Just a quick update!
I have to admit, I’m impressed with the level of interest and energy the creator-owned comic community has been riding the last few months. Seems like there are a lot of good conversations going on, and I feel like some solutions are presenting themselves.
Digital seems to be on the top of a lot people’s lists, and while I’m an old crusty man who loves his printed books, I’ve been looking into various options.
The one sticking point for me is that direct digital distribution can potentially cut publishers, retailers and even Diamond out of the revenue flow. This is good news for creators, but not good for those folks, so I’m on the fence.
One of the best suggestions I’ve heard is a compromise where individual floppies would be released as digital only and then the trade collection would be printed.
Right now a combination of print and digital seems to be the way to go, with one hopefully helping the other. I’ve spoken to several people who told me they TRY comics online, and then if they like it, they purchase the print edition. I’ll be curious to see where this lands.
Supporting creators has been at the forefront of conversations, not just creator-owned creators but all of us. People have been asking me how they can support creators besides buying and talking up their favorites.
ORIGINAL COMIC ART
One way to support artists is to not only buy their books but also original art from the titles you love. Most creators have websites set up or dealers who sell original art. Prices can vary, but I think you’ll be surprised how inexpensive some art goes for.
I’ve been collecting art for years. It’s very personal for me. I buy based on what I love and avoid all that speculation stuff because the art means more to me than cash. The investment angle is real and a good one if you like that sort of thing too. I personally try to get art from creators I’ve worked with or whose work helped shape what I love today.
This is a big part of what artists do. Take a look next time your online. Just search “Original Comic Art” and you’ll be stunned at what comes up.
As we head towards some comic conventions I thought I’d talk about another thing that plagues the comic industry. Another thing I’ve made a conscious decision to turn my back on…
Of course gossip is something exists in every walk of life, in every industry (Hollywood is the hotbed for this juvenile behavior), but I love comics and I see this ugliness every day so I thought I’d take a shot and talk about it.
Gossip in comics is rampant. There are whole groups at conventions I now avoid because I know these people sit and stew and instead of doing anything positive, they tear down others.
In my own life I have heard some great rumors about me and other creators. Apparently I have a team of elves who write all my books, I’m violent and I steal ideas. Anybody who really knows me, know this is utterly stupid, but I hear these things all the time.
Generally you hear the most gossip about creators who have “made it”. I’ve heard the same “They don’t write their own stuff” about a couple Marvel creators, but I know this is crap and I usually tell the gossiper this when they try to tell me.
I’m not sure what the allure of gossip is other than trying to drag someone else down. Using my own life as an example I’ve had one artist I worked with and it’s no news to anyone we don’t get along. No big deal I have working relationships and friendlier, but being pals with artists is not required. In any case this artist has spent the last ten years whining about me to anyone who will listen. He whines to retailers, fans, other creators and con organizers.
How do I know? These people tell me!!
This is a really tiny industry. It always gets back.
In the end the sad fact is people love tearing people down as much as they like building them up. I made a decision, along with no fighting, that I’ll no longer be a part of any gossip circles. I don’t care who’s dating who, or what artist cheated on his wife, or who has a drinking problem. I’ve heard horrible things about just about every creator and rarely have those things ever been true.
So yeah, as part of being positive about comics, I say no more stupid gossip. If you want to talk shit, take it somewhere else.
Join me, won’t you?
I have to keep this one short, but I wanted to touch base and rant about a couple things.
Next up I’ll start hyping some new projects including the new novel I’m finishing this month, a new series with Bernie Wrightson and Kelley Jones and also news about Wulf #1 and all the new Criminal Macabre books coming soon.