Thursday, 17 May 2012

Disposable Comics

Am suffering from a broken toe at the moment which is a bit painful. Don't ask, a silly argument with a chair. And I was in Belfast on Tuesday and walked round on it all day, then came home and called into the supermarket and in a queue at a checkout a woman in front of me with high-heels to an involuntary step backwards - agony! She did apologise and I told her it was all right - smiling through the pain.I was in Belfast seeing Adrian to see if there was any way forward for 1949 - still nothing. We both agree that the comics scene is more or less dead. Both D.C. and Marvel have killed it. I went into Forbidden Planet when I was in Belfast and there wasn't a thing on the shelves that I found remotely interesting. One of the other things I think which has killed the comics industry is digitalisation. It's like music. I was talking to a guy the other day who is a musician and an old friend. He's been putting together albums for about 20 years and his stuff is excellent. But te albums don't sell. This is mainly because you can get his stuff on download. So what happens is that you hear a track and say "I quite like that". Go to your computer and download it - just the track - onto your MP3 player. It'll cost you around 70 or so pence. After a while you say "I don't like that any more" or "It's not as good as I hought" and you delete it. You've only lost about 70 pence. Now my friend was saying you have no idea of his work beyond that track that you downloaded. You don't listen to his album as a whole - it's simply disposable. And it's killed music. The same thing is happening with comics. You download a comic - it's not what you thought or you read it through and tire of it and delete it. It fosters a disposable mentality. As my friend says "Nobody listens to music any more - they listen to tracks and then get rid of them" It's the way of things - it's almost a throwaway culture. And looking at the comics I've seen there's little to keep. I have collections of  comics which told stories - it's not like that any more. All about artwork. I get the impression that the folks at Marvel sit around and say "Who haven't the X-Men fought for a while?" "The Fantastic Four. Let's string that out across several comics - we don't really need a story, the artwork'll carry it." That's why none of the big comic companies want writers - except they're celebrities. And of course celebrities can't write as the comic by Jonathan Ross Turf showed so well. And yet it's picked up because it's done by a celebrity and there's the possibility of a film or television show. When I walked into Waterstones there was "the new comic by Jonathan Ross" in big vold letters. Ant the comic - a hardback - was absolute rubbish. I couldn't bring myself to even read too far into it. And it's the same with Philip Chevron of the Pogues - the comic about Irish emigration is unintelligible. Get back to really goos stories. Right I've had my rant - I'm off to get something to eat and have my toe seen to. Will write again soon, hopefully

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