Home Columns Kibbles 'n' Bits Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 11/17/14—New people are reading comics, but what’s their deal?

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 11/17/14—New people are reading comics, but what’s their deal?


§ MUST READ!!! Brigid Alverson has a write up of last October’s Cv2 Conference. and boils down the many statistics that were presented that day about new readers from retailers, publishers and convention organizers. It’s a LOT of information but fascinating stuff.

§ The Outhousers Christian Hoffer was at ICAF this weekend, and it was a hotbed of sedition and intrigue new comics organizations, including a scholars groups and yet another new CAF, this one in Columbus, OH:

BREAKING: Jeff Smith (of Bone fame) has announced a new major comics festival called Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC), which will be held in the city of Columbus, OH starting in 2016. A soft “beta” launch event will be held in 2015. Organizers have compared the planned event to the Toronto Comics Art Festival. Full news story to follow.

Details to come, but the era of the CAF is in its full flowering.

§ The Outhouse once again has a succinct write up of several stories regarding race in comics. The LA Times has a substantial look at diversity in comics, and got some comments from writer Christopher Priest on the new Sam Wilson is Captain America, which he thought was a stunt.

Adding that he’d be “delighted” to be wrong about the Cap change being a stunt, Priest laid out what his former employer is facing: “Marvel’s challenge is to deliver something so affirming and positive that the work overcomes that cynicism. I assure you, Black America will be watching: Does this have real depth, or is it just surfacey costume-switching?”

And he had some other advice for Marvel: “Hire some actual black people.”


Tom Brevoort responded in the weekly CBR debriefing, and said., yes it’s a stunt…but isn’t everything?

In terms of it being a temporary thing and not being a stunt, everything we do is storytelling. Everything we do, on a certain level, is a stunt. [Laughs] It’s all stories. Is it likely that at some point Steve Rogers will be Captain America again? The tide of history tells us that’s probably the case, but that didn’t make it any less of a stunt when Bucky was Captain America. And the people that loved Bucky in that role weren’t any less served because of the fact that, at some point, the day might come when the original guy would pick the shield up again. To me, it’s not about having that office forever, it’s about what you do when you’re the guy. In just a few years, we’re going to have another election, and it’s a certainty that Barack Obama will not be President. Somebody else will. And who that somebody else is, at this point, is completely speculative, but that doesn’t change the impact or meaning that that guy in that job had for people.


§ Why do we care about these stunts and commercial, movie driven comics? Because once in a while, it does matter. Along related lines, NPR looks at the Black Panther, and why the character has such resonance:

Depictions of Wakanda have varied over the years, but the country is consistently described as a technological mecca built on a foundation of magic and metal. Disease and poverty are eclipsed by scientific innovation and economic prosperity. Put simply, Wakanda is the perfect example of Afrofuturistic science fiction.


§ Editor Ellie Pyle is leaving Marvel (to go to Vertigo, it’s been reported) but she got a whole Women of Marvel podcast to say goodbye. I thought when you went to another company they just shoved you out the door, so this is very cool.

§ Bill Roseman is also leaving East Cosat Marvel to take over as Creative Director of Marvel Games

§ Tim Beyers has a an all new Marvel Movie Report up at his site The Full Bleed, which shows how profitable all the MCU films have been, YOu will not be surprised to find out that The Avengers was the most proftable, but can you can what was the LEAST profitable? Hint, it had giant scary poodles in it.

§ Chris Arrant talks to Ivan Brandon, and it must be said that DRIFTER, Brandon’s new book with art by Nic Klein is absolutely spectacular.

I tend not to think as much about genre in and of itself … which is to say, I love a lot of genres but I don’t really care about the established tropes except where they’re completely essential. When I get attracted to an idea my brain will often take a weird route to trying to bond with it. Likewise, when trying to get inside a character’s head I’m looking for really basic human connections that are hopefully recognizable to anyone regardless of where or when they grew up. The more I read about Vikings, the more they felt to me like gangsters. For Drifter the part of the future we’re envisioning carries a lot of similarities with frontier expansion. So it’s all organic to the way my brain works.

§ And Tom Spurgeon interviews Eric Haven whose UR is coming out from AdHouse.

But after seeing what I made on the first issue (precisely $100, still by far the most money I’ve ever made for a comic book) I realized there was no hope for me to make a living at it. So I went back to the day job and continued to draw comics on evenings and weekends and holidays. It was depressing to think I couldn’t make a living as a comic artist. But I also feel that it worked out for the best: I could draw whatever I want at my own pace, not being tied to a strict deadline or a regular title. I did one more issue of Angryman before quitting that and focusing on creating mini-comics.


§ Marvel’s comic characters make more from licensing than DC’s ICv2 reports.


  1. Priest is correct and it’s not controversial to call putting a new guy in the costume a stunt. That’s something comics do all the time along with crossovers and shock deaths/resurrections.

    The REAL concern should be how the time between stunts and crossovers is decreasing and what this means for the business. Note that the last Cap replacement story was in 2008. That’s only 6 years ago. It’s also not a good sign that company-wide crossovers have begun to happen back-to-back instead of once a year.

  2. So… thirty-some years ago, Marvel replaced an A-list WASP hero with an African-American.
    (And replaced Captain America as well. And changed Thor.)
    How well did that work out? Well, War Machine does appear in the movies, barely.
    How prominent has he been in the Marvel Universe?

    As for Captain America… how many different ones have their been? There was the 1950s substitute, Hawkeye, plus ten more? I’m kinda surprised Bendis hasn’t broken Marvel Time and had them all team up…

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