Thursday, February 10, 2005

Alpha Flight

I've got a beef with Marvel Comics. Once upon a time, before I started reading comics, there was a title called alpha flight. After one hundred or so issues, it was canceled. Then, about 10 years ago, they started up the series again, it lasted about 30 issues. About one year ago, they again started the series, this time with different characters, and it was great. It was one of my favorite monthly titles and I have all 12 issues. I say all 12, because they have once again canceled it. Word has it that they made this decision after only 8 issues.

My biggest gripe with this is that the mainstream comic publishers have got no balls to stick with new things. Every time they come up with a series that isn't Xmen related, or directly tied in with one of their major characters that have been around for 40-50 years, they cancel it, and go right back to square one. Thus, in my opinion, their stories have a limit to how much they can grow because they never want to stick with new characters no matter how good they are. Sales temporarily slip, and the cancel the title, only to bring it back later cause they realized there was a fan demand for those characters after all.

I understand that comics need to make money in order justify them staying in publication. But the publishers aren't thinking long-term. They're not considering that books aren't always an overnight success and that they take time to build fan-base. Hell, even the x-men didn't do well at first. It took 10 years worth of tinkering with the book and characters before Giant-Sized X-Men #1 came out and turned it into a successfull franchise.

So I'm saying that comics aren't as big now not because of fan disinterest, but because of publisher inconsistancy. Every time they attract new comic fans to new books, they yank them out from under them just as fast. Those people who were new to comics and were buying the new books weren't interested in the "classics" to begin with; they were waiting for something (wheather they realized it or not) new at fresh to catch their eye. Then, they've finally got something new and fresh in their hands. Then, next time they stop in the comic store, they don't find the new and fresh things but new remakes of the classics that they didn't like to start with.

I'm into spiderman and the xmen and all of those. But not everyone is. The comic book fan community is not going to grow again until publishers realize this fact and stick with it.

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