Hey Indie Comics! Get Over It!

“Hey, Indie Comics! What’s going on?”

“Oh hey, Josh, how you doing?”

“Good, good. Thanks. I saw your new book, it’s great. Incredible work, really. We’re gonna bang the drum for it.”

“Oh yeah? Cool! Thanks a lot, I appreciate it! I just–“

“What is it, Indie Comics?”

*sigh* “It’s just… when is Indie work really gonna be appreciated? It’s like no one cares, or pays any attention to us. It’s just all superheroes, and Marvel and DC. All the websites are the same. They just care about who’s drawing the next X-Men book.”

“We pay attention to your book, and all sorts of indie comics.”

“I guess, but look at your name. The site is called iFanboy, and it’s got Fantastic Four lettering in the logo. You guys are all about the superheroes! Admit it.”

“Well, we’re actually all about comic books. We like superhero comics and indie books. Good comics are good comics. But I, and many others started reading comics because of superheroes.”

“Well, you guys are cool I guess, but why does everyone ignore indie comics?”

“I’m looking at Newsarama right now, and more than half the stories are about non-mainstream comics. You were featured in Wizard, not to mention Entertainment Weekly, and you’ve got a movie deal!”

“People still pay more attention to superhero comics though. When am I going to get some respect?”

“People really like superhero comics. They know what to expect with them, and when they go to the comic shop, it can be hard to discern between the hundreds of available indie comics. Each week, I go through the listings, and look at what comics are coming out, and it’s hard to find something you like from the indie comics. There are certainly great things in there, but it can be daunting to figure out what they are. I think most people hedge their bets, and wait to find out what the really good stuff is. Plus, some people just like reading superhero comics. You can’t fault them for that.”

“It’s immature!”

“You’re gonna tell that to the people who made The Dark Knight the highest earning movie of the year? People like superheroes. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

“It’s nearly impossible to make an impact if you’re not working with Marvel or DC though. The readership doesn’t care about other comics, no matter how good they are.”

“While I’ll agree it saddens me that some great titles like Scalped, and Fear Agent aren’t appreciated nearly enough, it’s also so enlightening to see things like the success of The Walking Dead and Invincible. A lot of guys are getting a ton of respect, and doing well by making great comics. Guys like Alex Robinson, James Kolchaka, Adrian Tomine, Dan Clowes, Jeff Smith, Terry Moore, Andy Runton, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and Jeff Lemire are able to make a living doing their work, and the outside world is noticing as well. Some guys are using their indie cred to work in mainstream comics, and others are using mainstream comics to publish the stuff they’re really passionate about. Mike Mignola has crossed the traverse and has a whole Hellboy empire. There’s no doubt it is difficult, but if the quality of the book is good, you’ve got a shot, and that’s really all you can ask for. We’re at a point where the graphic novel is starting to become a focal point, and people are watching.”

“Okay, well… a lot of comic shops don’t carry a lot of indie work, which is hard.”

“That’s true, but I was in a Borders the other day, and they have all these endcaps of graphic novels, and there wasn’t a Marvel or DC book among them. Why would this chain store waste space on books that no one is interested in? So maybe you don’t have the presence in direct market comic shops that you want. Fine, so look for somewhere else to sell your book. There are so many options now with the web, that it has to be a better time than ever to do independent comics. Publishers are putting out all sorts of different work, from Top Shelf, to Oni, to First Second, to Drawn and Quarterly, to Slave Labor Graphics, and that’s only scratching the surface.”

“Alright fine. That might be true. But what about comic conventions? It’s so hard to get noticed in a place like San Diego, which is also really expensive.”

“Boy, you’re really going all out here, aren’t you?”

“I have to cover all the bases.”

“Fair enough. Well, when it comes to conventions, San Diego isn’t the only game in town anymore. There are big important shows like MoCCA and SPX on the east coast, and APE on the west coast that cater to indie comics. Furthermore, shows like Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle and WonderCon in San Francisco were all about comics, and great places for indie guys to show off their work.”

“I guess that all doesn’t sound so bad.”

“It’s not, Indie Comics. It’s not bad at all. It’s just a lot of work, but so is anything worth doing.”

“Cool. Thanks, Josh.”

“Any time!”

“You know I actually really like the Iron Man movie.”

“I know. We all did.”

Author’s Note: The preceding was satire. It was written with no one specific in mind, but rather a prevailing sentiment that I see from time to time. It was also meant mostly as a joke, so don’t try to read too far into it, and don’t take it too seriously. This is, in many ways, a conversation with myself.



