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      CommentAuthorvrbtm
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008 edited
     (3309.1)
    Misson Statement video @ CBR

    Watch the video and discuss or just applaud.
  1.  (3309.2)
    I think he's definitely on the right track but I just wish Kirkman was a better writer.
  2.  (3309.3)
    he does talks in circles a little in this. I don't agree with some of it and I think he is looking at the problems in comic book industry a little simplistic. I think the problems are a lot more complex (comic distribution, its format, the way some books don't always reach its audience because of bad marketing, etc....).
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      CommentAuthortonymoore
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008
     (3309.4)
    Kirkman and i have had our disagreements in the past, but i think his intent here is right. The industry is amazingly stagnant and the creator-owned market is taking huge hits and dying. The overall market is up, but the landscape is harsh and the sales figures are polarized. The lunchbox heroes are doing pretty good, but there are remarkably few out there striving to bring something new to the table.

    -T
    • CommentAuthorchris g
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008
     (3309.5)
    He speaks from the heart. And it speaks to me!
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      CommentAuthorEgon
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008
     (3309.6)
    I've got to say that I'm about to step off the Marvel's nostalgia train after Secret Invasion. I took a long hiatus after the 90's implosion and came back around the time New Avengers started up. Now I feel like I've built a sense of who the good writers/creators are. Also, it's like Twin Peaks. The Skrulls killed Laura Palmer! Once that was solved, nobody gave a shit and ratings evaporated.

    Trades are also looking more appetizing too. (Scud Anthology for $30??) And with groups like Act_i_vatE, Zuda, Cloven Hand, and Chemistry Set, or even just plain user blogs, I feel like there's something big almost ready to boil over.
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      CommentAuthortonymoore
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008
     (3309.7)
    there's no fever anymore, especially not to create new stuff. because the big 2 jobs are the steady jobs and the books that sell well, the paradigm has shifted to make that the tier people "graduate" to. The big two have pretty much abandoned doing anything new, instead choosing to do giant crossovers and stuff, at their most "new," dusting off some D-list fan favorite from the last boom. It seems the majority of the industry is aspiring to walk around in other people's footsteps.

    granted this is one of a TON of problems with the industry, many of which are on the business end of things.

    -T
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      CommentAuthorvrbtm
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008
     (3309.8)
    I think all of us are not the best to comment on the health of the industry outside of Marvel and DC (whom we really should not call the Big 2). We're all informed comic readers who delve deep into Top Cow and America's Best and Top Shelf and Boom! and Dynamite and Avatar (sup guys!) and Oni and smaller! Lots of others know Batman and Spider-Man and little else. That's who BOBBY is talking about.
  3.  (3309.9)
    Okay, I agree with a lot of what he is saying, but there's some serious problems here, or at least some stuff I'd rather see clarified (maybe at this big summit cruise he's talking about).

    At one point, Kirkman says that there aren't enough new people in the industry, but he also specifically says that the "big names," the people that draw the strong fanbase, should work more with people at Dark Horse or Image after "graduating" from Marvel or DC. To me, this sounds like he doesn't want any "new creators" at DH or Image, just the people who are pulling in the fans.

    The newbies he seems to leave for Marvel and DC, except that (as any aspiring artist or especially writer will tell you) DC and Marvel don't want new people. And even if they did, to continue on with Kirkman's thought process, those creators wouldn't be working on books for the fanbase he wants, but for a whole new fanbase. I had a counter argument to that, but I agree that, cyclically, you'd be constantly streaming through fans and creators that would be matched to each other, and constantly getting new audiences for ideas both new and old. Not a bad idea, except for one thing: not everyone wants to do creator-owned work.

    A friend of mine is a brilliant artist. Absolutely brilliant. He's so good that I never wanted to write anything for him, because I'd feel like a hack in comparison, but when we finally got around to working together, it was (and is) magic. We could work together forever, and we'd be pretty happy.

    There's just one problem: We want Batman. We want Conan. In short, we don't WANT to do creator-owned work, or at least not as much as some people. We want to play in the big sandbox with other people's toys, not for money or popularity, but because that's what we like to do. And, unlike some creators, we don't want to take a big hard shit in the sandbox and leave it for other people to clean up. But it seems like, under the Kirkman system, even if we ever got the shot at the big time, we'd get forced out sooner or later, which isn't much different than the system he seems unhappy about here.

