How are you today? What background are you sticking in your video calls today?

When did you stop reading comic books? Or start reading comic books again? Or did you never stop or never start?

@ajroach42 I sometimes feel like I'm the only nerd who doesn't read comic books.

It's so ubiquitous an activity, I wonder why I never started. I know nerds from 20 to 60 years of age, and they're all comic book readers. It's strange.

@mdm For me, the issue is that all the local comic shops in my area are hot garbage.

When I was in GA, I stopped by the local shop every week, picked up the titles I wanted. It was an expensive hobby, $50 - 60 a week, (and more expensive than waiting on the trades to be released) but I was also reading at a really interesting time in the industry.

The stuff Marvel, dynamite, boom, and image were doing 5 - 7 years ago was pretty special.

But it's a hard thing to *start* doing.

@ajroach42 I guess everyone I knew growing up was reading tons of hot garbage. :P They never seemed to lack for comic books.

(Grew up in the country, ~1hr away from any major city. I define "major city" as "has chain restaurants." That's how small it was where I grew up.)

Now, I've read a few "graphic novels" (Watchmen, The Dark Tower, etc.) in my adult years, and have genuinely enjoyed it, so I have no idea why I just never read them when I was younger.

@mdm I'm in a big city now, and there are 8 or 9 comic book stores around me. They just have rude staff and tiny selections. I got spoiled by a big store with friendly people back home.

I'm curious as to why you make a distinction between graphic novels like Watchmen and other comic books.

Watchmen was released in single issues before it was a trade paperback, just like most other comics.

@ajroach42 Oh -- the distinction is vague, I recognize that. Thus the quotes.

I hear "graphic novel" typically in reference to something like Watchmen, and "comic books" to everything else. :P

@mdm Right, but what's the difference between "things like watchmen" and everything else?

Is it target audience? Or literary quality? Or is it that it's a self contained story?

@ajroach42 That's a good question! I was about to say "movies made about them," but that makes zero sense today. :P

I think it's because I know more people who also "aren't" into comic books, that have somehow read Watchmen, but nothing else. Weird, you're right.

@mdm Lots of graphic novels never reach that level of popularity.

The distinction I make is between self contained stories and ongoing stories. They're both comics, but the self contained, serialized, non-episodic stories are also graphic novels.

You mentioned watchmen and the dark tower, are there any other graphic novels you've read?

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@ajroach42 Nope -- those are it.

One time, when I was younger, I remember flipping through a comic book that my cousin owned -- it was superman, dressed in black, with a mullet, inside the bowels of a enormous machine, the size of a city? And there were other SuperMen?

I have never learned what that was all about.

It was so far from the "Christopher Reeve fights Lex Luthor" _thing_ I thought SuperMan was at that age, I remember being just as scared as I was intrigued.

@mdm There have been a few times they rolled out the black suit and mullet. Normally shows up when Superman has been hurt.

I dunno what time period this was, but the black suit and mullet showed up in the Darkseid storyline in the 80s, in the aftermath of the Death of Superman debacle circa 94 or 95, and in the 05 era infinite crisis.

What you're describing sounds like Death of Superman followup.

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