I’ve been digging back into comics lately, hence some of the comic-related posts. One of the things that fascinates me is the abundance of great web comics out there. Tons of artists who haven’t quite found the right business model, but are producing incredible stuff anyway.
I went shopping in the real world the other day, and came back with the Adventures of Mia, by Pixar story Enrico Casorosa; The Red Star, colored by Animation Nation member Snakebite; and a few issues of Bone, the award-winner from Jeff Smith.
What will the future hold for independent comic artists? Who knows. Here’s a semi-related excerpt from a Dave Sim speech from 1993:
“The critical difference with Spawn is that Todd McFarlane recognized that he is hot NOW, while he was working on Spider-man. He recognized that he was making an enormous amount of money for Marvel Comics and that the percentage of that money that he was being paid was minuscule. He recognized that there was a window of opportunity NOW to make his future financially secure and to take control of his career. He recognized that at Marvel, his career was out of his control. A change of editor, of editorial policy, of company ownership, any number of things could throw him out in the street at a moment’s notice. If Marvel could throw Chris Claremont away after fifteen years, refusing even to let him write a farewell note on the letters page of the book he had made into the industry standard, what security is there? Todd McFarlane recognized that there is no security. There never has been and there never will be.”
Over a decade ago I bought most of Todd McFarlane’s Spidey comics, as well as the first few issues of Spawn. Fast-forward to today: Spawn is drawn by someone else and McFarlane is a millionaire. And Dave Sim is a few months shy of wrapping up the entire 300 issue run of his independent comic, Cerebus. (He started 26 years ago.)