    I dunno. Good in theory, especially if the system would make way for new blood and move out some of the hacks who have grown roots at the Big Two, but I think it would also end up hurting everyone else in the process.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008
     (3309.10)
    "At one point, Kirkman says that there aren't enough new people in the industry, but he also specifically says that the "big names," the people that draw the strong fanbase, should work more with people at Dark Horse or Image after "graduating" from Marvel or DC. To me, this sounds like he doesn't want any "new creators" at DH or Image, just the people who are pulling in the fans.

    The newbies he seems to leave for Marvel and DC, except that (as any aspiring artist or especially writer will tell you) DC and Marvel don't want new people. And even if they did, to continue on with Kirkman's thought process, those creators wouldn't be working on books for the fanbase he wants, but for a whole new fanbase. I had a counter argument to that, but I agree that, cyclically, you'd be constantly streaming through fans and creators that would be matched to each other, and constantly getting new audiences for ideas both new and old. Not a bad idea, except for one thing: not everyone wants to do creator-owned work."

    Well if you look at Kirkman's own career he started out self-publishing under the Funkotron label, moved on to Image doing creator-owned books, went on to work on Marvel books which raised his profile further and now seems to be back more or less full time working on his crwator-owned titles.

    So I imagine he'd suggest that new comers start with the smaller indies or by self-publishing, as he did.
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      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008
     (3309.11)
    I distinctly remember reading just this same topic discussed during the days of Come In Alone. For a guy like me, the thought of getting anyone to pay for my creative output is astounding, but you can't put food on the family table with 'astounding'. Or, well, you can, but it's capitalized.

    I'm glad Kirkman's pushing in this direction. Can the market support it? Image is held aloft by his work, more often than not, and he's a uniquely talented guy.

    As a side note, I've never had the urge to play with other kid's toys. But sometimes that's the nature of the beast--I can't get irritated at Bendis or Warren or Morrison for doing corporate stuff. They get to flex their creative muscles, feed their spawnlings (Morrison buds, I have heard it from many men), and fund their creator owned stuff.
    • CommentAuthorbuzzorhowl
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008
     (3309.12)
    @justineger

    There's just one problem: We want Batman. We want Conan. In short, we don't WANT to do creator-owned work, or at least not as much as some people. We want to play in the big sandbox with other people's toys, not for money or popularity, but because that's what we like to do. And, unlike some creators, we don't want to take a big hard shit in the sandbox and leave it for other people to clean up. But it seems like, under the Kirkman system, even if we ever got the shot at the big time, we'd get forced out sooner or later, which isn't much different than the system he seems unhappy about here.


    I think the idea that you have, that the really great shit to do is work on 75 year old properties, is a great deal of the problem. I don't want to turn into a jerk and start saying "Don't you have any ideas of your own" or whatever, but at the same time, surely some completely new idea that you might have for a character you thought up yourself is not only more original and interesting but also of greater worth to the art form of comics as a whole... right? You see my point, don't you?
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      CommentAuthorJacen
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008
     (3309.13)
    I agree that creator owned material is an important and vital part of the future of the business, obviously, but saying that more people should be making creator owned stuff instead of corporate stuff doesn't make sense to me. If you have a good idea, passion for your project and a game plan, by all means make your own comic. But if you want to capitalize on some mainstream success by doing your own thinly veiled Xmen knockoff you are hurting the market. If you want to turn your screenplay or hollywood pitch into a comic so you can get it optioned, you are hurting the market. If all of your ideas involve mashing up genres (Monkey Ninjas vs Pirate Cthulhus) you are hurting the market. You are getting retailers to invest in your shoddy product and showing them that creator owned material isn't a viable investment in a month when they can just order 50 more copies of Skrull Crisis.

    More creator owned work is not the answer. More REALLY FUCKING GOOD creator owned work is.