  1. Indie comics, I’m not gonna forgive you for all the money I’ve given you over the years. Freeloader 🙁

  2. "I talk to myself because I like dealing with a better class of people." – Tartakower, Savielly

  3. Sing it, Josh!

  4. Talking to yourself is one thing, but doing it in prose form is a cry for help.  Maybe you should talk to someone professionally before you end up kidnapping someone and keeping them alive in your basement for years unbeknownst to all even those who are close to you.

    I’d also like to add that Northlanders is underappreciated.  Just finished that.

  5. Well done. The best thing about comics is diversity, both in media and content. Podcasts can fill in the cracks of the mainstream and an honest effort at marketing can help the rest.


    Two good examples of such things are Brian Wood’s Local (each  featured locale was picked in part because there was a retailer there who had the capabability to support the bo) and Micheal San Giacomo’s OGN Tales of The Starlight Drive- in for which he went on a signining tour atdrive in theatres. Smart buisnesses plan for both men, built on a foundation of great content.

    I won’t even attempt to list the books that you three have sold me on over the past 2 years. Waht’s even more awesome is that the IFanstaff is doing much of the same thing. Hell, wasn’t Jimski pull qouted on Ressurection? And that  Montgomery  is one cagey fella, I’ll tell you what.

  6. lol, nice article, J. Flanagan!

    Can’t wait to check out MoCCA this year — I’ve gone to the convention the last two years and always ended up spending lots of dough.  It’s X-Mas in June.

  7.  I’d say close to 80% of the books i get now are indie in some way shape or form (Image, vertigo, dark horse). I have taken a hatchet to my pull list lately and the books that have found themselves on the chopping block were all DC or Marvel books. Books like Brian Woods DMZ are incredible and definatly dont get enough credit.

  8. Love it!

    Interested to see the inevitable can of worms this is going to open.


    Also @ultimatehoratio Happy Birthday!

  9. Also I’m curious how long before Underground Comics starts talking to Indie Comics about not REALLY being Indie, oh my god you giant sellout Indie Comics.


  10. That’s a whole other thing that I decided not to get into for this.

  11. Yeah, I have to think about the guy who gave me a copy of his indie comic at WWPhilly two years ago.  It was sealed in plastic, seemingly drawn in regular pencil (no inks or colors) and then photo-copied.  There was actually a Kinkos receipt in my copy.  

  12. @josh Oh I think it’s equally ridiculous so I’m glad you stuck with what you did, besides it saves room for another great conversation.

  13. @gobo – Thanks!

  14. @Paul Was that comic any good?  Besides the fact that he’d been so passionate and worked on it. 

  15. As an insufferable music geek I’m pretty familiar with this mindset. Somehow it’s all "the masses don’t appreciate creative work", but when they do and a band get’s critical attention and garners a large fanbase… that’s not an example of success.  Rather, the very fact that they’re now large erases them from the game.  Golly gee, I just can’t win this argument can I? 

    That’s alright. I’ll just be the kid in the corner, liking a little bit of everything.  Surprisingly enough, my issue of Zorro DIDN’T turn to ash the moment it touched my copy of Robin.  That is not the story I’d heard…

  16. @Josh – Writing decent, art god awful. I envy his audacity though.  

  17. From around 16 to 18 i went through my "indie comics" snob faze. The only superhero/mainstream comics i would read were books written/drawn by Indie creators or Vertigo creators, with the exception of PD’s Captain Marvel and John’s JSA.

    then i started looking through more of Johns work(the flash, teen titians, ect) and Bendis started writing a whole bunch of Marvel books and i realized how closed minded i was being about Superhero comics.

    I still have my problems with DC/Marvel as companies, but i can look past that to enjoy some good comics.

  18. @josh last NYCC I spent a lot of time running around and talking to different dudes publishing on their own dime or with very small companies.  Of a dozen or so books, success rate of stories I would continue to buy was maybe 30%.  I still wear the t-shirt I got from one dude though, great design.

  19. @itsbecca:I know what you mean. Around the time that Elephant came out, I had one of my best friends tell me i was being trendy because i was wearing my White Stripes t-shirt. even though i was trying too get him to listen to them since De Stijl. 🙁

  20. "Here these are my awesome sketches for a rad X-men story I did in my head.  A story I know all my readers would love to hear more about.  Too bad the X-men are stupid and I would never even consider writing for the corporate machine, man.  Also: check out this awesome Darkhawk sketch I got at a con when I was 12.  The one that probably changed my life and made me decide to become a comics artist.  Isn’t it rad?  Too bad Marvel sucks."

    And Luthor weeps.

  21. How is Scalped an indie?  I thought there were put out by Vertigo?  Isn’t Vertigo owned by DC just like Wildstorm is now?

    Anyway, speaking of indies, did any of you guys ever check out those Starship Trooper comics? Are they worth checking out at all?

  22. Indie is often used as pretty much a catchall for creator owned.

    Theoretically ANYONE publishing with a company is no longer indie so it’s a matter of drawing a line somewhere.

  23. Wow, Josh. You were right – compared to Conor’s moving piece yesterday, this is silly. 😉

    I think it’s coming to the point now where anything not featuring capes and/or spandex are considered ‘indie’ comics. There’s that perception where all indie stuff is slice-of-life, oh-my-girl-hates-me-let-me-do-a-comic-about-it kind of stuff, which is obviously wrong, but that idea is still there, possibly by a large majority of comic readers. Like Josh wrote, it’s all about the best comics rising to the top. 

  24. Thanks, Josh, this really made me smile.

    I want to mention Heroes Con, too, in Charlotte, as a show that’s all about comics and has room for all kinds of creators. 

  25. Hard to talk about indy sucess without mentioning the legend of Kirkman!

    Great article, funny and informative.  

  26. Great interview.  I think you broke through facade and helped Indie Comics appreciate his accomplishments.  Although I would’ve liked some questions about the upcoming BLANKETS/FUNHOME crossover event.

    (This deserves a iFanboy mini acted out with sock puppets and a moving piano score) 

  27. Great article Josh.  My LCS doesn’t always carry many indie books so its great to find out some of the hidden gems out there when you guys reccomend them (sadly leaving me to buy mostly trades).  I’m finding myself leaning more on these books than the ones with —man in the title (although ASM is still good). 

     Author’s note:  This comment was narrative on the state of the author’s mind after reading the preceeding post.  It was written not to insite flame wars.  It was written to make a statement on the state of indie comics and the view that they generally don’t suck. 

  28. While it’s true that Scalped isn’t strictly an indie comic, it is a creator owned title with relatively low monthly sales.  Of course, as opposed to Image, the creators get paid a page rate for the work, which makes it a little easier.  Still, they’re not corporate characters, rather independently owned property, hence "indie" for my purposes.

  29. Man, indie comics just can’t shut up about himself, can he? 

  30. Can Image really be considered a small name now? They have made writers do some of the biggest comics in the past couple of years. Invincible, Walking Dead, and many others have just as big as a name like Marvel and DC titles.

    Maybe I’m just stupid in thinking that….But I think Image is just as big as a name as DC is.

  31. @TNC-Sales charts say otherwise.  And although many dedicated readers pick up Invincible and such, the majority of comic book fans don’t venture away from Marvel and DC.

    @PudgyNinja-What makes you think indie comics is a guy?  😉

  32. The difference between Image Comics and DC Comics is the way the creators get paid.  DC and Marvel pay their talent to create comics, which they go sell and promote.

    A creator for Image provides them with pages, and Image prints and distributes those books to the people who order them.  However, creators make no money on those books until the books start to turn a profit.  And until the books start selling near 10K copies an issue, it’s not much money at all.  So most of the people doing Image books aren’t making enough money to earn a living.  However, when a book does well, the creators profit greatly, as does Image to an extent.

    Also in terms of sales and resources, Image is a much smaller company than DC or Marvel. They’re not even close to the market share of Marvel or DC.  I think they’re fourth overall, behind Dark Horse.

    Anyone doing a comic book for Image is very much doing an independent comic book.

  33. Nobody would have been suprised when Power Girl topped the list anyway.

    FACE still prefers women over indie comics.   


  34. @josh: Really? Wow I didnt realise that the writers didnt make much money (or none at all) until the book gets a profit. Guess that’s why some of Image’s titles are going out soon (like Brit) since it’s not selling well. But it’s really 4th? Plus behind Dark Horse? I guess it’s because of Hellboy and Buffy but still….I would think because of Kirkman, the king among kings, would make Image a great company.

    Kirman’s manifesto makes no sense if you think about it now….But that’s for another topic 🙂

  35. @TNC I think Kirkman’s idea was the top-creators would take their audience with them to the Indies. Higher sales, higher profits, and theoretically stronger markets. I’d personally like to see the markets diversify. I’d rather read a Millar or Morrison original then their FF or Batman (respectively), anyway (erm, All Star Superman being an exception). That’s just me, though.

