“You only think you like comic books”


The iFanboy community is (to my mind) a uniquely well-rounded and coherent bunch. Here I get to talk about all sorts of aspects of comics and everyone is able to engage. In my everyday life, I meet a pretty diverse of people, some enjoy comics, some don’t. The really strange part though, is that unlike when I was growing up, now when I meet new people, no one tells me I’m crazy/stupid/misguided to like comics. Once in a while, I get a slightly surprised reaction, but no one is ever horrified. It seems like it’s generally now deemed somewhat socially acceptable (at least in San Francisco) to read comics. In fact, not only is it acceptable, it’s even considered sort of fashionable in some circles. How do I know this? Is it because the media keeps ramming it down my throat as the graphic language of bold colors and aggressive line-work is appropriated all over the damn place? Or because of the glut of mainstream movies, featuring big name actors, based on comic books? Maybe it’s because all of American culture and fashion seems to be gradually influenced by classic superhero comic books?

Nope, I know this because sometimes the people I meet try to pretend to like comics (?!). This is a phenomena I never expected to encounter, when I was 16 years old and trying to convince my feminist friends that Phoenix and Elektra were icons of power (they never quite believed me), or that Batman was obviously the sexiest man ever (again, they weren’t convinced). As recently as ten years ago, friends finding out that I read comics would literally look at me like a dangerous nutjob and move away… Now people will immediately jump to say that they’ve been into comic books since they were little, (“and aren’t they great?!”) They ask strangely vague questions like “What’s your favorite comic book right now?”, and if I reply something like Destroyer has been a lot of fun, and I think The Sword is building to an epic conclusion.”, they say “Uhhh… but how about Batman… do you read that?” My other favorite conversation non-starter they attempt is “I love comics, I saw that movie, with the big, blue, naked guy… that was cool.” For crying out loud, they don’t even know that they’re talking about Dr. Manhattan?! And one of the most irrelevant comments I get is “I hear that the first issue of Spider-Man/Superman/whatever is worth a lot of money. Do you have that?” Of course I don’t have that! What an inane question… Of course I’m as polite as I can be with these ridiculous people (I save my vicious ranting for when I’m talking to people who understand what on earth I’m talking about, like you.) What I have learned is that this is people’s secret way of telling me that in actuality, they don’t read comic books and they don’t really know what comic books are. More than that, they clearly don’t realize how much I do like comic books, or they wouldn’t try to front it with me and pretend they do (which I have to say, insults comic books and makes them look silly).

In order to dissuade people from trying this nonsense, I’ve provided a checklist here, so that we can clearly establish what constitutes a person who’s actually into comic books and avoid these meaningless confrontations in future. You know that you truly like comic books if:

1. You read comic books when they were drastically uncool.
Reading comic books even when the other kids in school/your coworkers/your partner/your family thought you were immature and stupid for it is a sign of your ability to stick by the things, because you love comic books more than you love people thinking you’re intelligent, or mature. If there was ever a point in your life when you were about as insecure as you could get (usually sometime in the teens), and you _still_ read comics, despite everyone hating you for it, then you bloody do like comic books.

2. You’ve got to have dorky superhero stories because you just can’t help loving them.
It’s all very well to have picked up the comic adaptation of a tv show like Buffy, or enjoyed a little fantasy in the form of Fables, or even dabbled in some hipper-than-thou indie comics like Eightball or Optic Nerve, but those have credibility, they’re using the medium to tell a socially acceptable form of story (all of which I read, by the way, but they aren’t all I read…) Capes, (or superhero comic books are something else entirely. They aren’t just illustrated stories, they are the comic book medium. If you can’t get down with the idea of an adult in a cape fighting crime, then maybe you don’t really love comic books as much as you think you do? Maybe you like the format being used to tell stories, but you don’t love comic books because comic books are ridiculous, outrageous stories about superpowered people wearing illogically bright colors. That’s how American comics got big and deep down, that will always be the backbone of the genre.

3. You know what your favorite superheroes are really like.
From the picture that you’ve built up from reading about them, you’ve got an image in your mind that feels totally real. You didn’t form this from passively watching cartoons or movies which were based on the comics, you formed this picture by reading comic books. If you think Storm is kickass because you’re a huge Halle Berry fan, or you loved that Spider-Man cartoon on MTV a few years ago, then you aren’t really into comic books. If you always wanted to be Aeon Flux, or sleep with Atom Boy, more power to you, but that doesn’t make you a comic book reader. Unless you picked up something made of paper with any of those characters in it, you aren’t into comic books, you’re into comic book style characters. There’s a big difference.

4. Do you know how to spell “X-Men” or “Spider-Man”, or do you write “Xmen” and “Spiderman”?
Unless you’re dyslexic, if you read comic books you’ll have noticed some little idiosyncrasies like that. I’m not saying that you have to be come some redundant trainspotter of a comic book fan, noticing every little thing, but if you haven’t got the basics, maybe you aren’t as into comic books as you think?


These basic points are just small aspects of what makes us die-hard comic book fans, rather than just people who like to read the odd bit of sequential art. But in my opinion, they are some salient and necessary qualifications of someone who (for some strange reason) wants to be labeled as a comic book fan. In my experience, pretending to enjoy something you don’t is just silly, especially something that a lot of people still stigmatize, so the best I can suggest to all the non-comic book fans is to talk about the things that are your actual passions. That’s always going to be an interesting conversation, and a hell of a lot more entertaining than listening to someone talk about something that they aren’t really into.


Sonia Harris likes comic books more than is reasonable for an Englishwoman of her age… she does this in San Francisco, where she lives and works. Share your stories of strange comic book fandom with her at sonia@ifanboy.com.

Comments

  1. I’m sure you get it worse than most, since everyone wants some kind of icebreaker for the cute girl. I have noticed nerd posers, though. It’s such a strange phenomena…

  2. Thank you for putting this much better than I can; every time I try to explain my fustration with these nouveau-geeks I end up sounding like I’m whining.  And making up words like nouveau-geeks.

  3. Ah, the comic book poser.  I’ve noticed them too.  They typically read Watchmen or a Batman book.

    Jeff Foxworthy voice: If you ____ _____ _____ _____ _____, you might be a comic book fan!"

  4. You know that you truly like comic books if:

    1. You think

    2. this article

    3. is complete

    4. bollocks.

  5. How about the Comics Evangelist?

    This pretty much describes me, and why my friends give each other looks any time it looks like one of them might mention a comics-based movie, for fear I might start trying to get them in the scary comics cult. 

  6. #2 is an either/or thing with indie/superhero/etc. If you only read (insert a specific genre of comics like superheroes here) then maybe you don’t really love comics books as much as you think you do. 

  7. What if I DON’T read super-hero books in general, because I’ve grown oh-so-weary of the conventions, and only really venture a look when a writer I have time for is working on one? Say, a Brubaker or Morrison.

