How helping the Jack Kirby Museum could be the best response

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Creator/publisher Zak Sally weighs in on the Kirby Matter, and the actions he suggests are more proactive:

actually, over the course of writing this, i think i DO have an answer– not THE answer, but an idea anyway: it’s somewhat presumptive on my part, and it is NOT what “should” happen, but it falls under the category of “the least you could do”.

Chris Roberson's exit interview

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The Comics Journal jumps right back in the fray with an exit interview with Chris Roberson, who uses the occasion to express thoughts Twitter cannot contain. According to Roberson, his distaste with BEFORE WATCHMEN was stated in podcasts, but no one picked it up until his tweets were posted. The whole thing is one big must-read, but here are some quite nice statements that no one can possibly take issue with in the comment section:

The creator’s position viewed through the lens of Alan Moore

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My—hopefully—last post on Before Watchmen and Alan Moore and the role of the comics creators.

End of a Hair-a

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The date was December 9th, 2011 when cartoonist and Center for Cartoon Studies professor Alec Longstreth shaved off his beard and shaggy do. A promise to himself in 2008, he decided to chart his progress through pictures of his hair and beard growth that would undoubtedly remind him daily of his commitment. Living in a small town with a beard as his shadow, Longstreth went from industrious Fellow of the school to an instructor of both summer workshops and graduate classes to the Acting Director (while James Sturm takes a much-needed sabbatical) . Even after all the excitement, he is still growing and evolving, deciding to learn watercolor on the side. Venture on to read more about the amazing cartoonist Alec Longstreth.

Chris Roberson no longer writing FAIREST arc

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Unsurprisingly, after his public statement on not working with DC over their ethical practices towards creators yesterday, it turns out Chris Roberson’s arc on FAIREST, the FABLES spin-off, will not get written.

The Creator's Life #2: Cameron Stewart on working for free

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Yesterday Batman artist Cameron Stewart tweeted about a particularly awful “job” offer; we put job in scare quotes because “job” usually implies something you get paid for.

The Creator's Life #1: Chris Roberson

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As was widely noted yesterday, writer Chris Roberson tweeted the end of his working relationship with DC Comics:

"Make Mine Me": Haspiel on the freelancer's life

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Once again, Dean Haspiel blogs about the difficulties faced by freelancers in the current event/editorially-driven superhero world in a piece plaintively called Make Mine Me:

More Success in Comics!

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The first post was so popular, here’s a sequel! More of Alan Gardner’s reports from the Success in Comics seminar.

REVEALED!! Success in Comics

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Despite all the gloom and doom talk in the biz of late, there is still room for Success in Comics, Alan Gardner writes. In fact they held a whole seminar devoted to the topic!

Doujinshi follow-up

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After my long post yesterday, there were a few loose ends and misstatements and yet more viewpoints that deserved some linkage.

Comics Crisis: Doujinshi Nation

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Wow! All hell has broken loose in comic book-land! Last week’s surfeit of Aquarian-born comics creators created a busy circuit of birthday parties, and if I had a dime for every time the name “Gary Friedrich” came up, his legal fees would be paid.

IP Wars are breaking out everywhere.Why here, why now? As always, follow the money. The most visible and lucrative segment of comics industry has, since the great distribution collapse of the ’90s, been primarily in the IP business. Entire comics companies have sprung up just to create movie storyboards masquerading as comics. Big media corporations outfit swanky offices just for the purpose of developing existing IP. It’s become a cottage industry. No wonder then, that controlling and profiting from IP has become THE major preoccupation of the comics industry from the CEO selling movies to the colorist selling prints.

Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim Valentine pin-up as a reflection of the week in comics news

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As we end this week which has been obsessed with copyright, IP and the intersection of licensing and art—you should have heard the talk at FMB’s b-day bash on Wednesday: wall to wall Gary Friedrich—we’ll be the 2,649th persson to link to Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Valentine’s Day treat, a pinup of Ramona Flowers, Kim PIne, Lisa Miller and Wallace Wells, which, while quite notable on its own, is also a reminder of many things. For instance, as much as SCOTT PILGRIM has become a cult unto itself, and as joyful as it is to see new art with these characters, and it would be the easiest thing in the world for O’Malley to exploit the desire for more Pilgrim, instead he’s been concentrating on his NEW project, Seconds.

What the Gary Friedrich/Disney/Marvel case means for comics creators

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You can be sympathetic to Gary Friedrich’s current situation—older, broke and in bad health—while still being alarmed over all the issues his court case has raised. My own email and IMs are full of variant views on it. So let’s trace the evolution of this a bit.

Are cartoonists doomed to die poor and homeless while pirates dance on their graves?

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Even as the economy shows fitful signs of flickering back to life, the comics economy, which was “too small to fail” to really take much of a hit during the Great Recession, is still puddling along, under capitalized, under-recognized and with even the greatest cartoonists prone to spells of belt tightening. Comics have been traditionally immune to the effects of a recession—”cheap entertainment does well in bad times!” we’ve heard time and again—but the corollary is also true: Economic boom times rarely touch comics.

During the late ’90s and the first dot.com boom, one of the greatest eras of general prosperity in American history, comics were going through their WORST slump since the end of newsstand distribution, with sales numbers so low executives were crying over them. And then, paradoxically, comics began to do better even during the mini-recession following 9/11 and the end of the dot.com bubble.

Sean Murphy: You need a 5 Year Plan

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Artist Sean G. Murphy (Joe the Barbarian) has posted a piece on his DA page called
5 Year Plan — it’s about planning for the future — something very few young cartoonists seems to have the courage to do. I recently told a talented young cartoonist “Keep doing what you love until someone pays you for it” — which is pretty basic “follow your bliss” advice. Murphy’s is a little more practical: