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Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Making Comics Better -- A reader checks in with reaction to my statement yesterday that "there's no Geoff Johns comic you truly enjoy, and you goddamned bloody well know it," saying:

I have to agree. Johns has worked on some of the best superheroes ever, ones a newcomer may actually have heard of and wanted to sample, and done nothing of interest with them. Sure, he doesn't overtly harm them, but can anyone point to a really great, memorable Johns story? And as further evidence against his "innocuousness," think of how, due to his current fame, he was able to get three or four miniseries approved by Marvel last year--awful stuff like that Vision one where now three less-famous but more interesting writers don't get their pitches approved. He and Austen are toxins.

Yep. The immediate effect on comics of such lousy writers as Johns, Austen, and their ilk may not be as obvious as the more egregious sins of Frank Tieri, but the end result is much the same -- readers eventually tire of the garbage and find something else to spend their money on.

I'd like to see a healthy lineup of superhero comics coming out of DC and Marvel, if for no other reason than that that's how many readers discovered the artform throughout its history, soon maturing and moving on to more adult works by the likes of a Crumb, Clowes, Ware, and their ilk. But the foundation, appealing, quality adventure comics for kids, has to be there for that equation to work. The worn out crap being peddled by guys like Johns and Loeb is aimed at guys in their own age demographic, and encourages nothing but further declines in sales and interest in American superhero comics.


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