So one of the big stories this past week in comics land was the poignant, pointed and ugly-truthful comments by Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson at the ComicsPRO’s annual membership meeting. Essentially Stephenson called out his own industry, a move I wholeheartedly applaud. Newsarama got a hold of the transcript and I’ve lifted some key quotes from it.
Stop reveling in nostalgia for a time long gone by. Creatively, the golden age of comics is now – let’s save our nostalgia for today.
All comics should be for everyone. Not just collectors. Not just whoever has the most cash on hand.
For decades now, we’ve all been standing on the shoulders of giants. It’s time to stop. Let them have their rest. Now is the time to create new characters, to explore new worlds, to tell new stories. Our industry – our medium – has a long and magnificent history, but the past isn’t going anywhere. The future is an open road.
And if you are a publisher trying to shore up your numbers by releasing more than one issue of a single title a month: Stop.
It’s makes it next to impossible for retailers to accurately track sales, it puts undue pressure on even your most loyal fans, and it deprives writers and artists of the ability to do their best work. In fact, it all but robs artists of the ability to establish the kind of multi-issue runs that define long and illustrious careers.
Over recent years Stephenson has become increasingly outspoken about the industry he loves, often making similar pointed comments in his key note addresses at the Image Expos. He may be the only bastion to the comics industry in his position because he’s not a corporate suit and doesn’t have shareholders and conglomerate executives to answer to. Keep it up, Mr. Stephenson.
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