    Good read, Josh. Thanks.

  36. And Bendis’ problem with Kirkman is that it usually doesn’t work for everyone, and they do better financially (again USUALLY) doing paid work at Marvel or DC, and some stuff on the side.  Lots of A-List creators have creator owned books that most people haven’t heard of.

  37. I wonder about that. I’d dare say most on iFanboy (both contributor and commentor) seems to read at least one "indie" book (at least something that isn’t Batman,Superman, Spiderman or X-Men).  I’ve got similar impressions on the comment sections of Newsarama and CBR’s forums. Where are all the DC/Marvel-only’s (all 450,000 of them for Final Crisis or Secret Invasion)?

    Does the average comic reader just pick up Final Crisis and Amazing Spiderman on Wednesday and doesn’t bother with more, including websites and message boards that might expose them to The Indies? Or are we all present and accounted for, and are just more forgiving with crappy Big Two titles then with crappy Indies? Is it the volume of books put out by the Big-Two, being their market-saturation being such that if you buy one of their books, you’re more likely to buy another and another as opposed to standalone books like Proof and (definitely) Scalped? Or does The Big Two just cast a Wide Net; is The Superhero the generic equivalent of vanilla ice cream? Not everybody likes chocolate-mint (Fables) or Birthday Cake (Madman), but if you give a stranger a cone with two scoops of vanilla, they’ll probably shrug, smile, and lick away. Well, 50 years ago, they would.

    All of these are probably factors, but I wonder which one is the biggest deciding factor and what Indie publishers could do to adopt the winning strategy.

  38. I really think it’s that people don’t like taking risk and buying something they might not like.  They know they like Marvel and DC stuff for the most part, and even if it’s subpar, they know what they’re gonna get.  Superheroes are just what people are conditioned to like in their comics because it’s what they started with.  It’s just a theory.

  39. Very possible. If that’s the case, I don’t really see indies drastically expanding their market-share anytime soon.

    I’ve tried to keep it where the only monthlies I’m subscribed to are indies. I figure most of the main titles I like are in no cancellation danger and I can always catch it on trade 6 months later. I’ve still got a little paring down to do, though.

  40. @josh I think working for Marvel/DC is a bit like working for Microsoft.  A hotshot programmer could make a lot of money coming up with his or her own startup, but most startups fail miserably and the people who create them end up moving back in with their parents.  For the vast majority of computer-people, working for Microsoft or Apple (or something) is going to be safer, more secure, more profitable and get them better health care than trying to win the lottery with their own comic book company.  For consumers, it’s all about familiarlty.  Indie comics can be anything: retired serial killers, high schools for ninjas, archeologist furries or epic tales of growing up in the ’90s.  It’s hard to know what you’ll get when you shell out the first dollar. 

    It’s like television premire week, except it’s every week and it has a higher immediate cost than cable TV. Sometimes, you get "The Mentalist."  Sometimes, you get "Private Practice."  If only there were some website that could tell readers what indie comics are worth investing in…

  41. But there’s indy and there’s indy. I consider people publishing under known publishers like Dark Horse or Image like book writers. They don’t turn a profit until everything is payed for – there is the issue of an advancement but I don’t know how many writers get that.

    It’s like publishing your work under a smaller publisher but one that is recognized and sells. It might also mean increasing your sales since some publishers are recognized for doing a certain genre and readers of that  genre know to look out for books that that publisher publishes.

    A true indy is someone that prints his own comics and tries to sell them on his own. Enjoy what you achieved.

  42. I disagree.  Independent movies are financed and produced independently, and then can be picked up by a distributor or not.  If you’re making the comic for no money up front, that shit is independent.

  43. Tell that to the guy that printed 600 copies of his first issue in a series that might not see a #2 in several years that sells it in conventions and under his unfamiliar name and under some company name he came up with or just with his name.

    I doubt those guys get a Diamond number that you can give to your LCS.

  44. Playing the "more indie than you" card is exactly the kind of sentiment that bugged me enough to write this.  If that guy is doing good work, there are lots of publishers who can publish indie comics. 

    So why don’t they have a Diamond number?  They didn’t push it to publishers enough?  They chose not to?  It wasn’t good enough?  What’s your point?  They "deserve" to be called independent, because the guys who do Proof are being printed by Image, and only selling 3000 copies, and pocketing a total of $300 bucks an issue?  Are those guys not indie enough?  They’re all making comics because they need or want to.

