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JMelloul
01-11-2016, 06:04 AM
Hey guys,

Wrote this post on problems / opportunities in the comic industry that I thought would be of interest to the community here.

http://www.creatoratlarge.com/blog/27-problems

Would love for you to check it out & contribute if you have anything you'd like to add.

Looking to start 2016 off strong by identifying problems in the industry and spending the rest of the year working on them! Hopefully you can join me!

Sully
01-11-2016, 10:56 AM
I actually really enjoyed this read, and it seemed to be from a balanced viewpoint (mainly, understanding that change is good, inevitable, while also identifying how toxic the demand for it can become).

A dialogue on some of those talking points in this thread or another would be great.

JMelloul
01-12-2016, 01:48 PM
Thanks Aaron (Sully?)

Honestly, I'd love for that to happen and that's what I'm trying to generate.

But it takes a lot of effort and willingness to really engage in these subjects and have productive conversations around them.

Stewart Vernon
01-12-2016, 04:58 PM
You have several other good articles there as well. I browsed around a bit this afternoon. Some of it is sobering, but not entirely surprising.

I'm not ever going to be accused of saying that writing or drawing is easy... but honestly, the hardest part of creating seems to be getting eyes on your stuff. You can have the best stuff in the world, but if nobody sees it OR you don't get the right eyeballs, then you'll never know. Conversely, you can have some reasonably "average" stuff get a lot of attention and exposure if you get a bit lucky on who stumbles upon you and to whom they share your work.

I think I am most personally frustrated by feeling like I sometimes have some really good stuff that is going unnoticed. I'm not alone in that either. I can handle criticism, and sometimes I'm able to branch off or improve as a result... but when you get silence, you don't know if you're horribly wrong about thinking your stuff has merit OR if just nobody is noticing yet.

I'm generally good at one-to-one selling of myself and my strengths... but the global marketing and waving arms flailing "look at me look at me" stuff is something I fall a bit short at being able to pull off well. I've been working the slow roll, and gaining fans over about a year and a half now... but the slow roll is very slow and sometimes easy to get frustrated when you feel like you've done something cool or clever and tumbleweeds float by.

TimR
01-12-2016, 05:06 PM
The number one problem facing comics today, is that comics have been crappified by modern printing technology and Photoshop. I believe that comics looked better, aesthetically, under the old regime of 4-color printing on newsprint. You may tell me that is just my opinion, and even that it's the wrong opinion, but, basically, very few of you have probably studied this as closely as I have.

As anecdotal evidence, I happened to be talking to an architect yesterday who told me that modern comics looked like kids junk to him, whereas old comics actually have a kind of aesthetic cache.

I think that myself and the architect are right, the current readers of comics are misguided to accept the current sludge, and an entire generation of kids don't even know what "comics" actually are anymore, because all they have been exposed to is the modern crap.

Also, all pros working in the medium who know in their hearts that I am right, but just bow to the status quo, need to stand up for what is right, and enforce a return to real comics.

Steven Forbes
01-12-2016, 05:43 PM
I don't want this to derail. There are lots of things that can be said about Tim's opinions, but let's not derail the conversation into something that basically turns into old men screaming for those dang kids to get off their lawn.

If you want to discuss Tim's opinions, make a new thread, please. It's a great conversation starter and deserves to be discussed, I just don't want to derail this.

Thanks.

Sully
01-12-2016, 05:55 PM
EDIT: Ninja'd!

fritzthefox
01-12-2016, 07:30 PM
I think many of the issues raised by the article and here in this thread can be laid at the feet of how digital technology is impacting this industry as a whole. It is changing the look of comics (for good or ill, probably both), it is changing the audience (by offering them a multitude of entertainment alternatives) and it is changing the marketplace (by putting everyone in nearly direct competition with everybody else, creating an endless inventory of comics old and new and making it ridiculously easy to swipe all of them and put them in your pocket). In an economy based upon supply and demand, this does not bode well for the future financial prospects of comic creators.

Telling stories using words and pictures is a timeless pursuit, and I don't see it ending, but I definitely see a rocky road ahead until creatives come to terms with the new reality. Self-promotion has definitely become much more important (which I share a distaste for as much as many other artists), and I'm pretty sure royalty payments are something we can all forget about. You get your money up front, via kickstarter or commission, or you get nothing but promises. Once something is published, it belongs to the internet.

