Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A comics-buying challenge for you!

I'm all fired up about comics now because I read the collected edition of Warren Ellis's five-year-old column for Comic Book Resources, Come In Alone. Now, despite the fact that I read it right after I read the two trade paperbacks of Ellis's run on Ultimate Fantastic Four, which was kind of dull and invalidated a lot of what he said five years ago, it still got me fired up. So I am challenging you, gentle readers. Yes, a challenge! Consider yourself slapped across the face with some sort of cyber-glove.

Many of you will be heading to your local comics shoppe tomorrow to pick up your weekly dose of the drug that keeps on giving. Yes, there are those of you who have completely moved over to what I like to call "The Dark Side" - buying everything in trades - and there are some of you who get your comics through mail order, like your women, and there are still others of you who make the pilgrimage only once a month or so - you can't cleanse your sins that way, people! But for those of you who make the trip once a week, a challenge:

1. You may not buy anything with characters in it that were in print over ten years ago. That's ANY character. The ONLY exception to this rule is if the same writer and/or artist who created the character is working on it. There's a new issue of Cerebus coming out, right?

2. You must buy at least one book you have NEVER read before. I don't care what it is. It must only conform to Rule #1.

Now, I'm not saying you can't buy your usual books. If the 657th issue of Fascinating Destructo-Man comes out tomorrow and you just have to find out if he saves Limpid Lass from the evil clutches of the Menacing Crotch-Grabber, that's fine. Buy it on Thursday. Put it in your subscription box and buy it next week. I have no idea what's coming out tomorrow - that's Brian and his Posse's job to find out - but long-time readers know I am digging David Lapham's run on Detective. If it comes out tomorrow, however, I will put it in my box and not get it until next week.

I will share with you tomorrow what I bought and how I answered the challenge. I encourage you all to do the same in the comments section. See what is out there, ladies and gentlemen! And if it means you don't buy ANY comics, well, there are worse things in the world. Accept the CHALLENGE!

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Anonymous The Menacing Crotch-Grabber said...

Hey, you better buy my book! Or I'll find you and live up to my name!

10/25/2005 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

My new, never-before-read comic, added to my pull-list sight unseen?

The 1000 Deaths of Baron Von Donut.

For the title alone, it sounded worth a shot.

10/25/2005 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Damn you, Greg, for forcing us to think outside our boxes! Boxi. Boxyness. Boxosity. Whatever.

I'm going with Noble Causes. I've heard it's good.

Of course, I also heard the same thing about Sea of Red and Jack Cross, and I can still smell those comics from here.

10/25/2005 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger chasdom said...

Ok. Looking at my own shopping list, let's see. Violates rule #1:


Satisfies rule #1 on the Cerebus exemption*:


Satisfies rule #1, but not rule #2:


Satisfies rule #2:


Night Fisher and the Ignatz books (Baobab, Innocent Ones, and the absent Insomnia) are actually being promoted as new and original, so that fits the challenge perfectly.

And I definitely support the idea of devoting a week to only new and fresh concepts. However, presumably anyone who is interested in the forward development of the comics medium would already be an active seeker of new works, no? Am I naive on that notion?

* Would something like Essential Fantastic Four #1 fit into this concept? Still by the original creators, but those creators have since been replaced? [And no, Cerebus hasn't been published in over a year].

10/25/2005 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Yeah, I was joking about Cerebus. I couldn't think of such a long-running series by the originals. I'm not sure about Fantastic Four Essentials. It's not new, however, so I doubt if many people will be going out to specifically buy that.

And sure, people should be looking for new things all the time. I do it, but anyone can get stuck in a rut, even with good stuff. This is just something to get you out of that rut, even if it's only temporary. I get stuck in a rut all the time.

10/25/2005 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Bugger #1, but I'll look out for something that fits #2.

10/25/2005 06:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chasdom: "Satisfies rule #1 on the Cerebus exemption*"

"The Cerebus Exemption" sounds like a Ludlum novel...

10/25/2005 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Shane Bailey said...

No thanks on rule number one, but I follow rule number two almost every trip to the store.

10/26/2005 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger Singles said...

"The 1000 Deaths of Baron Von Donut."

I think that's an Arsenic Lullaby book, from AAA Milwaukee Publishing. Twisted humour in short story form, ususally with nothing to actually tie the stories together. I picked up this one and others from them at WW Chicago, and its definately worth the price. they've got a site with samples at www.arseniclullabies.com

10/26/2005 02:06:00 AM  
Anonymous stéphane said...

I do this everytime I buy comics, is this supposed to be like a revolutionary idea to open peoples eyes to what's really out there? Why did it take an outside source to get you excited about comics when you write a comics blog?

Well I hope it people try it- even though not considering experimenting until you're told to is beyond me.

I just find comics THE medium for diversity because of the volume of material and cheapness of the product, but I spose some people don't see it that way. Hey- be a BIG rebel and find one written and/or drawn by a woman!

10/26/2005 02:16:00 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I'm usually excited about comics, stephane, but occasionally the weekly grind gets me down. So you're saying you never buy ANYTHING with Batman in it? With any superhero? If you can say that, you're a better comic buyer than I am, and that's fine. I just think that too often (and I know I'm right, because people admit it here and elsewhere) that we buy stuff simply because:

1. We want the whole run of a comic, whether it's good or not;
2. We buy something because 20 years ago someone wrote the character well and we hope the new series brings that back.

Anyway, there are lots of people experimenting out there, but there are also lots of people who aren't. I will just be curious to see if anyone does this and then tells us all what they got and whether they've found anything new that they might want to buy.

10/26/2005 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Matt Brady said...

Well, I went today before I read this post, and I broke rule #1 with JLA Classified, Runaways, and Solo. Normally Runaways wouldn't break it, but this issue features Cloak (and Dagger?). Actually, I also got The Losers, but I don't think that one counts, since only the title falls under the rule, not the characters.

I satisfied rule #2 with Fear Agent and Loveless.

I also got Silent Dragon, Sea of Red, and Jack Cross. Haven't read anything yet.

10/26/2005 05:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Eli said...

OK, so you got me to buy Sea of Red. Now someone has to tell me what the hell is going on in it. Who are these people?

10/26/2005 05:34:00 PM  
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