Panelology – Declaration of Independence from Events

by Brandon

Here is the truth; I am sick and tired of big event comics. Ugh. When I see these books absolutely polluting the shelves at comic shops, my heart just aches. As a rule, blockbuster event and crossover comics are not necessarily a bad thing. I think they can be a huge draw in attracting new readers and giving longtime fans an opportunity to see characters interact with others outside of their usual confines. But let’s be honest here; most crossovers and multifaceted event books just suck in the creativity department. They are sprawling goliaths that give us a larger-than-comic-book life perspective. And that’s okay. We need big, dumb entertainment sometimes. That’s why the summer movie season is so fun. It provides levity to the seriousness of the industry. But with comic books, if you have a crossover for every creative meal, you are in deep creative health trouble.

The big event books have just dominated the market for too long now. It’s time we fans put a stop to that. We need to declare our independence from these stupid books for a good, long while.

I intend to do just that. Won’t you join me?

A Declaration of Independence from Events

To his Publishing Excellencies Paul Levitz and Dan Buckley,

When in the course of reading endless event comics, it becomes necessary for the fans to dissolve these artistic bands with have connected us to one another, an to assume that we want more of these just because we buy the products of characters we cherish so well to which the laws of collecting and fan loyalty entitle them, a decent respect to quality should declare the causes which impel us to cancellation.

We fans hold these truths to be self evident, that all fans are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain fortunate and unfortunate geek genres, that among these are comic books, Star Wars, Star Trek, and other odd brands of Sci-Fi and Fantasy kitsch. That to secure these genres, Comic Book Publishers are held afloat in these stressful economic times by fans, deriving their publishing schedule based on the needs and desire of this fan-base – That Whenever any Comic Book Publishers gluts the market with lackluster event titles one after the other, it is the right of the fans to alter or end their purchasing habits.

History tells us that these trends in comic books come and go, but that we the fans have reached our very limit of these event and crossover stories. It is our duty as fans to throw off these Publishers who continue to meddle in these pretentious and uninspiring stories. Marvel and DC Comics have thus devolved to such idiocy, dabbling endlessly in events stories that never end, only leading into the next contrived storyline. Such has been the patient suffering of the fans. The history of the present publishers of Marvel and DC is a history of repeated ineptitude and banal contrivance, all having a direct object of establishing a never ending event cycle. To prove this, let the fans submit these grievances to a candid Internet.

  • Marvel and DC have canceled several new, inspiring titles only to fill the void with tepid “must have” event tie-ins.

  • They have dismissed their fan’s boredom with such stories with the idiotic argument that they still sell well. So do Jonas Brothers albums. Yet, this does not make their music good.

  • They have refused to try new or bold directions for comics, instead relying on archaic establishments within the framework of our genre in order to bring us the same old, same old.

  • They depended on useless cop-outs to explain away senseless plot points in order to conveniently forget the past for One More Day of predictability.

  • They have erected many miniseries to directly tie into their events, so much so that fans can hardly care or keep track of all of them.

  • They insist that there events will change everything, yet all they do is bread apathy and discontent.

  • They have kept among us, in times of no major events, prelude comics that still tie into future events.

  • They have combined to subject the comic book medium to creative conditions that made many stories of the 1990s forgettable at best and shameful at worst.

  • They have squandered a talent pool of creators to continue a policy of creative obstruction in so much that creators must curtail their imagination in the face of conformity.

  • They have encouraged the continued antiquated practice of providing those insipid variant covers, a practice from the 1990s that was as embarrassing as chromium covers or pre-bagged books.

  • In every stage of these oppressions, fans have spoken out against these practices. We have been vocal and our numbers have grown. Our protests and negative reviews have only been met with yet more event comics. We the fans only want to read good stories that move us and bring us closer to the characters we love so much. Yet these Publishers have ignored those wishes. A Publisher whose characters must be so frequently subjected to monotonous stories is unfit to continue to publish comic books.

    We, therefore, the united comic book fans of the world, do in the name of the authority of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, solemnly declare our independence from event comics and absolve any connection to such tedious storytelling for the foreseeable future. We fans are independent, not tied down to simply buying what these Publishers offer us. We have freedom of choice, and from this day forward we choose to not purchase such event books to further our lives, protect our fortunes in such harsh economic times, and honor the memory of high-quality, imaginative, decent comic books everywhere.


    Devin said...

    Agreed. At least in the 90s it was Onslaught, September-May, Zero Tolerance, and one did not really tie into the other. We're still riding the wave of Identity Crisis, which came out in the end of my junior year of high school. At this rate (seeing what comes after Final Crisis), this one mega-crossover will be longer than my entire college career (including the touring/applications/acceptance stage).

    Easiest way to say something: get people to stop buying. The stuff may be shit, but we're in a capitalist economy. Money talks. I wonder if the financial crisis will affect fan's disposable income to a point that we may see a decrease in mass-buying.

    Brandon said...

    I think we will see a significant drop in what fans are willing to buy. I know I'm going to have painful cuts because Comic Books can be a pretty expensive hobby. Outside of recreational drug use or pornography, there's not much more out there than can compete. I think we'll see a reduction in these stories, but not for the better reasons. These stories are pretty stupid. We shouldn't stop buying them when the economy is down; we should be throwing their asses back out onto the street and demanding better value for our hard earned dollars.

    Rory said...

    I wish I could sign my name really fucking big. So big that people would stop using the phrase "John Hancock" and start using "Rory".