Thursday, April 22, 2010

Creators Vs. Creators.

A while ago writer Robert Kirkman made some statements that created somewhat of an uproar in the comic book world. Kirkman made his name with books like "Invincible" and "The Walking Dead," both published through Image Comics, a publishing house that releases creator-owned books.

This might seem like a late response to Kirkman's statements, but the situation that led to me writing this seemed to directly concern things he said in that video.

Even though comic books are art, and should always be considered as such, one thing affects them that makes it easy to consider them something OTHER than art, and that thing is business. There are definitely people out there who have a vested interest in comics as capitalism, or investments, but for me - a wannabe comic book writer/current comic book reader - they are a fantastic art form.

So what happened that made me think these things? Comic book reviews. I was talking about the newest issue of "Flash" and its shortcomings, and someone said to me that I only like creator-owned books. I love creator-owned books, and do read quite a few of them, but they aren't the only books I read. Making a list of the non-creator-owned books I enjoy seems goofy, and not at all why I'm writing this, so I'll skip that. Instead, I wondered to myself why creator-owned books might be better than non-creator-owned.

No matter how many reasons I came up with, in the end they were all easily placed into one category: freedom. Creator-owned books allow for greater creative freedom. There are no "events" to worry about unless the creator wants there to be. I enjoy superheroes, and I like reading their stories. I hold them to the same standards I hold all other comics I read; I want well-written stories, well-drawn, just well-created books all around. Right now it seems like creator-owned books are more capable of achieving the level of success I'm looking for, if for no other reason than the aim of the books isn't a company-wide cohesion or eye toward continuity.

If the big two companies were producing books that could weave in and out of stories without the anchor of continuity or editor involvement - meaning the worry about "event" cohesion - they might be able to produce stories with more freedom.

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