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  1. #1
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    Default CBR: Where The Hell Am I - Feb 9, 2011

    This week, Jason Aaron explains why he's perfectly happy to be writing "Wolverine" alongside Scalped" and why he feels corporate vs. creator owned comics is the wrong battle to choose in today's comics industry.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
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    so when the guy who is part of the corporate boy's club says don't rail against corporate - no possible slant there, right??

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    No Kings, No Queens Name_Killer's Avatar
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    You're absolutely right Mr. Aaron, its not about Mainstream vs Creator Owned, its about diversity and not just pushing superhero comics to the forefront. I think creators can do work for the big 2 and still do their creator owned work at the same time(a lot of them do nowadays). I hope people take your words to heart, i mean why can't i love Wolverine and Morning Glories at the same time?
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    I think you guys both missed the point.

  5. #5
    Junior Member mlazic's Avatar
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    As a reader I find it hard to take a gamble on a new non-superhero story than an established character with a history I'm familiar with. That being said due to me enjoying their superhero works I've now now also read Scalped, Casanova, Return of the Dapper Men, American Vampire, Walking Dead etc. Maybe the answer is for creators to view superhero comics as a mechanisim for introducing readers to their other work?

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    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    I can only speak for myself, but when it comes to TV and movies, I enjoy super-heroes, but I also enjoy other science-fiction like Star Trek and Doctor Who. However, when it comes to comics, I find that I tend to focus on super-heroes. Comics about those other things don't seem to excite me as much. It's like you can't really appreciate the personality of Doctor Who reading it on the page nearly as well as you can watching it on screen.

    I say that to suggest that the reason super-heroes have evolved into the dominant genre may be because it's the genre that works best in the comics format. I'm not locked into that, but it's something to consider.

  7. #7

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    I gotta say I'm in full agreement with Jason here. There will always be a lot of misguided animosity directed towards the big players in comics which only serves to weaken the industry as a whole. The call-to-arms needs to be towards non-superhero books and, to a some extent, books of which the superhero part is only one aspect. But there's so much out there that it's hard to take a chance on something new. There's plenty of love out there already for stuff printed under DC's Vertigo imprint and Marvel's Icon, but those are often written by established writers. Where can we (as fans) go to be updated with indie news? This site and the blogs associated with the site are obvious choices, but then we're at the whim of our local comics shops when it comes time to buy.

    The potential solution to this quandary is digital distribution. I enjoy using the comixology app on my phone and perusing the "free" selections as a way to be find new books. I think the digital realm rather than traditional comic shops (filled with their superhero posters and toys and the like) offer the greatest chance for indie and non-superhero stuff to succeed. And the day is coming when fans will be more comfortable looking at a screen than carrying around a book.

    Now, as for non-superhero books, I'm loving the Parker series from Darwyn Cooke, The Stuff of Legend, Fables, Walking Dead, any of Brubaker crime/pulp/whatever stuff and I'd love to hear recommendations from others.

  8. #8
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    In the minority here, I've actually followed, Fraction, Hickman, Aaron etc from their creator owned work to their superhero work. These three in specific showed me with their creator owned work that they were worth, at least checking out when playing in other sandboxes.

    However, I still find most of their creator owned works more interesting.

    I give Marvel credit for Icon. Sure, it benefits them, but Fraction, Moon and Ba' are getting promotion they wouldn't otherwise get and... page rates, which allow them to do Casanova and actually make money from it.

  9. #9
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    Strolling around various forums, it's clear that this has quickly turned into a "Marvel/DC vs. Indies" or "Superheroes are sucking the life out of the comic industry! Join us or feel our trollish rage!"

    I totally agree that comics need diversity, no matter what the genre, otherwise it's just stale and boring. But I also am strongly of the opinion that you can do both "Mainstream" and Creator-Owned.

    The whole "Marvel is ass-raping creators" is just ridiculous baloney. A majority of creators are more than happy to work on someone else's (Marvel, DC) material. Some don't feel the need to go out and create their own book. Doesn't mean that ANYTHING is being forced into their rectum by Marvel or DC.

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    New Member Scab's Avatar
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    "So here I was being raped, and I didn't even know it."

    Y'know, why not keep this type of shock-value hyperbole in your comics and out of your columns?

