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View Full Version : What's Wrong With Soap Opera?



Scott Wegener
01-14-2006, 02:29 PM
Hey all. I posted this over at Image on Remender's BB but it got me thinking so much that I thought I would post it here also. The dynamics here are a lot different so I'm really interested to see how you react -and I'm just in the mood for a good comic book discussion. :-?

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Damn guys, I couldn't even get through all five pages of the post about Spider Man's new costume. I've never quite understood all the negative emotions attached to Marvel and DC products.

I don't want to get a fight going here, but I am honestly curious to know what's up with that? I don't currently read any Marvel or DC titles on a regular basis, but I don't seeth with contempt for anything they do -well, maybe Marvel 1602, (j/k).

I think most of us probably cut our teeth on one or more of the iconic DC/Marvel books, right? I know for me it was Jim Lee's X-Men, which lead to me finding Marc Silvestri's earlier run on the title, and Alan Davis' work on Excalibur. These days its Powers, Hellboy, Fear Agent, Fell, Walking Dead, and an odd peppering of TPBs that I pick up at random when they interest me.

My point is, before that first X-Men issue, I was limited to a very little manga (Anything my Matsamune Shiro) and stuff like TMNT, Gizmo, and Grendel. I possibly never would have moved into some more mainstream stuff without that Marvel "garbage".

There are two big gripes that I hear all the time: 1.) Quality is low, and 2.) Nothing ever changes.

To the first I will say this; Just because a comic book is Indie or small press does not mean it doesn't suck. Like all pop culture media 95% of what the comic book industry spews out is garbage. In that respect comics are like music, TV, or movies. I have to wonder why a company like Marvel that can afford to pay for higher quality art doesn't make the extra investment for their more popular books -maybe because the sales are already decent? I don't know anything about how DC operate, so no comment there.

As for the second; yeah that's true, nothing really changes. Classic soap-opera is not meant to change, or if it does, it is done within a very narrow scope. That's what keeps them accessable to each generation of new readers. I actually think Marvel's Ultimate line is a really good idea -even if the execution of that idea is not the greatest. Aside from The Ultimates TPB's (Brian Hitch's art is spectacular) I can't get into them, but the idea is not bad.

And, as I noted earlier, without those never-changing war horses would we (the readers) ever move on to more mature works?

What are your experiences and ideas on this? How about you guys who are working in the industry, (Brian, Rick, Tony, John, etc.)? You guys are "livin' the dream" (and subsisting on Romin). What are your thoughts?