I don't like to talk about myself much. I have a profession and whatever but comics are my real passion. All my other hobbies have fallen by the wayside. I can't remember when I started making comics, let alone started reading them. It was way back. I made comics that made the whole class laugh. I made rude comics about a kid who bugged me and he punched me in the face!
I'm really saddened by the way that commercial comics have turned out. I think that the Comics Code Authority set the medium back a great deal compared with Europe or Asia. Of course, there was a lot of garbage produced over there and some really mindblowing works in North America, but I couldn't imagine what it would be like if EC hadn't collapsed. Even the people who shamelessly copied it were tremendous artists in their own right. I can't believe that kids would go to the corner store and just pick up true works of art like that for a handful of pennies. Mindblowing! I wonder if they appreciated it? Comic Books were to the 50s what D&D was to the 80s (another hobby I had which thankfully fell by the wayside). There was just a moral panic around it. It was just words and pictures put together, but when you have that kind of reaction, you know it's something powerful.
It makes me disappointed with the direction comics in North America have taken as a whole. A lot of it is just repetitive and bland. Even the "alternative", "indie" ones are starting to all look the same and get boring. They don't care about the art, just providing a consistent product for an established market. In places like Japan, I think the sheer volume of the output offsets a monopoly by big studios.
I'm not going to lie, I was bracing myself for a bad time when I signed up for tapas. I only did it because I was tired of putting together zines and disappointed with that scenes as well. I prefer to read physical paper comics even if the overwhelming majority of the time, I read comics on the 'net. It got to be too much hassle to print and bind the comics. I toyed with the idea for a long time but I decided to just go for it.
I was expecting a lot of low quality imitation of the major or overseas studios. But so far I have been very pleasantly surprised. There are a lot of really good comic artists on this site! I think that amateurs who do it out of sheer love and passion for the medium can create things of true charm, originality, and brilliance even if their skills and sensibilities can be a bit rough around the edges. I would take that any day over the pros who produce slick and polished stuff that's exactly what the execs ordered.
Whenever I see initiatives like "Free Comic Book Day" or whatever, I get sad, and I think the damage is already done to print comics and I think it's time to make the jump. Another reason why I'm happy the 'net exists, you have the opportunity for a lot of experimentation and the chance to have a truly mass medium telling a wide variety of stories. I'm on the train and I see all kinds of people reading all kinds of comics on their phones and it makes me optimistic about the future. So, I guess it's the same across the board with movies and music, maybe you have to hunt for something that really shines, maybe something matures like a fine wine and exemplifies the feeling of an era, but it's always worth it.
Comics on the web are just a medium that's in it's infancy, even if comics (period) have just barely cut their teeth. I'm excited to see where it goes and I just hope I'm around long enough to see some interesting places along the way.