You know, I tried to work up some kind of feelings regarding Superhero decadence, as described by Dirk and apparently being commented upon by a host of people. (Dirk defines superhero decadence as people who are “jaded but unwilling to move on, with one’s tastes growing more ornate and polluted in the process.”)
But I’m unmoved. Honestly, I just don’t care that much anymore. I stopped debating with superhero fans in the ’80s, and years ago I got into it with a number of 25 to 35-year-olds who were so in love with Manga that they didn’t see the parallels in that genre, so I don’t bother with them either.
Personally, I think the problem has something to do with the notion – still hanging around – that comics are for kids, that the only appropriate time to read comics is when you’re young. Dirk tries to address it this way: “One of the themes at which I’ve been hammering for the last couple of years is the bogus notion that “Direct Market = comic-book industry,” a myopic, self-absorbed viewpoint among superhero fans that sits at the heart of much modern thinking on the subject.”
I don’t think superhero fans have a monopoly on shortsightedness – there’s quite a few people out there who dismissed webcomics and the talent that was out there. Just because it wasn’t published by the big American comics companies or imported from Japan. Grassroots movement on the web – who’d have thought?
Me, I think I’ll just continue to produce stories that someone my age might like to read and go to where the readers are. I will admit, I have a lot of success at comics shows. But I’m not sorry I’ve abandoned the direct market. Nor do I particularly want to be on the graphic novel shelves, where I’m either lost among the superhero reprints or ignored by browsers because they assume there’s nothing they’d be interested in there.
You see, Cash & Carry is one of Centuries and Sleuths bestsellers for 2008. A mystery and history bookstore.
(Updated for clarity)