Habit Disruptors

By | Monday, October 30, 2023 Leave a Comment
I've had a couple instances over the past, say, month where I had to completely rework substantial portions of my smart home setup because of unexpected changes companies made. This weekend, for example, I had to change how Alexa interacted with some of of devices because Amazon decided they were no longer going to allow a connection through a third-party platform called IFTTT. I'll spare you the details in case you've got no interest or knowlege in smart homes, but I had to remap a lot of my automations because of that change and, while I was able to replicate the basic functionality in most cases, there are a few things that look like I simply will not be able to do any longer.

I've run into this with physical products as well. There's a particular brand of chocolate milk that my wife and I really like, and the store we originally found it at does not seem to be carrying it any longer. We found another store that does but, setting aside the onth and a half it took us to discover that and were using a substitute, we've now had to change our grocery shopping habits to accomodate this new store that we previously didn't frequent that often. It's not that they're a bad store that we disliked, but they just didn't have anything we wanted that wasn't available at other places along with unique items we couldn't find elsewhere.

I bring this up because it occurs to me that this happens in comicdom all the time as well. Titles get started and canceled with amazing frequency, and favorite creators' output can swing wildly from publisher to publisher. I think usually, readers get annoyed when one of the titles they enjoy gets canceled because that enjoyment is being cut short, but I wonder how many ever think of it in terms of how they're forced to modify the habits of their hobby. For example, if the book that gets canceled is one that generally ships on the second week of the month, does that mean a bi-weekly trip to the local comic shop now becomes monthly because one of those trips is no longer necessary? Do the reviews they typically post online that generate a fair amount of discussion now go silent? Or does that canceled title get replaced by an entirely different one, now that some additional funds have been freed up? Does the habit remain and the focus simply shifts from one protagonist to another?

As I think back on my own experiences, the changes of a single title tended not to matter much to me personally because I've been getting so many titles for so long, one more or less scarcely made a difference overall. The habit changes that were disruptive to me were the ones that were accompanied by something decidedly more radical -- moving away from an old comic shop, for example, or the massive societal disruption in 2020 that was COVID. The one other instance I can think of was seeing my primary webcomics 'portal' -- Google Reader -- shut down which, as I think on it, felt incredibly similar to my experiences this past weekend, having to see Amazon shut down an integration that I'd been contentedly using for several years.

I don't know that I have a particular point here this morning. I'm just thinking about the comic equivalents of the platform disruptions I spent the weekend dealing with, and wondering if comic fans think about how their habits might get disrupted in a similar manner from time to time.
Newer Post Older Post Home