Just wondering what goes into your decision to purchase a comic at a comics store? For this question, I am only talking about buying a comic off the rack at the comics shop, please.
How important is:
The writer’s name?
The lead character (s)?
Whether or not the story is an ‘event’ comic?
Hmm…This isn’t something that’s easy for me to answer, so I’ll take it piece by piece:
Cover: My knee jerk reaction is that covers don’t sway me because I’ve been burned by fabulous covers around crappy comics often enough. But that would be wrong. I started buying Mark Waid’s Daredevil on the basis of the covers and frankly didn’t care whether what was inside was good. Those covers were that good. In fact, Marvel elbowed itself back onto my pull list after almost a decade on the basis of its graphic design, which is so, so much better than DC these days that it’s not even worth comparing.
The Artwork: This is hugely important to me. I know that comics have become something of a writer’s medium these days, but there are plenty of writers who’ve been let down by bad art. Some artists are auto-buys for me, no matter who the writer is. A good example: Batwoman, which has indifferent writing but is one of the best books of the stands on the strength of its visuals. I would buy empty cereal cartons if they had Moebius drawings on them.
The Writer: Writers seem to me to be more variable than artists, so even though there are a very small number of writers who are auto-buys for me, I’m more inclined to wait on a recommendation.
Publisher: I almost put down “I don’t care,” but that’s not true. I’m deeply suspicious of the business practices of the big two. I’m much more inclined to buy a creator-owned book than one that’s owned by a corporation.
Genre: Don’t care. Gimme a western. Gimme a romance. Gimme a horror story. Gimme a crime story. It’s all good.
Lead Character: depends on the creator. I’m predisposed to like certain characters like anyone, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to buy a Swamp Thing book drawn by, say, Greg Land or Jim Balent.
Event comics: This is a fast way to get me NOT to buy a comic. I HATE big crossover stories and think most one-off events are marketing gimmicks rather than sound storytelling. Screw events.
This is what it queued up to start the day:
Rid of Me—PJ Harvey
Red House—Jimi Hendrix
Nothing But a Heartache—The Flirtations
Ants In My Pants—James Brown
This Tornado Loves You—Neko Case
Let it Rain—Dream Syndicate
Don’t Stop the Dance—Bryan Ferry
You’re a Big Girl Now—Bob Dylan
You’re No Rock and Roll Fun—Sleater Kinney
Exit Through the Air Vent—Man or Astroman
Surprised there’s no Johnny Cash. My iTunes loves Johnny Cash, usually.