Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Posting and Yankee Games

So, as you read this, I am off to the Big Ballpark in the Bronx known as (the new) Yankee Stadium. And, before you go all, oohh look at the rich guy, let me say this: the tickets were free. Well, my ticket was free, anyway. And, before I launch into today's regularly scheduled post, I just wanted to vent a little about the Yankees. I promise to keep it to a paragraph (or two).

My rant goes something like this: I've loved the Yankees my whole life, because rooting for them was something that my Dad passed down to me. We're going to the game together today in some (admittedly) not so great seats, mostly because you have to be a pre-Autumn-of-2008-Wall-Street-type to afford any of the good seats in the new Stadium.

And that's wrong.

And it's become entirely pointless to say things like, "But the fans pay the salaries" or ask the ever popular, "Don't they care about the people that root for them?" Because the answer to that is, no. No, they could not care any less about any of that. They will, however, happily take your money. Which is fine, and all capitalistic of them, but the prices at the new Yankee Stadium are so far above and beyond prices anywhere else, it's just plain sickening.

And, yes, I know that you get what you pay for. In my case, since the ticket is free, that seems appropriate.

To be honest, my interest in going to the Stadium lies more in walking around the new ballpark and taking in the sights, and revisiting Yankees teams of the past in the form of the various exhibits and monuments that are set up around the Stadium.

Some friends have gone to the ballpark already this season, and they've all said it's a beautiful place. So, even if I don't really care for this year's club, at least there's that. And spending a day at the ballpark with my Dad has always, and will always, be a Very Good Thing.

And for those of you that are still with me, here's where I seamlessly segue into comics. While our beloved little funny books do, indeed cost money in order for us to take them home from the store, I feel as though we (the fans) get exactly what we pay for.

Yes, I know books are skyrocketing in price, and yes I know that Bowen statue you've been ogling is nearly $200 bucks, but still. Comparatively, comics are still a cheap form of entertainment, and a book or two a week is within the purchasing means of a large majority of people.

And don't forget about the conventions.

Where, for ten to twenty dollars, fans can buy a ticket and meet the people that make the comics. And they can talk to them, and say "thanks," and get their autograph. Or maybe even a drawing.

And that's an experience that is wholly unlike most other fandoms. Imagine walking up to [insert million dollar athlete here] at a signing, and getting a "hello" and an autograph. The autograph will cost you a pretty penny, and believe me, there won't be a "hello."

You'll be lucky if he or she even looks up before signing whatever it is he or she is meant to sign.

But that's not how it is in comics. And that is also a Very Good Thing.


Scott said...

It's funny, because living in Japan, I have a different view of comics. Comics here come out weekly in black-and-white format on phonebook-weight paper. You buy a thick, phonebook-sized volume with the week's chapters for a ton of series, it runs you about three bucks. That's 12 bucks a month to keep up with, say, four series (assuming you don't like ALL of the series in one book).

The books are designed to be recycled, not collected -- most people just want to follow the story, after all. If you want to collect the story for future reading, there are softcover volumes with removable covers that come out every so often on nicer stock and run about seven bucks.

I have the collector's urge, but buyers' regret; I collect stuff, then wonder why I wasted money collecting it. This way, though, I can enjoy the story and art cheaply. Unlike American comics.

People always talk about how terrible it is keeping everything on-track with comics -- sure, they're in color, and sure, they're on nicer stock... but people are are churning out about 12-16 pages of black-and-white art with dialog every single week. Unlike comics, they don't tend to miss deadlines regularly... With a few exceptions.

So, if I had a point, it's probably that I think I'm getting much more bang from my buck from Japanese comics than American ones.

Scott said...

It's really confusing how some posts let me post right away and others require approval. Kind of a turn-off, too...

Flashman85 said...

We have it set so that comments on posts that are more than a day old require approval; for a little while there, the only comments we were getting were essentially spam on some very old posts. But, I think we can probably lift the moderation now.

AJG said...

The phonebook volume sounds like a great idea. We have DC Showcase and Marvel Essentials, which are black and white phonebook-sized volumes that collect dozens of old stories--like, from the '60s to the '80s.

And, of course, Dave Sim's Cerebus showed us all that the format works, but alas, we will never have cheap reprints of current material.

I just spent $24.99 on a hardcover of a four-issue mini-series that finished up a couple months ago...