  45. I’m saying they should enjoy what they achieved.

  46. Where would these get published?

    Thoughts of Darkness: http://i499.photobucket.com/albums/rr353/shnameless/Comic%20Books/scan0051-1.jpg

    Issue #1 but I doubt there can be others or need to be others – I don’t think it’s a series. Someone sitting on a hospital bed thinking his last thought before he dies. Thick black borders that look computer generated, the letters are computer generated, the drawings are rough pencils. Made by Asi Epshtain. Here’s a quote (loosely translated – i’m not a professional):

    "I have a new partner for the room. He wanted to be a basketball player, but he was too short. When they told him he had a tumor of four centimeters in his head, he asked if he’s tall enough to play basketball now. He laughed, and then he cried for an hour."

    The Sheikh’s Tomb – by Moshik Gulst. A black and white and gray comic book that looks computer generated, on a thin – issue like – one and done story about someone’s relationship with a shiekh’s tomb throughout his life – when he’s a kid beating up someone for spraying something on it, when he’s in the army shooting in the air to scare two guys trying to take it apart, and in the end he goes to a nearby beach and tries to get people to sign a petition to stop building around the beach and the tomb and people tell him to get lost. He goes to the tomb annoyed, and a qassam drops on the beach killing people and a few seconds after that another one lands near him but hits the tomb and he is saved. It’s oversized – a bit bigger than an encyclopedia volume but thin like a normal floppy.


    Someone telling about his past and Tel Aviv’s past and his grandparents. He actually managed to publish a second volume which is rare. It’s called "Who’s there?!"


    Something that was published in parts in a magazine based on the famous Israeli comics Zbeng! – The ugly duckling turns out to stay ugly and turn to a rapper, and when he tries to rob someone he recruits him to a retrieval mission of some expensive artifact – a comedy, adventure, action sort of thing involving one ugly duckling and two rival cats who are very good art theift.

    Who will publish that? 


  47. @chlop – Top Shelf?

    @ Josh – Please tell me that was a random figure you pulled out your butt and the guys at Proof are making more then $300 an issue. If not, my brain just exploded. That’s a crying shame.

  48. I take it there are no Israeli Top Shelf’s?

  49. "Playing the "more indie than you" card is exactly the kind of sentiment that bugged me enough to write this.  If that guy is doing good work, there are lots of publishers who can publish indie comics."

    Unfortunately, the"more indie than you" card is valid. Not all publishers are treated equally in the industry, and arguing this topic as a binary is not really appropriate. 

    "So why don’t they have a Diamond number?  They didn’t push it to publishers enough?  They chose not to?  It wasn’t good enough?"

    Diamond doesn’t carry all "independent" comicbooks. They simply won’t. They don’t treat all "independent" publishers or publications identically. That alone validates the "more indie than you" argument. As long as Diamond, the primary distributer, treats independent publishers in an unequal manner, you cannot argue that they are equal. And you most particularly cannot argue that "independent’ publishers are treated equally to mainstream publishers.

    You seem to be arguing this from the perspective of a fan. Someone who deals with comics primarily on the receiving end. From where you seem to stand, your argument has validity. But there are other perspectives that can cast the discussion in a different light.

  50. The quotes in my previous post are directed at Josh. Sorry for not quoting in a clearer manner.

  51. Well the idea that a big name writer will pull people into the indie crowd makes little sense as well.

    Grant Morrison, who people hate him or love him pick up his stuff anyways, has done an indie title a while back. Okay so it’s a bit mainstream cause it’s a Doctor Who book but still….Grant Morrison’s Doctor Who was published by IDW, now did that make any money? I’m sure it didnt. I know there are a crap load of Doctor Who fans, and Grant Morrison is a big name; but I would love to see the sale figures for those two issues IDW released. Dont get me wrong, I bought them and made the second issue my POTW a long way back; but if we’re looking at sales….forget about it.

    You could go across the board of all major/popular writers and I bet you would see sales for their indie works are much smaller then their major writings. Now that’s not always the case, people like Kirkman got more popular because of their indie work. But still, it’s a bad idea to think that people will just suddenly rush out and buy your work, no matter what company your in. People like Rick Remender, Jason Pearson, Matt Fraction, and many many more got more popular for their mainstream work then their indie work. You cant just release an indie title and expect waves of money to come at you. Bendis can tell you that it took him ages to get a job at Marvel and more often then not other writers can tell you the same.

