Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy
How many of us choose our comics based on that equation? I've begun to think a lot of people do, though not necessarily the sort who post on message boards.
What's missing from the equation? Writing! And that's my point. I've begun to think the subject matter (fave character) and the visual appeal (good art) are by far the most important factors in most people's buying decision, with the writing a distant third.
The above might have been true of yours truly when I was a kid. This was back in the 70's, when I was buying mostly Marvel, and Roy Thomas was ascendant. Back then, I never encountered what I considered a poorly written comic, so if I liked the character and liked the art, I bought the book. I didn't have to choose by writer, because the writing was always to my liking.
Nowadays there are writers who are so obviously inferior to their peers, for example Loeb, that I tend to think I need to be selective in that area. Yet people buy Loeb's books and don't complain, probably because he always is blessed with a popular artist and popular subject matter.
I have to admit, if I like the art and I like the protagonist, it takes a lot for me to dislike the comic. The writing has to be grossly sub-par. Few writers are really that poor. Often it isn't even really the writing that bugs me, but rather the editorial mandate, good example being "Brand New Day," which is unreadable unless you're happy with the editorial mandate. (Zeb Wells was able to shine under those conditions, but Zeb Wells is upper echelon.)
Most of the time, if I choose books by character and art, I think I'll enjoy the books I end up with. I just won't buy anything by Loeb or mandated by JoeQ. Everything else should be fine.
Fave Character + Good Art = Must Buy?
At one time that was me. I never cared who the writer was for years. Mainly because marvel and DC stuck to a "house" style of writing. So I made my buys based on the art and characters.
Then around 2000 a bunch of writers started filtering into DC and marvel that I just do not like. They have become the driving force at both companies. With these writers doing the bulk of the plotting and writing I find myself just staying away.
There has been lapses in my judgment though. The last time was Mighty Avengers. I gave this book a try because of Wonder Man and the artist even though the writer was/is one of my least favorites. Well... Not even Wonder Man and good art could save this book for me.
So I have learned to stick to my list of writers to avoid.