Darryl Ayo is at it again with another in his ongoing series of rabble-rousing blog posts. This time he suggests that we need to take a look in the mirror in order to get comics more visibility.
It’s no coincidence, people. A resounding success in comic books is a hundred thousand units sold. A thunderous applause in comic strips is merely getting a new strip into the door. In rap music, bragging about either of these things would get you laughed out of the industry. The bar for success in comics needs to be set much higher and it should be enforced by those of you who operate under the pretense of bettering comics. Slowly, but surely, we will not find ourselves needing to boast about terrible sales or projects that merely get optioned.
It’s often noted that the comics industry is one of the friendliest creative fields, with the entrance level set at no more than a handful of mini-comics or webcomics, and success isn’t even defined as making a living from your work. As a result, sheer creativity is elevated and egos (no matter what you think of so-and-so) usually blow in at no more than a Category 1.
Nonetheless, Ayo does hit on a worrisome thought that most of us professional observers have pondered. Are we just TOO easygoing? Have comics become like that scene in THE INCREDIBLES where you get a ribbon just for entering the race — with the result that actual success is downplayed?
Ayo has a list of generalized suggestions for various comics practitioners to up their game. So who’s been dogging it?
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.