    It’s not bad to do indie work, and I’m not saying indie publishers are bottom of the barrel. But you cant just think that you can work at Image, or Dark Horse, or even Vertigo and say ‘im in the money!’ No, you got years ahead of you before you can even think that your in a good profession or raking in the dough. Robert Kirkman though will tell you, you’ll have a wonderful life if you stick it out in the indie crowd. That’s just plain wrong and idiotic to think.

  52. This is starting to sound like a music discussion.  The eye rolling is involuntary.

  53. There are two comic shops in Israel that opened in 2000s. There are small venues that sell Israeli comics if the creators do the work of making a deal with them.

    There are two hard cover books published in Modan Publishing that are strip collections of the character "Super Shloomper" which is a kid supehero, but the guy making it worked hard to make the strips and he was a big selling name because of Zbeng! so I doubt he was much of a risk. Modan is a book publisher.

    There is another guy that is famous for being a singer and an actor etc. and he has two hard cover books – one a collection of strips he worked on for several years about a teenager that is like dennis the menace. He also did a short story about a town of cats – of coursecats acting like people, not some freak Cats mutation. He also has a series about an Israeli hired merc that is hired to protect a russian businessman and there there are mystical elements to it – god and hell etc. and it’s not collected yet – it’s several issues long, but he’s another big name.

    There are two hard cover books about Dombi the ancient man who is an inventor, and there’s the Ruv … against the son of godzilla hard cover book but that one is again made by a known guy.

    No Top Shelf here. Regardless, there are many good stories world wide that don’t get published. Getting a Diamond number and being able to say to your LCS order number XXXXX makes it easier to obtain and spread and that’s something people shouldn’t take as granted.

    With Rutu Modan’s book the obvious has begun and a joke was formed – for an Israeli comics creator to succeed he needs to publish in english and that what has happened with Exit Wounds – it was published in English before Hebrew and I think several other languages before it was published in hebrew.  Sort of "for the local market to succeed there needs to be no local market". A future where we’ll get Israeli comics in english via our LCS.

  54. Are you sure this had nothing to do with BLOM and some others hating on comic news/blogs/reporting a week or so ago?

    blink once for yes, twice for no

  55. @Mrlamme – The fact that Diamond is basically a monopoly is a whole other problem.  It’s one I don’t know all that well, and one I have no idea how to solve. 

    It’s not what the article was about anyway.

  56. @ TNC – Okay, Bendis. 😉

    I understood Morrison’s Dr. Who was a reprint, wasn’t it? An old comic at that, and also a comic book of a TV/radio show spinoff. I don’t think is what Kirkman had in mind when he was talking about getting out there and creating your own stuff. I understand you were drawing points about Big Names and/or Big Sales but I wouldn’t think a reprint of an old (and dated) comic spin-off doesn’t carry the same excitement of a brand new property from your favorite creator. Also remember Millar told Ron that he and JR Jr. made more on KickAss then he or McNiven made on Civil War.  Lord only knows if that’s counting the movie rights or not, though. And Millar farts rarefied air.

    I think Kirkman was making a case for a New Model as opposed to one already in place – almost exactly flipped to where Marvel hires and nurtures the new talent and lets the cream rise to the top for the Indies. Then when that hot new writer who did that Amazing Spider-Man that we all thought was incredible decides to publish that amazing idea for the Were-Dogs fight the Egpytian Mummified Cats on top of the Eiffle Tower while Paris burns, his fans follow him to the indie book. It’s the other way ’round, now – you do enough indie work, you get noticed, you Finally get to draw Green Lantern. Kirkman’s argument was that you don’t need the top talent to do Green Lantern, Green Lantern is always going to sell well because of the diehards and fanboys anyway. The top talent needs to be creating new properties to explore and enhance the medium. He also said he doesn’t think he’s right so much as he wants to start a discussion to better the industry. I appreciated the effort, at least.

  57. @Josh

    It may not have been the intended drive of the article, but the fact that there is a monopoly on distribution and that the monopoly holders dictate (to a large degree) what is distributed to the majority of stores, definitively creates a tier system within the independent publishing world.

    You stated that the "more indie than you" card is exactly the kind of sentiment that bugged you enough to write the article. But the issue with Diamond and it’s industry stranglehold is directly involved with the sentiment that you claim was your incentive. 

    You cannot realistically separate these topics. 

  58. @Otto: What sold more? The 90’s Green Lantern with Kyle Rayner, or the Geoff Johns Green Lantern? You see Kirkman says titles will sell just because the character is popular. That isnt always the case; Batman and Spider-Man might be the case cause they are the faces of their respective company. But what about Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, or other big name superheroes? Heck Deadpool was considered a popular character in the 90’s but he’s had his titles cancelled and then renumbered at least a 2 times.

