Ultraist Studios Blog Journal thoughts, musings and other rambling…

September 25, 2006

Times They Are A-Changin’

Filed under: Ramblings — M Kitchen @ 2:07 pm

Came across this Tilting At Windmills article by Brian Hibbs (#149 – September 2006) over on Newsarama:

The Direct Market is changing. Well, really, the whole comics market is changing, but I’m most concerned about the Direct Market portion of it.

One of the problems is that a lot of the things that are changing are doing so relatively invisibly, and under the surface, so you’re probably not too aware of them, or how they’re affecting things.

Hell, I’m not sure most of the time either, really!

One of the things we take as an unwritten assumption in this market is that Diamond is basically the sole source for comics product.

Click here to read more.

I had been thinking a lot about his lately. Not only because Diamond flat out rejected my first two Spy Guy comics, but also because of some other news that had been percolating last year regarding minimum orders. Such as these ones:

The Comics Journal
Lying In The Gutters
Comicon
Sequart
Ninthart

Another Tilting At Windmills piece here

But even more then that, it’s because the books I find I am most interested in, are ones that just aren’t available through the Direct Market Channels.

It seems that the Direct Market can’t see past it’s Super-hero glut. Don’t get me wrong, I like my Astonishing X-Men, and Ultimates 2, and Punisher MAX, and Batman and Savage Dragon, and Next Wave: Agents of H.A.T.E. I like it all just fine.

But what I’d really like to complement it is Paper Biscuit, or a Bob G.O.M.P.
Stuff that is all but being ignored (for lack of sales or lack of support) by the mainstream market. It’s possible that this stuff is supposed to exist on the fringe. That it’s not supposed to exist in the mainstream. I don’t know. But this is where the good stuff, the deep stuff, the new stuff exists.

Created by an artist with a singular vision, and a burning urge to express that vision with the rest of the world. Compare that to the corporate mainstream, where creative decisions are made by non-creative executives. We’ve all seen the havoc that mentality has caused in comics during the Direct Market crash in the 90’s. And the mess that mentality made in animation, with Disney’s fall from grace, and the current CG glut we’ve gotten ourselves into.

The best hope for entertainment is in the creation of creator owned and controlled properties. By artists that have a burning desire to create them. The arts are a part of our culture. If corporate culture dominates the mainstream with their empty candy coated fluff, who’s only purpose is to maximize the stock of rich corporate investors, then I think it’s time to start nurturing the counter-culture.

I’m wondering if stores like The Labrynth, and Stuart Ng Books , and print on demand services like Lulu.com are going to be the next big thing in comic book culture. And awards like the Isotope Award For Excellence In Mini-Comics. This is where the next big things are brewing.

“This is counter-culture from the underground
Eternal revolution, this is our sound.”

KMFDM – Megalomaniac

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