I can remember an occasion when Ma Triplett, because of her long dark braids, was accused of being an “I-wish-I-were.” Apparently that person thought my mother was trying to be Native American, something she was not.
I think of that phrase sometimes when I read comic book blogs or online criticism of comics. I don’t begrudge anyone using new media to launch or advance their career goals – that’s fine. But how many of them (us?) are satisfied with just being consumers? Not an unpublished writer. Not a struggling artist. Not a critic seeking to agitate.
While there have been some great pieces recently about the role of comic book criticism, I’ve never seen anyone talk about the role of the consumer. Is my role simply to communicate with the talent, publishers, and retailers through my purchases? Or is there another aspect to the consumer role that I’m overlooking? Or is voting with my dollars that most important part I can play?
In information technology, the consumer is no longer a passive buyer, rather a partner in developing innovation both in product and delivery. Health care is accessed and priced significantly different because of the demands of the purchasers, specifically the government and large employers. More and more folks are value-driven in their purchases, changing how commercial and household products are manufactured and packaged. What role can comic book readers play as consumers?
What do you think?