What do they REALLY know about comics?

Posted: March 28, 2011 in General

In the interest of really trying to see how out of touch most people are with the quality, content and variety that can be found in today’s comic book market, I decided to interview a few people. I’ll put these up as soon as I can. This here is the first. In the interest of being fair and not wanting any backlash for anything he said, the interviewed person asked to not have their name or contact info published.

I told my friend that this wasn’t exactly the white water tapes and I think he would be fine, but the request was still made. And that’s fine. It’s more the unique insights that were given that I’m more interested in. But at the end of this, if there are any interested parties with questions for him, just send me the message, I’ll pass it on and we’ll get the conversation started.

And again because of my friends odd quirk about keeping HIS name a secret. For the sake of this interview HE will be addressed as Mrs. Butternuts. Quite fitting. So on to the first installment, of What do you REALLY know about comics.

JOEMULVEY: OK so just to start, give us a quick idea about yourself. Age, gender, occupation, social security number. You know, just the basics.

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Right the basics. I’m a male. 30 yrs old. And a city employee. That good enough?

JOE MULVEY: Absolutely. We’ll get that SS# another time. So first off, have you ever read comics?

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Yeah, years ago. I probably fell out of reading them around the time I went to college.

JOE MULVEY: Ok, so you’re somewhat familiar with the medium. That’s good because now I can ask you a few more intricate questions about your likes and dislikes. Can you tell me first, what you were reading back when you were reading comics?

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Yeah, let me think. I remember the basics. Spider-man. Bat-man. I stuck pretty much to the basics. I remember liking the all out crazy action stuff. A few people would try and give me some Sandman, other Vertigo series and also some other stuff but it never really worked for me. I wanted big action and characters I knew, I guess.

JOE: When did you start reading comics and also do you remember the first book that hooked you?

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: I don’t think I can pin point the first one. Maybe around Infinity Gauntlet. I remember that pretty well. Everyone fighting each other and dying in every issue was pretty insane.I just kind of remember watching the cartoons and than reading comics. Maybe my parents got me some and it just stuck. Not exactly sure.

JOE: Gotcha. And where did you buy your comics?

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: I want to say everywhere. If I went to the mall, they were in kiosk’s. Local candy stores or corner stores.

JOE: Never Comic shops themselves.

MRS: BUTTERNUTS: No, absolutely, i went to comic shops. The first one I went to was mind blowing. They had the toys, posters, t-shirts it was awesome. And I don’t know why but as I got older I lost touch with wanting to go there. The place by me started feeling more like a pawn shop. Stuff just kept piling up every where. It wasn’t what it used to be for me. But I don’t want to sound like I had huge boxes and stuff. I had a book shelf in my room and in our living room. I filled some shelves but was never the crazy collector. Like that fad when the covers were silver and had holographic cards on them, that kind of lost me.

JOE: Ok so you know comics. Fair to say you appreciate them?

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Yeah. Always liked the art. I still like seeing when one of them gets turned into a movie.

JOE: OK so what do you think made you stop collecting them.

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Not sure. Same way I came in, I went out. Just stopped. Working through college and college itself I guess.

JOE: When you look at comics now what do you think of them?

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Not sure what you mean. Comics are comics.

JOE: What’s your overall opinion of them? For example my own opinion of comics is like that of TV, movies or video games. A medium with a variety of content. Do you see comics any bit like that?

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: No. Definitely not. I see Spider-man and Captain America.

JOE: And would you say that’s a pretty good reason why you don’t really have interest any more? I don’t want to sway your thinking at all, or put words in your mouth but could it be that the stuff that you connected with at a younger age doesn’t really connect to you now at an older age?

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: I get your point so I guess yes. I mean I saw a guy at work the other day reading a comic on his IPAD. I didn’t look over at him and think he was crazy or immature. I get that comics have a wide age range.

