Paper comics have probably never been in a worse place, the direct-distributed market shrinking even as it was a niche market to start with, with prices rising, fans leaving, stores closing, and the readers who remain representing an ever-narrowing contingent of obsessive superhero fans whose tastes rarely broaden beyond DC and Marvel continuity books. I personally don’t care to waste good money on comics on a regular basis and I’m not alone. I think the writing’s been on the wall for years but this year has really been shit and we’re now too far beyond the point of no return to ignore it. While there are no sure bets, the digital marketplace might offer some answers as it is a potential means to bypass the problems of the current market and shape a new industry based in more creative content and a fresher, larger global fanbase. Mark Waid gets this. Everything he says is dead on the money and I’m so, so glad there’s someone saying what he is because he speaks the truth and his words will prove prescient. I look forward to abandoning the comics industry as it is now and seeing what happens in the future… worst case scenario, it’ll just be a pale, digital imitation of the shitty comic book store you don’t want to go to now (which is what we’re seeing initially, unfortunately) and best case scenario, new medium means new everything and I’m thrilled for that. If you dig comics, read this interview.
The Comics Reporter: Tom Spurgeon looks back at some of his favorite titles produced by the last forward-thinking and innovative publisher of superhero/adventure comics in the print era, WildStorm. (That’s a hell of an epitaph… also, how many people have to love Casey and Wood’s Automatic Kafka before we get a re-release?)
Bleeding Cool: DC makes it hard for indie creators to collect royalties on sales of collected editions through book stores, which ought to (rightfully) make Vertigo a very unpopular place for up and coming talent. This is especially difficult because anyone creating a comic for Vertigo is probably doing it with the book store market in mind and they shouldn’t be hampered by the awful tastes of the periodical floppy crowd. Also, Bob Harras is evidently being given more editorial control over the imprint and Karen Berger less. Wow, that blows.
Thank you Dorian for sharing these links with us all. Great reads.