    Of course, Invincible doesn’t count because it spits in the face of convention and is a proper, progressional story. I’m mainly talking about stuff from the BIG 2. Marvel/DC books only take up about 2.5 shelves out of my total of 18 shelves of comics hardcovers/trades, so I feel pretty justified in marginalising their output.  

  8. Fantastic article Sonia! Seriously this made my day. Ok well free pizza for lunch helped but this pushed it over the edge. I completely agree, though my femnist friends saw the power behind Pheonix.

  9. Go easy on the fake nerds 🙂  I’ve asked plenty of dumb questions like that, mostly because at the time I didn’t know any better and I really wanted to know the answers.

  10. @whirlwindx: Maybe so… I dunno though, seems like hipsters are all very happy to be seen in public with their bloody Scott Pilgrim t-shirts or whatever, but they wouldn’t be caught dead picking up a copy of the Flash and admitting they enjoyed it. But you’re right, and open-minded approach does show a sustained level of interest.

    @theronster: Listen to yourself! Picking and choosing is part of growing up, but you’re clearly more than well informed about this stuff.

    @WonderAli: Asking questions, that’s the big difference between you and any number of weirdos who say the like comic books and proceed to tell me all about the damn cartoon version of a character. If they were asking questions, that could lead to an interesting conversation (like theronster up there, I’m a big comic book evangelist, so I do get it.) What I object to is them pretending they already know comic books.

  11. I also hate people who try to "justify" me collecting.  Por ejemplo: "Yeah, man. Comics, that’s cool. I bet you’ve got a lot of valuable stuff there. Someday you’re gonna be rich off these (i’m not…Not with my bronze age only collection) and then you’ll show everybody."

     

    Freakin’ wankers…

  12. When I get approached by people who obviously don’t know much, I tend to take that opportunity to try to pique their interest and fan those vague flames they’ve alluded to, and it has led to a number of acquaintances becoming genuine readers of comics.  Being dismissive of them probably wouldn’t have the same result.

  13. So it’s bad when I’m shorthanded something with X-Men or Spider-man in the notes to do it without the hyphen? 

  14. Great article Sonia! Thanks for so eloquently putting into words how I’ve felt ever since the releases of Dark Knight and Watchmen.

  15. @bansidhewail: Definitely with you there. Like I said to WonderAli in the comments, I really love to talk to people who’re genuinely interested, as apposed to people who pretend that they’re already comic fans, but don’t read any books.

    @roadcrew1: You just said you were shorthanding it, which means that you know you’re missing out on a hyphen. It’s the knowledge that counts (in my opinion), not the ability to exhibit it.

  16. Hilarious article Sonia.  I really don’t see that phenomenon in Ohio.  It’s mostly ignorant Ohio State fans or bitter Bengals fans that will call you a pussy and push you over, lol.  One of my closest friends calls me a loser for reading them.  My response, "you sell lawn-care products to people that don’t need them, you have no girlfriend, and watch TV alone most of the time".  "I on the otherhand, teach history to inner city kids, have a 7 year relationship with a wonderful woman, and spend a lot of my free time reading…now who’s the loser?";)

    I realize that my description of my friend may parallel some of the lives of individuals on here, but the point was telling him that I’m a functional part of society and I read comics.  I don’t really think he’s a loser.  But honestly, I feel a bit of hierarchy when it comes to floppies.  I talk about them with you guys and the minimal friends that I have that read them, but I always ask a few probing questions before engaging with a complete stranger.  Because, as you said, many of these movie/comic fans don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. 

  17. My younger brother is working on his Ph.D. in history, so I got him a copy of Superman Red Son to give him a feel for how comics can work in an alternative historical setting.  He (of course) loved it.  He then read a couple of other Superman books.  Now I will occasionally catch him attempting to dissertate on the virtues of comic books as a medium. 

    This is a man who hasn’t read more than 5 trades and they are all Superman related.

    He is the very definition of a comic book poser (and you better believe I call him on it every chance I get).

  18. Oh boy… Far too close to elitism for my taste.

    People who claim to like certain characters but don’t read comics might have been acquainted  to those characters via other media which we should not belittle. Too many times I’ve seen the "comics is great" attitude turned into "comics is the best medium" crap.

    Those people might get interested in a character and they might want to get advice on what to read but are shy etc. They might have seen a Batman cartoon episode and liked it, and don’t know what to pick up, and they’re doing a poor job of asking it.

    I like rap – it doesn’t mean I analyze every song, or that I studied the history of it, or that I heard many styles/artists or many tracks etc. I just like it.  Just not a fan of creating a members-only club around something that is done for fun, and it seems that the article and the responses are somewhat pushing that state of mind. I’ll probably never understand that hierarchy mentality.

  19. I’ve been collecting for 25 years and still feel like a comics poseur compared to the people on this sight.

  20. @chlop I think, for me, a lot of that stems from insecurity and lack of acceptance growing up.  Don’t get me wrong, if somebody’s interested in comics, I will definitely engage them in a conversation and try and point them in the right direction.  It’s just the jock types that seem to turn me off, lol.  Maybe you’re right though.  Maybe I should do a little introspection on my feelings about the things that I love.  I think I have an elitist mentality because I’ve thought long and hard about the things that I love and why I love them.  I’m the same way with movies and music as well.  You’re not gonna find a lot of true comic fans that aren’t at least a little high brow about what they collect.  I think it sort of comes naturally with a medium that is often scorned and mocked as being nerdy or deviant.

  21. @stulach: Hey, at least he likes them. Maybe you can start sending him care packages to further his comic book education? Maybe he’d enjoy Kingdom Come?

    @chlop: I’m going to say this once again (but I’ve already said it twice in the comments here and once in the article): I LIKE PEOPLE WHO DON’T READ COMICS. What I object to is people who PRETEND to like comics, but have actually NEVER READ them.

  22. @vadamowens – comics are just a hobby. Why waste so much time analyzing them?

  23. @ Chlop:  You kidding me!  Comic book culture is super elitist.  There are very few causal  comic book fans out there, it is typically an all or nothing subculture where most are in for the long haul and most time in deep.  You can meet a person out there thay may be a causal baseball or football fan that follow the home team or during playoff times.  I cannot think of many people I know may go once or twice a month to pickup Batman or heard Capt America was real good the past two weeks so they just felt like checking it out.

  24. @soniaharris – Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he likes them and I certainly try to feed his interest, but his comic book expert "role" that he jumps into at the drop of a hat cracks me up.  His birthday is in August and I already bought a copy of Kingdom Come to give him. 