JOE: Right, but interests change at different age ranges. I bet you don’t watch the same shows you did years ago or listen to the same radio stations that you used to. Maybe you do. I’m just curious. The entire point of this interview is to see what people outside of the normal comic fan think about comics. And of course to get that damned social security number your so secretive about.

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: You give me yours first.

JOE: 14.

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: 14?(Laughs)

JOE: I’m older than you think. Now if I gave you some comics to read. Some single issues and some trades to read, hold on, are you familiar with trades?

MRS BUTTERNUTS: I’m not a moron I’m familiar with trades. Mostly from going to book stores and seeing the rows and rows of them. I think the last one I picked up, to skim through not buy, was The Walking Dead, after I saw it was going to be a TV show.

JOE: OK great, so if I gave you some really good comics. Would you read them and then get back to me? Let me know what you think.

MRS BUTTERNUTS: Sure. I’d prefer Trades to be honest. So it’s all there.

The next part of this interview was done 8 days after the above segment. The comics that were given to Mrs. Butternuts were Echoes #1 By Top Cow/ Minotaur, Powers by Icon, Pandora’s Box #1 By Top Cow, Cowboy Ninja Viking by Image, All Star Superman by DC, Locke and Key Vol 1 by IDW, Chew Vol 1 By Image, Wolverine Old Man Logan Issue #1, Wanted TPB by Top Cow and Batman The Long Halloween TPB BY DC. Keep in mind my selection was to try and be varied. I’m sure TONS of you would have given him others but this was my quick selection intended to get him back on the crack that is comics. Er I mean her, obviously, Mrs. Butternuts.

JOE: Ok so it’s been 8 days. I’m kind of shocked you’re already done with them. I thought you’d take more time. So let me hear it. What did you think.

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: MAN, I TORE THREW THEM! I started with All Star Superman, because how could I not, it’s Superman right? They killed him? WHAT? I know you had explained it’s a type of else worlds tale so it doesn’t really count but still, AWESOME!
Than I went into CHEW. THAT WAS AWESOME! What a sick freaking idea. Than I ended my first night on Wolverine as the old man and now I want to read the rest of that.

JOE: No offense, but you sound pretty intense.

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: I don’t know, it’s just that reading them again got me back into the rhythm of reading comics. Like I feel if I could have read them as all single issues I might have had more that anticipatory feeling like when I was younger. The wait builds the excitement, ya know? Like ECHOES #1, now I want to go read that. The second I saw the first page and it was black and white, I won’t lie, I kind of winced a bit. Especially after reading all the bright colored stuff before it. But I am DYING to know what happens next. Is he on his meds, is he off them? Skin and bone dolls, crazyness.

JOE: Just so you know they’re up to issue 3 by now. So it’s out there for you to get.

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Yeah I was going to see if you had the rest. Otherwise I’ll just go on Amazon.

JOE: Ok well not to interrupt your reviews but can I just ask why Amazon?

MRS: BUTTERNUTS: I buy a lot on Amazon. It’s easy. Type what I want and buy it, delivered to my door.

JOE: Do you even know if there’s a comic shop by you. I mean I can see you’ve definitely got some interest back in comics. Going into a store and asking around might reap some further benefits for you.

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Yeah, I get that but walking in to a shop and asking, isn’t really for me.

JOE: Do you find the shop intimidating? Or the idea of asking? I mean you could just walk in and grab stuff that interests you. Is it a personal thing that makes you uncomfortable?

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: No. Well, I guess not. The place isn’t exactly the most inviting but I don’t know. It’s a weird place with old school video games and stuff. I don’t know, now I’m sounding like a weirdo. I just know I’d rather go on amazon and look for stuff than go in there. Just easier. More comfortable.

JOE: Hey ,no problem at all. Just asking. I want this kind of input. I’m doing this to find out what people think. So would you feel more comfortable going to, say, Barnes & Nobles or some place like that where you could see trades.

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Yeah, 100% I’d do that.Not sure why exactly but I’d def go there over my local comic shop. And the IPAD too. I’m not sure if I’d be completely used to it since I know how I grew up reading comics and the paper feel and all but I’d definitely give that a try.

