The Captain's rules finally written down!

For years I've written references to "Captain Comics Rule No. This" or "Captain Comics Rule No. That," when I thought it was pretty obvious that I was making it up as I went along. But the other day I decided to create in fact what was only in my imagination ... and write down The Captain's Rules.

So here's a rough draft, which I hope the Legionnaires will add to or revise. Feel free to argue that some ought to move up or down the list, or to add or subtract. Knock yourselves out, gang!


1) If you can’t find it, you don’t own it.


2) There are no bad characters, just bad writers.


3) The Golden Age of Comics is age 12.


4) If anything can happen in a story, we
don’t care what eventually does.


5) No idea is so bad it can’t be resurrected.


6) Your enjoyment of a title is inversely proportional to its sales.


7) On continuity: If editors don’t care about their characters, neither should we.


8) Criticizing a book you’re not reading is like complaining about two other people dating.


9) Sometimes writers like one of their characters so much, they forget to explain why we
should like them.


10) There should be enough variety in comics that I don’t like all of them.


11) Good art can sell a bad story; bad art will sink a good one.


12) A guest star usually means sales trouble.



Views: 131

Comment by ClarkKent_DC on May 17, 2010 at 3:42pm
"In comics, you have to believe 10 impossible things before you crack open the cover. But sometimes, that eleventh impossible thing is just too much to swallow."
Comment by Cavaliere (moderator emeritus) on May 17, 2010 at 3:53pm
For me, I would invert #11. A good story can sell bad art; a bad story will sink good art.

At age 12, I was only reading G.I.Joe and Transformers. I'm not sure where I'd place my golden age exactly, maybe age 17, but it wasn't 12 for me personally. I started reading and collecting comics big time the Summer after I turned 14.

The Murphy's Law version of #1 is that "If you can't find it, you don't own it. When you buy a replacement copy, you'll find the first one." I'd bet everybody here has done that.
Comment by Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) on May 17, 2010 at 4:27pm
I have to agree with Cav, on #11. I'll ride out bad art if I like the story. Bad story with great art? No thank you.
Comment by Jeff of Earth-J on May 17, 2010 at 4:44pm
My top two rules are as follows:

1) Don't buy what you don't read.

2) Don't read what you don't enjoy.

Feel free to rank (or ignore) them as you see fit.
Comment by Lumbering Jack (M'odd-R8-Tr) on May 17, 2010 at 5:06pm
8) Criticizing a book you’re not reading is like complaining about two other people dating.

... Yeah, I'm guilty of that.
Comment by Horn'd One on May 17, 2010 at 5:28pm
5) Ain't it the frakkin' truth.
Comment by Mr. Satanism on May 17, 2010 at 7:28pm
13) No wire hangers.
Comment by Mr. Satanism on May 17, 2010 at 7:29pm
I think 3 would read better as "The best comics were published when you were 12". It's a little confusing now as to whether the reader or the industry was 12.
Comment by Chris Fluit on May 17, 2010 at 10:16pm
Thank you for including #8.
Comment by Julian Gift on May 18, 2010 at 8:47am
#4 If anything can happen in a story, we don’t care what eventually does.
The first time that a character was written to have died and be brought back to live would have been a fresh and entirely new concept. It has bene done to death over the years. Also, there is a certain amount of suspension of disbelief that is hard to call upon when reading some stories. You shoot an arch-enemy with a time-travel bullet and the pest would just come back and foil your plans for world domination!

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