Cynical Comic Book Bingo

By | Friday, August 10, 2007 Leave a Comment
Scott, over at Polite Dissent, posted this variation on a Bingo game the other day...
My first thought was, "Hey, that's pretty funny."

And then I started thinking about that. Why is it funny?

It's funny because it's playing to many of the stereotypes that show up in the comic industry on a semi-regular basis as a means to entice more people to buy a comic. The comic book publishers use the things Scott's highlighted to seem better than it is. More "hip" or "edgy" or what have you. Do zombies inherently make a comic cooler? Of course not. Neither does an instance of a first issue or characters with facial tattoos. And yet fans still rush towards those things and buy them because of their superficial coolness.

Think a moment about just how cynical this Bingo game is. It acknowledges that we, as fans, can recognize blatant attempts at a publisher trying to gain more of our collective dollar. It acknowledges that we, as fans, not only recognize those attempts, but have -- at least at some level -- made a mental list of those items and have established a hierarchy for and/or categorized them. And here's the really cynical bit: we, as fans, collectively still buy into it.

How many of us can go through that list and get a winning scorecard every week? Yeah, some of the books that have some of those items are actually quite good. But a lot of them aren't. A lot of them are bought every week, regardless of quality, because one or more of the items listed on this card were present. The publishers know it, and we know it.

And that's why it's incredibly cynical. And quite funny.

(Congrats to Scott, by the way, whose son was born after I started writing this.)
Newer Post Older Post Home