Sunday, April 02, 2006

Save an Indie Kill a Cape



Two weekend ago I went to the Wizard World Los Angeles show.

For those of you that don’t know about it…it’s one of the various regional comic book conventions Wizard the magazine throws. Their main show is in Chicago and it’s by far the best of them.


LA has never been able to support a convention for as long as I can remember.


There are various reasons.


It’s sandwiched between shows in No Cal and San Diego.

Too many monthly cons with discounted books

It’s too spread out.

LA fans are passive.

Too much to do in a big city…

No real mass transit...

…it’s all of the above.



This made for a pretty slow show.

There was mainly looky loos trying to catch some nerds in their natural habitat or perhaps get a pic with a big boobyed booth girl.





One thing has become clear to me about the comics industry.

It’s no longer a place for artists.

It’s a place for brand maintenance.

It’s a place for marketing.

It’s a corporate Petri dish.

Cheap testing for larger media concepts.

It’s a place where retailers are caught up by the product. They don’t choose the product they carry…

that’s an illusion. They buy what the big two push…because if they don’t it will sink their business.


I can’t blame them. I bet if you asked most retailers you would find they don’t enjoy most of the books they sell. Right it off to fanboy hate...the truth of the matter they sell what is available.


The industry is also a place where the artists are paid so little for their art and ideas they are forced to live in a state of fear as to when and if they will be able to continue working in the field most of them love. I’m sure if you asked most of the artists if they love the concepts they work on..they would echo the retailers and say they do what they do for the money. Most of them want to work on their own concepts....but like everyone seems to be saying.

“it’s a bad time to be an Indie”



or so I have been told.



Ok so that’s the bad news. It’s not a newsflash...I think everyone who works in or around comics has seen it coming or knows it has arrived.


Sure you can say that every Ultimate,Civil, Infinite,Identity fiasco bumps up the numbers and gives the people what they want. ..but don't fool yourself..that sucking sound is just not the quality of the books it's the sound of the air being sucked out the room. When these books come out..they eat up all the retail money...tying up the buying power of the retailers and pushing out the indie books.



"You can't try what you can't buy"


If a book is not on the shelf than it has no chance...if a retailer does not have the money to carry the book...no matter how good it is...well you get the picture...




sobering...




Or you could mention that Diamond’s numbers show an increase in comic sales each of the last three years...More tied in product streamlined for your consumption boosts numbers...just a lil bit...that's the real newsflash.


great stats that impress the stock holders



...but baby



...where is the creativity?


where is the originality?


where is the voice of the creative people?


Where


is


the


good


shit?


You know...the stuff that get's you hyped...like when you first saw a Terrada book....or the first time you saw Star Wars...or the first time you played Final Fantasy..

where is the imagination and the creative freedom that drew us into the industry in the first place...?




Let it sink in...





than breath deep and read on...



I could go on and on about how the industry needs to broaden it’s horizons and bring in more outside readers..Get more female readers or create more Romance comics..or Westerns..or Sports......but I’m not going to test your patience with all that...


The industry is not in the hands of creative people...


The people who control the industry are interested in one thing..


awww come on..do I really need to say it...



money...


how do they make money...


by selling regergitated half baked over hyped crossed overed madness..


at the expense of the growth of the indsutry.





the only way to free the industry is to hit them where it hurts...



I’m going to keep it simple.




Kill a Cape....Save an Indie.




.... this is how it works...


next time you go to the store to pick up whatever X-Super-Bat Civil hacked out disaster...




Take a minute...


Put it down....


...walk over to the indie section (if it exists at your local store) or go online


.....and buy an Indie book.


Ok who am I kidding....this will not change the course of the comic industry in America.


Or will it?



If you want to see real change than it starts with a simple choice. Insure the future of the artform you love by putting your money on the only thing worth backing in this industry..





the creative minds and endeavors of it's writers and artists...




I hear the artists and the fans clamoring for the industry to become something bigger...something more interesting....


You vote with your money...


Don't worry Superman will be ok...he's got a movies and other stuff in his corner..


your local comic book artist is not so lucky...all he has is you...



there’s tons of non cape comics rocking the shelf and the internet.





...Love and Rockets, Blankets, Walking Dead, Demo, DMZ, Bone, Optic Nerve






if you can’t find something email me and I will help you.


Email me!





Put the creative people back in control of the industry...




Don’t let the last free art form in America fall prey to the same corporate wolves that savaged the movie and music industry...



don’t let it be a land of focus groups and demographics...


open your mind...


open your wallets...



and pull the trigger on a cape....




KA-lifornia

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