Responding to Eric Powells Creator Front For Diversity In Comics


This is response to this video, called CREATOR FRONT FOR DIVERSTIY IN COMICS, starring Eric Powell, creator of The Goon:

Now, before I say something, I want to clarify few things. I do not have anything against Eric Powell or The Goon. I'm not a fan but neither a hater. I'm not against diversity, it's a thing we really need more. While I'm a fan of mainstream comics, I like to have something different from time to time and there is absolutely nothing wrong with having an alternative. Without smaller publishers we would live in Marvel and DC monopolistic dictatorship and that's never a good thing. I may not read non-superhero books but I know that without them there would be no competition that stimulates superhero publishers to look for new ways and to improve. I clearly agree with general idea of this front, more independent comics is a good thing.

(I also have to have colossal ego to argue with established creator who knows the industry, while I'm a total nobody, who never had published a thing, but that's just me)

That saying, I don't agree with the way this video was done and with it's message. Blaming superheroes and big corporations does nothing to solve the problem. This video didn't really do anything to have the fans know about independent, creator-owned comics. It's just exaggerating and oversimplifying the problem, making big business a scapegoat for „print format dying” (something I don't believe in, by the way. Books survived radio, TV, video games and Internet, they will survive E-books, same goes for comics) and making it looks like there are only two options for creators – either do their own, creator owned comics, or be „fucked in the ass by superheroes”. And what with all creators who do both? Brian Bendis writes Avengers and uses Marvel line to publish his personal projects, which are owned only by him and hi artist, like Powers or Scarlet. Matt Fraction does the same with Casanova, Ed Brubaker with Criminal and Incognito and Mark Millar basically publish one creator owned book for each Ultimate Avengers series. They're just using Marvel's publishing line, but they are the ones who own the rights to those comics. Warren Ellis writes for Marvel for the money and publish lots of his personal projects at Avatar Press. Speaking of which, they for years allows creators publish their personal projects that Marvel and DC doesn't want to and a lot of writers takes advantage of it, like Christos Gage for example. And it's not like all superhero comics are from Marvel and DC, there are many creator owned superhero comics, like Irredeemable or Invincible or The Boys. We cannot blame the genre for problems in the industry (and what is wrong with superhero crossing with other genres?).

I think that approach that this front/Eric Powell has taken is what independent comics need. Negative campaign may make people laugh and blame big companies but that's it. People don't care about poor creator, they buy comics to read a story. And when they go to comics store, think what they're more likely to pick up – unknown comics that is „indie” or something they're familiar with? It's like in a commercial I seen when I was a little kid. There was a bike. Words „It's a good product” appeared. It's wheels have disappeared. Words „But producer didn't took care of it's brand” appeared. It's frame has disappeared. Words „Client bought other, well-know” have appeared. Entire bike had disappeared.

What creator owned comics need isn't crying that they're dying because of big bad Marvel and DC. They need good advertising that will make them know to larger audience. Instead of trying to make superhero fans feel bad and but creator owned comics out of pity, Eric Powell and this front should make commercials telling people how awesome The Goon and other comics are. This will be a far better way to raise the sales that this video, which people will laugh at, say „damn right” or create some controversy and make mainstream fanboys be pissed, and then they all will forget about whole thing. It may be a good start, however, it creates controversy that brings attention. But if nothing will follow it, if there won't be campaign to make creator owned comics more know to general public, it won't change a thing. If you want me to buy creator owned comics, tell me which and why. A has been said, now I'm waiting for B.

And why do you think?

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