Friday, January 28, 2011

Spread the Word of the Comics You Love

My twitter feed has been over flowing with a full range of "this is what's wrong with comics" and "people don't buy enough creator owned comics" and "creators should quit the big 2 and make creator owned comics: rants lately. Some are angry, some are funny, some are bitter, and some are just anxious to sell books. It's not my place to say if any of these are right or wrong. Oddly enough, while I hear a lot of these manifestos, I don't actually hear many actual suggestions on what I,  or anyone should do.

I don't have the desire to address every point so we'll just focus on the "reading creator owned comics" side of things. There seems to be an anger that superheroes dominate the comics landscape and that there is a wider variety out there to be read. That's a more than fair statement. But instead of doing a weekly soap box session telling me about this problem over and over, be pro active. I'm a fly, you can catch me with honey. If you complain that they're doing it wrong, all I have the power to do is agree or disagree. If I disagree then I walk away. If I agree, I also walk away... but I just do it while saying "F YEAH, YOU TELL 'EM!"

If I think my dog needs water, I don't just tell her how thirsty she looks. I fill up her bowl up and show her where it is.

Stop telling me what's WRONG and point to me to what's RIGHT and you'll start to get somewhere.  Don't make fun of what I do read, tell me what you read and why I should be reading it. I'm not talking about telling me to read creator owned books. I mean act like a real marketer and act as if I don't know the difference between creator owned and corporate and sell me on a book. Tell me why I would love the main character, or how the plot will blow my mind, or or or. You get the point. Sell me. It's that easy. Blog about it, tweet about it. Spread the word of the actual books we love not just the general "problem" that you may see.

I'm not taking a stab at anyone or their views. I agree with almost everything that's been said lately.  At the core, I think everyone wants the same thing. We want the world of comics to be loved and thrive so that we can enjoy it and give it others for years and years to come.  I'm all for that.

As comic creators, we're lucky to have our fans, and in the day of instant social networking we have their ears on stand-by. So I'll put out the call for everyone who has a blog or twitter account. Spread the word on the books you read and enjoy that may not get the attention you think they deserve. It's not about dissing the books that get attention, its about propping up the ones that need more. Give links to Amazon, or your local shop that has it in stock.

Starting this Monday and every Monday after that, I'll give a full rundown on a book I love and think you might as well. I'll then start an Amazon Listamania with the books I post about so you can buy them if you choose. I'm not going to change the world, but hopefully you'll buy a few books you may not have otherwise.


Josh said...

I love superhero comics. They're my favorites. But I also like to try other kinds of comics. Some of my favorite non-superhero comics are the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels. I love those. Bryan Lee O'Malley's got a great drawing style and I love the humor and how candid it gets. And the video game elements are really entertaining also. I like your suggestion about tweeting and blogging about comics we like. I usually blog about my drawings but I may do some posts about comics that I like. After all, comics are what really got me into art and wanting to have a career in art.

lunavalse said...

Love it. Positive reinforcement. I look forward to your posts. I guess I'll have to put more effort into blogging about the comic books I love. I usually mention them on Facebook, but, especially since I am trying to learn more, posting a thoughtful review of the comics I like would be fun and helpful. :)

Traveler BR said...

F YEAH agreed! haha u know what's funny though, i remember on my golden years of going to comic book shops, and diggin out the "gold" that for me at that point was the "special editions" of Spawn or Uncanny x-men, or the Batman miniseries and such, i remember how little interest i had at creator owned comics, or "alternative" comics, my friends got into those much sooner that i did it, but even though it took me a while i'm really in to the so called "Alternative" or CO comics nowadays...

So with no further longings i await for your list dear Skottie!

cheers brow!

abhishek singh said...

couldn't agree more;)
love the analargy of the dog;)

Ken said...

Good stories combined with good art are what matter to me. I need both. Nothing is more frustrating than a great series bogged down with fill-in artists of lesser caliber (no fault of their own that they don't match the style set by the creators - I blame editors there) than the initial artist.

There are many webcomics that guarantee a stable creative team, and lately, from the Big 2, if a reader wants consistency, mini-series are the way to go.

Super heroes are the bread & butter of the industry, but I also enjoy good Conan stories, and I try out a new title from the smaller publishers all the time. I've found my monthly expenditures slowly shifting from primarily DC and Marvel books to series and specials from IDW, Dark Horse, Fantagraphics, and more. People just need to look around more, and show their friends & family that just like television, there are a lot more choices these days, and that there is something for everyone.

Little plug: I have 10 nieces & nephews, and three of them are in love with the hardcover versions of your "Oz" books. They are treasured cornerstones of their growing comics experience. One of them has all 13 issues of Robinson & Smith's "Leave it to Chance" as well, and she loves them.

Dylanio21 said...

That's awesome! I do that all the time! It's great to hear it from someone whose actually...heard.
Keep it up!

Tim said...

And funnily enough the same can be said of any entertainment medium and it's bloggers. Or even any problem in the world people complain about. In short I agree with you about comics and also in the most basic level of your argument, that people who bitch about stuff should do something to make it better. If you see a problem, do what you can to fix it.

Colin said...

Well said, Skottie. This is exactly the right attitude.

Will Caligan said...

I agree with what you said but I thnk the problem with the industry is really being over looked. It isn't Marvel, DC or the Super Hero thing but Diamond Distribution. Indy creators can not afford to produce books when a company is taking 70% of the money. And you did read that correctly, 70%. That is what Diamond takes to carry your book and they demand you sale at least 2000 copies or they will not carry you. This kills the biggest tool Indy comics had going for it, "word of mouth".
If people really want to fix the problem they should stand up to Daimond and tell them that this is unfair business practice and to stop gauging the little guy.