Difficulties In Reading Dated Source Material

I’m the type of person when watching a trailer for something that looks especially tasty and I find out that there’s a book/comic attached it means nothing else can happen until I read the source material. I feel like I owe it to the author to consume the story how it was initially created. Sure, this all feeds into my OCD problems, like how my remotes are lined up in size order, but I like to believe it’s protecting the integrity of the story. Plus, it allows me to be the typical geek who says things like “the book was better”. I even do this for trailers on things I’ve already read. I like to think of it as either a crash course or a reminder. And on top of that, re-reads are fun.

Here’s my question though, what happens when the source material is a tough read? Not so much in difficulty but in its ability to maintain attention or interest. That rare occasion where the trailer/announcement actually seems cooler than what it’s based on. Suddenly the story that you were jazzed for becomes a slog. A burden to “get through” before getting to the live action of it all. As someone who reads on the constant (#humblebrag) it’s kind of a painful thing to admit. I want to believe in the sanctity of the source, but sometimes you got to stop lying to yourself.

I’m currently going through this with Crisis On Infinite Earths. I don’t know if you guys know this but some of these classic comic books… the dialogue isn’t so crisp. In fact, it’s very “I’m the hero and I’m here to save you” or “Something is wrong (insert hero name here), we must act in the best interest of the citizens of this city in order to keep them safe from (insert villain here)”. While I appreciate the evolution of the medium and what the comics represents to the history of comics… I’m having a really tough time getting into this. The dialogue is basically keeping me at arm’s length from enjoying the story. I want to but right now the read is more of a burden than an enjoyment and it’s starting to screw up my Good Reads 2019 challenge (fifty books). I’ve got eight books to go and a month to do so, I don’t have time to be slowed down.

This whole experience would be so much easier if I could remember if I actually read the entire series. I believe that when I was a kid I read some of the key issues. My parents would often gift me those comic starter kits with like fifty random comics thrown together to invite new readers to the fold-

[ Side Note- Whatever happened to those services? It was almost like Columbia House for comics but all at once and without getting charged fifty dollars because you forgot to return the Album of the Month they sent you,]

–  and, I want to say at least one of these issues slipped in there. I remember the Superman holding the dead Supergirl cover kind of vividly. But the problem is, I don’t remember enough to the point where I feel comfortable bailing on this re-read… or first read. So I’m stuck.

I’m very much looking forward to the CW Crisis On Infinite Earths event as I think it’ll serve as a nice closing to not only Arrow but what the DC CW shows were. Their own scaled-back version of Endgame so to speak. I’m completely aware that because of character restrictions that this will not play out exactly like the comic. That’s fine. That kind of stuff doesn’t really bother me when it comes to comic-related shows or movies. As long as the integrity of the story is there I’m all in. And that’s why I started reading Crisis to remind myself of the integrity, but I’m only a hundred fifty pages in and the ending seems soooooooo far away. It doesn’t help that every page is basically a nine-panel grid and seems to last forever. I swear, there have been numerous times where I thought I was making some steady progress only to find that I read three pages. It’s like thinking you’re invisible so you walk around naked and then your roommate asks what you’re doing levels of discouraging. 

All this is to say, I have no clue what I’m going to do here. I’m thinking about speed reading the rest of the series and moving on with my life, but that feels cheap too. Mostly, I want to binge read the hell out of Charles Soule’s Darth Vader series as my hype levels for Star Wars continue to escalate to borderline silly levels but Crisis is holding me back. I know it’s a classic. I know how extremely important it is to the overall DC Universe. Hell, to comics in general. And despite that knowledge my brain is like, “no bro…no”. 

I think things would be different if I had a more clear cut memory to reading it as a kid. In that case, this re-read would feel more nostalgic. Return me to a time where I didn’t have college loans or had to scrape cat turds out of a sandbox like the subservient human I am. But I don’t have these memories so I must binge-read before the crossover arrives December 8th. This is my hell… 

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