The need for curators of quality content seems more pressing than for content itself. There is already more (free!) entertainment on the internet than any one person could possibly consume in a lifetime. Perhaps new walled gardens will emerge and the game will become one of getting publishers to notice you again. Things may become more multimedia as more content is consumed electronically, or comics may become another quaint old world art form with a niche audience, like ballet or opera. Who knows? I don't really see the economic problems being solved until society comes to terms with the new digital marketplace and automation in general, because the ease of creation, replication and distribution are adversely impacting all of the arts.

I wish I had a time machine. Not sure if I'd go forward or backward, though.

We live in interesting times.

Stewart Vernon
01-12-2016, 08:12 PM
Some of this isn't just "modern problems" either really... Think of someone like Vincent Van Gough... who practically lived and died in poverty and largely was told and believed his art was crap during his lifetime... only to be hailed after his death as one of the greats.

Would the Internet have helped him? Might more eyeballs on his art have resulted in more appreciation during his lifetime? We can never know, of course. He was, as most classical artists of the day were, a self-publisher too. He also clearly wasn't that good at marketing himself or his talents. OR perhaps he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We have stories like Stephen King famously testing the fanbase by releasing books as "Richard Bachman" that barely sold... only to become near best-sellers once he revealed they were actually his stories! The stories themselves didn't change, but perception of their "goodness" changed once people knew they were written by a famous author rather than a newbie.

JK Rowling famously was rejected, I believe, a dozen times before finally gaining acceptance... and her books created a multimedia phenomenon that has made her rich now many times over and a respected author as well.

It's hard to put your finger on how and when success happens. There's also something to not even wanting Rowling or King level of success. I'd be perfectly fine at a much lower tier of success than they have achieved, but I'd really like to get out of the Van Gough tier where I am now! I'm not equating my talent with his, mind you, just my state in the playing field..

Steven Forbes
01-12-2016, 09:57 PM
I'm going to go through these one by one. They deserve it.

1. Problem.

2. Not a problem. There are too many "comic markets" for this to really happen, and there are too many different ways deals can be done. Creators need better business acumen, period.

3. Not a problem. We don't ignore other possible audiences. We're not interested in reaching them. The writer of the lesbian zombie tale isn't trying to reach the same audience as The Simpsons isn't trying to reach the same audience as Spider-Man.

4. Not a problem. Again, there are too many "comic markets."

5. Problem. Major problem, especially considering there's no real way of knowing who's buying what.

6. Problem in the first part, but not in the second. "Independent success" means different things to different people.

7. Huge problem, with no way to solve it. Blame Marvel and DC for the direct market and guaranteed sales. They are the reason there are no longer newsstands and spinner racks. (Returnables are a bitch, and guaranteed sales are much easier to handle.)

8. Partial problem, but it's huge. Readers need to speak up about what they like and how to get it, but Diamond has also made it easy for retailers to be lazy and only order from them. Retailers are already very busy. They don't want to have to order from different distributors or directly from creators. Very few shops do this.

9. Not a problem, but more of a reality. And it isn't a marketing problem, it's a cost problem. Comics cost a lot to make for the little bit of enjoyment they give vs movies and video games. This isn't a problem. This is the way things are. If movies and video games cost as much as comics per issue/number of story arcs, they would be priced out of reach for the bulk of consumers. We'd have to wait for television.

10. Not a problem. Readers already know if they're going to stick with a series before they pick up the first issue. If a number doesn't dip too much beyond the first issue, then the creators are doing something right. The onus is on us to create better comics.

11. I wouldn't call this a problem. Marvel and DC created the DM. Marvel and DC are the backbone of comics. Without them, what we think of as the comic market would collapse. Shops would close, and without some new retail outlet, comics are gone, because most comics cannot get into Diamond for distribution.

12. Problem. But individual success like that is generally built on talent, perseverance, and some luck. These things cannot be taught.

13. This is wrong on so many levels that it isn't even funny. This entire number flies in the face of what Image stands for at its heart.

14. Not a problem. Mountain, meet molehill. New readers to the DM walk into a store, say they like something, and the retailer tells them their options on ordering, and then do their best to try to get any back issues while creating a pull list for that individual (if that store offers that service). This is not a problem or even really an issue for discussion.

