Friday, December 31, 2004

Requiem for a calendar year

Here are 10 things I've learned from reading all these depressing eulogies to the year in comics, and from spending the past 365 days on this, the Internets:

1. Identity Crisis and Avengers Disassembled apparently* were dog shit, signaling the end of civilization as we know it (or else heralding the beginning of some arcane and arbitrary era that geeks later will dub the Tin Age or Copper Age or Looked Silly In Leather Anyway Age).

2. Manga still isn't a fad. (Is anyone outside the occasional Spandex disciple on a comics message board still claiming that it is one? I think we can safely retire this item before our 2005 in Review.)

3. DC and Marvel canceled some really, really good titles but let some really, really bad ones continue. **

4. Waiting for the trade is killing the industry, but graphic novels are its future.

5. Likewise, superhero movies and "mainstream respectability" will either save every one of us, or ruin the medium. Or maybe both. (5a. Catwoman is the new Ishtar.)

6. No one seems to know what the "New Mainstream" is, but that doesn't prevent them from using the term. A lot. (Still, it's not GnuMarvel, and for that I'm grateful.)

7. Eventually, every man, woman and child will interview Art Spiegelman, Marjane Satrapi and Joe Quesada.

8. The world can be divided into two groups: people who love Grant Morrison's work, and people who think he destroyed the X-Men.

9. Craig Thompson has received every award possible, except for a Tony, a Nobel Peace Prize and a Wizard Fan Award. Don't hold your breath on the last one.

10. When 35-year-old guys on message boards announce with authority that comics need to be "fun" again: a.) they are usually talking about very specific DC and Marvel superhero books (more often than not Superman, Batman and Spider-Man); and b.) they really mean they want to experience the same emotions they did when they were 12.

* I say "apparently" because I didn't even consider buying Disassembled, and only read the first issue of Identity Crisis, which, if nothing else, served as a testament to Brad Meltzer's ability to skillfully manipulate readers' emotions.

** See also "2003 in Review," "2002 in Review," "2001 in Review," et al.