If you’ve ever frequented a comic shop, you’ve seen a middle-aged man-child purchase $80.00 in new comics in a single week.
That kind of a comic habit costs upwards of $4,000 a year before you factor in the money for bags & boards, boxes, time spent organizing, and reading time (if the hoarder even bothers to read all of them).
The compulsion to collect, preserve, and archive comics in mass quantities is not that uncommon, every thriving comic shop has at least a few hoarders.
Comic hoarding is a terrible habit to feed. Comic hoarders didn’t start out spending $80.00 a week, they gradually got there.
You read a few comics, then as you pick up new titles and read spin-offs, your pull-list continues to grow. When you are younger a lack of money cuts you off. As you age, that limitation is lifted, and next thing you know you’ve become the infamous old nerd who pisses and moans at the cash-register about the ever-increasing cover price of comics, yet you never cut down.
Remember, these books aren’t an investment. If you believe they are, try and sell them.
Read comics because you enjoy the stories and the art. Don’t read them out of habit, or compulsion.
Try throwing some comics away or giving them to kids (make sure they are age appropriate), I promise you the world won’t come crashing down on you.
A few days ago I had an in-depth discussion about why so many people seemed to hate history as a child.
I love history, I loved it as a child, throughout grade school, it was one of my majors in college, and I continue to study history on my own as an adult. So, why did I like it where so many others didn’t?
I think it might be because I learned it outside of the classroom.
History is incredibly tough to teach because it is a subject without limit. Take for example early Cold War history. The Cold War lasted from 1945 – 1991. I spent countless hours in a number of different courses studying that 46 year war… but even within that short span of time, the overwhelming majority of my study hours were on the Eisenhower and Kennedy years (roughly 11 years). Within that, my primary focus was on the Cuban Missile Crisis, which lasted a whopping 13 days… I spent far more time studying the Crisis than it lasted.
I know Cold War history, really know the Eisenhower and Kennedy years, and I could talk for days about the Cuban Missile Crisis. My other area of focus was on early Constitutional history (another 50 years or so). I could talk your ear off about the genius of the Founding Fathers.
Basically, after studying history for four years and spending a ton of time reading on my own, I have mastery of the Cold War, early Constitutional history, the history of the guitar in the Western world, and the history of the comic book industry. If I were to teach history, those are the areas that I truly be able to speak about with authority (and two of them are mighty narrow niches).
However, all I would need to teach high school history is a teaching license. This is the case for all history teachers. The topics are so incredibly broad, the wealth of material on any given subject, so deep. No one can master it all. No one can be passionate about all of it. What happens are tremendous gaps in the classroom.
Math, science, English, languages all have rules, and well-defined curriculum. History is so insanely ill-defined… and that’s before you look at the differences in interpretation of events. As a general rule, I don’t think high school history even attempts to analyze the fact that historians don’t agree on a universal history. The past really isn’t clear.
The best path to enjoying history is to find a topic or era that you like, and read on your own. Everything has history, companies, industries, musical instruments and movie genres. The comic book industry’s history overlaps with the history of the organized crime, and the contraceptives industry, as well as Jewish-American and WWII history, in a beautiful web of intrigue and chance.
History isn’t just about the old white guys on our money (although I find most of them very interesting). When I get passionate about something I learn it’s history, music, videogames, the Constitution, or nuclear deterrence. I don’t think it’s possible to understand and fully appreciate anything in life without learning where it came from, and how it evolved over time.
History teachers have it tough. No one will find all of world history interesting (even the most devoted history student), and there is no way that each teacher can have a thorough understanding of all of the classroom material, sometimes they will have to phone it in.
~ syndicated by TheGeekWhisperer.com
I’m exhausted beyond the point of original thought – Here’s a funny one yanked from Wired.com (However, I did edit a small typo. They misspelled aficionado).
10. “No real programmer would ever use PHP.” – This won’t work for every geek, of course, but for those it works on, it should work really well.
9. “Comic books are just for kids!” – I’m sure you’ve heard this one before—I know I certainly heard it often enough in high school, and even though it’s even less true now than it was then, I’m sure comic book aficionados still hear it today.
8. “Role-playing games are just for people who can’t deal with real life.” – There are, sadly, still a lot of people who think anyone who plays D&D must live in his parents’ basement and bathe once a month. Such people must be put straight, and immediately!
7. “The Pirates of the Caribbean movies are so realistic!” – I doubt many people actually believe this, but there are an awful lot of misconceptions about pirates out there, so you never know.
6. “Yeah, I got an Xbox 360 so my daughter could play Hello Kitty games. Is it really good for anything else?” – We’ve hit the ones that are hard for me even to type, now…
5. “Mac, Windows, or Linux? Does it really make a difference?” – An argument so old its original form was probably first written down in hieroglyphs, I know, but I don’t know a single geek it wouldn’t work on—myself included.
4. “The Ewoks were the best thing about the original Star Wars trilogy.” / “Greedo shot first!” - I couldn’t decide between the two. If one doesn’t work, I’ll bet the other one would.