  25. @chlop-You obviously don’t really like rap. 😉

    I know quite a few people that pretend to like the funny books, but mostly just after a movie came out.  Sometimes they are genuinely interested and want to read more about the characters.  Other times, the majority of the times actually, they just posin’.  So it really is a joy to have a friend get really excited about a character and want to read more, or just have me explain a few things to them.  The first time I had a conversation with an actual person, not you crazy online people, about Watchmen was a sheer joy!

    Fun article Sonia!  Mos def not bollocks

     

     

  26. @0and18 – maybe. I feel the urge to create a "I’m a comics reader, not a comics COLLECTOR!" t-shirt to distinguish myself from the weirdos.

  27. Sadly the reason i usually type Spiderman instead of Spider-Man when I’m chatting with someone or what not is out of pure laziness, but oddly I have to type X-Men correctly.  I have no real words to explain why I do it differently.

  28. @soniaharris – I saw that but I need video recordings of said encounters. People saying that they like comics while not reading any seems to me like a poor "I don’t read them but want to" scene. Maybe they’re just interested in a character but don’t want to read the comics, but rather suck the goodness tits of cartoons and movies/books with said character? Why scoff? Also – all the tests you wrote aren’t helping 🙂

  29. @chlop Wow you sound like an elitist yourself, but just on the reverse angle.  I analyze things because that’s what I do for a living.  I have to analyze 20-35 students in one setting and figure out the best methods to use to teach them, all of them at that.  I have to dissect things and boil them down to relay what really needs to be absorbed and jetison any material that is not truly relavant. 

    That’s how my brain works.  I want to absorb as much information about the things that I love in as short amount of time as possible.  Is that so bad?  I see nothing wrong with taking a ‘hobby’ and using it to better myself or open myself up to new avenues of thought.  I think you’re the one that’s missing out. 

  30. Great Article Sonia. You make a great point that spans throughout the arts. Lots of other kinds of "fanpersons" feel the same about their chosen love. For example when you follow a cool indie band, and then see them become popular, you get mad at posers. Same thing applies to indie films and even Mixed Martial Arts … :p .  

    The way I deal with it is that in a sort of way I believe that this is good for comics, films, music because sure you have fair-weather fans, but at the same time, more people are aware of this thing I love. Furthermore, since I/YOU/IFanpersons are REAL fans and have been through the think and thin, it means that you are more profecient and experts; meaning there is more of a need for you to inform your newfound friends. 🙂 

    What about pretending to "not" like comics when you’ve read them for years. I think living in San Francisco and experienceing the accepting nature of the city has actually helped me flaunt my affinity for comics more so than I would have been able to do elsewhere. :p

  31. I wish I was in High School today. Comics are cool now. Ten years ago when I was in High School I got funny looks for reading comics in the social area (maybe because I was reading in the social area).

    Now people invite me to watch comic movies with them so they can question me afterwards about whether or not that’s "what really happened"

    Early this year I didn’t have Watchmen on my book shelve for months, because friends, co-workers and family all wanted to borrow it. It’s still in fairly decent condition, so I’m guess most of them left it on the coffee table for a week or so then gave it me back. At least they tried

  32. @Zeppo lol.  A lot my friends want me to go see comic movies with them as well.

  33. @Sonia

    Im sorry but I totally disagree with this article. People talking about how much ultra rare comics are because they have heard they are expensive, or if they dont know who the hell Dr.Manhatten is and they can only relate to the comics that existed to them as children or that are in the public eye…..well that doesnt make them "Pretenders"

    It comes across worse when people attack someone for not knowing something in such detail. Its like complaining about someone who likes the look of a certain car but doesnt know everything about all cars or how an engine works.

     Sonia you have every right for your own opinion but I personally think your opinion on this subject is wrong.

     

    @ Chlop

     

    I agree with you mate

     

    @ JasonB35

    I can see your point. I’ve been collecting comics for almost 20 years and I don’t know every creator or every little detail but it never makes you any less of a fan

     

    @ Bansidhewail

    Right on! good approach to have with people i try and do the same

  34. @vadamowens – dismissing her "I love you" revelation haunts me to this day. She never wiped her nose, but I now realize that admitting that she loved me took some balls. The multiplication table occupied my head afterwards, and I never saw her again.

  35. @logan I really think you missed the point of her article.

  36. @ chlop: Yea i hear that you don’t wanna be a stereotype of that guy with every comic he has graded and slabbed and place in boxes by publication years.  I think sports fans are pretty damn close as a culture with comics fans.  Both loath the "bandwagoners", maybe music too, who love the team you love only recently because they are doing well.  I am a diehard Tigers and Steelers fan and when the Tigers got the World Series in 2006 I was so pissed talking to people in bars how big of fans they were yet could not name more than 1 player in the infeild,  I felt like screaming "Where the fuck where you in 2002 when I was cursing out Carlos Pena?" 

    I also see how creepy sports fnas get when i see grown men at Steelers games on Sunday dressed in costume and crying like their children died when "their" team lost.  So i do see where you are coming from on that.

  37. @chlop Care to clarify what your talking about or referring to?

  38. @ Zeppo:  Dude if you were in high school  right now you would be reading Manga, not American comics. 

  39. @loganalpha: Believe me, I’m surrounded by people who dabble and I like it. There’s a big difference between them and someone who literally says "I love comics! I’m a huge comic book fan." and then follows it up by talking exclusively about movies and cartoons, adding "Oh, I don’t read comic books.". It’s logic. How can you tell me that you enjoy reading something you’ve never read?

    @0and18: Definitely. Manga and Scott Pilgrim. And you’d be getting laid.

  40. @vadamowens – how can I dismiss her snot, when I won’t shower for days? I could’ve been the guy that wiped her nose for her.

  41. @chlop I’m assuming a crush you had on one of your teachers? Otherwise I’m still lost

  42. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Don’t try and decipher him.  

  43. @ Vadamowens

     

    I see why you may think I have missed the point, but your wrong I really havent. She says about how people only mention about Spider-man or Batman or superman. Well at least they know about the characters in the first place regardless if they have read a comic in the first place. What basis can you judge if someone has picked up a comic book or not if they only mention three different characters? We are talking about a medium which has evolved out of its original conception and transfered itself to other media. Even if a person has only read 3 comics in their life and just followed the films based on these characters it doesn’t really matter. You can’t say that someone doesn’t like comics if they have hardly read them. That would mean they didn’t enjoy reading what they did read.  I watched the Wolverine film recently and thought it was wrong and awful on so many levels because I know loads about the character I have collected for years and loved. I had loads of mates who loved it and loved Spiderman 3. These are also people who have picked up a couple of comics now and again and enjoyed them.

     They do not know much about the history but they like the characters and what they have seen. So in a way if they say "Im into comics" and only buy 2 comics a year it wont matter because they like the character. If you can educate them into a bit more back story and talk to them about what you take away from your love of books and do it without being elitest then great. If not then so be it. 