    Matt Fraction, again, did not get popular until he went into more of the mainstream comics. What sold more? Casanova or Punisher War Journal? The Five Fists of Science or his Thor one shots? His indie works might get more favorable reviews then his mainstream; but what sells more? More often then not it’s the mainstream work.

    I know that was a joke you said first cause I have denounced Bendis as the next antichrist (and if you read Secret Invasion you can see why). But he is the best example for better or worse. His indie stuff did not get noticed by the mainstream audience. It wasnt until some kind soul at Marvel saw his Jinx title and gave him an oppertunity to work for them. Jinx, from my knowledge, didnt get popular until he started working at Marvel. You can tell me that you love Jinx and his other indie titles but dont tell me it sold better then Ultimate Spider-Man or even New Avengers. Cause that is just falt out wrong.

  59. Right, that sentiment of Indie comic creators lamenting the state of things instead of just creating good comics.  Just make good comics.  If the system isn’t working for you, find a way around it.  Lots of people have.  Not everyone can be published, and not everyone can be distributed, but if your work is good, you have as good a shot as anyone.

    There’s all this blame going around, like it’s Diamond’s fault, or it’s Newsarama’s fault, or it’s Marvel’s fault.  So what’s the solution?  I have no idea.  In the meantime, it seems like the best thing you can do is make really good comics, and hope for the best.  Complaining doesn’t do any good.  People buy more superhero comics than any other comics, so the industry is tilted more towards that, making it harder for people who don’t do superhero comics.  So, is the best solution to complain about that, or make fun of superhero comics?  Or should it just be to get your shoulders down, and make the best comics you can, and get them out there by any means you can think of?  People and comics of all stripes have done as much, even with Diamond standing in their way, and I think today is as good as it’s ever been for people to do their own thing.

    And while I might be a fan, I’m certainly in the mindset to make comics, and am actively doing that right now.  Perhaps I’m bash up against the Diamond monolith and have a different perspective on things, but I do know at the end of the day, if I fail, I’ll be the one accountable, not Diamond, even if they did make it tough.  Diamond only controls the direct market in any case, not the web, and not bookstores (correct me if I’m wrong about bookstores btw.)

  60. @TNC – You’re equating sales with creator profits which are two entirely different things.

  61. Yeah, people should just make good comics regardless. No argument there. But it’s not like people can’t make good comics AND be vocal about the very real problems in the industry. I’m sorry, but turning a blind eye is a very poor solution. You’re basically in favor of ignoring inequality because "complaining doesn’t do any good".

    Yes, lots of quality independent work has risen to to top, regardless of the flaws in the system. Does that mean said flaws should be ignored? That we should pretend they don’t exist? 

    To the best of my knowledge, most comics in the bookstores are distributed through Diamond. Yes, the web is certainly one alternative. I won’t argue that. And it does help level the playing field. Regardless, keep in mind that people didn’t always buy more superhero comics than any other comics. Do you think that super hero comics rose to prevalence in the industry because they were the best or the most popular? Or because distributers and retail outlets were in a position to dictate content?

    I’m not saying making fun of superhero comics is worthwhile. I’ve been reading superhero comics for decades. But if you think that today is as good as it’s ever been for people doing their own thing, you’re missing some rather large chunks of comics history.  

  62. @conor: But josh just stated that creators dont get a profit until the book itself gets a profit.

  63. @TNC – Yes.  That’s got nothing to do with what I said. 

  64. @conor: But I’m saying that indie writers dont get enough money until their books get a profit. They can get a paycheck right away in Marvel or DC just by releasing an issue. But if it’s Image or any other indie publisher, your pretty much fucked.

    So how on Earth can Kirkman say indie books is the wave of the future when as of right now indie titles get huge sale figures in turn with mainstream titles?

  65. @TNC – I think you might have an inflated idea of how much Marvel and DC pay most of their creators.  Yes, you get a paycheck but you don’t own anything.  Unlike indepepent creators who, once the book turns a profit, get the vast majority, if not all of the money.  That includes issue profits, trade paperback profits and movie licensing money.  You might get royalties working for DC and Marvel but you certainly don’t get the majoroity of the money, the company does.  That doesn’t mean that every independent creator is rolling in TPB and option money.  But then not every Marvel and DC creator is either. 

    So once again, it’s not about sales figures, it’s about the percentage of the profits that you get.  With books you own you get the most out of it, whereas if you’re writing Spider-Man, Marvel does.

