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#478308 - 11/01/01 08:26 PM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
Chris Medellin Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/99
Posts: 943
Loc: Dallas, Tx, Dallas County
If you're talking about superhero comics, then yeah, not much has been done with them. Anything good, that is. Planetary and Authority come close, though.

However, if you are looking for good, well-done comics, with intriguing premises and cool characters, step away from some of the big boys and cast your eyes elsewhere. Books such as Bone by Jeff Smith, Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai, A Distant Soil by Colleen Doran, Kane by Paul Grist, Clan Apis by Jay Hosler, Alison Dare by J. Torres and J. Bone and Supernatural Law by Batton lash and Jackie Estrada are some of the best out there. Others can chime in with some their favorites, but I'll tell you, the first three titles I mentioned have been going strong in excess of a decade.

It's a shame that ever since the Ninja Turtle phenom happened years ago, that so many comic shops have abandoned black-and-whites altogether. I understand they want to play it safe and stay in business,no one can blame them for that, but when 10% of the comic shops refuse to stock Bone,or even the trades of it, that's just sad.

You can probably do a search for these comics and buy them from the creators themselves or their publishers.

The next wave of great comics will not be the big ones exploding in our faces, like Watchmen and Dark Knight, but will be all of the little booms that are happening now.

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#478309 - 11/02/01 10:29 AM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
ScottChantler Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/00
Posts: 675
Loc: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Yes, a lack of new talent and new ideas is killing the industry. I, like many others, grew up with the dream of working in the comics industry, but ended up sidestepping into the world of commercial illustration. Why? Because I like to eat.

Yes, there are a lot of good independent comics out there. Some of them even sell well enough that their creators are able to make some sort of meagre living. But imagine how many MORE good books there would be if the comics industry were still able to offer creative people a decent chance of success? There are many talented folks out there, like myself, who no longer consider comics a viable outlet for their work. Which is really, really sad.

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Scott Chantler
www.scottchantler.com

"We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different!"
- Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake
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#478310 - 11/02/01 11:05 AM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
flying pig Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 277
Loc: Denver, CO
Zeus,
Most of the comics I mentioned in my last post weren't comics for kids. The reason I brought up "Harry Potter" was because I hear people say that kids don't reading comics anymore because kids aren't reading. Well, that's not true. My point was that the comic book industry needs to bring in new reader, young and old a like, to survive. Right now the industry is cannibalizing itself. A writer or artist has a successful book for a year then they move onto another book. The fans follow that writer or artist to the new book and drop the old book. The net result is the same amount of readers. There are some writers and artist that I do that with but there are a few book I pick up regardless of who is writing or drawing them.

Scott,
I can empathize with you on feeling frustrated. I too have been shut out of the industry because I'm an unknown writer or because DC didn't like the way I ended an Elseworld story despite having fan's and storeowners believing it would sell very well. There are also fewer books out there by Marvel. During the "Boom", Marvel had around 150 books a month coming out almost 38 books a week. That meant more writers, artist, inkers and letterers. However that caused the market to be flooded. There was no way that the fans could keep up that kind of spending. Right now Marvel has about 50 books a month or about 13 a week. The only thing you can do is keep plugging along doing what you can with what you got (self-publishing, zines, etc.). I could call DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, etc., stupid people for not hiring me to write THEIR books because I could make them a million and stop creating. I however believe in the old proverb, "The best revenge is success." So, I shrug my shoulders, scratch my head and keep pushing forward until I make it.
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#478311 - 11/02/01 12:09 PM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
nenad Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/00
Posts: 869
Loc: Toronto, Canada
As has been stated outside of superhero area there are plenty of good comics being published today. I must admit that even image occasionally manages to print good stuff (Bendis ouvre, Distant Soil, Age of Bronze). DC and Marvel are recycling all their heroes for n-th time. I don't think we can speak of Vertigo as 'alternative' line when majority of their titles are just regular superheros resurected and with more violence. Very infrequently even Vertigo has managed to put some titles like 'System'... These days Vertigo is just cranking out Sandman spin-offs.

