Just to declare myself on neither side of the "coming war" between mainstream and indies that BEAT-people have predicted in glowingly apocalyptic terms, here's something I wrote on this posting:
Though Van Jensen may have overstated things here:
"Marvel and DC haven’t done anything to limit the proliferation of creator-owned books in the past 20 years"
his essential point is a good one, for there have certainly been employees of the Big Two who sought "diversity" as much as there have been those who stuck with proven sellers. And in all cases all involved did what they did to advance their own fortunes, not for some abstract goal.
One problem not addressed, though, is whether it's possible to expand meaningfully beyond the core audience. AACRO faults the industry for not having produced "evergreen products," but can anyone, be it Stan Lee or Art Spiegelman, arbitrarily decide, "Today I'm going to bring into being (whether by direct or indirect influence) an 'evergreen product.'" As other posters have pointed out damn few "indie" creators have done so; they too more often than not appeal to "niche interests" (satire-comics, anthropomorphics,autobio). Are the bulk of indie-people failing because they share the incompetence of the mainstream people, or because there's something deeper than simple incompetence at work here?
Paramout's Vacation Guide to the Solar System
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