Retailer Robert Scott has his own response to Robert Kirkman‘s call for more creator-owned concepts:
Well, I’m not sure how folks like Lea, Ellis or even Kirkman have missed it for twenty two years but Marvel, DC, WFH or retailers have not damaged the industry nearly as much as creator owned work (and the publishers who love them) has. OK to be fair it’s not the work but the lack of professionalism surrounding the work that is the culprit.
From unprofessional and nonviable work by folks with to much cash in hand to fantastic work with untenable publishing schedules and utter lack of business/marketing savvy, this work leaves not only a frustrated consumer with no lack of alternative entertainment options but a also a line of business partners (distributors & retailers) who become increasingly gun shy over such product because it cannot be counted on to pay the bills and not to actively piss off their customers (and to be fair, the Big 2 share some of these same problems).
D&Q, Fantagraphics, Slave Labor, Top Shelf… all produce a staggering amount of creator owned work. Warren Ellis touted both financial and critical success of Fell. And yet the aforementioned publishers have had to go begging hat in hand and must fight retailers for sales at conventions because the work isn’t selling as well as needed and who knows if or when Ellis will reward us with more Fell, which now seems to be on an annual schedule.