I would agree that there aren't many new comics authors. Most of the current crop has been working in comics for at least 10 years - Dan Clowes, Joe Sacco, Peter Bagge, Eddie Campbell etc... But, I think that's just on the surface of things. New comics authors are appearing every day (hint: just buying Xeric winners will give you plenty of great works). It just takes time for these new authors to gain recognition and to cross into 'real' authors. I am positive that in a couple of years we will have 'new' hot authors (who have also been around for years). That is, if comics don't disappear in between [img]/resources/ubb/frown.gif[/img]

As much as I liked Watchman, I think best Alan Moores work is V for Vendetta. Ending of Watchman is just unbelievable and I hate the very last page (that stupid one-cent ending - like in most of the trashy horror movies). Did enjoy it for the complex characters and excellent panelling. Still looking for some issues of From Hell to be able to read it.

nenad
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#478312 - 11/02/01 01:46 PM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
modernfear Offline
Member

Registered: 04/13/01
Posts: 910
Loc: San Francisco, CA
The new generation of creators can be found on the web: it's an easy way for them to start finding an audience, and getting feedback.

Most of these creators have not reached the level of maturity and sophistication you're talking about -- but, hey, that's because they're the new generation of creators. And perhaps we will see that some of their work really was great, today, but only after years have passed.

Some of the best work from the new generation of creators can be found here:

Justine Shaw
Nowhere Girl: http://www.nowheregirl.com/

Patrick Farley
e-sheep: http://www.e-sheep.com/

Derek Kirk (okay, Derek's been around the block a time or two):
Small Stories Online http://www.smallstoriesonline.com/

Michael Neno (Xeric grantee):
Quacky Pig http://www.quackypig.com/

Indigo Kelleigh:
The Circle Weave http://www.circleweave.com/

Chad Stewart
Dangerboy http://www.dangerboycomics.com/

There's lots more linked on my website, but the above is a good, varied list of all different kinds of work. You'll notice that there aren't many superheroes. Online comics doesn't have too many superheroes. Which is interesting and a bit odd, given that genre's domination of print comics (or maybe that's the explanation).

Joey www.talkaboutcomics.com



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#478313 - 11/02/01 01:48 PM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
ScottChantler Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/00
Posts: 675
Loc: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Flyingpig, I'm not frustrated in the least about not being a part of the comics industry.

My point was: why would creative people even WANT to be part of an industry where there's little or no chance for real success? Anyone trying to "make it" in comics these days is fooling themselves. Why on Earth would I beat my head against the wall trying to get a job at Marvel drawing Captain Redundant for an embarassingly low page rate when that would only serve to take time away from commercial work that pays me two or three times better AND allows me to hold onto my right of authorship?

It's a viscious circle: low readership = lower sales = less profit = inability to attract new or adequate talent = lacklustre product = low readership.

Sure, there's lots of talented folks in comics, but as most of you have been saying, they've been there for ten years or more and built there careers when it was possible to HAVE a career in comics. When all these guys disappear, who's going to replace them?

My guess: no one.

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Scott Chantler
www.scottchantler.com

"We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different!"
- Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake
_________________________
Scott Chantler
www.scottchantler.com

"The more wonderful the means of communication, the more trivial, tawdry, or depressing its contents seemed to be."
- Arthur C. Clarke

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#478314 - 11/02/01 05:25 PM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
flying pig Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 277
Loc: Denver, CO
Scott,

It's kind of obvious that you are frustrated or you wouldn't be so upset by it.

As for who will replace the current writers, I have no idea but someone will. A company always finds a way to replace people no matter what industry. In the business world everyone can be replaced or laid off. And the comic book industry is a business. Do you think when Bob Cane stepped way from Batman; people thought no one else is ever going to write Batman? How about when Stan Lee stepped down from writing at Marvel, did Marvel close the doors because there was no one else to write? I could go on and on about this and that character and they always found writers and artist to continue on.

Have you tried to be a scriptwriter? How about selling your story to a publisher in a magazine? Or have you sold a novel to publisher? Being a good writer in any market is difficult to break into and harder to become a successful one. But that's the way it is in most of the entertainment industry which the comic book industry is part of. For every Brad Pitts there are at least 100 actors trying to break into acting. So, by your logic they should even try because they will never ever make.

Also, if you wrote the greatest story ever written, you had the greatest comic book artist and that artist did their best job on the book, do you think that people don't normally come into comic book stores will flock to them just because you wrote it? If you think that you have "The Field of Dreams" illusion. "If I write it and print it they will come." Obviously, in most cases (Ninja Turtles being one expection), it doesn't work that way.

