Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Creator Owned Groundswell

Well, obviously the best laid plans of trying to update a blog just isn't working out. With Facebook covering the basis so well throwing out updates, just doesn't seem like blogs have the impact that they had just a year or two ago. I don't think they're going the way of MySpace but when looking at so many blogs, it just seems unless they have a specific focus, they're not being updated. I think that blogs have to be re-purposed, at least in my case. No longer to be an informational site but more opinion. Yeah, I know, people have been doing that for a long time. Sometimes, I'm a slow learner. And since I use Facebook primarily as a promotional tool only, guess the blog can be more of an op-ed. That doesn't necessarily mean that I'll post more often...I'm trying to be realistic here. The buzz right now is all about Creator owned books and a groundswell of support oozing out from many creators. Steve Niles with his blog (see, he gets how to use it) and followed shortly after with a video by Eric Powell, has catapulted the discussion into the limitations of the market (and its future as well), the lack of support from fans, retailers, and distributors for creator owned titles, and generally, what to do about it...if anything. I get the point but when the talk shifts to discussing some kind of consortium, well...that's just not going to work. The major problem is that just because something is creator owned...doesn't mean it's good. I see a lot of potential creators who are clamoring for something like that so that their work can be seen but maybe, just maybe, the reason for their lack of success is because the work just isn't that good. Of course, it's subjective. And sometimes, the subjectivity isn't necessarily a quality issue but one of interest. Personally, I have no interest in looking at any kind of superhero books or funny animal comics. Yes, I realize that there are all kinds of exceptions but that's the point...they're exceptions. But that's just me, other people love that kind of stuff. I don't like slasher horror either but look how popular that is. So, if there is some kind of organized group, whether its an association, just a "group" it one that anyone can join? Is there no minimum criteria? If so, then who decides. If no, then it can be problematic to sort through all the crap to find the good stuff. Essentially, it comes down to good intentions and really, I do understand what Niles and Powell are getting at...I just think that it may balloon to something unmanageable. I also recognize that I'm not offering any counter ideas just pointing out a pitfall or two. I just don't want some good intended ideas to get rushed into something and not succeed and then the idea will be abandoned as unworkable. Some things I've been noticing on various posts (facebook, forums, etc.) and some catch up notes. There seems to be an awful lot of people who state that their intended goal is to make a living doing comics. Well, the reality is that very few people actually make a living at it and most do it in their spare time. I don't think that reality is understood by a lot of potential newcomers. For all these people who submit to me usually for either Transfuzion or Caliber. Transfuzion does not do color, does not do comics (only graphic novel format), and there is no interest in superhero books. As for Caliber, uh, Caliber hasn't published anything in like 10 years so its a waste of time submitting to a non-publishing company. I see a few awards being issued recently and from what I can tell, most of them are self serving. A group of creators get together, announce a new set of awards which they handle and curiously (well, maybe not), they're also the recipients. How convenient. That's not to say all awards forthcoming are like that. I'm glad to see the Eagle Awards returning and Detroit Fanfare (which I am part of) will be issuing the Shel Dorf Awards on an annual basis. Regarding Detroit Fanfare. I helped them out last year and got to know the two organizers, Dennis Barger and Tony Miello. As the event came closer, I got more and more involved. Well, now, I am officially a partner in Detroit Fanfare and will be increasing my participation. Looking for some big things this year. I will be doing a couple of store appearance. I will be at Green Brain Comics on Feb. 16 and then at Wonderworld Comics on Free Comics Day. As for conventions, I'm limiting myself this year. I will be attending c2E2 but not set up there as I will be going there with Dennis and Tony to talk to creators and dealers about Fanfare. I may also be on a panel or two and possibly doing a signing. I am doing the Summit City Con in Ft. Wayne on June 18 and of course, I'll be at Detroit Fanfare. For the first time, I will likely be at Heroes Con, also in June. I've never done this convention and I will be there at the Desperado booths. I'm trying to talk Wayne Reid, artist on many projects including El Cid, Zulunation, some Deadworld and Sherlock Holmes stories and many others to attend. Wayne doesn't do conventions so it will be a unique opportunity.


Anonymous said...

I thought that was what anthologies were for. agroup of people get their work seen, and the creators have something to shop around. More creators should go in on Anthologies because it's not as expensive to print as an individual comic or graphic novel if all the creators are chipping in to cover cost. thats whats so awesome about negative burn. It has street cred and showcases and is still collectable. indy creators need to create little anthology cabals based on superhero's, fuzzy animals, slashers...whatever. Printed takes presidence over proposed work anyday. and it doesn't matter if the guy next to ya sucks. as long as he pitched in his pennys it's just gonna make the more professionals shine. By now getting a book to look proffesional is down to a science. there are lots of profesional looking products out there that are crap as far as content...thats why these little cabals should hire floating editors...the editorial staff made Caliber work. Sometimes Creators are too close to the work to realize they're just polishing turds. just my two cents worth.

Gary Reed said...

I agree...anthologies are great vehicles but they don't sell that well. At Caliber, we did a number of anthologies (Caliber Presents, Negative Burn, New Worlds, etc), some 90 issues worth.

I think a lot of the organized groups intend to do anthologies but getting everyone together on a project can sometimes be difficult.

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