15. Huge problem with no real way to circumvent it if you want physical copies of your books.

16. Huge problem, but that is the individual retailer's problem, and not something that a creator can do anything about. This isn't an issue we can impact, even though the issue impacts us.

17. Problem, but again, one that doesn't have a solution. As soon as you tell an ongoing story, someone is going to be left behind. As soon as you put a number on an issue, even if you're telling one-off's, someone will feel like they're left behind. Numbering makes things easier for everyone. Again, there's no solution here.

18. Problem. Same thing can be said about racial diversity.

19. (I have a problem with the term "speculative science fiction". Science fiction is speculative. It's in the second part of the name.) Is this a problem, or is this what the market (readers) have shown what they want with their dollars?

20. See 19.

21. Problem.

22. Creativity and experimentation costs money. Marvel and DC (and precious few other places) pay page rates. They also are in business. Business means they have to make something of a profit. Experiments happen all the time. Look at the last Epic go round. Experimentation all. And it crashed and burned, too.

23. Partial problem. The real problem is that if publishers basically self-publish their digital offerings, then readers have to go all over the place to get their books (especially if there isn't a way to deliver those books digitally). This is why Comixology has done so well. Also, if they were to go fully online, then they would put thier retailing partners out of business.

24. I have no idea what this means. How much work has to go into translating and re-lettering a book? How much does that add to the cost of a book?

25. Problem.

26. Problem.

27. Not a problem. It's nice to talk about, but there will be many, many visions of the future of comics.

Those are my thoughts.

Next!

JMelloul
01-13-2016, 01:29 AM
Stewart - Thanks! Honestly, I think you’re right in identifying how essential it is to get your work in front of people, but I don’t think it’s more difficult than creating a great comic. Instead I think the issue is that it’s a whole other skill set that many creators perceive to be far out of reach, whereas creating is much more within their comfort zone.

What can’t be avoided, difficult aside, is the time it takes to build an audience and fill that silence. I think being good at the one on one is honestly a more important skill set. You can’t scale it as well, but you can build better connections with the people who you do get to your work.

If you ever want to brainstorm how to reach more readers or better engage those already paying attention to you, feel free to email me. I’m always happy to help with this kind of thing.

Tim - I can understand your opinion and why you might feel that. I think what’s great is that nowadays you can still print on newsprint if you like and may comics the way you want to be make. As for me, I just feel there are other more pressing issues.

Fritz - It’s definitely unfortunate to distaste self-promotion. I wish more people thought about it the way I like to think about it, which is connecting to readers through your art. I really believe in the work that I create and I think it can bring value to the people who read it. Sharing that, and getting them to read it, then becomes about providing them with a positive experience rather than just relentlessly self-promoting.

As far as walled gardens go, I think how Stela has approached the mobile publishing landscape is a great example of a better curated experience.

Not that you ask, but if I had a time machine I’d definitely go forward. I don’t think you’ll find a better time to be creating independent problems.

Steven - Thanks for rolling through the list, Steven. Obviously, having built the list, I disagree with the ones you marked as not being a problem. For me, ignoring the possible audiences, is the same as not trying to reach them. In a publisher’s case it’s their responsibility to do the work to reach these audiences - depending on the agreement - and in an independent creator’s case it’s necessary if they want to succeed and build a sustainable career / audience for themselves.

That said, I do appreciate what you had to say but I think you’re a little more loyal to the DM than I am, while I may be more optimistic about how we can turn independent work more viable - domestically and abroad, as well as across genres.

Scribbly
01-13-2016, 06:36 AM
The only problem I see is that nowadays we have to much online information about the comics market whereabouts.
Back in the day the artist only had the magazines he was reading and the name of his few admired artists as whole reference and motivation for work his way up in the field.
Who really cares about the comics market? The comics industry is a turmoil since its inception. Not that any coffee talk or online discussions would revert that.
Constant recession, closures, bankruptcies, cancellations, layoffs, low pay. That didn't stop Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, Jim Lee or whoever is in top of the charts today for making and leaving their glorious mark in comics history.
Working Indie or mainstream, comics industry will treat you as king or pauper regarding what you can make and give on your pages or in your writing. That's the alchemy of success.
Everything else is a bogus.