    I can see where sonia is coming from with the whole "They dont read them and they are saying it to be cool" but they may not be doing that. I just think that her opinion isnt as clear cut as that. If she doesnt like that – cool thats her bag but to me I just don’t agree with it.

     

    Cheers for your time and comment

  44. @ sonia

     

    Sorry if I came across harsh (I re-read my original comment with the whole "I think your opinion is wrong" I still see what your saying I just don’t agree is all

  45. @zeppo 0and18 is totally right, manga is what is big in high school not comics. I still go to high school, and i get wierd looks when ever i say i like comics. But if you say you like manga, well they all think your super cool.

     

    Back to the topic of the article. I really get annoyed by people who pretend like they read comics, when its pretty obvious that they don’t. Mainly watchmen though. I swear half the people i meet say like, "OH I’m  a massive fan of WATCHMEN! IT IS MY FAVORITE GRAPHIC NOVEL EVER(they never say comic, because saying that it is a comic is "un-cool"). Then they always on go to say stuff like, " I love when that guy with the black spots on his face kills the midget in the washroom. Also when that batman lookalike has sex.

     I then usaully just ask them what they thought of the ending with the alien squid. then they have no clue what im taking about because they have only seen the movie. So i just walk away from them.

     

     

  46. This article is more controversial than the one about smelly superheroes!!

  47. @logan.  OK.  I see your point now. 

    All of my friends love the Lord of the Rings films, as did I for the most part, and thoroughly and blindly enjoyed them without out any knowledge of how Jackson truly raped a lot of the story.  Being a Tolkein fan, I could see inconsistencies and plot hole’s that Tolkein covered magnificently.  I had issues with several of the castings and interpretations of the characters.  I actually envied all of my friends for their ignorance to the books. 

    When my friends asked me what I thought of the new Wolverine flick, I said you’re going to love it.  Then they asked, ‘well, what about you?’  Reply: ‘They totally raped the origin story’.  I think a lot of these movie fans are more fortunate that many of us due to their tabula rasa of the material. 

  48. Since when did comics book become such an elitist club? I feel like this article attatches a holier-than-thou attitude with the comic book scene. That can’t be a good thing!

  49. @drakedangerz: They all wish I’d go back to writing goofy top ten lists about all the naked men in comics… or something like that.

    *sigh*

  50. @Vadamowens

     Exactly 🙂 the wolverine geek in me would love to have seen someone who was like 5ft 5, covered in hair and a little bit pug ugly go through all the horrible crap that I read wolverine go through in the Marvel comic presents weapon x story line…however it doesnt tick the right boxes to make action figures whilst getting all the kids and women who want to see Hugh Jackman naked into the cinema lol

     

    Still my mates loved it and I can always slink off to my trades and books if I feel the grumble a gaining 🙂

    Damn you Hugh jackman you beautiful bastard!! lol

  51. @Sonia

    Keep writing the articles you want to, its your opinion. The worst anybody can do is disagree and never means that you were wrong or right in the first place. It’s still more interesting then reading 20 reasons why Superman could never screw Lois Lane in real life

  52. What a great observation to base an article on! You have shone the light on a phenomenon that has been following me around for my whole life, but I never thought about it until now.

    Another hallmark of the non-fake comic book fan is the pronunciation argument. When you came strictly from the printed comics, you’ve never heard anyone say out loud whether it’s "Mag-NEATO" or "Mag-NETTO."

  53. @ chlop
    A) You appear to have gone batty by the time I got the chance to respond to your initial comment; good luck with that.
    B) When you are seriously into a medium, a certain degree of elitism will inevitabley be present. I haven’t had it happen to me with comics yet (I just got a Captain America & a Sandman t-shirt, so maybe that will soon commence) but it happens with me in regards to music often enough that I’m right there with Sonia on this one. Physically, I’m a walking stereotype of a metal fan. Long hair? Check. Big and mean looking? Check. Ridiculous facial hair? Check (if ever I meet Josh, I’m going to ask what his beef with the goatee is, then ask Ron to join my sideburn club). Shirt featuring logo and album art from metal band? Check. People asking me if I like Metallica and/or whatever shitty semi-metal band has broken into the mainstream recently? Check. There is almost certainly a list of rules to establish a "metalhead" (like the 101 Rules of Black Metal, which is hi-larious) out there.
    Anyone possessing a intelligence (okay, that was kinda elitist) knows when someone is condescendingly asking about their interests and genuinely doing so. My friend once asked a serious of "What about Batman?"-esque questions but I knew he was genuinely interested because he asked "What about the Atom?" I mean, who asks that? I didn’t have anything for him! "He shrinks?", I said.
    Point being, elitism is ever-present in any form of entertainment EVERYTHING. Anything where there is a possibility for elitism, it’s there. The trick is to know how to behave while possessing the elite mindframe. Do I strike down the person that asked if I liked Trapt (shows when the last time I listened to mainstream radio)? Nay, I took them aside and said, "Let me tell ya a little something about Sepultura (no connection to Trapt, just went to last band I listened to on itunes)." The best part is, with comics, the mainstream ones can be good! So, to the "What about Batman?" I go "Killing Joke!" (which is also a viable response to a music question)

  54. Interesting article. I can’t say that i agree, but i can’t say i really disagree either. Its one to think on.

     I cant really say i encounter the type of person you talk about in relation to comics. But in other fields? Yes. I worked in a bookshop for a long time and was often annoyed by people who would try and have informed opinions on things they hadnt read.

     But then, i only read half of THE DA VINCI CODE, and feel like i have a pretty informed opinion on it. 

     So i think it cuts both ways. Its natural that people, all people, all of us, want to appear to know things. We want to seem knowledgeable, or to be able to hold conversations. But for anyine with a strong passion or hobby, its also far to easy to build up fences around our little hobbies. Like nobody will ever love my favoyrite band as much as me, and anyone who tires to hold a converstion with me about them will not know as much as i do. Even if they do. 

    So…i see both sides. I’m on both sides, at different times.

  55. I love this article.  It reminds me of my cousin Amanda, who loves Heroes.  But when I tell her "Read ‘Ultimates.’  It’s the same, only much better."  And she borrows it for months and can’t get past issue #1!  Yet still loves Heroes?!  (I dropped Heroes early Season 3, and that’s cause I was really hopeful)

    But I get what you’re saying.  I don’t not like "non comic readers."  But some people read Watchmen and need to tell me it’s the GREATEST COMIC EVER!  (And it’s the only comic they’ve ever read.  Not 1 more)

  56. Even with all the mainstream comic book stuff, I definitely don’t think the general public sees comics as cool.

  57. bravo sonia, you are indeed the voice of all of us.

  58. Deep breath…

    So, I go back and forth on this a lot.

    On the one hand, I really don’t like any kind of elitism, and comic book elitism leads to The Simpsons’ "Comic Book Guy." Need I say more?

