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Brian Fies

13 million issues of a comic book would've been a good day's work in 1945 and a freakin' miracle today. As recently as the '70s, books that sold, say, 100,000 copies were cut as underperformers. These days they'd be bestsellers.

My take on the general consensus is that "event" comics like the death and resurrection of Superman have done terrible harm to comics. Enormous sales demand repetition and imitation, to the point of fatigue. Only an idiot thought Superman was going to stay dead; now not even the idiots fall for it. It also fueled repeated cycles of speculator boom and bust. Many of those 13 million copies remain entombed in plastic bags, their owners confident that someday they'll be worth more than they paid for them. Crap like that is one reason I haven't picked up a DC or Marvel comic in 30 years (and haven't missed them).

I understand feeling stuck in a bad job. Been there. But I always figured as long as I was taking The Man's money I ought to at least play along, and never did less than my best. Not entirely relevant, but I once supervised a guy who was out the door at 5 sharp every day. He was mine until then but at 5:01 his time was his, and no pleading for an extra 10 minutes would move him. PITA, but I kinda respected him for it.

Mike Peterson

Thanks for the marketing backgrounder.

As for being stuck in a job, I have little patience for those who put a lot of effort into being visibly discontented. I understand being stuck, for instance, because you have kids in school or a spouse with a great job or aged parents in the area.

Those may be very good reasons that you aren't looking for a job that makes you happier, but they are still your reasons, your choices.

If you can't be cool about it, then you probably need to move on, for your sake, for your family's ultimate sake and certainly out of an ethical consideration for your employer -- as you say, if you take the money, you owe the Man your loyalty.

As for clockwatchers, I think holding onto a job without ever becoming part of the team is not a healthy attitude. You shouldn't let your boss take advantage of you, but I wouldn't promote anyone above widget-tightener who didn't want to be more than a cog.

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