Monday, August 25, 2008

Bank Holiday idealism: up the workers!

Dirk Deppey on Robert Kirkman's land grab video for Image Comics:

"I havent commented on Robert Kirkmans video screed on creator ownership for two reasons: [1] The pro-creators rights argument isnt exactly news to most Journal readers, and [2] the notion that a bevy of original works, presumably genre works, that dont star Wolverine or Batman are going to set the Direct Market on fire, change the buying habits of the Wednesday Crowd or even provide sustainable incomes in the majority of cases is just insane on the face of it. (Kirkman: Theres a reason that most alt-comics types you know, the folks whove been putting their money where your mouth is for two decades? have been quietly abandoning the DM ship for the past few years.) "
I (kind-of) agree with Deppey, patronising though he is, in so much as when he says that as yer Fantagraphics-type "alt-comics" dudes are abandoning the direct market model, so should your mainstream genre creators, too. Chase the mainstream publishing world: set up a deal at Penguin or Harper Collins or a shell company like First Second or whoever. You'll find the book world will treat you with the honour and respect you deserve, rather than the work-for-hire bullsh*t you regularly put up with from a comics industry whose business models were set up during the gangster-ridden, depression-shaped, 1930s.

But if you can't envision a better life for yourself, probably because you grew up as part of what Deppey calls "the Wednesday crowd", hey, at least Image seem to be offering a set-up free of that gangster sh*t. But with a book deal, you'll get advances, something Image can't offer.

And also - try and see if you can get calling work-for-hire "gangster shit" to stick, then we'll see how acceptable the practice really is.