Editor’s note: This is the third installment of John Crowley’s “A Year in Comics.” Part one here, part two here

Nothing good ever happens on a monthly basis. Periods, lunar cycles, my Netflix payment, my aunt’s recurring Facebook request to play something called “Pet Rescue Saga.” Doing anything on a monthly basis is too frequent to be special, but not frequent enough to be important. It’s easy to forget and too long to wait for. In short monthlies are the worst thing ever. Right there with the extinction of dinosaurs and damp socks. At this point I think you’re pickin’ up what I’m putting down. Monthly comic issues have to go; just put out a paperback.

Have you ever tried to watch a YouTube video that didn’t load very fast? Was it annoying? I’ll bet. So if the Internet got rid of that problem 3 years ago, why haven’t  comics nixed their version (of 70+ years): The monthly serial. Each month when I download the latest issue of Batman, Flash, or Justice League, I’ve already forgotten what happened in the last comic. I guess and assume my way through the issue like I’m having to explain a child’s painting, in front of him, while on a stage, to a room full of strangers. By the 3rd week into an arc, it’s anybody’s guess as to why the clown with no face is torturing a family of foster children dressed as winged creatures. Six months later, when the story is finally over, it’s like revisiting a fight from college. Nobody cares or remembers why it started so they’re not all that interested in how it ends. Modern comics are too complex and thoughtful to be distributed like common soup kitchen flyers. The stories are broken up in unnatural ways and it forces a structure that isn’t needed. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s the single worst thing about my comics experience. Comics have reached a new level and it’s time to treat them as such.

I have no idea if would make business sense, but switching over to paperbacks woul help the medium achieve the serious recognition it deserves. They’d seem more like books and be easier for people to begin reading. It’s a lot simpler to order a trade paper back on Amazon than to track down six individual issues. Not to mention it’s easier to put other book’s covers on a paper back than a single issue.

Oh, and good luck sorting through all of these still thinking anyone will look at you in a sexual way ever again.

Oh, and good luck sorting through all of these still thinking anyone will look at you in a sexual way ever again.

And maybe it’s lazy. I could reread the previous issues in the arch. But why does comics have to be a medium that makes it as difficult as possible be enjoyed. It almost makes you wonder if it’s not that comic books are too confusing, but that it’s the fact most people haven’t had to remember that much information for so long since they memorized everything on their fake ID. I have enough trouble with real person names, how do you expect me to remember four imaginary ones from five months ago.

Honestly. I’m willing to admit that I could just be an idiot who has no idea what he’s talking about, given how little he reads. But, I’m also a fresh eye. Representative of the new way people are entering comic culture. Or maybe I’m a lone idiot who should get punched in the shoulder for saying something stupid; and embarrassing the friend who invited him. That said, these are my feels. Monthly issues do a disservice to story and to the medium. Publish more “graphic novels” and phase out single issues.

No one asked and I answered. I’ve been reading comics for a year and that is what I think.

About The Author

Having recently discovered the adulthood phenomenon of disposable income, figured that, after getting a 401k, treating himself to comics was the perfect way to embrace being a grown-up. He lives in Washington, DC.

Comments are closed.