TYI: Scholastic books is the substitute of Marvel/DC regarding comics books for children. Rina Telgemeier and Jeff Smith (Bone) sell their stuff there. "Children books" is the actual industry that supplies (Without use of direct comics market) for children's needs on reading comic's books and everything else, not Marvel/DC.
The "direct market" system was established by Marvel/DC with the only mean of sell their trademark manufacture: Superheroes.
This market-monopoly is open for anyone capable ($) of producing and print comics in mainstream scale.
The rack stand system for selling magazines still alive and everywhere for anyone who can afford ($) the cost of try it.
Marvel/DC they couldn't, that's why they created/adopted the direct market system.

TimR
01-13-2016, 02:20 PM
I don't want this to derail. There are lots of things that can be said about Tim's opinions, but let's not derail the conversation into something that basically turns into old men screaming for those dang kids to get off their lawn.

If you want to discuss Tim's opinions, make a new thread, please. It's a great conversation starter and deserves to be discussed, I just don't want to derail this.

Thanks.

Probably a good call.. I will admit to my momentary lapse into old man/lawn mode (despite that I think there's more to it than nostalgia.) I'm not going to start another thread but I welcome anyone to do so.

I will have to look over the rest of this thread later.

Buckyrig
01-14-2016, 11:11 AM
15. Huge problem with no real way to circumvent it if you want physical copies of your books.

Ditch the monthly model. Publish double or triple-size bi-monthlies or quarterlies at a lower per-page price. (I'd also say move to cheaper paper and production methods, but I think most readers would flip out. I remember hating paying extra for baxter paper books back in the day. I didn't care enough about the quality bump for the . . . what was it, 50% markup.)


Of course, if the volume for sales hadn't fallen to mostly the 30 to 100 thousand range, price could come down too. I can't see how the industry is sustainable in the long term with those kinds of numbers.

MBirkhofer
01-14-2016, 12:19 PM
Ditch the monthly model. Publish double or triple-size bi-monthlies or quarterlies at a lower per-page price. (I'd also say move to cheaper paper and production methods, but I think most readers would flip out. I remember hating paying extra for baxter paper books back in the day. I didn't care enough about the quality bump for the . . . what was it, 50% markup.)


Of course, if the volume for sales hadn't fallen to mostly the 30 to 100 thousand range, price could come down too. I can't see how the industry is sustainable in the long term with those kinds of numbers.

yeah, I think monthly is a huge problem for 99% of comics.

Monthlys cause comics to go unfinished too often. Books get cancelled too early to build up readership, to finish stories, etc. we get comics that just go in circles over and over as big IP's are farmed.

we need comics with starts, middles, and ends.

its a real mess as so many readers now, "wait for the trades" already. But, again, the companies cancel titles before that happens... in a nonsensical cycle.

the "manga anothologies are cheaper" thing always comes up. And I am pretty sure page for page, doing full 120-260page GN would be cheaper then 6-12issue print runs, and shipping.

Netflix bing watching, video game time competition. Monthly can't compete.




The coloring thing is dumb imho. There is room for all kinds. You are massively out of touch, if you shit on Gotham Academy, Spidergwen, Avengers, jl3k, Omega Men, etc. Espeically if you put them all together as "the same".

Scribbly
01-14-2016, 04:04 PM
This is my take: (like I don't have work to do)

1. Successful creators who are "doing well" still can’t support themselves through their work. Artists, in particular, are even worse off than writers. They're barely being paid per hour for their time, at all but the highest levels.Outside the highest levels is barely impossible to make substantial margin of profit. Therefore the pay is low.
We know that.
Checking the monthly sales charts for comics companies we see that the big two are publishing almost 100 titles each month and selling from 3000 to 100,000 to a million books per title if demand request. The higher the print run the lower the cost of printing making high revenue after sales. High revenue allows big pay rate. Only for these artists/writers who sell well.
Compare it with small comics publishers publishing 5 to 20 titles selling 1000 to 5000 books per title each month.
How much can they pay their artists? The same?

2. There's no organized forum or effort to discuss the business of comics in a deep way.
What is thee need for that? Are a bunch of individuals online who are not even regular consumers going to change the movement and strategies of corporations that are working the elaboration of their products in industrial scale?

