Be warned this will be an unbiased and honest rant about an aspect of the comic book industry and those that are in leadership of said comic book industry.
It’s my opinion. It may be lacking all facts but its what I see and how I feel. And if I can conclude these feelings from simple observations, than perhaps, those folks should look into a mirror and ask themselves: what the hell are we doing? Because these simple impressions are very important to business.
I will focus on a publisher I have loved since I was 10 years old. I grew up on their characters and by 1985 would spending nearly all my allowance and then some buying roughly 20 monthly titles. (Just be aware, comics were only 60 cents back then. Hell, I can’t afford 20 books a month today and I make a pretty good salary for a middle aged man. Math: 1985 20 books = $12. 2019 20 books = $80) That publisher was DC Comics.
Besides the simple cost, what kid in his right mind would pay $3.99 for 20 pages of a funny art book? I know I ask that every time I buy one today. And these f’ing Publishers want to cry and moan that children aren’t getting into comics anymore and the industry is collapsing because of old grumpy white men? These publishers are idiots!
So, this opinion is based solely on a consumer perspective. I’m a consumer and I have money to spend. How will the publishers earn my support? That’s the real question isn’t it? Let’s say that social media doesn’t help their cause!
Well, social media can literally best or break a company. (One can ask Gilllette?). So, it doesn’t help the cause or earn my support with some careless social media posting. And yes, this could be shallow and trite but hey I think it and I have a right to question and talk about it. Thus, I think ‘all’ entertainment companies should have some strict social media rules when they want to lure my money out of my pocket. And to be shallow and honest, this could even be simple family pics highlighting over indulgence….
Not to be someone that just wants to dox another, I will not use the co-publisher’s name. Let’s say his name rhymes with Stan Lee but he’s Asian and much shorter. I’ll refer to him as ‘Little Timmy’ (That kinda rhymes too). So, Little Timmy is a very talented artist. He creates a style and brand for his art; he sets out to be an independent comic creator. And, after all said and done, is a very influential name in the business. He returns to the company that helped him rise up through the industry and has become the co-publisher of all the books this company prints. That’s a pretty impressive CV, right CV? (Why, yes it is!)
So, like every other dumb American, I follow him on social media. I thought it might be a platform to see his art. Well, I was wrong. (Edit: I lie for exaggeration and embellishment! There are posts of his work. Mostly Batman stuff and self-promotion of DC stuff and movies.) Instead, I get photos of him jet-setting around the world. I mean literally “around the world.” There are pics of him front row-courtside at Lakers games ( just a few chairs away from Jaaack!). There, he is, in Greece (I think it was Greece), Saudi Arabia, Dubai, China, Japan, and all of the other European countries. Then I see he’s celebrating a aniversary with his wife (most likely Hawaii) and her brand new Lamborghini Aventador (price tag: just south of a half a mil.).
I know what everyone’s thinking: “So!” He’s worked hard to get where he is. He deserves to treat himself to some luxuries out there in the most expensive real estate of California. And honestly, I’m all for the American Dream and pursuit of wealth. I hope to be there one day too. (Correction: I think I would be more conservative. Chalk it up to growing up poor and knowing the value of things…or more importantly, happiness….) Now to my POINT!
DC COMICS is in trouble. Of the two engines keeping that plane in the air, one is on fire and the other is starting to sputter. So, I question how much time does he actually spend in the board room or his office? Isn’t his job to make sure his company is selling millions of comics and thriving? So when I just see him traveling or buying super sport cars, I feel like somethings being ignored. I want him to wake up and put some dedication in keeping comics around for the next generation — like: try and create solutions to get comics back into the hands of children! My first instinct is to think he’s just milking the cow and not really caring about if the cow is eating a healthy diet.
Little Timmy, pleas stop traveling the world. Instead get in that office and make a difference. Change the scope of the industry once again like you did so many years ago. That would convince me to open that pocket and let that money fly out….