Have a drink. It might help that mortis attitude of yours.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Good Art vs. Good Business pt. 2

O.k. so I’m back after a little time off. I actually was hoping that if I left up the posting about the request I would get more drawings. Still waiting the first. That’s neither here nor there though and since the wedding isn’t till May you have plenty of time to e-mail one to thosewednesdays@gmail.com should you want to.

Onto other things. So I was reading Justice League of America. I don’t know about everyone else but I have been enjoying the relaunch. Yeah, it started off a little slowly, a little frayed but now that all the story threads are coming together man it’s great. Benes pencils for the “gearing up” page ending with an excited Hawkgirl saying, “I’ll get my mace.” Well, let’s just say it made me giggle like a schoolgirl.

However, there was this moment at the beginning of the comic when I found myself scanning the first few pages. After all I had already read them in an online preview. This brings me to my second part of Good Art vs. Good Business.

If you are like me you check Newsarama, CBR, and other websites once a day…o.k. maybe two or three times a day…o.k. at least once an hour. Yes, I check all the time in hopes that I am first person to read a new post and have for just that split second information that only the writers and the interviewer. I don’t know why it makes me so happy but it does. This brings us to the problem with previews, three or four pages of upcoming comics released by the publishers.

We love previews and not just in comics. We love seeing the first fifteen minutes of movies and television shows weeks before they come out. The publishers dangle hints and peeks at us and we bite. We chew and taste and if the morsel is tasty enough we’re hooked. Movie ticket bought, television watched or, in this specific case, comic sold. We have solicitations three months before the comic comes out, we have hints from interviews so why do we need to see the actual comic? Because in a world of an increasingly smaller comic market you need to get as many readers a possible, you need to make that morsel tastier. That’s good business.

A good comic takes you in. You all know it. You see a great cover, you read the comic once, maybe twice. Before you know it thirty-five minutes have passed your fiancé is yelling about dinner, you have eight missed calls and you realize you’ve had to pee for awhile. Or maybe that’s just me. Regardless of what your actual experience is you know the feeling of being so enraptured by good movie, book or whatever that you actively seek it out. You seek that moment, it’s the product of good art.

Here is the problem: previews steal that moment. I’m reading along, I’m enjoying and then, “Hey, I’ve already read this.” I start to skim and then it takes me time to get back into the experience. Comics for all their wonderfulness are a brief medium, twenty-two pages that go quickly. Any time taken reduces the impact of a particular story. Good art induces impact but previews, which are a function of good business, steal that impact.

The solution: Stop reading previews. I’m not sure that will happen though.


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