As I slowly work my way back off the cliff I was teetering over during DC’s 52 title reboot announcement (I don’t care what DC’s saying—it’s a reboot), as I read the news and solicitations and interviews, I’m torn between some bleak feelings of negativity/disenchantment/anger, and feelings of minor interest/hope/reconsideration. I ask myself—is this in fact the final straw for me as far as continuing to follow DC books? I look over these 52 new titles and there are so few, if any at all, that I can say 100% interest me or excite me. I troll over the list, and I’m really not excited. The books and characters that make me love DC—Birds of Prey, Stephanie Brown Batgirl, Classic Wonder Woman, Jeff Lemire Superboy—have either been taken away or mangled into something completely unrecognizable to me in the favor of gaining this elusive, ever-sought-after “new reader.” I still feel betrayed and heartbroken.
But then I hear about other people getting excited. I read interviews with guys like Scott Lobdell, who are so genuinely psyched about what they’re doing, and seem to have given it the thought it deserves, that I begin to wonder if maybe I should re-think my stance. Should I, at the very least, give these new books a fighting chance to grasp me? How much time/money/enthusiasm do I want to put into this, given the high potential of being let down? Do I risk that in the hope of coming across something—anything—that I’ll like? Do I need to be less picky in general? Will the only way to enjoy this be to lower my expectations—and is that even fair?
It’s so easy to be negative. It’s easy to make light of everything and turn it into a joke. It’s also easy to maybe take things too personally, although I’m not entirely convinced of that being wrong. If anything, to me, comics should be personal. Like any other work of art, it’s worthless without the effect of the personal.
Writer Jason Aaron (Scalped, Wolverine) has a column he does on Comic Book Resources where he gives advice to aspiring comics writers and people who want to break into the industry. In the latest installment, he asks:
“Have you lost your joy? Please don’t lose your joy. Presumably it was that joy, that love of comics, that got you chasing this dream in the first place. Don’t ever lose that. We need more of that. Don’t let it be eaten up by negativity. What we don’t need is more people standing in front of the new release rack on Wednesdays, complaining about every other new book that’s coming out. We’ve got that job pretty well covered. I used to write film reviews, so I know, it’s always easier to write a review of something you hate than something you like. Don’t fall into that trap. Don’t let your passion […] be defined solely by the negative. At least pretend like you still take some sort of joy from this industry. If you don’t, then ask yourself, ‘Why am I still here?’”
He kind of makes a good point, huh?
On the one hand, I want to stand my comic book moral ground and refuse to support what I think is a disrespectful way to treat a cast of characters and their fanbase; on the other hand, I don’t really know what’s going to happen here, and I’d really like to be able to shrug it off my shoulders, take it slightly less seriously, and just enjoy it.
And so I find myself at an impasse. And so I turn to you, dear readers.
Tell me what to do.