    It reeks of trying too hard and poor-man's Ennis is so 1999.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scab View Post
    "So here I was being raped, and I didn't even know it."

    Y'know, why not keep this type of shock-value hyperbole in your comics and out of your columns?

    It reeks of trying too hard and poor-man's Ennis is so 1999.
    He was being sarcastic.

  12. #12
    More Donald than Charlie stealthwise's Avatar
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    One distinction to make here: Jason says that "I mean, look back over the history of comics. Marvel and DC both used to publish loads of non-superhero books, from war comics and westerns, to sci fi and romance.

    The problem is just getting people to buy them.

    Marvel and DC stopped publishing those other genres because they stopped selling.

    Superhero comics now dominate our industry because that is, for the most part, what readers want."

    That's what direct market retailers are willing and able to try and sell.

    Marvel and DC can't sell other types of genre books because they don't know how to market them. There have been some half-hearted attempts here and there, but really, it's going to be up to another company and another distribution method to really try and push something other than capes-and-tights.

    Fortunately, it's already being done by smaller publishers who will eventually gain more traction in the marketplace and slowly push out the two dinosaurs who eat up the local comic shops' shelf space. Not a statement of hostility here either, just an observation.
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  13. #13
    One of the Good Guys maniacmatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthwise View Post
    ...going to be up to another company and another distribution method to really try and push something other than capes-and-tights.

    Fortunately, it's already being done by smaller publishers who will eventually gain more traction in the marketplace and slowly push out the two dinosaurs who eat up the local comic shops' shelf space. Not a statement of hostility here either, just an observation.
    I totally agree with this. I really expect to see publishers like Oni, Red 5, Image, and IDW take a much bigger hold in the marketplace. Not neccessarily that the market itself will be bigger, but they will have a bigger role. I was talking to my boss (I work in a comic store) today about this issue, and he had a few interesting points. He was talking about how everyone in the comic industry is in a state of subtle panic right now, thinking the industry is doomed. But he pointed out that after the huge '90s crash, the industry recovered by getting readers. That there was a period from about '98-'05 that the companies had no choice but to do nothing but tell the best stories they could, and they did it without any mega-events at all. And it worked. Comics bounced back. I expect the same thing to happen again, but this time with non-Big 2. Creators telling their absolute best stories is what will save comics.

  14. #14

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    In all this back-and-forth about "Marvel and DC are evil" or "Indie creators are being trolls/hypocrites," I think a few points are being missed:

    1) There's nothing wrong with working for Marvel or DC, and plenty of creators make good money doing so. The problem is, once that work is over (and all it takes is one crucial editor leaving, or a change at the top and you suddenly find your services no longer needed/desired), you're left with nothing. No royalties (at least nothing to speak of), no pension, no intellectual property you can translate into movies or digital sales or whatever. That should be a big consideration.

    2) Jason says "And I like working for a company that wants a diversity of voices in that room and that wants to empower its creators to tell exactly the kinds of stories they want to tell." That's not exactly true, either. Yes, Marvel and DC want different voices and different creative flavors, but at the end of the day, you're playing with someone else's property, and they have veto power over your "creativity." If editorial decides that they want to build a big "event" next year around Character X by killing him and then bringing him back as a female, but you just want to continue telling your subtle crime stories with him, guess who's going to win? Again, not to say the corporate owners/stewards of those characters don't have the right to make those decisions, but let's not kid ourselves about the degree of creative freedom creators have on corporate properties.

    Mike Mignola, Jeff Smith, Robert Kirkman, and Brian Lee O'Malley have made a huge fortune based on properties they own, not work for hire that stops paying the minute that month's issue is off the shelf. Not only that, but they can exploit their properties in a variety of media, for as long as they want (and the fans will support them). That's the power of creator ownership. On the other hand, the number of folks who have been able to do that is minuscule compared to the hundreds of creators who have made a decent living working for the big two.

    Each career path has its pros and cons. Personally, I think the indie/creator-owned path is the better choice, from an ideal point of view. But I'm enough of a realist to know working at Marvel/DC is going to pay the bills more often than not (provided you can get in). So unless you're a ideologue, it's not an either/or proposition. It's probably more of a "a little from column A, a little from column B."

  15. #15
    New Member Scab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Witt View Post
    He was being sarcastic.

    Thanks, I thought he was really being raped there for a moment.

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