The salvation of comics lays with the independents (and new business models)

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…

In comics, the artists comes first.

There are some battles I gave up fighting. Paying the salary of a waiter plus the cost of my meal/drink consumption, instead of expecting the employer to pay them a fair wage. (Tipping is almost mandatory in the US, my foreign friends) Not having a say where my taxes go, thus black budget projects. Not having a…

Why I stopped purchasing floppies (like I used to)

The question I posit is: Keep sales up by destroying continuity? or Keep sales up by enhancing previous storylines? Today I heard the announcement of Marvel’s relaunch of Black Widow in its own comic. I saw the cover art, and I liked it. But then, as I was wondering if I should go out and…

Parents: Make your kids read comics!

In the last couple of months I had the pleasure of enjoying the company of lots of kids in my immediate surroundings. These kids ranged in ages between 2 and 10, and they were a riot and a hoot. The main thing that got to me was the clear distinction of attitudes between the kids…

Facebook forces me to compromise

On a follow up on my previous post, Facebook sent me an update, and their main problem was me using a pseudonym, ComicWatcher. So I had to allow them to use my real name, Gerald Dean. Since I have so many contacts, and I keep so many links to people, I gave in. More to…

DON’T Become a bad Fiction-Writer (Comic Books)

Since I started this blog I wrote a few articles about WHAT NOT to do and WHAT TO emulate when you are writing a comic (or a work of fiction in general). If you don’t believe me check out Nuff Said Posting I don’t think (and this is my personal opinion) that good fiction-writing is…

Where are the graphic albums?

With age comes a certain burden of knowledge that is difficult to relate to those who haven’t experienced it in person. Also allow me to clarify that I am some decades away from qualifying for Social Security (mainly because they will push the retirement age further and further) The 70’s gave us Warren with the…

Rant about what it means “To be an Artist”

When I was 5 I wrote my first short story. I was lazy about writing, so I used something like morse code. “Terry likes Susan. Susan is dangerous girl. Fights with enemy, Lucy. There is a gun fight. Terry is wounded.” and so on… Well, by modern standards that was art. Why? Because everything anyone…

The state of American comics as of 2014.

After reading a great article by David Harper http://multiversitycomics.com/columns/diminishing-role-of-artists/  (Please visit, read and comment) I started musing about the state of comics in the US, and his statement about the lack of transcendence given to the artist.   And it seems to me that somewhere between the late 1980’s and now, we have given up on art. The medium that is supposed to use visual narrative to tell the story, has given a secondary role to the artist.  I do agree that reading the original works penned by Garth Ennis, Mark Waid, Mark Millar or Grant Morrison are exquisite experiences in of themselves. I hate to say this but the series “Crossed” by Garth Ennis, many times the soft point has been the art. Mark Millar get first credits On the other hand, I’ve bought (and almost read) Neal Adams’ Batman Odeysy solely for the art. I still look for works illustrated by Brian Hitch or Mike Davis, solely for the exquisiteness of the art. This has made me arrive to the conclusion that what is lacking in the US is a strong independent market, outside from the Big Two.   We should push our audiences to start their love affairs with comics by introducing them to the light and fluffy aspects of the Big Two that make comics easily accessible to newcomers to the medium. The branded characters, whether Superman, Bats, Spidey or Thor, have to be the introduction to the love of reading and the love for story telling. The new reader has to understand that there are long-spannign story arch that can reach many months and years, and there will be different interpretations of the images based on the styles of the artists. If you introduce a young child to music, usually you don’t start with Roger Redgate.or Philip Glass. You usually start with children’s songs, and them move forth towards pop and eventually towards more obscure genres. But only the casual listener stays in Pop music for ever. Real lovers of any genre of the arts advance, and crave more sophisticated works. One of the disadvantages in the US is that the field that should allow us to grow and provide diversity and maturity is constrained by the need to make a buck, to be profitable, and in order to be profitable it has to imitate and sometimes compete with what the big two are offering. That’s why it is so hard to find a Lieutenant Blueberry like figure in Image, or Dark Horse, or Avatar. They still have to compete with Superman and Spiderman. And don’t you dare blame this solely in the independents. It is cultural problem as it is well documented on Rambo II,III, IV and our love for sequels.   Like children in a candy store where the parent is absent, we continue to clamor for “MORE MORE MORE OF THE SAME PLAESE!!! More empty flavor and empty calories, and more of the same nothingness….”  I mean, I am guilty of this myself. After having struggled translating the amazing work of Spanish Comic Master Carlos Gimenez in Paracuellos, I tacitly meander back to Superman in the new 52 or The Superior Spiderman story-line that has enthralled me.   Then I eventually come back and find some other…