In the interest of civil discourse when debating the legitimacy of creator owned comics...
People who are pro creator owned comics, It is not OK to call someone a sellout for working for Marvel and DC. That's just as bad as being an internet troll shouting down anyone who says creator owned comics aren’t getting a fair shake. If someone takes a job to provide for themselves or their family, no one should criticize them.
The argument isn’t about burning Marvel and DC down. Are they ripe for criticism? YEP! Will I continue to mock them in my satire? OH, HELL YES! But the point is not that they should be put out of business for creator owned comics. It’s that there should be a choice. An equal playing field. The argument is not that working for Marvel or DC is bad, it’s that anyone choosing not to work for them should have a fair shake.
The top selling comic in the country should not be based on what publisher logo the book has on it. Like other entertainment industries, we need new diversified content to sustain ourselves and grow. We aren't getting that by just catering to Marvel and DC.
I support ladies that want to marry other ladies. And I support a comic creators right to choose who they want to work for. Freedom, baby.
For more bitching... the letters column editorial from Goon #39-
Where’s our Harry Potter?
Imagine your absolute favorite non-Marvel/DC super hero comic book. Now imagine if that book were 100% better. Imagine if that comic was the best comic you had ever read in your life. Imagine if that comic were as good as chocolate puppies and New York Pizza.
That comic couldn’t be the top selling comic in this country right now.
Now imagine your favorite story (non Marvel/DC super hero character) ever whether it’s a TV show, novel, film, whatever. That thing that does what amazing fiction can by wrapping you inside it and making you sad that you can’t really visit the world it created in your mind. Now imagine it was a comic instead.
That comic couldn’t be the top selling comic in this country right now.
Out of the top 1000 comics sold in the U.S. in 2011, 24 were not Marvel or DC super hero titles.
(Sales figures found on www.comichron.com)
24. Out of 1000. 24, people. And none of those 24 came close to being the top selling comic. But that’s OK, the comic book industry is being stabilized on the strong backs of Marvel and DC, right? Wrong. Sales across the board on comics have been plummeting for decades. Yeah, Yeah I can hear you now. “Well, all print media is struggling now in the digital age!” You can stuff all those digital media excuses. Comic sales were dropping long before the advent of e-readers. If anything, the Internet is helping the expansion of comics readership by making new and different material accessible. I myself am proof that Internet buzz can help a creator owned book succeed.
Over the last couple of years I’ve been very vocal about the comics industry’s lack of diversified content. I feel strongly that we need new exciting creator owned content that generates new readership to fuel our struggling industry and stop relying on the floundering system of old nostalgia driven super hero titles from Marvel & DC for our stability. To create an environment where if you had the best new idea and you executed it well, you could have the top selling book. Where we’re not putting all of this industry’s efforts to survive into a rehash of a rehash.
I hear comments that we can’t do new different types of material because superheroes are all the comic readers want. That’s because it’s the only demographic we continue to sell to. And that’s not working so good. We should be selling to the cape readers… as well as the readers of every other genre out there. Just like film, books, music, TV, and for f*** sake every other entertainment industry out there. We’ve been dying because we are so focused on getting the dollars out of this one demographic that we’ve forgotten our potential. I love the Marvel/DC characters, too, but, Jesus, am I the only one who gets bored with them? From our sales figures, apparently not. And to all the superhero fanboys that get so bent out of shape over people talking about new creator owned comics… if this industry were doing better, you’d be getting more of the books you love and at a better quality. Not less. Get some perspective. Batman isn’t going anywhere.
(Oh, and by the way, if your avatar is a photo of yourself dressed in renfest garb… you’re not allowed to call someone an a**hole. You’re just not. You’re on the internet dressed in a frilly shirt and Puss ‘n Boots boots and YOU are calling someone an a**hole? I call bulls***. You just can’t do that. )
Oh, and while I’m on the topic of internet trolls… Those calling me a hypocrite for doing a handful of comics for Marvel & DC in the past while preaching about the lack of focus our industry shows to creator owned titles, I have this to say to you…
Marvel and DC comics didn’t make me. Creator Owned comics made me. No one was beating down my door before the Goon. I’m appreciative of every job Marvel & DC ever gave me, however, they made money off my name. They wouldn’t have given me a job otherwise. We both profited from that work, so I owe them nothing. That being said, Marvel and DC were great companies to work for. I got paid on time, and especially with DC, found their editorial staff a joy to work with. See, that’s how it’s done, Fox News. FAIR AND BALANCED MOTHER ****ERS! So pardon me, Trolly McTroller, for having the courage of my convictions and for having the balls to stick my professional neck out on the line. How about you take into consideration I might possibly be taking away an extra revenue stream by saying the business model of the Big 2 is holding us all back instead of pushing us into the future? No? Oh, well. Nice boots, Harry Mudd.
Where were we? Oh, yeah, with the bitching. I’ve also heard people make the comparison Marvel/DC is to creator owned comics as summer block busters are to Indy film. WRONG! We aren’t talking about commercial versus high art. We are talking commercial versus other types of commercial. If Harry Potter were a Dark Horse comic instead of a novel, it would be struggling to sell ten thousand. Just because it’s not in a Marvel or DC super hero universe. Where’s our Harry Potter? Where’s our mega hit that comes out of nowhere and draws people into comic shops? Why are we denying ourselves the possibility of that? We are an inbred industry propped up on the spindly legs of Marvel and DC comics. And with 90% of our industry being supported by Marvel and DC, which are owned by Disney and Warner Brothers, what happens if those two giant corporations, who don’t care one bit about funny books, decide that all these characters they own are more profitable in video games, movies, and bed sheets, than in comic books? If they close their doors, the comic industry, as we know it, is dead the next day. And that’s a ridiculous scenario we’ve painted ourselves into. That’s like if Paramount went out of business, there would be no more movies. We should be making new creator owned content in a variety of genres just as vital to sustaining this industry as the big 2’s super hero titles. And we should have started twenty years ago.
Of course, I’m just some idiot from Tennessee. What do I know.