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How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

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How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

Old 03-04-19, 11:10 AM
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How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

Hope I don’t come off as an elitist or snob here, I think most of you will agree with my basic point, but please feel free to call me out.

I’ve always been confused as to why the big two still dominate as much as they do. I love them, but since nothing can ever really change, the ceiling on their quality is lower than independent fare. They are basically the soap operas of comic books, the popcorn fluff of graphic literature.

I guess it’s why soap operas still survive and broad comedies still do well on TV, people want the sure 5/10, instead of risking a 1/10 in search of the above average fare.

That said, old habits die hard, and my vast collection is still over half big two. I’m probably about:

40% independent
40% DC
20% Marvel
Old 03-04-19, 11:16 AM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

None at the moment in singles. But I’ll be they’re a good portion of my digital purchases since they’re on sale more often.
Old 03-04-19, 11:25 AM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

I mean the weakness you call out in the big two, that nothing can ever really change, is because these characters are iconic, and that's also the reason why people will flock to them for superhero fare (along with the expansive, connected universe). The other major problem they have, the obsessive continuity, is also one of the biggest draws to fans.

I wouldn't necessarily say that the ceiling on their quality is limited by the "nothing ever changes" mantra, because we've seen high quality work from the big 2; if anything, the superhero genre is what really holds them back. But if you don't like superheroes and love comics then you're probably a bigger fan of Image or the independents.

I can't begin to imagine what percentage of my books are from the big 2, but it's probably smaller than a lot of superhero fan because I buy a ton of manga.
Old 03-04-19, 12:43 PM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

The bulk of my reading the last few years has reading through all of the Marvel Universe starting with FF #1, as well as other select classic runs I had never read before. This is for a few reasons: 1. I'm interested in the history aspect and how Marvel revitalized super heroes in the 60's (particularly interested in Jack Kirby's work), 2. Access to the material thanks to large omnibus/epic collections, Amazon sales and Marvel Unlimited, and 3. I like Marvel best. Always have.

There's plenty of great independent stuff out there and I've read my share of it. The majority of new comics I read (which isn't really much) is heavily weighted in favor of Independent. The most recent Marvel comic I've read was probably Secret Invasion, which was what, 2008? As to why I don't read more independent stuff? Eh. I don't really follow the current comics scene at all, so I don't know what's good. And again, I've got thousands of Marvel Comics to keep me busy, so why spend the extra money.
Old 03-04-19, 01:04 PM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

Mostly DC, then Marvel, GI Joe from IDW and the ladies of Dynamite.
Old 03-04-19, 01:28 PM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

When I first started collecting as a kid, it was mostly DC and a few Marvels. A few years in, it shifted to Marvel first, then DC's. Didn't touch many, if any independents back then. I don't read as much now, but I am mostly drwan to the independents. Walking Dead is the main one I'll read, but I also check out a lot of other non super hero stories from Image and a few other random publishers. Marvel and especially DC storylines tend to be too reptitive now focusing on major events and crossovers. I miss the days when you could go to the store and just pick up a random iss and it would have a full story complete in a signle issue. Marvel and DC rarely if ever do that anymore.
Old 03-04-19, 01:35 PM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

Originally Posted by fujishig
I wouldn't necessarily say that the ceiling on their quality is limited by the "nothing ever changes" mantra, because we've seen high quality work from the big 2; if anything, the superhero genre is what really holds them back. But if you don't like superheroes and love comics then you're probably a bigger fan of Image or the independents.
There is a ton of great work at Marvel and DC. My desert island top ten would include a few DCs and one Marvel. (Hey, have we done that thread lately?)

But except for a few outliers, I just think the fact that they can’t really change the heroes permanently holds them back. Smaller publishers don’t have those limitations, and I think you could argue that they’re better, overall, even in the superhero genre.

Maybe I’m talking in terms of quantity to quality ratio. With hundreds of thousands of superhero stories over the years, the big two have cranked out a few 10/10s. But generally I feel like even their great stuff is maybe 6/10s at best. Marvel or DC stories can be great, but I always have that feeling in the back of my head that they could be so much better if they could have actual consequences or finality.

A work of fiction that can’t have an ending is crippled.

Maybe I just feel bad for superhero fans who haven’t read things like Invincible, The Spirit, Astro City, the Mignolaverse, the Valiant stuff, 5 Ghosts, etc.
Old 03-04-19, 06:21 PM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

I have not bought any floppies for awhile, but of my old collection I would probably say that it would break down about 60% DC, 30% Marvel and 10% independents. If I did it today, it would probably be 70% DC, 20% Indy'sl and 10% Marvel. For whatever reason, not a single thing that Marvel is doing interests me anymore outside of Punisher and Daredevil.
Old 03-04-19, 08:01 PM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

0% Marvel or DC

I was originally a reader who wanted things to remain the status quo, like how the episodes of ST: TNG were.

