This Always Worked Before…

Today is Wednesday — well, it was until twenty minutes ago, anyway — and Wednesday is new comic book day, so I drove over to the mall and made my weekly stop at Beyond Comics, where I picked up half a dozen titles.

And while I was doing that, I came to a dismaying realization that I mentioned to the shop manager, who agreed: There are writers working in comics today who used to be on my must-buy list, but who now are getting me to drop titles I used to buy.

Exiles, for example — I started buying it with #10, and never missed an issue until Chris Claremont took over writing it. Three issues later I’d dropped it, and now it’s cancelled. Once upon a time I really liked Claremont’s writing.

Or there’s Peter David on She-Hulk. To be fair, David said he was going to revamp the book because he just didn’t know how to continue it the way Dan Slott did it, and I respect that — but I don’t enjoy what he did with it at all, and dropped it after two issues.

And Paul Dini — I used to love pretty much everything Paul Dini wrote, but I find his run on Detective Comics tedious. I mean, this ought to be an amazing match-up, Dini and Detective, but it just doesn’t work for me.

Not that Grant Morrison on Batman is any better — I mean, Damian was a really bad idea. But then, I’d already been disillusioned with Morrison when he was writing the X-Men — he started well there, but lost me after maybe eight or ten issues.

I could go on to name other examples, but I think the point is made — these are all writers I thought were great fun when I first encountered them, but who are now writing stuff I really don’t want to read. It’s not just mediocre — if I’m reading a title I can put up with a lot of mediocre before I quit — but so unlike what had gone before, and unlike it in a bad way, that I actively avoid it. Claremont killed everything I liked about Exiles; David systematically removed everything I liked about She-Hulk. I’d stuck with Exiles through a lot of writers, ranging from frankly bad to really good, but Claremont chased me away in short order.

And then there are one-time favorites I’ve been actively avoiding for awhile now — Dave Sim, Warren Ellis, Frank Miller, Steve Gerber…

So why is this? I mean, there are lots of writers I still like just fine, but there are also all these writers I can’t stand anymore. And I can’t think of a single long-time comics writer who I think is getting better, which is kind of depressing.

I don’t have any brilliant insights here; I just wanted to rant a bit. I would love to see an old favorite get even better; instead I’m seeing lots of them go bad. I am not happy about that. The universe is being mean to me.

Make it stop.

2 thoughts on “This Always Worked Before…

  1. I didn’t say anything at all about new talent. There’s plenty of new talent. What I’m bemoaning is the failure of old talent.

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