Civil War, but then that behemoth wore my patience out midway. Still, I haven't found anything that would make me go back to reading comics more voraciously.

There's only one factor left. The kinds of stories. Comics, after all, is a medium, not a genre. Like books and movies and television shows, comics can be about anything and everything, so it stands to reason that there may not be a lot of comics out there that have stories that I might like. Gerry Alanguilan's Elmer is a standout for me. Then there's this preview of a American comic called Blackout Drunk who's art and subject I find appealing (the nicely-drawn half nekkid guy on the cover helped a lot).

I don't want to be a hypocrite. I stopped buying the Sterling comics, only because I can't connect. I realized that I've only been buying them because I felt I had to. I've bought up until five issues and while the efforts are commendable, with moments of oohs and aaahs thrown in, the overall impact has been diluted by lack of innovation. I heard that there's going to be some kind of revamp, so maybe I'll be checking that one out.


Gerry Alanguilan said...

Thanks for writing this Carlo! My experience has been very similar. It's a phenomenon that's actually common to fans who turn pro. I've seen it happen many times. I'll post a response of a sorts on my blog sometime soon. :D

Anonymous said...


Cold Turkey on your comics fix ? I don't think so. You just have outgrown the puerile superhero stuff and now you are looking for a more substantive stuff. The thrill is gone, it no longer resonates. But you will find it again. Surprisingly, a lot of local Komikeros, are still in that superhero stage, but their epiphany will come too.


Hazel Manzano said...

I only got back my passion for reading comics after reading some manga and Sandman. Three years ago, I would discourage my call center agents whenever I see them buying comic books and bringing it in the office. Sad but true. I told them it's a waste of money. Now here I am buying a lot of comics and actually making too. ironic.

vpe said...

ganyan yata pag nagdadagdag ng taon sa edad :)

happy birthday carlo!!! *mwah!*


Anonymous said...

The reason why I don't read comics anymore has nothing to do with the quality of the stories or the current state of the comic book industry. These days I prefer regular books over comics because they offer longer storylines for the same price as a comic book. At Booksale, a comic book and a regular book would cost about 40 pesos each. But while a comic book to me reads like a 30-minute sitcom, a regular book is like a 2-hour movie.

Anonymous said...


Agreed, but you couldn't oogle at the drawings of your fave friendly neighborhood artist, would you ?

Equally Anonymous

Carver said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! :-)

I do admire a lot of artists' work, but as a comics reader, I would like good art to tag-team with a good story. Reminds me of Avengers Forever TPB, which I got because of Carlso Pacheco. I looooved his art, but the story just lost me. But as they say, caveat emptor! :-)


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