I think that I have to be worried about myself when I see a comic book described as "It's the Hulk and Spider-Man in 1602! With dinosaurs!" and immediately think "I better get that". My general comics addiction is waning, my distaste for almost anything based on the Marvel universe (including Spiderman and the Hulk) as well as almost anything involving superheroes (apart from Batman. He still rocks) is rising, but still if you stick an "Alternative Universe" tag on a book I'm there at the front of the queue waiting to have my eyes gouged and brain melted by yet another "Superman and Batman aren't as super or batty as you remember" twist on the old tales. There are some good ones - I have an Island of Dr Moreau where the animals are based on the DC superheroes, a Superman story based in a world where baby Kal-el crashed 12 hours earlier on a russian collective farm, a Justice League of the early 1900s with Tesla and Imperialism, and a Batman story crossed with Frankenstein - but they are few and far between. It shocks me that with such wide and expansive universes the only things these days that appeal to me in the standard continua are the tales that deliberately subvert them or which deliberately parody themselves. So, a slow farewell to the superhero stories that I used to enjoy so much and a hello to the world of comics more independant of the big universes. The new releases of the Concrete paperbacks start this month and with the Sin City film kicking around I hope that a few more of the publishers reissue some of their books off its back.
The Watchmen movie is dead (for now...again...) and the V for Vendetta script has been pilloried for being watered down from it's original message (which as far as I remember was about how Maggie Thatcher was going to destroy the world) but there's a new Batman film out this summer, a new Superman soon and maybe a new X-Men sometime after that. The success of Sin City will be overshadowed by the more mainstream success of Batman Begins (also with Frank Miller's name on) so I suspect that the more independant comics will not be successful as movie source books for a little while again. Or at least, the movies made from them won't be pushed as "based on the Graphic Novel by X". At the same time, I still wonder why we constantly look to existing art to create movies...surely there are some people out there with new ideas?