Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Format Wars: Whither Comic Books?

Since my local shop didn't get this week's comics yet, except for the final issue of Aquaman, of all things (which I bought, and I have to say that even though I haven't been reading it regularly, I enjoyed Tad Williams and Shawn McManus's take on the character a lot more than the humorless Busiek/Guice version), I can't talk about new comics much. So, instead I'll discuss which comic book format will thrive in the future marketplace: the floppy, the trade paperback, the hardcover, or the webcomic. Actually, I'll let those formats sort themselves out--I'm impartial myself:

Webcomic: I'll start, I guess since no one else seems to be...

Floppy: No. I'll start. I've been around a lot longer, so...

Hardcover: Wait. But you suck.

Trade Paperback: Yeah. Heh heh. You do suck.

Webcomic: They're right, dude.

Floppy: I know. (pause) But everyone used to love me so much. I once sold millions of copies of myself and wallpapered John Leguizamo's bathroom. What happened? Where did I go wrong?

Hardcover: Maybe it was all those "Tabacco is Whacko!" advertisements. Those really pissed me off, I don't know about you guys.

Trade Paperback: Yeah. Heh heh.

Webcomic: Or maybe it was because I didn't exist yet. Kind of makes it easier to compete with me. My not existing at all. By the way, have you read Perry Bible Fellowship. I am so awesome.

Floppy: What about all those years when I was coming out with great stuff like Daredevil or Watchmen or that Straczynski Strange series? Don't those count for anything?

Hardcover: Did you actually read that Strange comic?

Floppy: Yeah! It was the reimagining of Dr. Strange from the mind that brought us the reimagining of Squadron Supreme and wrote that Deep Space Nine show... Okay, you're right, I didn't read it. I was waiting for the trade.

Trade Paperback: Heh heh.

Webcomic: I'm not sure if I was clear earlier. I am awesome. Did you get that part?

Hardcover: You know what I used to like, Floppy? I used to like when your stories were so good that they made me want to come back for more--I couldn't wait to get the next issue.

Floppy:I still feel that way. I can still do that. Have you been reading Wonder Woman? Readers couldn't wait for the end of that first storyline!

Webcomic: Act-I-Vate. What is that? It's not even a word. What's with the hyphens? Beats me, but it's so freakin' Awesome!

Hardcover: That Wonder Woman story probably was good, but just like everyone else, I'm waiting for the trade.

Webcomic: I like Omnibus Editions! You should do PvP as an Omnibus. It would be so Awesome.

Trade Paperback: Sometimes I hold my breath for a really long time and imagine that I am a really, really fat Floppy.

Webcomic: Dean Trippe? Is that guy for real? Butterfly! That cracks me up.

And with that, Floppy sulked away quietly, Hardcover browsed through my bookshelves, Trade Paperback held his breath for an hour, and Webcomic went on Pirate Bay to try to find the newest Iron Fist issue. We may never resolve this eternal debate, but I think we all learned a little bit about ourselves today.


adam_y said...

That made me laugh out loud. It's pretty accurate too.

RAB said...

Was the reference to Deep Space Nine a dig at JMS because of its similarities to Babylon 5?

BizarroBeachhead said...

That was pretty awesome.

I have serious issues with floppies beginning with the industries' foolish dependence to it and ending with most current writers' inability to write properly for it.

And I don't mean to disparage the floppies, because I love them dearly, but there are just too few of them that actually utilize the medium to it's furthest extent.

Nicely done.