THE NEW SCUM: Curing Event Fatigue

Crisis on Infinite Earths #1In which, your host, Pierce Lydon talks about why we need event books, why Avengers vs. X-Men is a great idea, and prescribes a treatment for the incurable “event fatigue.”

The Avengers vs. X-Men announcement was met with the usual hemming and hawing from the usual suspects. Obviously, another event gearing up in the lead-in to the summer movie season has money as a motivating factor and despite any attempt to argue otherwise, it’s timing is meant to maximize profits. To you, dear comic book reader, I say, “Since when is this a surprise?”

I’m all for letting publishers know that readers are unhappy with their business practices but we must begin to accept annual events as  a necessary evil. We have to remember that it is because of big event books and the profits garnered from them that some of our favorite, theoretically lesser selling, books are able to survive, NOT in spite of them.

This is why as much as I groaned at the prospect of Avengers vs. X-Men, I’m in support of it. While it may seem like a really obvious concept and one that has sort of been done before (though admittedly without this kind of scale or the inevitable marketing push), fresh new ideas could come out it and potentially thrive because of it. The most exciting thing about Avengers vs. X-Men for me was all of the “WTF?! Avengers vs. X-Men? Yo whens that comin out bro?” texts that I got from people who don’t read comics in the aftermath of the news coverage. New comic book readers are good. We need fresh blood.

Granted, the strain put on our wallets, the story lines we love that seem to conveniently end up intersecting the main plot of the events and the knowledge that empty promises of nothing ever being the same are just that, is annoying. But when you step back and look at the bigger picture, it’s really not that big a deal. Here’s a list to help you feel better.

  1. Everything really will be the same. This is comic books after all, folks. Nothing really changes.
  2. If just one more person starts reading comics, any event is a success. You might argue that a lot more people might stop reading comics but it takes more than a few line-wide events to go that far.
  3. Sometimes, the event is actually good. Remember Civil War? Yeah, that was awesome.
  4. Sometimes, the tie-ins are actually good. Captain Britain and the MI:13, anyone?
  5. Sometimes, the spin-offs are actually good. Dark Avengers remains my favorite non-Secret Avengers-scripted-by-Warren-Ellis Avengers series.
But Pierce, I’ve tried and tried to remain positive about all these events. It’s just impossible. I’m tired of them. I keep reading on other blogs about some sort of “event fatigue.” I think I’ve caught it. Suddenly, I find no joy in watching Wolverine just slash at random crap, Deadpool isn’t funny to me anymore and I’ve inexplicably lost the ability to talk to opposite sex!
Well, loyal male or female comic book reader I believe I can help with your imaginary illness. First of all, there is no such thing as event fatigue. But there are points where we just get tired of superhero comics in general. That happens to everyone with regards to everything. I thought I’d never stop loving drinking protein shakes of raw eggs and running up sets of stairs to government buildings  while pumping my fists to 80s songs but somehow that passed. As for your last problem. I’m not sure event books were ever really to blame. Anyway, here’s how you can “cure” the vaunted event fatigue. (Another list to make you feel better.)
  1. Just ignore it. Seriously. You won’t be lost when it all comes to end. You can read it later in trades or just catch up on Wikipedia. Nothing is making you buy event books. Just use good ol’ self control and a discerning eye when picking up your floppies. Read the books you like and simply ignore all the event-y junk.
  2. Take a break from superhero books. There are more than enough comics out there now (in print and on the web) that you can get your funnybook fix without forking over your hard earned cash for stories that you don’t want to read.
  3. Nut up. Just buy’em, you dolt. You’re probably end up loving them anyway.
That about concludes my brilliant advice. Next week, we’ll be getting some end of the year lists from the Kabooooom crew (or krew, if that suits your fancy). Early signs point to best of 2011 lists for self-flagellation devices, ways to insult your younger brother and Warren Ellis tweets.


About Pierce Lydon

Co-Founder & Staff Writer of Kabooooom. Writer. Journo. Freelancer. Lead singer of Cutters. Comics for life. Yankees 'til death.

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