Today I went to TCAF 2015. Usually, it’s a pretty big event during my calendar year; I really love comics, and seeing a lot of independent voices always felt really good.
However, this year it didn’t do a lot for me. It felt weird. I felt a little more detached than I usually do. I wasn’t as excited to experience new things; I found that there was less of the feeling that I was looking forward to.
It’s hard to explain, but my enjoyment of comics has shrank so much in the past year. Choices made by Marvel and DC have pretty much alienated me from anything superhero-related, and I don’t find myself hooked by anything new in the wide-open land of creator owned, or tier 2 publishers like Image, Dark Horse, etc.
Lauded series (Saga, East of West, Sex Criminals) don’t really hold my attention enough to look forward to new issues, and I rarely find myself wanting to binge-read in order to catch up. I’m finding that I only feel a need to keep up in order to be “with it” with current “good” books, but instead of wanting to take part in a community I’m feeling increasingly insular.
The comics I have enjoyed in the last year tend to be “classics”; I read the entirety of Usagi Yojimbo and Akira, and damn, those are some good books. They remind me of good experiences I had in the past, and the lovely release you get when you close the back cover, exhale, and think “that was some shit.”
With modern comics, I’m feeling that less and less.
I’m at the point where I am content to have comics being something I am completely selfish about. No blogging, no discussion, no speculation, no work. No reading blogs about the latest outrage, no worrying whether if it’s my “fault” when a book I’m not interested in fails.
Instead, I’m content to just read what I want, enjoy it how I want, then not talk about it with anyone. While I still like comics, they are no longer a consuming passion that I want to experience in its entirety.
For now, there are parts that I want to keep and cherish, and I’m content doing just that.
Matt Demers is a Toronto writer who works in eSports. You can follow him on Twitter.