The last couple of years have driven me, full tilt ahead, unapologetically, towards smaller publishers, what are considered “independents”.
In other words, I end up staying away from the big two.
And while I though I was teaching them a lesson depriving their coffers from my measly $40.00 bucks a month, and redirecting those resources towards smaller up-and-coming companies, I came to the realization that actually the big two don’t care too much about my paltry 40 bucks a month.
The big two are concerned cross-marketing their products, making sure the movies are seen, the tv series are renewed, the toys hit the stores on time and the peripheral machine that surrounds comics keeps churning out greenbacks for all!
Everyone (in the big two) admits that their floppies are parts of a graphic novel, which in turn can be made into an animated series, or the basis of a movie trilogy, or get picked up as series in HULU or Netflix.
But in the interim, you go and pick up a floppie at the local comic book store, and your experience is somewhat…. lacking.
And lets not mention the strange practice of inserting as few panels in each page as possible, or trying to put splash pages everywhere. Because comics are not a fundamental pillar of the graphical storytelling media. (I am looking at you, Dale Eaglesham!!)
Here is an example of the Secret Six #10
No Idea what are you trying to achieve by cutting up the page in irregular panels…. How does it impact and improve the tale? I alleviates panel fatigue? So, stop making bland panels!!!!!
Now, there are others who make up for it, even in the folds of the big two.
This example from Superman American Alien #3, as illustrated by Joelle Jones.
Way to fill up a page!!!! Just the right blend of backgrounds with people, and excellent command of facial expressions.
So, on my list of favorites right now I have some smaller gems
The wonderful Letter 44 from Alberto Alburquerque and writer Charles Soule keeps the story fresh and worth reading every month and it is from ONI press.
I am sort of enjoying the variaty in the Avatar publishing line The Crossed Badlands, the one by German Erramouspe, and written by Max Bemis, not the other one The Crossed +100 the one were Alan Moore keeps using pages as an experiment in language engineering, while Gabriel Andrade saves the day with clean and impacting art.