arrive at your comic shop, get your books, and enjoy a day of reading at home, at work, on the bus, or on the toilet. Once it’s over, you sit back and contemplate the experience. It’ll be seven whole days before you can do it again and you hope your good feelings will tide you over the next six days.
That’s pretty much the typical comic fan experience, right? No. The fanboy experience is no longer a one-day affair; it’s a 24 hour, 7 day extravaganza of debate, speculation, regret, and tears. It’s creator interaction without the letter pages, previews without mystery or ambiguity, interviews without Wizard’s monkey jokes. It’s where comic movies are no longer stuck in developmental hell and where superheroes are analyzed in major universities, where video game characters have webcomics and where 27 years of Cerebus can be stored onto a device the size of your thumb.
It’s a slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am, pink-elephant inducing, never-ending stream of fucking awesomeness wired directly into your brain. And for that, we can thank one thing more than any other: the internet. Suddenly there existed an all-encompassing ether where shame for the craft magically disappeared. The internet leveled the playing field, giving us a way to fight back against cultural ghettoization and popular stereotypes. Once helpless to the whims of literary elitism, comic fans now had a mechanism through which to pimp the merits of Maus and Watchmen. When movies like Ghost World and Road to Perdition are revealed to be comic-inspired, it’s no big surprise. Suddenly every day is a day to celebrate the world of comicdom.
But what about Wednesday? What about that special day that started it all? Has it become less important? Does it hold less sway? No. If anything, the actual comics—the alpha and omega of this New World Order—hold even greater significance. Although Wednesday no longer rules the roost, the fanboy life-cycle revolves around it.
But Wednesdays no longer exists in a vacuum because fans no longer choose the option of six-day contemplation. Who can afford to? Comics are an expensive hobby that can easily have little payoff. We exist in the ultimate fraternity, always warning our brothers of the easy lay or the gold-digger tease. Torrents give us the power to freely browse new comics from the comfort of home. Since the space between editors, creators, and fans is so small, we know we can make a difference for good or bad. Alliances form. Rumors are spread. Opinions are formed months before they need to be. The fanboy experience changes us and we try to change it in response.
When Wednesday finally comes around, our expectations are a hell of a lot different than they would’ve been otherwise. Whether we want to admit it or not, comics are rarely judged on only what’s on the page. The bells and whistles of Thursday through Tuesday mean a lot. Those six days of madness create a day of mayhem only the true comic fan can now understand.
Welcome to the jungle.
Posted originally: 2008-07-30 16:15:03