As I said in a previous post, there is no one solution nor is the one problem with the comic book industry. It is a combination of elements, both in and outside the industry, which has caused the comic book industry to fall. Great stories is only one step to the answer. But if you don't get the book into the masses, the industry will fail.
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#478315 - 11/02/01 07:48 PM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
Zeus Thrillkill Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/31/01
Posts: 17
Flying Pig,
Actually I understood your point and it is one I strongly agree with. There is nothing getting kids into reading comics nowadays to grow the audience.

You mention Harry Potter. I wonder if the writer of Harry Potter had pitched it to Marvel, DC, Image, or anyone else for that matter as comic book series if they would have published it. Just think if Harry Potter had been a comic series instead of a book series. Would it be as popular as it is now? My bet is no one would have agreed to publish it.
Zeus

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#478316 - 11/02/01 09:28 PM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
Siege of Quebec Offline
Member

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 529
Loc: Quebec,Qc, Canada
flying pig, what 90`s Boom? The Death of Superman came when, in 1993? If i`m not mystaken, it was not long after that the market crashed. If there was a "Boom" it`s very recently, say 1998, when Marvel Knights appeared, by giving a few Marvel characters some maturity. And then Wildstorm started pomping good comics like Authority, Planetary, etc...Powers came around that time too (late 90`s). Of course it`s a renaissance mostly directed at the super-hero genre and is based on qualtiy, not sales...
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#478317 - 11/03/01 12:24 AM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
ScottChantler Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/00
Posts: 675
Loc: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Flyingpig, I have no idea where you're getting "frustrated" or "upset" from either of my previous posts. I am simply, in answer to your question, telling you that I am a creative professional who has long since written off the comics industry as any kind of forum for my work, and suggested that there are likely many others out there like me. Since I have found alternate venues to make a (very good) living off of my work, this really isn't a major disappointment for me. I don't take the whole thing as seriously as you obviously do. So don't reflect your frustration onto me, okay? Thanks.

Quote:
In the business world everyone can be replaced or laid off. And the comic book industry is a business. Do you think when Bob Cane stepped way from Batman; people thought no one else is ever going to write Batman? How about when Stan Lee stepped down from writing at Marvel, did Marvel close the doors because there was no one else to write?


Well thanks for clearing that up. I certainly didn't realize that comics was a business (we could argue all day, however, over whether or not they're a good one).

And your Bob Kane and Stan Lee examples don't even stand up to the laugh test: obviously, both men stepped aside from their famous creations at a time when the industry was healthy and actively producing new talent. What you're asking is whether or not such would be the case today. It's largely a false comparison, because no one is creating the likes of Batman or Spiderman in today's comics scene. The reason? Creators the likes of Kane and Lee don't exist in today's industry. Why? Because they're doing something else for a living.

Quote:
For every Brad Pitts there are at least 100 actors trying to break into acting. So, by your logic they should even try because they will never ever make.


I'd say a lot more than a hundred. But again, this is a false comparison. Every now and then, someone becomes wildly successful as an actor. Sure, it's a crapshoot, but every now and then someone rolls sevens and actually makes a living at it. Occasionally, someone (like Brad Pitt) even makes it big--REALLY big. It's this potential payoff of fame, glory, and big bucks that makes the wannabes keep going, and attracts new blood to the profession.

In comics, there is no potential payoff. No fame, no glory, and certainly no money. If there were, you can bet your ass there'd be more people trying to get into the business. Which WAS what you asked, wasn't it?

Quote:
Also, if you wrote the greatest story ever written, you had the greatest comic book artist and that artist did their best job on the book, do you think that people don't normally come into comic book stores will flock to them just because you wrote it? If you think that you have "The Field of Dreams" illusion. "If I write it and print it they will come." Obviously, in most cases (Ninja Turtles being one expection), it doesn't work that way.


Umm...okay. Are you responding to anything in particular that I wrote with this, or just rambling like a lunatic?



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Scott Chantler www.scottchantler.com

"We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different!"
- Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

[This message has been edited by ScottChantler (edited 11-03-2001).]
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Scott Chantler
www.scottchantler.com

"The more wonderful the means of communication, the more trivial, tawdry, or depressing its contents seemed to be."
- Arthur C. Clarke

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