Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs is the creator of the popular blog Pen-Elayne on the Web. She was a founding member of Friends of Lulu, an organization dedicated to increasing the involvement of girls and women in comics, as readers and creators. She is married to inker Robin Riggs, with whom she shares two cats, and has odd love/hate relationship with Hillary Clinton.

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4 Responses

  1. Laura Gojvaag says:

    I don't think anyone would disagree with your point, Elayne. The words per panel is just an obvious symptom of the change in pacing in comics, not the key point or cause of it.I have to admit that I'm enjoying the 6-8 page Golden Age Aquaman stories more than 99% of the modern superhero books. In part because each story is a complete tale. In part because so much more story is packed into each one. In part because the writer didn't assume that I needed every little thing explained to me, and the artist felt she could simply draw her best to just tell the story. The stories were simple, yes, but each one was a satisfying snack.Look at today's books. Even if I pick up an entire mini-series there's a good chance I won't get the complete story. Some writers draw their books out well… I'm really enjoying Tad Williams run on Aquaman… but some of them just seem to be killing time. That's where the PVFM comes in. Are you getting a course of a full meal, or just another tiny appetizer with no meal in sight?For too many comics, there is no meal. Just an endless series of build-ups with no finale. Eventually those build-ups fail to excite, and either the writers must come up with more intense build-ups, or the readers will leave to find a story that actually ENDS.And right now, with DC and Marvel both in the thralls of massive crossover tales, if you pick up any average comic book you aren't going to get a meal, or even a course of a meal, out of any one book. You are going to get some ingredients and a vague promise that the whole thing will be really cool once you've read it all. And spent hundreds of dollars buying it all to read.But why should we trust them to deliver something great? I'd prefer to pick up the whole story, all at once, and enjoy the whole thing… rather than wait for months, never sure which issues are part of the crossover, spending all my money on something that may turn out to be a massive disappointment AND isn't at all satisfying in the little chunks of it I'm getting.Was 52 worth the amount of money people spent on it? Is Countdown? Do most books deliver a story that is actually worth $3 of your hard-earned money? I'm certain 22 pages *can* be worth $3 or more, but in most of today's books it simply isn't.

  2. Elayne Riggs says:

    To continue playing devil's advocate, a lot of eateries make very good money featuring appetizers rather than full meals, from dim sum places to tapas restaurants…

    • Marilee J. Layman says:

      Sure, but when you're done with your appetizer, you're done. Apparently when you're done with the comic, you're not done with the story.

  3. Alan Coil says:

    There are 3 things I have to do every day: Take in sustenance, expel waste, and read comics. I simply cannot wait for the trade. Perceived value IS important to me, but I give comic books a little leeway if I am enjoying the whole. Not so with television; I cancelled my cable service. I seldom go to the movies. 2 hours including 15 minutes of ads, a small bag of popcorn for $3 (I can get thrice that much from one microwave bag), and $11 for a regular ticket is just not good value, especially when I can rent a movie for a buck or two mere months after it has opened.