    But I also see this as a celebration. Every niche deserves its elitism. We’ve got our own nerdy baptism by fire, and we shouldbe able to celebrate the fact that we’re true comic book fans because we put in the blood sweat and tears.

    We’ve all had those conversations. You know the ones. Someone finds out you’re into comics and they tell you about how they LOVE the X-men and then they proceed to rattle off a long list of storylines that you quickly realize come from the 90’s cartoons and not the comics themselves. We should be able to celebrate the fact that WE know when and how Spider-man REALLY got his black costume (Secret Wars #8, thankyewverymuch).  This knowledge may not be useful for very many things in life, but it’s OUR knowledge, dammit. We earned it.

    I like what Sonia says above about "pretenders." Look, I have friends who are baseball fanatics, and they watch Sports Center every night, and they have fantasy leagues and the like. And if I ask them about baseball, they’ll tell me the answer to my question. But if I PRETEND to know what I’m talking about, and I fall flat on my face because of it, then they have EVERY RIGHT to tease me mercilessly. And I know they will. 😉

  59. @loganalpha: Almost too embarassed to admit this, but I actually did address why a human woman might want to, (but phyically couldn’t), shag Superman. I ain’t proud.

  60. I second most of what daccampo is saying (and that is generally the case).  I don’t mean to put words in Sonia’s mouth, but I don’t think she is being even remotely elitist.  I think she is simply stating that she doesn’t enjoy comic book posers.  I think most of us have something we are somewhat passionate about and can quickly tell if someone else knows what they are talking about or not.  I would also posit that most of us get at least somewhat annoyed when we realized that person doesn’t know what they are talking about, but won’t stop talking about it.

    I see it often when Sociologist try to discuss Economics and when Economists attempt to discuss Sociology.  [Mostly when Sociologist try….]

    @Sonia – I want to see a top ten list of sexiest iFanbase members. WINK, WINK…Growl.

  61.  

    @matthaber & 0&18, I’m not really into manga. I spent too long training my dyslexic brain to read forwards, not sure I could hack going backwards, lol. Plus I never went for what was "in".

    @vadamowens – I enjoyed it at first, but I ended up seeing the movies three or four times with different groups, and when I tell people things like "Gwen dies" or Constatine is a blonde english man, they always look dissappointed.

    *shrug*

  62. @stuclach-Well, your muttonchops give you an unfair advantage sir!!  It is a known fact that the Brits love those things!

  63. Heh, I just remembered this…

    Recently, a guy in my office started talking to me about comic books because of the slate of comic book movies, and in particular Watchmen. As we start discussing graphic novels, he reveals that his understanding of graphic novels is that they’re denser and more complex than regular comics. In his understanding of the terminology, monthly comics were designed for kids and were more simplistic.

    I wanted to tell him that:

    a) Watchmen WAS a monthly comic (miniseries) first

    b) the single issues are often more complex and complicated than some very simplistic graphic novels

    c) number of panels and words on a page does NOT inherently make something more complex and nuanced.

    Now, this isn’t exactly like Sonia’s complaint, as this guy wasn’t a poser. He wasn’t pretending to be a fan. He’s a good guy and has interesting opinions on a lot of things. But in this case, he just honestly believed that that was the definition and thought he knew what he was talking about. But it set off within me a chain reaction of activism, elitism and even a little defensiveness.

    In the end, though, I think I just recommended Y: The Last Man as a good graphic novel series, knowing full well that that series tends to be very simple in the way it is laid out on the page. 🙂

  64. @drakedangerz – If you think Brits are the only ones who love chops, then you have clearly never seen a room full of French Canadians go ga-ga when a properly chopped man enters the room.

  65. And if Ron ever posted on this site anymore he would back me up on the international chop love.

  66. Superhero movies are a really big seller around here, but when it comes to the books theirselves, there are only a handful of shops in this county.  I would prefer to have more local friends who like to buy comics so I’d have people to trade trades with, it don’t work that way though.  At least most of my friends enjoy the DVDs though, so I’m not totally screwed.

    I can’t wait to pick up my Watchmen blu ray in less then 2 weeks!!

  67. @daccampo-Good point!  The friend I was discussing Watchmen with before the movie came out did almost the same thing.  They called Watchmen a comic book and then quickly corrected themselves and said "I’m sorry, graphic novel.  I didn’t mean to insult the book."  So I had to just bust out with a little bit of knowledge.  Similar to what you pointed out actually.  But still, they honestly cared about the book and wanted to know more, even though they don’t usually read comics.  Mos def not a poser.

    @stuclach-Damn French Canadians! 😛

  68. nerd posers are not fun..

  69. @Jimski, I hear you on the pronunciation thing. I think Submariner is pronounced Submarine-er but in my head I always say Submarriner.

  70. So let me get this straight. The situation is the following:

    -It used to be that many people made fun of those who read comics.

    -But now many people want to pass themselves off as comic fans.

    And this is a bad thing??? 

    Sometimes I feel like people wouldn’t ever stop complaining unless everyone thought and acted the same as they did, and knew as much about certain niche hobbies. So people don’t know much about comics and are kind of ignorant about them–how is this much of a problem if at least they LIKE the idea comics in general and actually want to ask questions to learn more about the hobby, which an increasing number of people do? That is a HUGE improvement in itself; comics have made so much progress as far as mainstream acceptance and interest–it’s really remarkable. And yet comic snobs want to complain about it. Jeesh. Too much snobbism. The "know-it-all nerd" stigma is really almost gone–so why try and reinforce it?

    Instead of a proactive article about how to hook many outsiders into being "real comics fans"–since many obviously WANT to be fans, or at least pass themselves off as such–we get a negative article bitching about how some comics-friendly outsiders have the audacity to actually express interest at the idea of our favorite, expensive, retro, niche hobby. Yeah, sure, we should just push them away, scowl at them for not "understanding us", retreat to our caves and villify them with all our geek-snob might. Yeah, that’ll show ’em. That’ll help the industry. Whatever we do we shouldn’t try to welcome any open-minded outsiders into the fold–no way.

    Sorry, sometimes I really don’t get articles on this site. I appreciate the perspectives, but then I see something like this, which really makes me pause in horror at the mentality behind it. It’s sort of like the bizarro passive-agressive article from a month or two ago, the one about hating/being afraid of kids who like Star Trek, who then call out middle-aged fanboys for being even bigger Star Trek fans…when the middle-aged fanboys really ARE big Star Trek fans..and those kids are so HORRIBLE, the article intimated, for being so perceptive, and for liking Star Trek in a generic mainstream, open-minded, non-snobbish way.

    Sorry, I just don’t like snobbery, of any sort. I don’t think it’s helpful to anyone, and it impedes the snob’s own personal development. Just my opinion. Take it for what it’s worth.

