Sequential Underground #31 – To Fan Or Not To Fan?

Sequential Underground

Which side of the table are you on? Dan, Shawn, and Nick discuss being comics creators vs. being comics fans.

Dan never wants to lose his passion as a fan, no matter what. Shawn has always approached comics with creation in mind, and for him being a fan has always been a secondary role. Nick was once a rabid fan, but as his passion to create comics increased, his passion to read comic books decreased.

ALSO: When is it inappropriate for creators to act like cranky fans? Where does the line begin and end? Have JMS and Dave Johnson both crossed the line?

Also, sandwiched between the theme songs (at around 25 mins in), Shawn and Nick discuss the idea of releasing webcomics in chapters. They each have their own ideas about what it means to use a chapters format, but the goals are the same — create a more engrossing reading experience.

8 Responses to “Sequential Underground #31 – To Fan Or Not To Fan?”


  1. 1 Brian John Mitchell

    A really interesting topic. I more have this problem with music where I’ve gotten to a point where I can hear a record (usually by a friend as I just don’t seek stuff out anymore) & think it’s really good & figure out why I like it in two lessons & then never listen again. With stuff I’m not as into I don’t even listen all the way through.

    The same with comics for me. I’m not sure if it is because of making comics per se, so much as creating makes you a more discerning consumer. That said I can’t remember the last time I read something that blew me away. I mean, I remember when I finally read Watchmen in 1995 & all I thought was, “Oh, this is like Squadron Supreme” (which it is & SS predates Watchmen a bit, though it doesn’t have as good of art & probably the words aren’t quite as good either (been a long time). I guess the last thing that blew me away was six or seven years ago I read Cerebus & that is kinda what got me to start making comics. I do also think part of my thing with making comics is seeing other people making the same mistakes as have been going on since the 1980s indie boom pisses me off (a year passing between issues, lack of a complete story in an issue, not being able to jump in with a random issue, hard to decipher page design because of trying to be arty, trying to be so intellectual it’s unreadable, the list goes on forever).

  2. 2 nick marino

    Sometimes I wonder if it’s because I’ve become more discerning… but I’m not sure that it is for me. I think it’s because the mystery has been depleted a bit, and mostly depleted by myself, natch. I spend too much time (or, really, as of the past month SPENT) too much time following the creation process through interviews and industry news that I already knew exactly what was happening in the books before I got to the comic shop. Definitely being more analytical hinders my enjoyment a little bit… but not that much. It’s more like there’s not enough surprise and mystery, and really that’s all my fault. With friend’s comics, however, the experience is different because the mystery comes from connecting the product to the person I know.

  3. 3 ross

    great episode!! i love the part at the end where Shawn just makes no sense, haha.

    i lean more toward Nick’s perspective on this one. i feel like doing comics makes me, for better or worse, able to see the seams more in other comics, like “oh i see what they did there” or whatever, and for me that definitely takes a lot of the luster away. i think i’ve also never been a huge comics superfan so it’s just a personal progression that i’ve kind of lost interest in reading many comics and i’m almost entirely focused on creating them instead. if i wasn’t in the industry i could see myself not really reading many or any comics at all, or maybe if i wasn’t in the industry i’d have a newfound burst of enthusiasm for them.

    i still love the medium of comics itself, that’s a separate thing than what creators are doing in/with the medium, which is what i’m not generally that thrilled about as i have a hard time finding comics that really light my fire. or when they do light my fire it’s rarely the same intensity as my passion for my favorite movies, prose books, or music. i don’t know if that’s a result of just being a creator and being in the industry full-time or if i’m just changing as a person as i get older, but as my interest in reading comics decreases my drive to create them has definitely increased over the years.

  4. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

    Wet Moon comics


  5. 4 nick marino

    nowadays, i find myself more passionate for good stories above all else. in particular, i’m passionate for characters that compel me. ALF, Warren the Ape, Thanos, and Black Panther to name a few. and to me, that interest in character is stronger than a passion for any medium.

    with that said, i don’t necessarily consider myself passionate for the medium of comics. i’m passionate about great art, awesome characters, and exciting stories. i think comics tends to have more of that than any of medium. and i prefer comics as a medium over prose or theater… but i wouldn’t say i’m head over heels for the medium. i like video, too. i don’t wanna make videos, necessarily, but i enjoy being a fan.

    i’d say what really matters to me is the culture of storytelling in comics. i love the chances people are willing to take with plot and progression. i love the way big ideas mix with imaginative visuals. to me, that’s not necessarily a function solely of the medium because more tv shows and films could do the same. it’s just that the culture of storytelling isn’t quite the same as it is in comics. they don’t take as many chances as often. they don’t stretch reality in quite the same way. i know that’s because the medium isn’t as flexible as comics… but at the same time, comics in America have developed a fantastic culture that rewards mad scientist type of storytelling that i enjoy. so i’m definitely passionate about that comics culture (not including conventions, that is!).

  6. 5 ross

    i meant passionate about creating in the medium of comics! i’m with you on the rest, i’m passionate about great characters and stories regardless of the medium.

  7. 6 Panic

    Nice to hear the promo stuff paid off.

  8. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

    Gello Apocalypse webcomics


  9. 7 Mindy Indy

    I agree that there’s a certain naivete that comes with first reading comics as a kid or teen, then continuing to read them as a comics creator. I stopped reading comics on a regular basis when I got to college (no time and no $), and pick up a comic only once in awhile these days. But now all the mistakes jump out at me that destroy the world that the creators are trying to make and it really annoys me. Recently I read a comic called “The Massive” which has an awesome art style, but the writing was kind of inconsistent: They made a timeline of catastrophic events which includes months but left out years, leading one to think it could have happened/will happen at any time, which is good. But then it gives the characters birth years and starts saying dates at the end of the book. If I read it as a teen, I’d be like “oooooo this is soooo cooooool and sci-fi and awesome!” but I’m not inclined to read more now.

  10. 8 nick marino

    I can overlook inconsistencies as long as the story is compelling, thoughtful, and fun for me to read. But now that I spend so much time analyzing media, it can be hard for me to enjoy stuff just for the sake of enjoyment! Comedy is a little easier for me to do that with, but serious stuff is tough.

    When we recorded this episode, I still went to the comic book store every week and read a mix of mainstream and indie comics (mostly superhero). I haven’t been to a comic shop in such a long time and I can’t even remember the last time I read a comic book that wasn’t created by a friend!

  1. 1 The Comics Podcast Network » Sequential Underground #31
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