As I mentioned last week, there was a lot to say in response to Image Publisher Eric Stephenson’s address to ComicsPRO.
I feel that it should be noted that in spite of all the things that I disagreed with in Stephenson’s speech there were a couple things that I did agree with. Variant covers for example are here to stay as long as there is a demand for them. Also, we do need to stop dividing things into Big Two’s and Three’s. I know everyone has their tastes and likes, but I’ve never understood people who strictly read comics by one company and won’t even look at the others. Trust me, they are out there in droves.
Which brings me to the overall conclusion that I’ve come to in response to this speech. I’ve had a lot of time to think it over and a lot of time to read various positions and analysis and can boil it down simply to this:
The comics community is it’s own little unique brand of hipster that loves to put down what others are into and engage in the very exclusionary practices that I’m sure a lot of us took heat from for reading comics in the first place. We don’t need to be this way. If you love comics, you should promote the fact that you love comics. Not DC Comics, Not Marvel Comics, Not Image Comics, just comics. Be positive about the things you like and let people know what’s good as opposed to trying to be the first to decry something as bad.
Which is where I think Stephenson should have focused his remarks instead of commenting on other people’s publishing slates. The elusive “new reader” that everyone thinks will save the industry is out there. But when they try to check out what’s new and exciting online, what they find is dozens of articles about how DC sucks, hundreds of pages of commentary about why Marvel is the worst and fanboys, creators and retailers all sniping at each other over this or that. That makes them feel like a) they don’t belong, because they don’t get what everyone’s talking about and b) that getting into comics means they are getting into an industry with nothing goods and that they have to win the approval of the internet before even asking a question.
Perhaps these general thoughts are directed to a small minority of people out there, but that just means that the majority needs to speak up more. The best way to encourage growth in our industry is to let people know how great it is. It’s a simple as that. I’m not saying we need to be dishonest in our opinions or fail to take people/companies to task when they deserve it. But there’s a flipside to that and the more we embrace it, the better and more fun there will be for all of us.
As did Part 1, Part 2 comes to us from Jim McMunn:
My name is Jim McMunn and I am a self-taught, semi-professional illustrator. I started out with Leadslinger studios and have been spreading my artistic seed wherever I can by doing books, pinups, covers, ads/promos, and whatever else comes my way. My most recent work is a mini series called the Devil’s Trail put out by Creator’s Edge press and contributed artwork to Jeff McComsey’s FUBAR zombie anthology.
Take care, my friends! See you back here Friday!