  71. Well, that’s the most negative possible way to take that piece. Bonus points for griping about griping. Is negativitiy about imagined negativity positivity?

  72. Very well put Sonia. This is my basic reasoning for those who truly love comics. I usually add something along the lines of:

    You read a Comic that you only love, and weren’t told it was a great Comic, or because it looks cool.

    I add that to somewhat make me stand out from the Guys of My Chemicle Romance, because they aren’t comic fans, just because they have an unhealthy love of Watchmen.

  73. "Unhealthy Love of Watchmen"is totally the name of my next band.

     

    Er, first band.

     

    Well, after I learn how to play an instrument.

  74. Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    @Jimski: Responding to your comment from hours ago, but my brother and I pronouced it Mag-netto for years until the cartoon hit the air in the early 90s.  It took several years for Mag-neato to sound right.

    Oh, and on a side note, this whole article (and even all of the responses) reminds me of a scene from James Robinson’s STARMAN #30 in which Jack has a somewhat similar gripe about a different group of people.  Far be it from me to reveal anything about that series that others haven’t read, so I’ll just tell you that the conversation is pretty early on in the STARMAN OMNIBUS Vol. 3.

  75. @flapjaxx-Seriously man, you are way too negative and in serious need of a hug

  76. Aww, c’mon, let’s not hate on people now that they are feinging an interest in comics…oh wait, I’m doing it too…

  77. I don’t think these articles are born out of snobbery, just neurosis. 

  78. I have a couple friends that I know don’t read comics, yet everytime the rest of us talk about comics they try to astound us with their knowledge (which is usually taken from wikipedia lol).  Like Sonia said, this really shows the change in how the general population looks at comics.  It’s not really a bad thing, these friends are trying to get information and learn about something a lot of us care about.  One friend randomly asks me continuity questions (though I think she uses what i tell her to try and impress other geeks lol).  But sometimes it really just gets annoying because its so fake.  The girl talks like she knows but she really has no idea!! Stop trying so hard! Of course this is the same friends that said to me after I told her I was listening to Led Zeppelin, "Oh I really love Led Zeppelin! My favourite songs are House of the Rising Sun and Stairway to Heaven"

    Sorry…I kind of went on a rant…apologies…

  79. I’ve met a few people who have faked knowledge about comics but i think instead of criticizing them i think the correct action is to nudge them into the right direction. in fact i just lent a freind of mine, who’s never really read a comic, my copy of "Fell" and "Madman: Atomic Comics Vol. 1 and 2" since he likes cool artwork. he just told me he loves madman so there yah go

  80. Greatest fuckibg article ever!

  81. One time at one of my daughter’s friend’s birthday party I pretended to be a big fan of Jennifer Lopez movies to try and fit in with all the moms.  It didn’t take them long for them to catch onto my game and I became The Birthday Party Pariah.

    I can’t believe I fell for their trick.  I knew there wasn’t a fucking dinosaur in "The Wedding Planner". 

  82. I understand it’s a joke, but to me this reeks of the people I deal with all the time who liked a band "before they were big" and now complain incessantly that they’re popular.  I decided a very long time ago that the it’s not worth the brain power to be bothered by those sorts of things.  Truly, the complainers irk me a lot more than the "posers".  As @flapjaxx said, attention is good, even if it’s misguided.  It’s the reason the industry remains alive. It’s the reason we got to see a human embodiement of Rorshach (not a likeness. Not a character. He was the goddamned real thing.)  I think the movement is worth the few and far between encounters with disenguine people, who I just shrug off.

    I also VEHEMENTLY disagree with point 2.  I think that’s probably where the brunt of the elitist comments came from, because that broadens things outside just the "posers" and is a little on the attacky side. But I feel like if I continue down that path I’m going to be e-raped. So I’ll leave it alone.

  83. What about if I just buy comics, look at the pictures, then go read reviews and wikipedia to know what actually hapened?

  84. Waiting to see if Sonia goes Josh Flanagan on all y’all!

  85. Do I have a reputation?

  86. Easily my fav article of late.  Always love your stuff Sonia!

  87. heh. well I’m probbly somewhere in the middle. I was never a comic book collecter as a kid (though I had plenty of fellow geek friends who were – but here in the US I collected Dr. Who books & memoriabilia so yes, I’m really truly a geek) but I did read some issues from time to time – read Watchman (as a trade) a long, long time prior to the movie.

    In the 90’s & early 2000’s I missed a ton of great stuff – was busy working, collecting other things and the like, so in the past few years I’ve been slowly building up my collections of trades – Sandman, Y The Last Man, Ex Machina, Lucifer, 100 Bullets, Fables as well as lots of misc other single issues. Some of which, however I haven’t yet filled some gaps – so I’ve been waiting to fill them before I read them – my "to read" stack of trades is rather too long at the moment.

    More recently I’ve started to collect individual issueas as well – The Unwritten for example and I suspect before the summer is out I’ll add a few others (and heck pick a favorite comic store here in SF and establish a Wed pull list).

    So am I comic collector? not entirely – don’t have long boxes, don’t collect any particular superhero book (though I do have some X-Men trades – and love Super hero inspired stories across many mediums – looking forward to the Irredeemable trade later this summer). But I did pick up a Civil War DVD to catch up on continuity… and I’ve been to Wondercon & NYC ComicCon many times in the past few years – but not yet to San Diego (to my chagrin – I’m hoping to go next year)

  88. Is it entirely wrong to have a sense of Elitism when reading comics?

    It’s not like it’s everywhere else. I feel that because I’m not easily swayed to watch a movie because it’s has explosions in it, nor if it won a bunch of awards, and I feel like I’m all the more important consumer because of this. The same goes for comics. Yeah I have my Guilty pleasure books, like Green Lantern, but I enjoy the stuff that has a bigger meaning like Final Crisis, All Star Superman, Kingdom Come, Marvels, and Civil war. I also lean just a smidge towards DC because I feel it’s heroes may not be more realistic, but they are better heroes because they don’t have so many issues, and sometimes are more logical. 

    Heck you could pull this elitism so far back as to your choice of Fast food. Some say BK is better than McDonalds, I feel ChickFilla is the Clear winner in any Fast Food Debate, because they’re a hell of alot healthier.

    Even when picking a book or passing one over, you don’t do that by buying it, reading the single issue, deciding weather it’s worth your monthly 3 bucks or not and go from there. You look at the cover, listen to what other people think and form you’re own opinion before you take it off the shelf.

  89. @CalebTheTimeTraveler – that’s not elitism. That’s choosing a restaurant or book according to things you know you enjoy.

  90. why is the hyphen a big deal? Agent M awas also angry on twitter a few months ago. Also, it’s Ant-man, not Antman. 

