To answer this question first I need to talk about how I discovered indie comics in the first place. I've always been a superhero fan, be it on TV, movies, action figures, you name it; indie comics weren't even on my radar. Even when I bought my first comic books, I bought Batman, Wolverine and a few other mainstream books. Fast forward to 1992 and a comic book is published and promises to change superhero comics forever, that comic was Spawn! That was my introduction to an indie comic book... and what a ride it was. I collected the series from issue #1 - #100 and a few year later found issues #101 - #200; now I have to find issues #201 - #300. I fell off and I've never gotten back on the train but I feel it's about time to jump in.
After Spawn came Sam Keith's The Maxx, Dale Keown's Pitt, Eric Larsen's Savage Dragon, Rob Liefeld's Youngblood and Supreme, Jim Lee's Wildcats... yeah, I was very much an Image Comics fanboy! Then came the "second coming" of Image Comics... Cliffhanger! Three of the hottest artists in the comic book industry joined forces to create magic as they say. J. Scott Campbell's Danger Girl, Huberto Ramos' Crimson and Joe Madureira's Battle Chasers were completely different in theme, settings and styles yet they had one thing in common; they were the creme of the crop of the comic book world at the time. These kids came out the gate guns blazon' and took the comic book world by storm! Each property could've been made into a blockbuster movie or tv series, they're THAT good. I for one purchased each and every one of those books and even today, all those years later; I still read them at leafs once a year. Even now, I still haven't found many series that compare to these ones in quality and readability; those series are timeless in my humble opinion. If you haven't read them don't hesitate, go to your nearest local comics shop and purchase a TPB of any one of those series; you won't regret it.
After Cliffhanger came one of my all time favorite comic book series, Marc Silvestri's The Darkness! Still can't believe that comic book series hasn't been made into a movie. Then came Silvestri's Witchblade, Michael Turner's Fathom, Jason Pearson's Body Bags, Greg Capullo's The Creech and so many more. My point is the more I bought comics the more I bought Image and the less I bought the "Big 2" (I did follow Wolverine for quite a bit and became a super fan of the Kubert brothers, but that's a topic for another day).
Now to the original question, why do I read indie comics? I read indie comics for many reasons, for example indie comics for the most part focus on the story and characters rather than gimmicks and "events" that lead nowhere except an empty bank account. Another reason is that indie creators that work on their own project work as hard as they humanly can to put out their best, in part because they're representing themselves when they go to a convention; not a corporation. And last but definitely not least, when you buy an indie comic book you're buying into the vision of the creator rather than a marketing team who keep putting out regurgitated ideas and masking them as ALL NEW. When you buy an indie comic book you're supporting someone who's put their everything into this book, someone who's probably in financial debt right now because they used every penny they had to print their books; that alone makes me want to buy a book from indie creators... if the book turns out to be great that's a bonus!
Comics nowadays have become (for the most part) nothing more than useless reboots, gimmicks and pointless events that not only diminish these characters we love so much, but also clutter the market with fluff; making it even harder for indie creators to get noticed by the casual fan. Now granted, publishers do this type of thing because fanboys keep buying but I have hope because more and more I see readers moving away from the "big 2" and into a much larger world of indie comics, I hope this trend continues.