Are some comics so good that they make other, really-good-but-not-as-good comics seem dull by comparison? iFanboy’s Mike Romo worries about that very topic:
As I fell off of Resurrection Man and other titles, I was also scrapping pretty much all of my Marvel books as well. I liked my Batman books, I hung in there with Action Comics, The Flash and Justice League, but that was about it, and much of that was really kind of out of habit. I really felt, gentle reader, that I was falling out of love with comics, just a little bit.Then Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga happened. Now, I know that this is not a book for everyone and I am sure there are problems with the book, but, issue after issue, I know that I have not fallen out of love with comics — I am just loathe to put up with comics that are not fantastic. I had a similar experience reading Darwyn Cooke’s Before Watchmen: Minutemen and Cooke and Amanda Conner’s Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre. These were the kinds of comics I wanted to read, created by artists and writers who I trust, who have been amazing in the past and continue to be amazing in that particular way that my heart and brain react to with happiness and joy.
This is a good thing yet also not a good thing, I realize. It makes no sense to limit my exposure to new creators and titles — I might miss out on future Cookes and Conners and Vaughan. I don’t want to be stodgy and be one of those old guys who only talks about the great stories and characters of the past, but here I am, basically wrapping up my legs in a blanket after taking two minutes to settle down into a rocking chair, ready to yell at the kids playing near my lawn.
Later in the same piece, he asks “Is this stagnation or is this taste? Is It the cool comfort of being able to consummate professionals or the tyranny of habit?” before deciding “Probably a combination of both, but one thing is for sure: once you get comfy, it’s really hard to get out of that rocking chair, and with comic book prices as high as they are, it seems almost reasonable to go back to the old days, where buying 2-3 comics a month, 2-3 comics that you really liked, was the perfect amount.”
I have to admit, the idea of just staying with that which you know you love, and cutting lesser projects that are only “good enough” doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me – the problem comes when you stop trying new things, to see if you could like them just as much, surely…?