Wednesday, November 09, 2005

It's the Ads!

I’m a bit of a nerd and dork at heart.  Right now I’m watching Earth 2 in my spare time (an underground sci-fi favorite), playing Doom III on Xbox, and every night before I go to bed I read a few comic books.  I sound more like a college or high school kid instead of the grown-up mid-20’s business person that I am.

Every month I throw down around $75 on comics.  Sometimes more, sometimes less.  I’ve recently started moving more to reading original graphic novels and indie comics as opposed to comics that come from Marvel, the #1 comics publisher in the game right now, which I used to get most of my comics from. Part of me is doing this because I get a real kick out of the varied types of stories that indie publishers put out.  Another part is that I enjoy having an entire story in one volume instead of waiting for multiple issues to get the entire thing.  Lastly, I’m giving up on a lot of mainstream comics because of the ads.

That’s right, it’s the ads.  They’re getting to the point where they’re just utterly obnoxious and there are more pages of ads then story in your average Marvel comic.  David Hine points out in this month’s iteration of his Yakkity Yak column.  For a regular 22 page story, there is 27 pages of ads.  That’s just not acceptable.  And it’s also pretty damn hard to ignore.

I hate reading current Marvel comics because the flow is so scattershot and you’re constantly being bombarded with ads that it’s pretty hard to stay into the story.  At times it feels like you bought a catalog that has a small story in it to make your browsing for stuff “fun”.  

What’s really attractive about Image and many of the smaller indie publishers is that they have the story printed on 22 or so straight pages and then have advertisements at the end of the comic.  This way the story flows like the writers and artists intended and a reader feels like they’re getting a full story without having to suffer through ad after ad just to get to the next page of the story.

So in the end, I guess what I’m trying to say is that advertisements are fine and I know they are essential to keeping the price of comics reasonable, but it’s unacceptable to have more pages of ads than story, and to have stories so broken up by ads that they’re almost unreadable.  And Marvel wonders why people are switching over to reading trade paperbacks instead of the monthlies… they don’t have to deal with all the damn ads.

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