§ I know it’s all good, but Todd Allen looks at some of the shaky ground that the comics industry growth is based on:
As we head into Q4 of 2015, the comics world is facing several challenges. The market is changing and publishers are attempting to reinvent themselves–or at least give the appearance of reinvention. After several years of steady growth, the direct market–over 2,000 small stores that order comics on a non-returnable basis–faces several risk factors. Not all of these may come to pass, but if several converge at once, there could be a cascade effect–and that’s something the direct market needs to be aware of.
I’m a half full type, but sometimes it’s good to look at the empty part of the glass.
§ Fraternal producing duo Sean and Bryan Furst have joined Skybound, Robert Kirkman’s multi media company, as the heads of TV and film production—stuff which Skybound has been very busy involved in including the two Walking Dead shows, the upcoming Outcast and a movie that came out last month, Air, with more to come, including several comics-based properties in development.
“Sean and Bryan are great producers, fellow travelers and truly good people,” Kirkman and his Skybound partner David Alpert said in a statement. “We’ve been looking to find a way to work with them for years, now we’ve done it. This is the perfect way for us to expand our film and television production arm.”
The Fusrt duo’s credits include the films The Cooler and the Matador — both of which are SUPER excellent, so recommended! They also produced the CW series Star-Crossed.
In more Skybound news, Marvel editor Jon Moison is joining in an editorial position. So, growing! Definitely half full!
§ When I saw this headline at Comics Alliance—‘If You Don’t Like It, Make Your Own’ Is a Terrible Argument—I knew Andrew Wheeler wrote it. He argues that you don’t have to be able to do something in order to criticize it:
I write about comics, so I’m especially aware of how often the argument is made in response to comics criticism. But I know that it’s also used in all other creative fields, from film-making to video game design, and it’s an argument without merit in any field. There is the kernel of a good idea behind it; the comic form is open to anyone who wants to make a contribution. But that doesn’t mean you have to make comics rather than criticize. If you don’t like what you see, there are several good reasons to say so.
I think a lot of times the exasperated “Do it yourself!” are from people annoyed by internet sideline boo-birds. I know I myself have suggested that people who don’t like the way this site does this or that start their own site that does things right, since running a comic book news site4 is just about the easiest thing possible. But yeah, in general, criticism that is based on principles and not personalities is okay.
§ Oh yeah speaking of personalities, this piece from Vox has been making the rounds: X-Men creator Jack Kirby was the original comic book social justice warrior based on a snippet of Gary Groth’s interview with Kirby that was quoted in a Tweet:
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) August 29, 2015
GROTH: How did you come up with the Black Panther?
KIRBY: I came up with the Black Panther because I realized I had no blacks in my strip. I’d never drawn a black. I needed a black. I suddenly discovered that I had a lot of black readers. My first friend was a black! And here I was ignoring them because I was associating with everybody else. It suddenly dawned on me — believe me, it was for human reasons — I suddenly discovered nobody was doing blacks. And here I am a leading cartoonist and I wasn’t doing a black. I was the first one to do an Asian. Then I began to realize that there was a whole range of human differences. Remember, in my day, drawing an Asian was drawing Fu Manchu — that’s the only Asian they knew. The Asians were wily…
I hope the popularity of this quote is just because Jack Kirby was so cool—antiquated language and all—and not because it’s so thrilling to discover that ideas about equality and diversity existed before last Tuesday. Because, I got news for you, bub, a lot of Greatest Generation boomer types did care quite a bit about those goals, even if they were all problematic.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.