Why I don’t read a lot comics.

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.
No. Really.
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.

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6 Comments

  1. I know what you mean, in regards to a lot of this.
    I used to be really into comic books, but I can’t do it any more. I’ll read a graphic novel or something completed, but my days of reading serialized comic books are over. They are too convoluted and mostly try to appeal to this rabid audience. I believe Alan Moore said it best when he referred to the comic industry these days being incestuous (due to fans of comics writing the comics they are fans of).

    I started reading webcomics in ’99-’00 and they made a huge impression on me. I’d always wanted to do them, but I don’t have to resolution that a lot of the artists do. I stopped reading most webcomics though, now only following friends.

    As far as the stolen thing, I’ve some how avoided it, but I know what you mean. When I first started on my comic in high school, it was before Loren Bouchard’s tv series “Lucy: Daughter of the Devil” came out. Anyways, about a year later, they started airing promos for L:DoD and I was like “Well, that’s all for Luciefer, I’m going to get accused of stealing this”. Well, the one of the leads for that show sent me an email shortly afterwards explaining to me that he didn’t think either of us stole the idea and that it is a common trope found within all kinds of media and that we were cool. Luckily, I’ve had that email stored away for the day when I’m accused of theft, but it’s always a challenge when working within mythologies. 8-Bit Theater borrowed from Final Fantasy and the class tropes within. You borrow from all the lore you’ve gathered and created. Fantasy is fantasy is fantasy. Horror is horror is horror. Etc is etc is etc.

    Most people aren’t crazy though, and know there’s no theft involved. Now Gene Simmons’s kid…he skrait up stole art.

  2. Kev, you should contact those 5 or so webcomics and say, ” please stop stealing from me “. I did that to someone ( in a more gentle way ) that informed me that there was already a DAWN OF TIME comic strip title. Apparently a fan of that one. I sent them a nice email back saying , “Yeah, it’s mine. It predates the one you’re talking about by nearly a decade and that’s just the first time it appeared in print and not it’s concept. It appeared online years before too. I understand the concept of multiple people having similar ideas without knowledge of the other. Something you might want to look into before sending off emails and embarrassing yourself.” Remember, if anyone accuses you of anything be polite and go for the throat. Or send a form letter saying you’re happy they like your work and are a fan. As if you didnt even read their letter. They really hate that.

    Zac was at the Pulp Con you missed cause of your fever. Now we just have to gang up on him and get him to the BACKWOODS COMICS FESTIVAL.

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