    As a side note I'd like to add that I think these giant corporate crossover books are the best thing that ever happened to the indie market. As the smart fans get sick of seeing the same magic trick over and over they start looking to the periphery for the new ideas.
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      CommentAuthorJeff Owens
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008
     (3309.14)
    @Jacen - I am sorry, but I cannot imagine Monkey Ninjas vs Pirate Cthulhus being bad.
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      CommentAuthortedcroland
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008
     (3309.15)
    Jacen, I agree with you until this point...

    As the smart fans get sick of seeing the same magic trick over and over they start looking to the periphery for the new ideas.

    A larger problem is while you are right that people get tired of the crossovers, rather than replacing them with other titles...they just stop. From working at a comic shop for a few years, I can tell you more people came in getting fed up with events and dropping everything but a few core books (usually being niche books like Daredevil or Brubaker's Captain America). So you see a downturn in a flooded market because of these crossovers that have garnered attention because they're, say, on The Colbert Report or a flash article on Yahoo's front page.
  4.  (3309.16)
    One point that struck home with me was the idea that Marvel and DC need to market more specifically to kids. Yes, this is absolutely true. The gigantic problem with this is that 90% of the comic books I read as a child were purchased at grocery stores, mini-marts and convenience stores. None of which still sell comic books. What do kids even do at the grocery store while their parents boringly shop for this weeks dinner? Sit on the ground at the previously-viewed DVD counter and pour over the awful descriptions on the back of the rental boxes? Read the national Inquirer of Star Magazine? Smoke crack and listen to Ashlee Simpson on their iPhones? --We don't even have the Weekly World News anymore! It's a sad state.

    I've come to the conclusion that if, god forbid, I should have kids, they're going to have to read the same old Carl Barks and Green Hornet reprints I managed to dig up when I was a kid. Until their 12, then it's all Vertigo if they know what's good for them!
  5.  (3309.17)
    Rights and freedom vs. cash and benefits. Neither one's implicitly better. It depends on the material and your needs/values as a creator.

    That said, personally, I do want to own the ashes of my hours. But my stance could change when I have a family.
  6.  (3309.18)
    You see my point, don't you?


    I do see the point, and yeah, there are ideas of my own knocking around the brainpan. However, if I have a chance to do "Justin & Josh's Science Fiction Fugitive Action Hour" or "Batman," I know what I'm going to take.

    And while I love SFF in my heart of hearts, I'm also not arrogant enough to think its anything new or brilliant or that it's going to change comics as we know it, because when you get down to it, almost everything has been done before. There is no "completely new idea." No matter how original you might think something is the day you think of it, I can promise you that there are three more variations on it running around somewhere, cobbled together from pieces of other great things. What matters to me is that they're good, solid, entertaining stories that I want to share with the widest audience possible.

    I guess what I'm saying is that Kirkman doesn't seem to like the current "graduation" paradigm, but his system doesn't seem that much different overall, it just has a different endpoint. But that's just my viewpoint, and I'm always happy to be wrong.
    • CommentAuthorbuzzorhowl
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2008
     (3309.19)
    I guess what I'm arguing is that Kirkman's endpoint is better because it prizes creativity, originality, and owning one's work. I think that's what he's arguing too.
  7.  (3309.20)
    And I'm willing to agree that those are fair things for people to aspire to. After all, no one likes the same stuff rehashed time after time. That's what keeps driving people away from the annual summer crossover books, and from comics altogether. But you always can't judge it as "better."

    Not everyone wants to be king of the creator-owned world. Some people, like me, just want a fun job that gives some security. There comes a time in life for some people when you have to make the trade: do you want to take the chance, or do you want to make sure the people you love are taken care of?

    Sometimes, yes, you can have both. Kirkman got it, and if Kirkman is arguing for that for more people, so much the better. But until that time comes, there are some people who want (or even need) to go with the sure thing. Judging them as lesser creators because of that isn't right or fair. Some people just want different things from life.

    I'm not saying that it's better or worse. I'm not trying to be the spanner in the works here. I full-well realize that I'm in the minority when it comes to liking the corporate comics, but to look down on them as less creative or unoriginal is cutting yourself off from the things that made creator-owned comics or "new ideas"possible. 'Watchmen" might not have existed without the Charlton heroes, after all.