Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blogathon 17: Best Time to Stop Reading Superhero Comics (Part 1)

Tucker Stone delivered a fantastic list of possible topics, but the one I had to choose was one with two simple questions: "When do you think you should have stopped reading superhero comics? Why do you think you kept going?"

It's tempting to simply go "Never! Because they're awesome!" but I won't do that. That would be cheap. (This is the part where I hope that Tucker doesn't do that...)

My initial answer was after The Authority #12 came out. But, my real answer after thought is after Marvel Boy #6 came out. I think I could have stopped then and been satisfied. That was a high moment for me and superhero comics. While the first 12 issues of The Authority were another big, important moment for me (I carried around the first four issues in my backpack for a month or so, just rereading and looking at them), Marvel Boy was one of the most important superhero comics for me, especially as a critic. It was the first that I 'got' and it was the topic of my first post on this very blog. If I were to have stopped reading superhero comics, I would like it to have been a big, great, happy moment. The end of a work that means a lot to me. Seems like the natural breaking point.

As for Tucker's second question... The obvious answer is another question "Why would I stop?" Why would I stop? Why give up rock music or action flicks or beat poetry or Futurism drama or anything else specific like that within a medium? What reason would anyone have to give it up beyond not enjoying it? Why do I think I kept on reading superhero comics past Marvel Boy? Because I enjoy them. Not all of them, obviously, but at least one. Usually more than one. Why give up on something you enjoy unless for some external reason beyond your control (like a lack of money)?

Even the idea that one should bothers me. I don't think that was Tucker's intention, except in a tongue-in-cheek way. Superhero comics dominate the comics medium in North America for a variety of reasons -- one of them being people like me who enjoy them. Sure, there are plenty of people who buy them who don't seem to enjoy them and they should probably stop. Me? I dig 'em. I do. Hell, my last Blogathon was devoted to them -- and in the period following when I would have chosen to stop reading them! (Did Tucker somehow know my answer? Is he a witch?)

There's also the fact that superhero comics have always been a part of my life. That's both a good and bad reason to stick with them. "Because that's the way it's always been" is horrible, yet understandable. I've always read superhero comics -- even before I could read. They were always there and it seems strange to imagine my life without them. Just like it's strange to imagine my life without certain foods or clothing or other things. They've always been there. Maybe they shouldn't be. But, I wouldn't know how to stop them from being here. I guess that would apply to comics in general. My preferences do lie more towards superhero comics than anything else, though.

I'm curious to see what Tucker has to say on the subject. I'm probably more curious about his post than any other for this Blogathon. It will be up in 30 minutes.

[Don't forget to donate what you can to the Hero Initiative (Details in this post)! After you do, let me know via comment or e-mail (found at the righthand side) so I can keep track of donations -- and who to thank.]