As a long time reader though, things become too glaringly inconsistent. As a kid you just accept all these changes, but as an adult you see that the story changes based on the whims of the editor, company, or biases of a new creative team. For me, what's the point of investing myself in the story if everything can be undone with the next upcoming creative team?
Old 03-05-19, 12:06 AM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

I was always a Marvel guy, but starting with Pacific Comics in the very early 80's I was willing to give the smaller companies a shot.

I tried Image, Ultraverse, etc, in the 90's, and thought they were OK, but the characters just weren't there. Only a few came close to the quality of characters that Marvel and DC had.

What struck me was how these lines were more of an ego stroke for their creators than attempts at making great new superhero characters and stories.

When I stopped buying comics in the late 90's (the undoing of Amazing Spider-Man 149 & 150 was what finally turned me away - that and the endless, needless crossover stories among titles that I wouldn't otherwise buy) I quit cold turkey. The only comics I bought since then were back issues of 60's through 80's comics that I didn't already have.

Now I'm just into the Omnibus, Masterworks, TPB thing, but if an independent company had some great stuff that was fun to read as well as having great characters and stories I'd be willing to give them a shot in a TPB if they had one. But I'm mostly into superhero stuff, so I don't know if I'm going to find anything that stacks up with what the Big 2 came up with in the past.
Old 03-05-19, 10:15 AM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

Originally Posted by B5Erik
I was always a Marvel guy, but starting with Pacific Comics in the very early 80's I was willing to give the smaller companies a shot.

I tried Image, Ultraverse, etc, in the 90's, and thought they were OK, but the characters just weren't there. Only a few came close to the quality of characters that Marvel and DC had.

What struck me was how these lines were more of an ego stroke for their creators than attempts at making great new superhero characters and stories.

When I stopped buying comics in the late 90's (the undoing of Amazing Spider-Man 149 & 150 was what finally turned me away - that and the endless, needless crossover stories among titles that I wouldn't otherwise buy) I quit cold turkey. The only comics I bought since then were back issues of 60's through 80's comics that I didn't already have.
Agreed on the early Image stuff. Most of it was just fluff. Really poor storytelling and stock characters and personalities. They were basically just showcases for how well the newer artists could draw. Most of them were could artists but they pushed the enveloped on how over exaggerated they could make the characters physiques, accessories, and body posture.

I pretty much gave up buying monthly floppies around the middle of the Clone Saga as well. Spider-man was my favorite character through most of my collecting and this story line just got too drawn out and everything was getting retconned and then the retcons would be retconned. It made Spider-man no longer a character you relate too. After that, I barely bought much else and was only visiting comic book shops once every 3 months at most and would hardly if ever buy anything. One More Day has pretty much taken away any chance that Spider-Man can get back to being the character it was before the clone saga, and it's hard to read any event comic from Marvel or DC now without thinking in the back of your mind that no matter what changes they do or who dies, a reset button will eventually be hit and they will revert back to some point years earlier with no real progression.

Around the same time as the Clone Saga was going on, Valiant Comics was just passed their heyday. They were going great with good story lines and slow and steady growth in their universe. Then they fired Jim Shooter and everything fell apart. They went back on their promise about excessively reprinting older books and they just tried to push out too many new titles in a short period of time without regard to quality in those books. I wonder what Valiant would have been like today if Jim Shooter had stayed at the helm and wasn't pushed out of the company. I doubt it would have fallen as hard as it did with a few short months to a year like it did.
Old 03-07-19, 12:04 PM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

Mostly the big two, not because of their characters, but because they seem to have better talent, or artist who got better when they go over to the big two, as I follow artists/writers more than I do any character. That being said, many writers I love, like Ed Brubaker, will to go over indies, and I'll follow them there too.
Old 03-07-19, 04:37 PM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

What properties are out there(from the 1950s,1960s and 1970s) that either DC and Marvel would love too own and be kind enough to have these made into Omnibuses?

I would love too see Dell/Gold Key comics from the 1960s made into omnibuses(some might be available,not sure),
Old 03-07-19, 04:52 PM
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Re: How much of your comic collecting/reading is “the big two”? And why?

I've made no bones about it that outside of superhero fare, I really don't read comic books. So I will read independent comic books with superheroes, but the indie comic book market typically has a decidedly different mix of subject matter that doesn't interest me. I look towards novels when going outside superhero entertainment.

So I'd guess that 85-90% of what I read in comic book form comes from the Big Two.

About the only exception are books by Alan Moore working outside the superhero field. Moore's From Hell is the single best work I've ever read in the graphic novel/comic book medium.

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