3. We ignore other possible audiences. The massive kids / YA audience that are being reached outside of the Direct Market aren't becoming greater fans of comics as a whole and little work is being done to reach the webcomic readership, among others.Who is we? Children already had their comics coming from publishers and companies who work in the "Children's book" industry. Which BTW has no need for work inside the direct market for comics. Maybe in parallel.
The direct market sells superheroes, adventure, terror and crime. Material suited for teenagers (PG 13) or mature audience.
Manga is doing the job on children and female audience for them as well.

4. Discussions about the comic market are limited in scope. References to mainstream graphic novels refer to Marvel & DC, when Reina Telgemeier's graphic novel "Sisters" is an Eisner Award Winner & New York Times bestseller.Again, this is comparing two factories producing and selling oranges with an isolated individual cultivating tomatoes. Rina Telgemeier is an individual author. Marvel and DC comics are two big corporations selling comics. We cant not compare each other as equal institutions.
"Sisters" is published by Scholastic books. If you compare Scholastic to Marvel/DC as publishers to publisher, maybe the that could sound even. BTW, Scholastic equals Marvel or DC in thee children books field. Followed by Disney Hyperion . These two alone could be the DC/Marvel for children.

5. We lack the numbers to discuss the industry - beyond the Direct Market - in an informed way. No numbers to show how much wider the industry is than the direct market.What numbers are going to discuss? Are we comics consumers, aspiring creators or the IRS? Do you want to know about sales numbers?
Just check Diamond distribution overseas. How many comics retailers worldwide they have, by country, states, cites.
Make a guess of the minimum they can sell. That per se duplicates the sales of the American direct market.
Now, thanks globalization the sales work in parallel.

6. Creators aren't equipped with enough understanding of how to operate the business and marketing sides of their work, preventing them from reaching independent success.Creators are creators. They create. Businessmen do business. When a individual creator want/need to become businessman, he/her must learn the ropes of business. Books or College education could be alternatives plus natural instinct. Success could be fame or money or both. Depending on many variables.

7. The Direct Market faces a distribution monopoly supported by many retailers. Even worse, established print distribution is limited to comic book retailers. Exactly. That was the idea. To have a rigged and controlled market to safely sell only one product. Superheroes. Anything else is a collateral.
Even when the initial idea was intended to favor Indie creators, it was taken over and made effective by mainstream publishers. Even so, the direct market allowed many independent publishers to flourish and had helped many indy authors to be known.
(Bendis, Brubaker, Wood, Jeff Smith, Tomine, Tery Moore and many more.)
Actually, if wasnt for direct market probably these authors would have no many chances to be known.
The direct market was also factor in the boom of comics in the 90's.


8. The industry has no point of sale tracking, so creators and publishers are incentivized to make decisions thinking of the retailer as their end consumer, rather than their actual readers.The retailer AKA comics store, is the person who pays in advance for the print of the book. So... his criteria may have some value.
His knowledge of the tastes and preferences of readers on his area may be important when selecting what to buy and what to discard.


9. The way comics are published today, they aren't competitive enough other entertainment options, like movies or video games to capture a larger market.
Right. They are not. They never were. Not before, during the big expansion, not now. Not to movies, TV, neither videogames.
Comics has its own market that work well enough to feed companies as the big two and several comics publishers. Mainstream and independents.

10. Within the Direct Market, ongoing series have a hard time growing their audiences past the readers they're able to reach through the first issue.Every comics book produced and printed has a cost of many thousand dollars. If a book cant keep buyers AKA- readers attention and interest, who would pay the cost of producing ongoing series that wont sell? Anywhere?

