From this week’s Permanent Damage:

Ultimately there’s no publisher in America today predicated on the idea of letting talented creators go their own way, because no publisher has a coherent plan for capitalizing on that, and that goes for both indie and mainstream. So, really, it falls to creators themselves. Which means there’s “selling out” and there’s “selling out.” To work in as many venues as possible, and to do the most impactful work there to open more opportunities to do the comics you think should be done instead of what publishers and editors should be done, to take the opportunities presented to you and do your best with them and to pry open new opportunities even when it sometimes means accommodating other expectations to get what you want, that’s an okay kind of selling out. It’s only trouble if accommodating other expectations at your own expense becomes habitual and reflexive. Wanting to write “popular material” in the absence of good ideas for that material, that’s not such a great way of selling out.


  1. I’ve seen my pre-order numbers. I don’t think I’m in danger of “selling out” anytime soon. Viper Comics pretty much lets me do what I want, and they try their best to get it into stores. I don’t know if you can have a “coherent plan for capitalizing” on anything with some capital. If small press publishers had more money, I can think of numerous opportunities available. Thus, you have to get a little crafty. It’s the larger companies that might be without an excuse.

    I feel your pain, Steven.