When I published the previous entry entitled “Podcasting and the Value of Intent” just over a month ago, I felt a sort of gut catharsis that I got enough of my thoughts on the matter to be coherent enough to actually make sense. But later on I realized that I had only tackled half of the matter, making this thematic “sequel” necessary. And by necessary I don’t mean all will be right in the universe once I hit ‘post’, it just means my OC-ness can take a breather or two. So… onward with the talking very seriously about very silly things.
When Reading Comics (!), sure it’s all well and good to be mindful of the creator’s intent when you’re reading his product, but the other more important half of the equation is what you yourself intend to get out of it. What are your intentions every time you pick up a comic book to read it? Simply put, what do you expect to get out of the experience?
To backtrack a little bit, the idea of this blog post was actually sparked when I saw a comic fan absolutely panning a graphic novel on his website, almost to the point that you thought it was personal. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought that whoever made that book had snuck into that gentleman’s house in the dead of night and farted in his pillow while he was asleep. And nobody likes that (I checked). But the point in its totality clarified itself to me when this vitriolic pedant did nothing but sing high praises for the likes of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. Now that is all well and good, and I agree that those two are quite talented, but (and spoiler alert) not everyone can be Moore and Morrison.
And that brings me back to asking you what you expect to get from a comic. Coz look… if you buy a stack every week, sit down on your comfiest chair and sip on your loveliest beverage, and expect to read Watchmen every time you open a book, you’re going to be disappointed every. single. time.
Are you after closure? Maybe you shouldn’t be reading Spider-Man then. Are you after realism? Are you after grit? Understand that a comic can tell you a story along that line the best way it knows how, but also understand that a comic book may also not necessarily be the best place to decisively deal with something like hunger in Africa.
Set your expectations. Or better yet, learn not to have any and just let the comic do its job and tell you a story. Do not, and this is something I myself am guilty of sometimes, try to think ahead of the story. That can be fun and engaging, but depending on what kind of person you are it affects its own set of annoyances and grievances I’d rather not get into in this post.
To know what you want is to know your place. Enjoy the Ride and Quit being a bitch.