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Comics/Graphic Novels

Voting with Your Wallet

Sonja Palmer

Staff Writer

Sonja resides in Asheville, NC where she has a job she loves at a children’s nonprofit.  When she’s not working, she probably has a book or comic in hand as she tries to read her way out of the ever-growing stack in her small apartment.  On weekends, she’s probably clambering through the mountains with her husband and dog or trying to eat too much cake while watching Great British Bake Off.

I am a firm believer in voting with your wallet, especially with comics. Pre-ordering and buying single issues is a great way to tell a publisher, “Hey this? I like this thing. KEEP DOING IT. Hey DC, Gotham Academy? Yes please! No, no more sad Batman.”



Sorry Batman.

But I realized that there is a limit to that. I had to come to the point where I realized a couple of things.

  • I cannot support every book
  • I have to pay rent
  • If I am really not enjoying something, even if I think it is important, I can let it go because its not up to me alone to save comics with my dollars.

I still believe wholeheartedly in giving my money to things that matter-to show Marvel/DC/Image that hey, diversity does sell! Lady-led comics are awesome! (I buy so many, you guys. If you just put a lady on the cover, there’s a good chance I’ll fall for it at least once). But you know, sometimes its okay to stop.

I had this moment with Katana, with DC a couple of years ago. I was like YES! DC! I AM SO EXCITED! A Japanese lady solo book in DC’s universe? HELLO I AM HERE. But man, a couple issues in, I wasn’t enjoying it at all. I just finished each issue and I’d be like, whelp. That was a book, alright. (If you love Katana-if Katana is your jam, that’s awesome. And also please am I missing something? Can you help me? SHOW ME YOUR WAYS) So I finally got to the point where I had to take it off the pull list. I felt really terrible. I was letting down comics. I was letting down myself. I gave myself a whole stern face Steve Rogers speech about how I was a disappointment to comics and also America. And then my lovely comic shop lady looked at me and said, “Hey Sonja? Its not your responsibility to support every book. So you didn’t like it? Support something else.”

Mother-freaking light bulb moment.

I still sometimes fall into that trap. I hang on to certain series a bit too long- past the point where I am enjoying them at all or there’s hope that guys, its just another Marvel event, in seventeen issues it will all be over. So they end up taking up a spot that could go to something else (or maybe money that should go to somewhere to PUT the comics.) But I think since I had that realization, I’ve been more able to let it go Elsa style. So yes, support comics. Talk about them, vote with your wallet, pre-order, etc. But man, you are not responsible for every book by yourself, and sometimes its okay to move on to other things.