During my weekly existential crisis I was wondering: what's the main reason people read comics? I haven't even come to an answers as to why I read them other than they're a fast read, and that can't be a good reason. I like the pretty pictures, too, but that doesn't seem like a valid reason to like a medium, either.
There's just something inherently cool about comic book characters that I can't quite put my finger on. Yet at the same time, I really don't think of too many stories or comic book plots as memorable or meaningful. With a few exceptions, I can't think of any great quotes from comic books that I find particularly memorable like I do from movies (both comic-based and not) and TV shows. I mean, I sit there and say the lines along with the actors every time I watch Seinfeld, but there aren't too many comics that I'll re-read to that point.
Two comics that pop into my mind when I think about them as an actual story in the "graphic novel" sense are The Long Halloween and Martian Manhunter: American Secrets. Both made me invest in the plot and left me wanting to find out what happens, and both had characters whom I found had a depth to them and that might stand to lose something. The other story that pops into my head in terms of character is any Justice League International story. The plots of those JLI stories were entertaining, but it was the characters and how they related to each that I really enjoy. And thinking about Silver Age stories, which are often lacking any sort of depth (or sense), they are just so imaginative that they become entertaining.
I'm scratching my head trying to figure out why I buy certain ongoing titles today. Most stories are lacking meaningful characters whom I can relate to, and the plots are pretty formulaic. So what's the point of reading them? I've been reading R.E.B.E.L.S. since last summer for the sheer purpose of hoping to find a panel showing Adam Strange standing in the background. For me, it's character that interests me and keeps me coming back, even if it's a cameo appearance. I've since kept R.E.B.E.L.S. in the pull list becuase I find Vril Dox entertaining, and now I'll read it without an Adam Strange appearance.
What are your reasons for reading comics?