Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Why are comics like Canadian Politics?

They both have grown men with logos. Thankfully only one of them has a lot of spandex.

Seriously though my current job is with a political party and I’m seeing a lot of parallels. The irate members (giggle). The righteous indignation. The “I’ve been a member for longer than you therefore I know more than you.” The response, of “well you’re the one whose complaining so obviously there’s something wrong with you.” The attitude of “let’s treat everyone like an open wallet.”

Personally I see both realms as having simple solutions. The more voices taking part, the better off we all are. Yes, I know there are really just two really big voices in North American comics who are more or less the same (which is surprisingly like politics again). But look at the amount of selection that is out there now that just wasn’t there before. Don’t like one genre try another. The simple fact is that there is a way more choice out there now than ever before. And not only currently produced stuff, we have access to a great back catalogue of materials.

I was at a presentation about voter turn out that made some really interesting points. When there were only two political parties there was higher levels of voter turn out. Lack of true choice is not a valid argument these days. I’ve listed all the registered political parties in Canada on this site, and there are two more that are eligible to be registered. There is more choice than ever now. I think there is the same with comics. When there was less choice, there were more people buying them. Now there are less people buying them but way more choice of materials to buy if you are lucky enough to have access to all of it. This is the same if you are lucky enough to have a candidate from each of the parties in your riding.

The thing is, simply bitching about the current state of affairs (although fun) just doesn’t cut it for me. I’ve heard it one too many times in my 9-to-5 for criticism without offering an alternative to hold a lot of water with me anymore. My theory is you can always speak with your feet and walk away. Trust me, this has an impact. If you stop buying something, it will be felt. You can try to change things by complaining about them but lets face it, when was the last time someone complained you into agreeing with them? Was it like, never? Same here.

Yes, I agree this whole crossover into the house of infinity event is tiring and easy to make fun of but what is the alternative. I think this is an opportunity for us, as a community, to find new adventures. Since we’re not making the things we can have our say as consumers and try buying something else. Looking for new voices, new stories? Then let’s do a bit of footwork and try to find some of them on the shelves, or on the internet and request them.

So there’s a question for everyone. If you’re tired of Crossover Event to End All Crossover Events Forever, Again, what do you think you’ll try instead? Me, I’m thinking of picking up Godland, and getting around to reading more Hellboy, Y: The Last Man and Fables. Please, make some recommendations.

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