11. The Direct Market is set up to favor established names and properties, catering best to Marvel & DC rather than the many independent titles that could improve the industry.Exactly. Maybe is because Marvel and DC did make an agreement into adopt and apply this idea of Phil Seuling: The direct market . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Seuling
Which is to work in coordination with distributor and retailer to have an estimate of exactly how many books for each title the publisher should send for print. Avoiding this way the permanent loss of overprinting and returns of unsold books, which was a very common problem when they were selling comics through the open system: The newsstand market.
Direct Market distribution is a system created for assuring the sell of their own books and produce: superheroes. As collateral this system initially allowed the flourish of a new media: Independent comics. This was good for small publishers and indie authors that were unable to print the amount of books requested by newsstand system of distribution. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_market

12. There are few independent creators who have built successful careers independently in the modern market to serve as role models for other up-and-coming creators.
Who should be blamed for that?
Maybe the secret lays on what they produce and how they manage it. Probably these creators were following the example of successful Indy creators they admired as role model as well.
Success is a lottery. Everybody buys the ticket, only one has the right numbers.
To get the job done and out could be per se a great success for an independent author.

13. There's a lot of pride and ego in the work of creating comics and, as a result, individual creators are forced to bear the burden of creation themselves, rather than embracing a studio system, which may be able to increase the rate of production for comics and lead to other benefits. FYI, Image comics and Top Cow comics are all about studio system.
Individual artists sometimes build their own studio system when the demand of their artwork surpasses their capabilities for production and start hiring assistants. Or when a bunch of artists gather together to afford the rent of a place for work. Working in their own projects. There are many variables. If you don't have ego and pride you can not create high standard work in any artistic field.

14. Readers new to the Direct Market have to deal with too much friction to start buying because of the complex pre-order system. Not only is it difficult for new readers to understand, but it complicates the way creators can market - forcing them to push once for pre-orders and again when it's in stores.What is the complicated? Reader read previews. Reader see what he likes. Reader purchase it. End of the equation.
How crow funding work?

15. The costs of print continues to rise, making comics even less of a worthwhile purchase for customers and challenging the economics of the industry further.Cost of life continues to rise. Milk is more expensive today than 10 years ago. People still buying milk.
Comics are not so needed as milk. But seeing the monthly sales for comics by any comics publisher we see that each of these books were actually PURCHASED by somebody. A reader (or its retailer beforehand) This makes thousand of retailers and millions of comics readers ready for new material each month.
Ref: http://www.comichron.com/
16. Retailers are in financial situations where most don't have the flexibility or freedom to take a chance on independent titles without guaranteed audiences.Retailers are businessmen. They can sell indie books in commission if they want. They don't want low quality comics in their racks.

17. Comics lacks a unified initiative to bring in new readers, as most comics continue to cater to shrinking fan base.Then, who is supporting the multimillionaire business of comics? Million of dollars are expended every month on producing and distributing million of books but nobody is buying them?

18. There's still too little acknowledgement of or action on the subject of gender bias in comics. The fact that we need specific "Women in Comics" panel is clear indication. Even worse is that we get "Women in Comics" panels filled with men speaking from a *qualified* point of view on the issue.Are you male? Maybe this is and issue that should be decided by female creators don't you think? If women feel they need/ is worth for them to have more presence in comics or panels they would work the way to get there. They always do. IMHO.

19. While independent comics might seem to booming, they're gravitating towards treading on the same kind of work again and again like speculative science fiction or action.Trends sell. That is maybe why. Everybody want his slice of the cake if they have a chance.

20. There is little initiative to bring new stories to market in a way that gets them in front of as large of an audience as possible so they have the best chance of catching on and broadening the industry.First the initiative should be focused on creating a good, interesting and original product. The large audience is always a consequence.

21. No critics or outlets actually have the real power to make changes by driving sales to the work they spotlight.Critics are critics. Comics readers buy based on their own taste and instinct. Not because a critics column would recommend or oust a title.

22. Most outlets, regardless of what power they do have, don't use their coverage to spotlight new work and help incentivize creativity & experimentation among creators.Should comics outlets become artist's sponsors? Is that what you mean? Should pay artists for explore and experimenting in comics?

23. Publishers have yet to fully embrace digital or the other possibilities of online business. Institutional inertia keeps them doing more of the same. As comic's reader. What is the problem with that? Is a big demand for reading comics in a tablet or ipod rather than print format? If you see the news the big comics printers are struggling with banckprucy.
Maybe is coming soon.

24. There aren't enough links to and between international markets for independent creators to use.The European market is full of publishers looking to work with independent creators.
Of course, their level of quality must equal or surpass the level of quality and originality that is currently produced by the big comics publishers in America.

