Thursday, September 29, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Correction, Eric Larsen calls you out!!

Okay, so I read Kirkman's CBR.com column first, as it was the newest entry, but one notch lower reveals that Eric Larsen's column ONE FAN'S OPINION truly does call people out this go-around. In this case, comic creators. Specifically those working exclusively for the big 2.

From the column:

Are you ready to confess that those "old hacks" that you look down on really had more going on than you do? Are you willing to confess that you're devoid of ideas? Are you going to fall back on the tried-and-true "all the good characters have been created" or "I'd just end up ripping off some existing character-- and who needs another Batman knock off?"

Bullshit.
...
The thing is-- people like new stuff. That's why Clorox Bleach keeps saying that they're new and improved. People want something new. They want something that's theirs. Sure, there is a nostalgic pull to the comfort characters of the past, which is while they'll forever be rebooting the Dukes of Hazard, Scooby Doo, James Bond and Charlie's Angels and every other garbage TV show from the '60s, '70s and '80s, but given the choice of Scooby Doo and something new-- they'll want to try something new. They may go back to something tried and true if that new thing isn't to their liking, but they'll try something new. That's part of the reason that readers respond to Manga. They can start at the start and get in on the ground floor of something new and exciting.

These aren't their parents' characters or their grandparents' characters with a fresh coat of shellac on them to make them look new and shiny-- these are new characters. These are their characters.

And we can do that.

Check out the full, spot-on rant HERE

So come on people, fuck corporate comics! This medium is languishing domestically, we need more original, creator-owned content. We need more PENG, more GODLAND, more MBQ, more creators doing exciting original things in a medium that is limitless in it's potential. FUCK BATMAN, FUCK SPIDER-MAN, how fucking boring.

Eric's right, take a chance, show us what you've got! Because if smaller publishers can't break the stranglehold of the big companies, perhaps a new creator-owned uprising could. There's no reason an industry this small should have multiple versions of anything, we don't need 20 fucking x-books. We don't. It's bad creatively (watered down product), and more importantly, it's bad for the industry as a whole.

SIDE NOTE – Look, I've been creating my book over the course of 3 to 4 years now, and time was, I wouldn't even consider taking it to Image, there just was no perceived value to it. I could release a new book myself and get canceled within 1 to 5 issues just as easily myself, thank you very much. Sure, Image used to be a viable competitor to the big two, but they had a run there of about five plus years where they didn't have any kind of track record, any new successful books to speak of. However, that's changed in recent years, and having a figurehead like Larsen, taking a stand like this is a big step in the right direction. They need to stir things up, they need to build on what they've got going. And the industry needs it too. With the direction they’re heading now, I'd be honored to throw in with the folks there. I’ll just keep striving to create new and exciting things, and raise my game to their level, so that some day, perhaps they could say the same thing about me.

2 comments:

Javier Hernandez said...

Hey Jason, I think Larsen is dead on, and ballsy, for firing the first round.

I totally agree with him, of course. You won't find any Ultimate ReHash on my pull lists! I will say that growing up I did enjoy the work that Sal Buscema, Ross Andru and John Romita Sr. did on Spider-Man, a character that they did not create.

But I think Erik is talking about the modern era. Guys working, rehashing, regurgitating 40,50,60 year old properties. And with technology and access the way it is nowadays, why shouldn't a creative person with a good idea create (and own) their own comic?

Yeah, Erik and Tood and Jim, etc became famous for working on the classic characters, but they decided to move on and create their own properties, instead of moving on to another corporate title. Jim Lee has found renewed fame and fortune working as a hired gun for a corporate comic company, but that's his perogative, I guess.

Just look at SCOTT PILGRIM, STREET ANGEL, THE AMAZING JOY BUZZARDS to name a few. I get a huge amount of entertainment out of those books and an appreciation for the talent and imagination that goes into them. And I really do feel glad to know that the creators of those books OWN those ideas!
What a beautiful thing, no? Heck, as the creator of my own book, I absolutely wouldn't have it any other way. And you know what that's like!!

Javier

Jason Martin said...

Yeah, I love Street Angel, and just (as mentioned today on TSL) finally picked up Scott Pilgrim, both excellent examples of new creators doing their own thing, and doing it damn well. (some others that come to mind that neither of us mentioned yet include Josh Howard, Brian Wood, and Rick Spears/Rob G)

But as you likely noticed, he's not challenging people like them, or you and me, he's challenging the big name writers and artists, already established in the industry, who aren't taking chances with their own ideas. (and it almost seems like he's targeting specific folks)

Those are the people we need to see some effort from. Sure not everyone can do it, or can come up with good ideas, or can find success with it, but it almost seems as if no-one's trying!!?

Image could sure use some big name talent to add to their growing line of success stories. So let's hope this shakes some folks up and into action.

On a related note, I know Tokyopop has several books in the works from emerging comics talent like Becky Cloonan, Brandon Graham, and Ross Campbell to name a few. Perhaps they'll keep building bridges and eventually overtake the big publishers, because they're actively signing people who will appeal to a larger, new audience, as opposed to the icestuous path the big two continue on...