  91. Whenever I tell people i buy comics, they always have the same first response: "Do you have any that are worth a lot of money?" It’s like they can’t grasp the concept that I buy comics to READ them, not as a collectible thing. People hear stories of how much old comics from the 40s-60s are worth and they instantly forget the reason comics are made is to tell a story.

  92. @ Chlop: Really what’s the difference. No one says what they love is worse than what someone else loves or enjoys.

  93. That blue guy in Watchmen was the best super hero ever! He is defo my favourite!

    I didn’t like the Hulk films that were based on the original TV show and I didn’t know there were comic books based on the tv show either!

     

  94. I just want people to keep buying books and for the medium to grow, I don’t care how anyone spells something, what they buy or why they buy it. These stories are meant to be enjoyed. Whither they enjoy the stories of Spiderman, Spider-man, Spider-ham or The Human Spider…or the Pro. Either way as long as people are picking up the books, if someone feels to need to prove that they are a "real" fan, I’d say they’re just wasting their time and to go pick up more books. I guess elitism works, but in the end as long as this medium keeps getting readers, wither they are "real" fans or just your average joe picking up Batman because he likes Heath Ledgers Joker, I really don’t give a shit. This medium is far to fragile to try and start kicking people out or placing them into  possibly negative categories. 

  95. I think the critics here are missing the a point of this artice which is that its not about people who you could convert, its not about people who are interested. To me the people Sonia are talking about have no real interest in comics, just an interest in being able to have a point of view (however limited) on something which is trendy. These people would be the same if a niche rock band became popular. They wouldn’t like the band or have any interest in the music but want to be able to talk about something current. 

     Now I may have read it the wrong way but thats what I see. Its not about wheather we are elitist or not and I’m sure Sonia -and anyone else here- would happily answer questions from someone who expresses a genuine interest. 

     I see no value in this kind of interest. The psyche of the type of person we are talking about will never be convinced by anyone becuase the source of their enquiry is not the topic of the question.

     The spelling and true character elements in the list are important but they are more like indicators for fans to recognise one another and for the pedants among us (sorry Sonia). 

  96. I would like to apologise for the bad grammar. I really need to do more gooder proof reading. 

  97. Agree with you 100% Sonia!  If a person likes the recent comic movies but don’t really read comics, then just say that!  Why pretend to like the other?  I’m sure you’d love to discuss the movies or the like! 

    I work with lots of people who like the movies but don’t read the books.  I’ll ask if they want to read some great stories based on the movies they liked, and some will and some won’t. 

    Unless I’m wrong, you just want people to be honest about their interests.  Not a huge demand I think.

  98. @CalebTheTimeTraveler (you asked for it) – reading reviews in order to choose which books might interest you, without even reading them, is being cautious and smart. You know which creators aren’t for you after a while, what subject don’t interest or do interest you etc. You know what you will enjoy and you read reviews to see if what you enjoy is in the books.

    Elitism will be to think that you’re better than someone – like that you’re better than regular pastime comics readers that  didn’t invest the time and effort you invested. There’s a long article about elitism in Wikipedia. Another example would be to dismiss superhero comicbooks or mainstream comics or Marvel and DC’s comics as low brow children fluff.

    I’m probably not phrasing it the best way possible, but giving new books a chance by reading reviews about them doesn’t seem to me like elitism. Choosing books to read by covers is something I’ve done on many occasions mainly in book stores so I’m biased but I did that to have something that makes me want to read the book – I obviously read the back cover and flipped through the books as well. I chose several comicbooks by looking at the cover and sometimes reading the blurb – a roll of the dice I’m willing to make to acquaint myself with new series. I don’t think I ever rejected a book or comicbook I wanted to read because of the cover, and I don’t use that method exclusively in choosing reading material. It’s more used as a "I’m taking a total gamble, I at least want to enjoy something about the book if it turns out to be shit".

    If I didn’t understand and answer your question, please tell me.

  99. What kind of topsy-turvy world are we livin’ in where people would PRETEND to like comics? Wow, I never thought it would come to this … but, to these type people, in 5-10 years when comics arn’t "fashionable" again, they will be pretending to like something else.

    Great article, Sonia & I checked "hell yes" to all four questions! 

  100. I once knew this knew this girl who not only pretended to like comics to seem cool, but also read lots of Wikipedia in order for herself to seem like a comic continuity genius. It was really annoying talking to her, cause she would act like a snobby know-it-all all the time, and even got some info wrong. Like when Iron Man came out, she was saying why it was annoying that Stane was the Iron Monger in the movie and how he wasn’t the Iron Monger in the comics. Like I said, really annoying.

  101. "If you think Storm is kickass because you’re a huge Halle Berry fan," then I pray for your sake you don’t tell STORM about it. 😛

     

    I used to have a co-worker who was like this, although she was just a know-it-all in general. Whenever I was chatting about comics with another co-worker (who used to be into comics when he was a boy and I temporarily got him back into them) she acted like she knew everything there was to know about comics. Or when we were talking about sushi then suddenly she was this big sushi expert. Annoying.

     

    The other thing I tend to get when people find out I’m into comics is "I used to like Spawn. (It seems like it’s always Spawn for some reason.) I bet those must be worth a lot of money by now, huh?" and I’m always like "No, you can actually find all that stuff in the quarter bins nowadays."

  102. Another way to spot these fakes, especially in the movie business is they use the words "graphic novel" way too much, like "comics" are something completely different & still for kids & nerds, but graphic novels are cool!

  103. Great column. It reminds me of a conversation I had a while back with a dumbass coworker. This is — I kid you not — pretty close to word for word.

     DUMBASS: Hey, have you seen that Watchmen movie?

    ME: No, not yet.

    DUMBASS: Really? I thought you were into that stuff.

    ME: Well, yeah, but I’m kind of dreading seeing it. I mean, the comic was close to perfect, and I hear this is pretty much just the Cliff’s Notes version, and so … you know what? Never mind.

    DUMBASS: Oh, well yeah, I read the comic too.

    ME: Really? You did?

    DUMBASS: Well … I mean, I read a summary of it on the Internet, so I pretty much got the idea.

  104. A few years ago while working at circuit city (may she rest in peace) i found myself talking to a coworker about comic book characters.This conversation was brought about by playing marvel vs capcom. We proceeded to talk about the heroes at great lengths. Growing up in the nineties I had seen a lot of marvel and dc cartoons, and hell even a little movie from 97 called Spawn. One of the first things i asked him after he told me that he read comic books was "Does Batman still kill people?" The ony actual memory I had from a real comic book were the few my mother had bought me when i was in third grade, after seeing Spawn i expressed interest in the book, she was happy to oblige. Aside from Spawn and a woman fucking in some giant prehistoric flower {I don’t want to know) was the picture of batman, with ears that were too long, beating someone to death with a board that had a nail in it, while robin cowered. He explained the travesty of Broken Bat to me, as well as the plot points of 1602 and other books. I like to think that this fellow helped get me into the medium, because up until then i had simply assumed comics were the print equivalent of the stories i had already seen in cartoon shows. That there had only been one Robin, that the Justice league only consisted of 7 members, one of them being John Stewart, who was dating Hawkgirl. I supppose I enjoyed this article because I’ve been on both sides of it.

