Eulogy For Comic Books

Today Comic Books died after losing a long battle with other forms of media and entertainment. The popular form of entertainment struggled for years to evolve itself from a medium that was unapproachable to new clients by attempting all ranges of improvements. First there was the variant cover, then the rarer variant cover, followed by motion comics and then finally the all-digital comic. In its early days digital comics were an orchestrated mess. Random issues and incomplete runs of series distributed with multiple distributors, but never a cohesive format that could be taken to another competitor’s application. Until DC Comics finally made the push for what the industry called, “day and date releases” in which comics arrived in the digital store front the same day the printed version did. The beginning of the end?

While all of this happened Comic Books had been diagnosed as a dying medium and placed with so many other formats of entertainment before it: VHS, Beta Max, CD’s and the ever popular 8-track. This is the company Comic Books found it grouped with, no longer the booming source of entertainment that it once was partially due to the numerous failed movie tie-ins and cancelled TV pilots, but mostly a saturation of first issues and half-hearted relaunches. Comic Books had long ago gone “Hollywood”, but now found itself much like John Travolta but without Pulp Fiction to save its career.

Bollocks Indeed.

Soon after its diagnostic, Comic Books went back to their usual tricks trying to hide the decay that lay inside, relying on Polybags, Holograms, even rarer variants and lower print runs to rack up second and third printings. By then though, the writing was on the wall. Due to its sloppy unorganized approach at the digital medium, Comic Books soon found itself in the hands of the “casual” reader that looked for known properties to relate to such as Pocket God the number one selling digital comic of all time. No longer was this a creative medium, Comic Books became a cheap tie-in for other more popular mediums, but even that wasn't enough to keep it among the living.

This is a cellphone game

When asked for a comment about the medium he helped popularize, Stan Lee had only this to say, “Comic Books? I haven’t read one of those in years! Excelsior! True Believer.” He went on to spout off his remaining four catch phrases before curdling in a ball realizing that his once near and dear friend was dead. Comic Books is survived by, Film Adaptations of its most popular franchises, Cartoon Show Adaptations, Action Figure Lines, Underwear and clothing lines and of course Comic Con International which had long since moved on to promoting film and television.

Insert catch phrase here.

Buried in landfills and basements all across the country, occasionally Comic Books unearth to the delight of some ignorant child unaware that the medium has long since passed on. Even still its ragged corpse is thrown around on late night comedy skits or in “ironic” YouTube videos from self-appointed nerds and geeks looking to popularize the long dead medium in an attempt to make money for themselves. Every year on the third Wednesday in August a eulogy is held at comic book shops across the country. Some of these historical landmarks remain empty, but others that have been converted into Subway’s and SuperCuts or immigrant run nail saloons are forced to explain to their patrons that the shop used to house comics of every type and variety. They paint a magical picture of nerds of every walk of life meeting weekly to purchase and discuss the events that had unfolded in their favorite medium. Yes Comic Books will be missed, but like all unsupported mediums they’re doomed to museums and Antique Roadshow as showcase of the once great medium.

Picture from the first memorial 6/17/2011