At Silver Bullet Comics this week, The Panel asks the question, "Should comic fans go on a diet
?" No, they aren't jumping on the "No Carb" bandwagon that has brought us crap like No-Carb Doritos (cardboard, anyone?) and C2, the low-carb Coke that is supposed to taste better than diet but doesn't. Fan Joseph P. Gauthier explains his question:
...there are no "discerning tastes" among the majority of comic consumers. That we basically "eat" whatever the publishers give us. In fact, we mostly over eat when we're not even hungry. Buying comics has become more habit than love.
Stinz creator Donna Barr responds: "Sometimes we need stories more than food." If an animal is starving, it will eat dung (well, dogs don't care, and scarab beetles prefer it). If there is plenty of food, the animal can pick and choose according to its needs and wants and best interest. Our zoo is starving!!!!
Dung? Obviously she's read Holed Up!, Witches and Identity Disc.
Bitchy Bitch creator Roberta Gregory might have taken the question too literally ... or maybe not: Well, I think a lot of the problem is a sedentary lifestyle. But if fans suddenly became active and athletic, they would read less comics, and then were would we creators be? I just read an article in the paper that said Americans get a third of their calories from junk food, so it is probably not much different in the UK. Personally, I have discovered as I grow older (I am over 50 now!) I need to eat much less food than I thought I do, and I am very active, trying to walk 3 miles a day and with a physical labor 'day job.' I will cook my usual eggs-and-veggies brunch dish and find I only need to eat half of what, a few years ago, I thought was a normal serving-- I can save the rest and nuke it later for dinner. Perhaps, then, it is the fact that fans are aging and have a perception of how much food they need from several years earlier. AND, the plus side is, if you are spending only half the money on food now, you can buy MORE comics and graphic novels. It is a win-win situation!
Joseph's question is a good one; how many fans buy books to "keep a run going" or out of momentum rather than because they really enjoy the book? But I guess if they did that they couldn't constantly complain about Chuck Austen on message boards (right ... like that would stop them).