  105. @Chlop: What I’m basically saying is that we all think somewhere that the books we love are better than the books someone else loves. It’s at verying degrees, but it’s still elitism. I think I’m better than those "Idiots" who’ll buy a Frank Miller Book just for his "awesome writing." And your example of someone deciding that they won’t buy a Book depending on a writer or the source material is elitism too, however small it may be. It’s saying that you’re too good for a book, that as Ron has put it once or twice(Not to say this is ideal but he has said it) Magic is Stupid, and he tends to step away from magic because of this. Elitism is usually seen as something that you boost yourself above something, but it can work when you put something on a lower Scale too. 

  106. @CalebTheTimeTraveler – it’s not. If it’s based on reviews and previous experiences than it’s not elitism. Thinking that you’re better than certain people who buy certain books is elitism or snobbery. As for thinking that book A is better than book B – I don’t consider it elitism straight away.

    People might have read both and saw for themselves what each book offers – let’s say that book B offers a mindless romp with cheap jokes, and A offers a well paced realistic looking crime fiction that grabs the reader from the start. Book B is deemed the lesser book because of its lesser effect on the reader – it changes from reader to reader, but you can also check how prevalent  those type of romps are and compare to previous ones. Making an informed decision while giving the books a chance doesn’t seem to me to be elitism. If it’s a "mainstream books suck" unverified hyperbole, than it’s elitism.

  107. Something I have come across many times in the past year or so is people comming up to me and saying something along the lines of "Watchmen is the best graphic novel ever!". While I kinda agree with that statement I still ask "What others have you read?"…they rarely have an answer.

  108. Sonia, I’m a sucker for your writing. Always look forward to your articles.

  109. I always enjoy Sonia’s articles, but this one (and countless threads that followed) just made me sad. Really, the guy who refers to "the naked blue guy" or makes an outdated Batman statement probably isn’t being malicious, trying to upstage you, or trying to be cool. He may be ignorant or hacky, but he’s probably trying to make conversation, which seems like a rational thing for adults to do. Too much of this felt like high school. where people would argue about who was "real" and who was a "poser."

  110. Hmmn. this article bring to mind a time where I  once had a conversation about hand guns with a Yank. I’m British and I’ve never handle a real gun before, and I think they should be universal banned. But I was staying in this guys house and wanted to be polite. I decided there was no harm in finding out more about this  guys passion without imposing my view and we ended up having nice convo… I’m wondering now if there are article like this on a NRA forum somewhere!

  111. I agree with Sonia, Batman is obviously the sexist man ever.

  112. yes i totaly no what you are talking about see im in high school i i sit there in class reading incognito and back to brooklyn the boys and so on and these jocks and other retards interuped me and rable about X-Men movie or Spider-Man like they no what the hell there talking about or the geek poser and you all are saying think they no all about woverine or watchmen or Spider-Men or X-Men cause they saw the movie and there gonna try to tell me im wrong i dont no what im talking about well ok freind i say challege me and there no arguing with these people cause there are so many of them and they all gang up and think there right because mainstream media rables on about how cool comics are lets all do it no comics is a way of life to me not the cool hip thing to do its not a fab you can say thank your for getting it like they rest of you real comic book readers if they want to no what its all about go to a local comic book shop hang out not some mainstream one a reall local one were they no what the hell there talking about like Thirdeye Comics in Annapolis Maryland a onld apartment cut out to a tinny shop now thats the heart of the comic book world the real comic book world im gonna stop now but im not done lol



  113. o ya one more thing im afraid that mainstream media is gonna ruin what comic books are all about i think mtv and all that other shit should but the hell out and there gonna ruin the kickass series just cause the prick who wrote it want all the money he can get sell out now im mad

  114. but we all are still are gonna see it hahaha

  115. i only started reading comics. does that make me a poser. cause i have been interested for years but i only just got a job so i just got the funds to buy them.

  116. @Stepho Well it seems that it depends on the books you buy, if you only buy "Fables" and don’t spell Spider-Man with the "-" then yes apparently you are.

    All joking aside, welcome to this wacky wild world, let us know what you’re reading and how you like it.  

  117. @Jurassicalien I"m buying Dark avengers and the cross over with uncanny X-men, I brought the whole G.I joe cobra mini-series and i have the first 3 The flash: Rebirth. And i intend to buy the first 2 Batman & Robins.

  118. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Stepho – Welcome to comics! 

  119. Oh and i’m really enjoying the psyche of norman osborne i find him really interesting character. i love the way the sentry is just used as a weapon. G.I joe cobra blew me a way i thought it was gonna be crap but i got jack ‘chuckles’ bauer. the flash rebirth is also truly ingaging i love the theory of the speed force and the crossing over of the gold, silver and modern age character. So altogether i’m really ejoying what i’ve brought and can’t wait to see else is too come

     

    Oh and i’m looking forward to dark reign: the list. it’ll introduce me new writers and artist.

  120. I think many people have a tendency, when talking to somebody who’s obviously intelligent and well-spoken and informed on a particular subject, to be intimidated and to act more knowledgable than they really are.  It’s rarely a good or productive solution, but I understand that it often comes from wanting the intelligent, well-informed, and well-spoken person to think well of you.  That may be at least part of what’s going on here.  It would probably be better across the board if people were more wililng to react by admitting ignorance, and doing some listening so that next time they know more.  But it’s generally not the first instinct.

    Or some people are just jerks who have to know everything.  There’s that, too.

  121. @Stepho i just started reading in the beging in febuary but they were always apart of me cause im a big gamer and movie buff but the comics are better to me also see i had your same problem im in high school so of course im broke but now that it is summer i got a good landscapeing job and can blow many checks at the comic book store also i went to a very good shop my first time were it is indepedly owned and not very big and the guy who owned and works there is very cool so i did my reashearch and my first book was "back to brooklyn" very good  mini series by garth ennis then he indroduced me to "incognito" and "the boys" "viking" and "preacher" and stuff like that so i had a good start and no that dosent make you a poser to me because you have to start some were!! 

  122. @Stepho the thing i love about the comic culter everyone is so inviting and nice WELCOME TO COMICS its a famliy out side of your family

  123. @GarthEnnisClone I started reading around the same time as you and just looking at these boards it is so obvious that everybody is welcoming in the comic world. I also have a heavy gaming and movie background so comics came as a natural love.

  124. @stepho same here