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Alan David Doane on What a Week
posted August 25, 2005

Alan David Doane
Via The Internet

What a week this has been for comics. I had a feeling last week when Paul O'Brien kicked it all off, that this would be an amazing week of discussion, exchanges of ideas and of course, PUSHING COMIX FORWARD.

While it's mostly been, though, a week of rank stupidity and wagon-circling, I did want to note some of the highlights:

* Many retailers explaining once again why manga is to blame for how they cannot sell manga, despite a wonderful column by Rob Vollmar this week at Comic Book Galaxy ( explaining step-by-step how any comics retailer that WANTS to sell these comics to people who want to buy them can do so, effectively deflating the empty arguments of an entire industry.

* The guy who couldn't sell good superhero comics like DNAgents and Crossfire to superhero fans, telling me I don't know anything about the comics industry.

* Franklin Harris's insistence that what Joe Sacco does is Gonzo Journalism (

* A comics blogger's off the rails insistence that CrossGen's superheroes were not, actually, superheroes ( ), and you better shut up with that CrossGen published superheroes stuff, pal, I'm nerdwarning you.

What do all these have in common? They are all the fruit of the poison tree of O'Brien's original filler-as-column piece on how bored (yawn!) he is with what he thinks is comics, i.e., those pesky, spandex-clad North American superhero comics. The sub-genre of the defunct boy's adventure genre that continues to exclude an unheard, unseen majority of potential comics readers by virtue of its stranglehold on an entire industry that shuts its eyes, plugs its ears, and yes, wishes it into the cornfield. Jimmy.

If nothing else, this week has unexpectedly taught me the previously unsuspected value of CrossGen -- that by carefully and deliberately selling superhero comics to superhero comics fans who they had convinced were NOT buying superhero comics, perhaps the company could have slowly led these CrossGen superhero fans even further outside the sub-genre through line association with the few CrossGen titles that did not feature superpowered people shooting bolts out of their hands and battling each other in mega-super-crossovers, such as Route 666 and Ruse.

But of course, even those titles featured superpowered people engaging in world-shaking battles. Those goddamned superheroes, you just can't get away from 'em.

Best regards, Tom, to you especially, but also to everyone in this comics industry that I love so much. It's been an amazing week.