Suffering from crossover fatigue?

>> Friday, November 6, 2009

I love this ad on the back of Abe Sapien: The Haunted Boy. Dark Horse Comics is promoting nine of its fall titles as one-shot stories you can buy without having to worry about crossovers or continuing story lines. Crossovers--storylines that crossover from one comic title to one or more titles (often MANY more)--are one of the reasons I no longer collect the superhero comics I used to enjoy.

I got so tired of collecting a book--The Flash, say, or Wonder Woman--and finding three or four of the twelve yearly issues hijacked by the story occurring in some other book I didn't collect. That left me with a choice: buy the other books to understand the story, or suffer through (and pay for) months of meaningless story while I waited for normal continuity to be restored.

So I made the decision to just stop buying the comics. Now, if I want to read any of those stories, I wait for the trade paperbacks to come out. Yes, it's sometimes a year or more before these books come out. But it doesn't matter. I just stay away from the discussions about current continuity, and get to them when I can. (Much like watching a series on Netflix, rather than on cable.)

I understand why comics companies love crossovers--they want comics readers to buy ALL their comics, not just selected titles. But if the comics companies want to know why so many people are no longer collecting the monthly issues, they need to understand that some of us just aren't going to play that game. In the meantime, kudos to Dark Horse for realizing the backlash in the comics community to crossovers and producing comics you can read as stand-alones! Hit your local comics shop and give one of them a try.


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