It started off innocently enough. I picked up one, but it soon mutated to two, then to three and it eventually became the majority of my comics allowance. I couldnít wait to get my next hit. I would be all worked up when I knew that I would be able to get my fix later in the afternoon. When I got my hit, I would impatiently devour it like a thirsty woman gulps water in the desert.
No, Iím not a drug addict. Iím talking about the comics crack that is the X-Men comics family, also known by the collective name: the X-titles. When I started there was only Uncanny X-Men and X-Factor was just starting, only on issue number five. I picked up an issue of Uncanny X-Men, but soon realized that for more of the story I could pick up X-Factor and see the original X-Men. Soon after that came the Mutant Massacre, which required me to pick up several more titles. None of the them actual X-Titles nor were they mutant related really, but they did have crossovers with my favorite muties.
So I got all of the X-Titles, from Alpha Flight (which turned into an X-title when John Byrne left and Marvel realized that they could have Wolverine guest star to boost sales) to Classic X-men to the adjective-less X-Men. Each issue of an X-titleís art, which like the story varied from excellent to really bad, didnĎt really matter as long as I got my fix. I just had to have every issue. I needed to know what happened to Shadowcat in Excalibur so when I saw her make an appearance in Uncanny X-Men I knew what was going on.
The X-Titles became one big mesh of continuity which was delicately interwoven to string you along until the next month, when once again nothing of any significance really happened. When I first started reading the X-Titles, these plots, sub-plots, and sub-sub-plots intrigued me. The notion the Twelve was introduced and I was curious to which mutants would make the cut. Or which of the New Mutants would graduate to the X-Men someday. Like watching a soap opera, I went along with the ride to see what would happen.
I collected most of the X-titles being published to keep up with the ride. Then one day I realized that I had lost my interest in them. I woke up and saw myself spending money on comic books that I brought out of habit and not out of enjoyment. Sure at one time I loved the X-Men, I even spent the ungodly sum of fifteen dollars (to a poor fourteen year old that was a lot of money for a comic book) for X-Men #129, Kittyís first appearance.
However, fast forward fourteen years and I wasnít getting the same satisfaction out of the X-titles as I had been. I dropped them all but Mutant X which showed the X-Men in a different reality (which like Days of Future Past made me realize how much I loved the whole alternate reality thing). A couple months ago I dropped Mutant X also.
This isnít a rant on how I think the X-Men suck now. Iím not going to give my opinion on a book I no longer read. The moral of this column is to get you off that comics crack that you are on. Do you buy comics out of habit? You donít actually read the title, but it is on your hold slot and you are too lazy to take it off? Do you continue to buy a title with the thought in mind that maybe a better writer (or artist) will come along? Or that maybe the creator that you once love with go back to doing what he (or she) was doing when you used to love them?
I have had a couple people tell me that they still read Cerebus out of habit. That they are just patiently waiting for issue three hundred so they can have their complete Cerebus set. I tell them the same thing I will tell you: if you arenít enjoying the comic book, then stop buying it! I donít care what title it is or who makes it. I would take it a step further too: write and tell the publisher why youíve stop reading it.
That money that you are spending on a comic that is doing nothing but taking up valuable bookshelf (or comic box) space could be better spent. Try out some other comics and find something that you enjoy. Because there are plenty of comics out there, there is no lack of excellent material being published today. So grab your latest Previews, flip though the comics section and find something that grabs your interest. Try it, if you donít like it, then try something else.
From the Cerebus Fangirl Site found on the web at: http://www.cerebusfangirl.com contents maybe printed for later reading if you so desire, just don't copy it and say it's yours though.