A long time ago I used to collect comics. I bought them at the local K&B every Saturday and would get the comic collection starter kits for Christmas every year. I loved those. As time went on I watched the comic bubble develop and then burst. I also watched Chris Claremont and Jim Lee both leave X-Men. I watched Image rise up and most of their output sucked. That’s when I quit reading. I left the world of comic books behind and started making my own. I decided it was time to make the kind of stories I wanted to read and no one was making.
I discovered webcomics in ’99 with Sluggy Freelance. It was a good gateway drug. It also gave me lower standards to shoot for with my art than Jim Lee. I read a lot of online comics back then. Then the sprite comics came. And the Pokemon fan comics. And the slightly renamed green versions of Sonic the Hedgehog. Then I pretty much quit reading webcomics.
Sometime last year I started reading again. I started in on Ultimate Spiderman and The Wheel of Time comic adaptation. I unsubscribed sometime later that year and haven’t gone back. I realized I was just picking them up, sticking them in a drawer, and forgetting about them. They couldn’t hold my interest. It’d been so long since I read I realized the stories were shorter, the ads were taking over, and the creative teams changed so often that I couldn’t get used to an art style before it changed. I stopped again. Lately I’ve been reading Atomic Robo because it’s awesome, but that’s about it.
So why do I not read now? The real reason is influence. I get my influence for stories from books, film, and mythology usually and the occasional original idea thrown in for good measure. If I read comics I’ll start aping stuff in intentionally. I’ll get these ideas of how a story should flow and it won’t be me writing it any more.
Then there’s the accusations of theft.
Back when I was working on Kota’s World I got accused of stealing form 8-Bit Theater. I want to point out that I’ve never read 8-Bit Theater and because of that accusation I never will. I’ve been accused of stealing from a lot of comics over the years and the truly hilarious thing is that it’s never a comic I’ve actually read. It’s never Questionable Content or Sinfest, or Cosmic Dash or anything. It’s some comic I’ve never heard of with four readers that happen to be particularly rabid.
So yeah. I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t read a lot of comics.