09.25Talking About Talking About Comics
Long time readers (yes, yes) will recall the heady days of 2008 when I wrote a not entirely regular column about comics called Comics Are Expensive. Each installment featured a handful of reviews of the books I’d bought that week, covering a wide spread of offerings from the likes of Marvel and DC to tiny self-publishers and everything in between. It was mostly fun while it lasted, and while I don’t regret it at all, I think the experience has put to bed the idea of doing a weekly column about anything for a good long while. While I still love the format (the idea of a place for people to show up each week to hear about things they like is hugely appealing), weekly columns are bastard hard things to write, both for the amount of time each piece takes and the challenge of keeping it interesting. No matter how wide the subject matter appears to be at the start (and “comics I bought this week” is a fairly massive expanse), it quickly begins to feel narrow and limiting as fears of repeating yourself begin to creep in around the edges. Rereading the lot of them recently, the lack of truly negative reviews really stood out (at least to me) – there are books I love, books I like, and books I don’t like as much. While it fits with the rather dubious from the start mandate of the column covering books I bought that week, I can’t help but wonder if there were any readers struggling with the idea of there being someone so full of love and and light for comics of all sorts and sizes as to never run across deserving of more than a friendly “not for me, I guess”. If you thought so then or now, let me reassure you that I hate all sorts of comics. I just don’t buy them, is all.
The other thing that hit upon rereading them all (and, at long last, the point of this post) was how many of them I’m still happy with. Like most people who do anything creative, I hate the vast majority of what I write upon rereading, seeing only typos, overused tics, bungled attempts to be more clever than I am, and a dozen other reasons why I should pack it all in and never lay fingers to keys again. And while there’s plenty of that spread over the dozen or so columns I managed, I’m ultimately pleased with how much I managed to get right. With that in mind, and to keep them from disappearing in to the ether like so many other things I’ve written for web sites over the years, I’ve gathered all of Comics Are Expensive here on my blog-thing. Each are timestamped with the day they first went live, as the Dead Milkman did that once with a tour diary from the eighties and I thought it was clever. You can find them by clicking on the Comics Are Expensive tab in the column on the left, or by clicking on the links I’ve handily included below.
1. Teen Titans #55, Avengers: The Initiative #9, Suburban Glamour #3, Captain America #34, Northlanders #3
2. Fantastic Four #554, Tiny Titans #1, Nova Annual #1, Uncanny X-Men #495
3. Umbrella Academy #6, Immortal Iron Fist, Crossing Midnight Vol. 2
4. Rasl #1, Kick Ass #1, Action Philosophers Vol. 3
5. Atomic Robo #4-5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer #12, PS238 #29, Casanova #12
6. Comic Book Comics #1 and Maintenance #9
7. Incredible Hercules #115, Fear Agent #19, The Boy Who Made Silence #1
8. Transhuman #1 and Proof #6
9. Echo #1-2, Resurrection #1-4, Criminal Vol 2. #1-2
10. The Damned: Prodigal Sons #1, Scarlet Traces Vol. 1
11. Invincible Iron Man #1
12. Minx Special
13. Superman Beyond #1