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Return of the Knave
Drink It Black
Monday, 23 March 2009
Cork age

You may think that a comic collector is as likely to pull that rare edition out of its Mylar snug to read, as a coin collector is to use change from their collection to buy a pint of milk, or a stamp collector is to whack that Penny Black on a letter to family. There is that attitude, but comic collectors aren't exclusively speculative or precious in the way they behave.

Gradually accruing more kitcsh surrounding a beloved character while reading less of their adventures doesn't happen often. If you really love a character, you'll queue for the movie and wear the t-shirt.

There is that version of the collector who ends up having to trawl for cardboard cutouts of the character they've chosen to collect that would otherwise not be likely to find a place in the rumpus room.

Readers are neither as fixated or loyal as collectors. They'll snap up the stories they want to read (and re-read) and they'll smartly drop a book at the first sign of trouble.

Buyers need not show that much interest. As long as they don't confuse  Cherry with Cherry Poptart  there should be no harm done.*

The intended reader knows it's fantasy. Cyclops may have cool powers but he was born that way through a genetic deviation. And 'wearing rose coloured glasses' was only ever intended as a metaphor - you wouldn't really like having a permanent red mist before your eyes. I also think that having powers like that almost requires that you have someone like Brotherhood of Evil Mutants on the opposing side - destructive eyebeams may not give Aung San Suu Kyi her rightful leadership of Burma any more than existing weaponry.

[*whoops!]

The seller can be counting his stock and almost divorced from the excitement of waiting for the next issue (other than the fact that this is when he will make his money), provided he knows the difference between Felix the Cat and Fritz the Cat. Whatever incidental example a character like the Beast proves to be, with his combination of rough exterior and loquatiousness, the business of telling a good story is the main thing required.

That is adopting the principle that a readership will gravitate toward quality storytelling, which is not the sole reason for the reader, less so the buyer.


Posted by berko_wills at 2:55 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 12 May 2009 11:23 PM NZT
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