So, while searching the interwebs, I saw this post from David Harper at Multiversity Comics in February of this year:
I think that it’s very telling about the state of the game. With the corporatization of DC and Marvel (based on the success of comic book films), it’s been more so about promoting the properties than the individuals that create them.
I would look at Image as a reason why. When the Magnificent Seven (Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Erik Larsen, Marc Silvestri, Rob Liefeld, Jim Valentino and Whilce Portacio) bounced from Marvel in the early 90s to form Image, Marvel lost a lot of readers who flocked to the new company.
It has become easier to promote the writer within the “Corporate Two,” since there are fewer writers on multiple books than artists. Plus, they learned their “lesson” from Image: if the artist is better known than the property, people will follow the artist no matter which book they work on.
So, even though some artists still get shine (not as much since the demise of Wizard Magazine which really fomented this current state of personality with their monthly top 10 writers and artists lists), in corporate mentality, that’s not a good look. From a corporate standpoint, you don’t want the workers to get more shine than the product you’re selling (i.e. the property). Remember, the bean counters at DC and Marvel 9 times out of 10 are not creatives, much less fans of the business that they are in.
Thing is, comics are equally visual as well as literary. The artist is not the back up to the writer. They are on equal footing in the creative process. Indeed, the artist, in some ways, are more important to the selling of the product as their efforts are the first thing the consumer experiences which will entice said consumer to buy the merchandise.
Unless the writer and the artist are the same person, the proper combination of both makes for a memorable experience (a la Lee/Kirby, O’Neil/Adams, Claremont/Byrne, etc.). If the “Corporate Two” aren’t careful, they may be shooting themselves in the foot long term well after the allure of the movies fade.
Real talk? Independent comics are the future of this business. DC and Marvel are the McDonalds and Burger King of the game now.
If you’re looking for nutritional value from your reading material (i.e. proper representations of a character that is not a heterosexual white male), it ain’t coming from them.
If you are looking for the next big influential creator (i.e. the next Dwayne McDuffie, Fiona Staples, Afua Richardson or Robert Kirkman) that will change the game, it ain’t coming from the Mouse and the Rabbit.
Books like Saga, Watson and Holmes, the above Rocket Girl, Midnight Tiger, Black Science, Velvet, The Horsemen (shameless plug), and many more, are supplying the vitamins and minerals, the essential nutrients that your comic book diet is missing.
Here’s another little tidbit of information from Heidi McDonald over at The Beat:
When you support Indies, you’re not giving your dough away to a faceless corporation that doesn’t give a s$%t about you. You’re supporting the creators who are grinding day in and day out to give you what you need… What we need.
Get out of your comfort zone. Jump into the deep end of the pool and see what’s out there.
The solution exists… You just gotta take a leap of faith.