3. “Tolkien? Ehhh, I prefer Terry Brooks!” – I almost feel like I should argue with myself just for writing that. I’m going to let the top two stand for themselves.
2. “Joss Whedon is a hack!”
1. “I don’t see what’s so bad about DRM!”
Nine out of ten of these statements would drive me nuts. Any guesses which one wouldn’t?
Check back tomorrow when I reveal the shocking answer (And post something sensible).
The answer is #8. State the other nine at your own peril!
Last night, instead of doing things like writing any number of Geek Whisperer posts I’ve been promising to David, I watched the new Wonder Woman animated feature. I thought it was great. Uplifting. Powerful. Pulsating…? Getting an image in your head? No, your other one. I’m talking about the penis. Oh, yes, because although it’s certainly an inspiration to little girls everywhere, what with the female empowerment and all, it’s also an inspiration to teenage boys’ genitals.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re shocked that I’m using DC characters in a sexually explicit blog post. But come on! Here you have the new version of Wonder Woman, and yet she’s never been so close to her original character. Remember David’s post about the perverse nature of her original arcs?
This movie really makes the innuendos for me…
I definitely recommend this movie for any fans and would be fans out there… but don’t show it to your 13 year old brother/nephew/son/etc. unless you want sticky socks in your washing machine.
This movie has zombie Amazons in it! Added Bonus!
Last week Amazing Spider-Man #583 hit the shelf of your local comic shop. While I haven’t read the issue I’m told that it features Barack Obama in the story… but that’s not really what I’m going to write about. Plenty of US Presidents have been featured in comics.
What is relevant is that this book has a variant cover that depicts President Elect Obama, and it has been selling like crazy. The Obama variant has gone to a third print run. That means that there are going to be tons of these Obama variant issues floating around.
My point is, if you want to read the story or wish to collect it because it depicts Barack Obama, go for it. However, if you are planning on buying one (or 10) because you think it’s going to be worth a lot of money and one day… that you will buy a TV with it or put your kids through college on the profits, don’t waste your time and money. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that it won’t be worth much more than its cover price due to the volume in circulation. The first print run issues might be worth a bit, but it won’t be much.
The Bottom-line: Buy it because you want it, not as an “investment.”
I’m a big fan of the Bill Willingham’s comics. He is a brilliant and talented writer, but this is unbelievable.
To sum up really quickly, he claims that comic’s have become too liberal and un-American.
Before I go on, let me just make it clear that I’m not offended by this because of my political views. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican, liberal, or conservative. I could care less what Mr. Willingham’s political beliefs are. What really pisses me off is this hateful garbage that isn’t even grounded in reality.
Mr. Willingham says:
“Marvel’s legendary patriot Captain America, in a comic book story published shortly after 9/11 spent a good part of the issue apologizing to the super terrorist he was battling about all of the terrible things America did in its pursuit of the cold war against the Soviets. “(But) we’ve changed. We’ve learned,” he whines. “My people never knew!” Then again, at least ol’ Cap was fighting the bad guy, so maybe there’s still hope.”
That issue looked at the tragedy of 9/11 as a global tragedy. That there were a series of causes and effects that resulted in a heinous act of terrorism.
Captain America is my favorite superhero because he always fought for the American ideal, not the American Government. He battled for the ideals and freedoms that make America, while recognizing that our politicians and policies weren’t always in keeping with those ideals and freedoms.
Willingham also says:
“No more superhero decadence [That's his euphemism for everything he doesn't agree with] for me. Period. From now on, when I write within the superhero genre I intend to do it right. And if I am ever again privileged to be allowed to write Superman, you can bet your sweet bootie that he’ll find the opportunity to bring back “and the American way,” to his famous credo.”
Mr. Willingham go %^&* yourself. Superman began as a Depression era crusader of the people. Not America. Not a government. Not a way of life. He fought for the people. He dealt with everything from corrupt politicians, to street hooligans, to evil menacing police officers. It was about the rights of the people, not the policies of the Government. When World War II started everything switched gears to supporting American nationalism because it was what the people needed. The Jewish comic creators also wanted nothing more than to stomp-out Hitler and the Nazis like a cigarette.
Mr. Willingham is confusing patriotism with nationalism. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.”
Patriotism is about loving your country enough to tell it when it’s wrong (someone smarter than me said that, I just don’t remember whom).
Nationalism is about a mindless love of government regardless of its policies or the character of its leaders.
With the exception of the 1940′s and 50′s, comics have been a largely progressive and liberal medium. Deal with it. You don’t have to agree if you enjoy the story.
To act like our actions, or lack thereof in the aftermath of the failed Soviet invasion of Afghanistan were responsible and just, is downright stupid. The fact that Mr. Willingham has a problem with Captain America voicing such a realization is hardly a problem with the comic industry.
This editorial is akin to meeting a band that you really like and respect, only to discover that they are jerks. The music is the same, but listening to them isn’t quite what it was before you knew that they weren’t nice people. Bill, I will keep reading your work because you’re talented, but it won’t be the same.