Mark’s Remarks – Solo Avengers #13 (December 1988)

A short one this time. Someone at the Chicago Comics Convention I recently attended suggested I put my two cents’ worth in about the “Marvel Zombie Controversy” that’s raging in MARVEL AGE, among other places. As I understand it, a Marvel Zombie is a comics fan who buys only and all Marvel Comics, regardless or whether s/he likes them all or not. (Did I get that right, self-proclaimed Marvel Zombie Number One, Jim Salicrup?)

Here’s what I think on the subject. Anyone and everyone is entitled to spend his/her hard-earned money on whatever s/he pleases – this is America, where freedom of choice even extends to entertainment, after all. So if someone is a Marvel completist, that’s his/her right. Furthermore, derogatory nicknames for persons having singular preferences are uncool (I assume “zombie” is being used derogatory here) and simply show the user’s bigotry.

On the other hand, people who buy ONLY Marvel Comics (no names please) are missing out on other excellent work being done in the medium. And those who buy ALL Marvel Comics, ones s/he likes as well as ones s/he doesn’t, isn’t doing his/her part in helping us determine which comics are good and which need improvement. If you don’t like a comic, the only way to let us know is to NOT BUY IT. Please reread that  last sentence or emphasis. If you buy something and keep on buying it, we can only assume you like it. Please don’t mislead us like that. You’re not doing either you or us any favors.

But what about completists who don’t want annoying gaps in your collections? Assuming you have access to a comic book store, wait until a comic is off sale and in the back issue bin to buy it. That way it won’t be counted as part of a book’s current sales, but as part of the store’s general back issue inventory sales. It really will make a difference in our accounting of a book’s popularity, and thus you will be helping us determine which books you like and want to see more of.

Well, that’s it for this time. I’ve got to go and pick up some back issues I missed.

–Mark Gruenwald