JOE: Ok so for the sake of rapping this up, would you say you were surprised at the level of quality and variety of subject material out there for a comic fan or even just a fan of good entertainment?

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Yes. Definitely. I had no idea.

JOE: You know why you have no idea? Because every other form of media advertises. Comics, not so much.

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Yeah that’s true. You never see ads for comics. Why is that?

JOE: Why indeed. Ok so before we finish up, I know you read the rest of those comics I gave you. Without going into each one, was there one you didn’t like?

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Not really. Some were more exciting than others and some art I liked more than others, but every one had me interested.

JOE: Ok so thanks for doing this. I hope we can do it again. I’m sure I’ll have more to ask you. PLEASE spread the word and hand a comic to someone that might not know how great the medium is. And before we completely finish up, why don’t you stop being a baby and give me that damn Social Security number. I got bills man.

MRS. BUTTERNUTS: Give me more of your comics.

JOE: Sweet.

OK so that was the first interview. A bit long but definitely some great comments and insights on what some people think about comics. Feel free to post comments or hit me up with questions. If I get enough I’ll even ask him and post a Q&A on here. I appreciate you guys reading this and I hope it was worth your time. I definitely think it was.

  1. Scott W says:

    That was really well done. A fun read and a good insight into the mind of at least one non-comic reader. I hope to seem more of this.

    Also, give someone Atomic Robo damnit. =)

    • joemulv says:

      Thanks a ton. I’ll be putting up the others as the weeks roll on. I appreciate you taking a look. The next one I’m going to put up is quite a bit different but REALLY interesting, so I hope I can keep you interested. And Atomic Robot shall get the pimpage it deserves.

  2. Alex says:

    At the high end there are definitely lots of wonderfully written comics out there…the problem is that 80% of them are unreadable junk. I have dropped so many series over the past two years it’s not funny. Chew is fantastic, I love Sweet Tooth, Old Man Logan was great…there is just too much dreck on the shelves to be sustainable with a shrinking audience.

    • joemulv says:

      I someone agree with you. I completely agree that the big two really try to eat up all the marketplace by overloading their product on a monthly basis. The only problem there is that there are enough talented people within the industry and yet to get in, that have interesting takes on established characters as well as their own. Some ideas will flop while others succeed, but it’s those fringe books that kind of allow them to get their start and hone their craft.

      Also I don’t know many mediums that have an overall negative affect on their growth as an industry when they create a glut of product. That blows me away. There’s been entire networks on TV that have put garbage out and sustained themselves. Just odd. Thanks very much for taking the time to read the interview and I hope you’ll check out the next few as well, definitely some interesting opinions to be heard.

  3. Zach says:

    Yeah, I agree with the previous posters, if you give someone Chew, All-Star Superman and Old Man Logan, they’d think comics had the best batting average of any creative medium in human history. If you gave someone Shadowland, Bluewater’s Bio Comic of Lady Gaga and The Rise of Arsenal, they’d think you were trying to use evil poisons to destroy minds.

    • joemulv says:

      I completely agree. When your trying to make something appealing to people you have to give them the best you can. I’m not going to go up to someone who’s never seen a movie before and recommend Police Academy 6 or anything from the Pauly Shore library of movies. Tanks for reading and taking the time to reply. Much appreciated.

  4. Scott W says:

    Yeah but why wouldn’t you give someone the best comics you could? You’d be a moron not to.

    If you were trying to get someone who hated music (or a style of music) would you give them a pile of less-than-awesome examples and then expect them to assume that there’s better out there for them to find?

    I agree with Alex -80% or more of the comics out there are garbage. But the same applies to TV, movies, and music. So it’s not really a point worth bringing up IMO.

    • joemulv says:

      I completely agree. When you’re trying to make something appealing you’re going to give them some of the best you can. Plain and simple. Thanks for the reply and thanks for reading. The next one is going to be quite

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