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Daily Archives: October 22, 2010

The latest thing that’s killing comics

Nah, it’s not webcomics or big crossovers or the usual culprits for once. Over at The Beat, there’s a new theory: too many good reviews.

The general crap economy and general malaise among many comics series are mentioned, and a new threat is raised: too many comics that were lauded on the internet. According to a theory espoused by several commenters, over the last two or three years, a whole class of must read books were promoted by internet reviewers — and a lot of people got on board, only to find they are now on “bored.” reader “QwayLewd” advances the theory:

I’ve cut way back, but it’s more to do with my personal stack problem. I went on a buying orgy the last 3-5 years, spurred on, to no small degree, by iFanboy and other online communities and podcasts. I sloooowwly realized the need to downshift because of that finite resource: my time. Have others experienced this? Is there a slow deflation of the comics bubble that resulted from the “new golden age” of the past several years.

Reader “AvengersAssemble” backs it up:

I completely agree! The internet reviews and online trade buying made it so simple to find a good jumping on point!
Some 2 years ago I read the one or other great-awesome-cheering review and instantly bought 3-4 trades to get in and catch up.
It was just during the last 1 1/2 years, I more and more realized, how crappy those titles have gotten /been-are at some times.

We really are onto something, aren’t we?

I sorta sympathize with The Beat’s and “QwayLewd”‘s position. It’s why I don’t subscribe to the general theory that “only good webcomics should be reviewed” … hence why this site makes serious effort to mix negative reviews in with my positive ones to temper the perspective.

I do wonder though: can webcomics also fall victim to the same malaise? Good word of mouth only gets readers so far before the fatigue sets in. And remember that qualifier that “QwayLewd” put in his quote: it isn’t so much the economy as it is “time.” That’s a limitation you can’t escape whether you pick up a comic from the store or read it on the internet.

In fact, I wonder if the effect may be magnified in webcomic world. After all, there’s probably a thousand webcomics for every print comic out there. Which means way more recommendations from blogs like the Webcomic Overlook and online communities on the hot new thing to read. Does the online nature of webcomics accelerate readers’ fatigue?

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