This is an open letter to all of my colleagues in this game we call comics and, in particular, my sepia-toned brothers and sisters holding it down on the daily creating amazing work and intriguing concepts.
This is a call to arms and a statement of intent. This is also dedicated to those who, despite the increasingly obvious reality of the situation, still pray at the alter of the Corporate Two, hoping, wishing and praying in vain that these ultimately soulless entities would give them some sort of lip service by creating and promoting characters which reflect “their” reality.
Stay with me… I’m gonna be “Blacktellin’” some things here.
At this stage of the game, you will not find new concepts coming from the Corporate Two for, at least, the next 10 years… Probably more. Gone are the days of Watchmen, 100 Bullets, Sandman and other original cutting edge concepts. DC and Marvel are mainstream now. Which means that they are no longer innovators. Your favorite heroes and villains are nothing more than properties to exploit. Ain’t no more rocking the boat, ain’t no more taking chances.
And BTW, the Corporate Two is the LAST place that you will find any sense of true diversity in the people they hire or the characters they create. In essence, any character of color, cultural, gender or sexual diversity is a token character designed to bring in more dollars by paying lip service to the marginalized.
Finally, and I understand that I’m speaking to a small number of people here, if you are trying to create a character to sell to DC or Marvel, you are a delusional fool. They will never “buy” your new character. They have thousands of their own. Besides, DC and Marvel are NOT the Promised Land. They are two corporations and everyone who works for them are employees and are treated as such, good and bad.
Ok… I’m done with my mini-rant. This next bit is for my comrades…
I’ve been feeling this sense of convergence for the past 8 months. I’m glad to know that I’m not crazy.
Unlike most folks, my goal always in this game was to create my own properties. Though I dug DC and Marvel, I never had a burning desire to write nor draw any of their characters. Even today, I have to consciously make the effort to draw a character from the Corporate Two… It almost goes against my DNA.
But, I totally digress. The fact is that we have an opportunity here. We have the ability to really make a dent in this situation. We all know the solution… WE are the solution.
Peep game. In this group we have all aspects of creating, disseminating, and distributing this solution to a wide audience. We understand the craft, the history, the standard and the business of comics. We know the hustle and understand the technology and philosophy to get this stuff out to the people with very little start-up capital. And, we’re not the only ones. We KNOW the others who are doing their thing. We support them as well.
What we really need to do is truly “collectivize” (this is the Willie Dynamite moment) and create a central hub that will be the epicenter of this thing where we celebrate, educate and market the fuck out of this quality product that we’re giving.
And BTW… Fuck worrying about Black folks buying our books. It ain’t the point. We’re trying to get EVERYONE to buy our books. If they don’t buy them now, guaranteed that they are gonna come up from behind the rear after EVERYONE ELSE buys your book, which would let them know how dope your work is. I don’t know about you, but I bet you more White folks have bought Body Bags, Vescell, Molly Danger, The Horsemen and more than those who constantly bitch about DC and Marvel ever did.
This solution doesn’t need any money to get it started. No one will be asked to become a part of some unattainable utopian corporate conglomerate. No, all it’ll take is some comradery, connection, support and a name…
We call it the Blaxis… And you’re already a part of it. You know who you are.
More to come…