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...or, how trying to dispose of your old comics is more emotionally difficult than you might think.


ALL-STAR SQUADRON

ME: Okay, this has been retconned out like five times over, and half of it is Roy Thomas continuity porn for things I didn't care about even before that, I can probably just--
LIBERTY BELLE: Here I am being awesome and self-possessed and totally in charge in 1942! Miss me?
ME: ...as it turns out, yes.
FIREBRAND: I am prone to motivational tragedy, which does not prevent me from being fierce, loyal, and decisive.
JOHNNY QUICK: I am entertaining and irreverent, even if Libby does have to tell me to shut up a lot.
TARANTULA: I have the best costume. And a pretty decent gimmick.
ME: Guys, please be quiet before I am encouraged to start buying the issues I don't have.
INFINITY INC.: Does this mean we're safe?
ME: We'll discuss it later.


ALPHA FLIGHT

ME: Pretty sure I don't need--
ALPHA FLIGHT: But I contain characters you are very fond of!
ME: Well. True. I should take a look.
*an hour later*
ME: God, do I really own the story where Northstar is dying because he's an elf? Why do I own this story? Why do I own half of these stories? Why are the plots so muddled? Why do none of you ever stop complaining?
ALPHA FLIGHT: ...so, pruning?
ME: With a big pair of shears.


AQUAMAN

ME: Why do I even own th--
GARTH: Hi there!
ME: Oh, right. Yeah, sorry, hon, I don't think you're going to save this for me. We'll always have fanfic, though.


CHASE

ME: Wow, I never even finished this, did I? Wonder if it's worth keeping a--wait, there's a trade? How the hell is there a trade?
CHASE: Some people remembered me, you know. I had guest appearances.
ME: Yes, but you're a ten-issue series from the '90s about a nonpowered female government agent!
CHASE: Not entirely nonpowered--
ME: Not the point! How did you manage a trade over ten years later?
CHASE: I suspended the laws of probability by force of awesome.
ME: ...I will accept this. And buy the trade.


COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS

CtFC: Er...
ME: YOU ARE LUCKY I CAN'T ACTUALLY HOLD A CEREMONIAL BURNING.
CtFC: Look, just because I am generally agreed to be awful and nonsensical and killed off one of your favorites after assassinating his character doesn't mean I am completely without merit!
ME: YES IT DOES.
CtFC: Pied Piper blowing up Apokolips with a Queen song.
ME: ...all right, that issue can live. The rest of you, however... *holds up lighter*


GREEN ARROW

OLIVER QUEEN: Hey, babe.
ME: Huh. You...are kind of a jerk.
OLIVER QUEEN: Really not news?
ME: Yes, but I'm feeling less charmed by it this time 'round. I think it may be time for us to break up, at least in books your kids aren't in.
OLIVER QUEEN: But we've been together so long! You've spent so much time hunting down my stories!
ME: And now it's years later and there has been so much awfulness and you are literally not the guy I used to know, and I'm just burned out. Yeah, breaking up for totally real. ...huh. This must be what it feels like to be Black Canary.
OLIVER QUEEN: I look very pretty when drawn by Mike Grell.
ME: ...dammit. Yes, exactly what it feels like to be Black Canary...


GREEN LANTERN

HAL JORDAN: Um...
ME: Next!


HULK

ME: So. A decades-old run I haven't read in years, focusing on a character I don't especially care about and largely disconnected from current events. What do you have to say for yourself?
HULK: HULK IS STRONGEST ONE THERE IS!
ME: Wrong era.
HULK: Oh. Er...well-characterized, funny, and a strong supporting cast?
ME: Damn. There's always something.


SILVER-AGE JLA

ME: Yeah, we're parting ways.
JLA: But we're classics!
ME: I know, I know. It's not you, it's me. Now, unless you have any Justice League International members on the roster, it's time to fight crime elsewhere.
JLA: ...Batman?
ME: Nice try.


LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES ISSUES I HAVE IN TRADE

ME: Well, obviously I don't need these.
LEGION COVERS: *stare*
ME: Guys, I will still have you, just in a more durable and manageable format--
LEGION COVERS: *emanate emotional appeal*
ME: ...is being a Legion fan a treatable condition?


NEW UNIVERSE

ME: Explain to me why I'm getting rid of DP7, which is written by Mark Gruenwald and universally agreed to be the best of the lot, and keeping all of Psi-Force? Even the dumb parts?
NEW UNIVERSE: Because your inner thirteen-year-old still loves it, and there's no winning against that. Sorry.
ME: *sigh*
ME: I can dump the mini-series where a cosmic two-year-old saves the world, though, right?
NEW UNIVERSE: God, yes.


THREE DOZEN RANDOM AND FREQUENTLY INCOMPLETE MINISERIES

ME: ...It is just possible my buying habits could be a little more selective.


WOLFMAN TITANS

TITANS: Ahahaha good luck.
ME: Come on. There are like five years of complete trash at the end, and you know it.
TITANS: Oh, as if your completist heart will allow you to break up the set.
ME: You just watch me. Baby Wildebeest, for Christ's sake.
TITANS: *smugly* We shall see.


CLAREMONT X-MEN

X-MEN: ...yeah, don't even think about it.
ME: *meekly* Maybe some of the mini-series?
X-MEN: Maybe.
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