- Booster Gold
Monday, September 7, 2020
I realized last week that I am not enjoying comics as much as I once did, as I have for most of my life. I'm not sure it's comics' fault. Twenty-twenty has been a rough year for everyone, and it's still far from over. Maybe I'm just having a mid-year crisis.
The last time I felt this way about comics was in 2011 when the New 52 initiative steamrolled over the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Universe. I got over that (forgiven, not forgotten). Maybe I'll get over this. But there is another, bigger problem that's cropped up since 2011: I don't enjoy going to the comic shop anymore.
A couple of years ago, ownership of my Local Comic Shop changed hands, and the people I used to know who worked and shopped there are long gone. You really don't know what a difference it makes to have a great relationship with your Local Comic Shop until it's gone. Even before the pandemic started, the new management with its new business philosophy began cutting orders to reduce stock beyond pull requests, and I'm starting to discover that they often don't have books I want after final order cutoff. (Not that I want a ton these days. I could complain about so many things, but let's say no monthly ongoing featuring Booster Gold is the tip of that iceberg.)
Comics have gotten expensive enough that I was already watching the proverbial purse strings. Now, in addition to exorbitant cover prices, will I have to add the time cost traveling an hour or more to find the few books I want? Or worse, will I need to add the price of shipping to any future acquisitions? If I didn't already have a basement full of long boxes holding decades of stories, I might consider going digital, but the publishers charge the same price for paper as they do for DRM rentals. After decades of being told that by publishers we have to pay more for the good paper, there's no way I'm paying the same price for a comic "printed" on virtual pixels. (I assume the publishers do that to appease the direct marketeers. I, however, am not one of those, and I feel very unappeased.)
That's all to say that it's starting to become a hassle for me to get my hands on the comics that I'm not even sure I want to read anymore, and I'm frustrated that I don't have any good solutions for those problems right now. Maybe I will later.
Can 2020 please end soon?
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