25. We're in a lose-lose diversity situation. Companies can change existing characters to be more diverse, but then people complain that it's either cultural appropriation or lazy, and when they create new characters they see it as a token offering. Both are important and we need to be understanding to survive the tide of progress.
Companies are constantly recreating, refreshing and updating their characters as they please. An old technique for renew sales. And the audience would have the last word bout it. Usually of acceptance. Unless something changes the basic nature of their favorite characters.
How are "we" affected by that? Today any independent creator has tools that never existed before for creating and sell their creations. All the tips, secrets and advice and opinions from real successful pro artists and creators can be reached online.
Access to purchase classic artistic materials, videos- tutorials. Print on demand. Software of any kind for graphic art
or even for make comics. Sales online. Etc.
There are no excuses for not be working, creating and exposing what is made to the world if we want.

26. Outrage culture within comics is still prominent. It's to easy to get angry at the issues we come across, rather than having the patience or endurance to dig into issues and discuss them.
Rather to discuss stuff that is out our reach to solve is to sit and try to make good quality comics. Is harder to sell a lousy product than making and sell a good one. Is easier discuss about everything rather than do anything.

27. There's no shared vision for the future of comics or an actionable plan to get there. I shared my own thoughts on the subject, but even that is not enough.
What shared vision for the future of comics you want? What is the plan? to read more comics or to produce comics?
On what scale? Independent or mainstream? The big corporations they have
their own plans made ahead on time for production and sales.
Individual creators do what they do and if it is interesting it eventually may spiral sales per se.
e.g.: Walking dead?
Comics is an entertainment that is not the cup of tea for everyone as movies, prose books, video games, music or sports are.
Comics readers are not only people who enjoy read. They are also people who enjoy graphic art and graphic narrative. People who enjoy read comics have an artist inside.
They are billions of aspiring artists and writers who may have comics as dream or possibility. That is an ocean of readers looking and paying constantly for good original stuff to read. Every month. If wasn't for that, big and small comics companies wouldn't have chance to exist.

And yes, comics has an outstanding present and a great future even if we can not see it.
Each one is entitled to see the half full or the half empty. I rather see the half full.
__________________

Rob Norton
01-16-2016, 07:15 PM
The number one problem facing comics today, is that comics have been crappified by modern printing technology and Photoshop. I believe that comics looked better, aesthetically, under the old regime of 4-color printing on newsprint. You may tell me that is just my opinion, and even that it's the wrong opinion, but, basically, very few of you have probably studied this as closely as I have.

As anecdotal evidence, I happened to be talking to an architect yesterday who told me that modern comics looked like kids junk to him, whereas old comics actually have a kind of aesthetic cache.

I think that myself and the architect are right, the current readers of comics are misguided to accept the current sludge, and an entire generation of kids don't even know what "comics" actually are anymore, because all they have been exposed to is the modern crap.

Also, all pros working in the medium who know in their hearts that I am right, but just bow to the status quo, need to stand up for what is right, and enforce a return to real comics.


that is the most ridiculous bunch of bullshit nonsense ive ever heard.

I respect a person having a personal choice/opinion. but the method in which this was delivered...that being "im right and you all are wrong AND stupid if you don't agree" is completely unforgivable. my opinion of you sir..if this is how you really are... has dropped to almost zero. (not that you care im sure)

wow.

rob

Stewart Vernon
01-16-2016, 07:32 PM
With regards to the direct market not being consumer trackable... this is also true of digital distribution. I get a lot of weird statistics with my blog that make it difficult for me to figure out things sometimes.

Take this week... I posted my "Godzilla 1776" art and prose to my blog. I've had a few of my regulars "like" the post, but it hasn't gotten more likes than several other posts this week. BUT, according to my stats it has been viewed several times more than any other post this week AND has been shared to Facebook from my site apparently 15+ times... and yet I can't see who shared it, and clearly people who liked it enough to share it didn't like it enough to "like" it OR they don't do both, figuring that a share is better than a like.

Except... at the end of the day, I can't get an idea of why they liked it more than some other posts of mine OR if they truly liked it more than other similar things I've posted.

So, I continue with kind of throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks. Basically, developing any idea that pops into my head because I like it and enjoy creating... without knowing which things are working better than others, in case that might encourage me to do more of one thing than another.