  66. This is why Josh is my favorite iFanboy.

  67. Conor: "Unlike indepepent creators who, once the book turns a profit, get the vast majority, if not all of the money."

    Where are you getting this information? As there is no uniform contract shared amongst independent publishers, I don’t think there is any way to make this claim. What you state might be true with some publishers, but certainly not all. Why wouldn’t some independent publishers claim a lions share of the profits? They’re the ones making the investment.

  68. @Mrlamme I never said Diamond wasn’t a problem.  Or course it’s a problem.  It’s not the argument I’m making today.

    And yes, I think today is as good as it’s ever been to make your own comics.  There are more technological tools available than ever for creators, and the web is the best, farthest reaching free marketing tool that’s ever been available.  The audience is smaller than it’s been in the past, and it’s devoted.  Perhaps you won’t get rich, but you’ll get your shot.

    But I would love to be more well informed, so if you have more information to provide, please share.  I’m sure Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton had it pretty good too in a different way, but I wasn’t alive in the late 60’s, so I do my best.  There were also times when there were way more choices in genre available in comics, but the difference between then and now is that comic creators own what they create now, and are in a better position to capitalize on their creations than every before.  This is the way I understand it.  Please correct me if I’m wrong with examples.

  69. @Mrlamme – I get that from the independent creators and I know and the publishers I know.,  Of course there is no universal contract.  There’s no universal anything.

  70. @Mrlammer to Conor: Yeah that comment makes no sense.

    (example) So Marvel gets a huge share of the profits for RIP, that’s understandable. But Image doesnt get a share of Kirkman’s Walking Dead trade? If not a good half of the profits from them? Let’s ask Rick Remender, who is trying to so hard to get money from Fear Agent, and see if he’s getting more profit from his Fear Agent title or his new Punisher work. It’s not like your getting a huge upswing in trades either. Unless a person is gold at selling comics (sometimes like this site), then the only people getting the trades are the people who read the series to beging with. Noobs going into the industry arent going to read Fear Agent, they are going to read Spider-Man. Hell I will admit it here, I had no fucking clue there was companies outside of DC and Marvel making comics. Not until I found this site, all I picked up was titles my bookstore had until I went to my LCS.

    Rick Remender, again, is the best example when it comes to the Kirkman/Bendis debate. He writes both good indie and mainstream work, and time and time again we’ll see his mainstream work get more publicity then his indie. He gains more money from doing Punisher then doing his own creative work. He is the eptiome of just how much work you have to do just to make a goddamn name for yourself in the industry….and he’s still not getting as much as he should for his type of talent!

  71. So, A) You know how much money Rick makes, and from where it comes, and B) Your specific experiences must apply to all things.

    Go with that.

  72. @josh: Sorry I dont have resources to actually talk to the person. I’m not in the circle like you are.

    Geez trying to make a point and it all just makes no difference to you guys….why bother?

  73. Can we please just talk about religion or something?!

  74. No No No, it’s okay.

    I make a huge post about pleading to the other side of the arguement….then (usually) conor comes in and makes a half-assed, pissy one sentence retort and I look like the idiot.

    It’s okay, I’ve gotten used to it on this site.

  75. Don’t be all melodramatic.

    Listen, there’s money you make from doing the work, like a page rate.  Then there’s money you make from ownership.  For example, say marvel pays $100 a page, so you do an issue and you make that much, plus perhaps some royalties from the trades.  But it’s work for hire.  Ed Brubaker isn’t going to make the same payday from a Captain America movie that he would from a Criminal movie, because he doesn’t own Captain America.  He might make some money if they use something he wrote.  But the lion’s share of the money will go to the owner of the property.

    Image does take a percentage of sales.  I’m not sure what that is, but it’s significantly less than what Marvel would take.  Basically, work for hire is more money up front, and less money later.  Creator owned is less money up front, but the possibility of a huge profit later, to which the creator keeps the lion’s share.  The reality is that most creator owned books don’t make their creators rich.  But if it does do well, they can profit greatly.

  76. @TNC – If you’re going to back the contrarian view, you gotta be prepared to take some fire.  You also have to understand that sometimes the best argument is short and simple.  So just because you type up a speech, there’s nothing wrong with the other guy coming back with one line.  Rhythm of war, dude.  You’re not gonna change everybody or even anybody’s minds.  Don’t debate just to debate.  But if you believe in your argument, stick to your guns and don’t have a hissy fit if somebody, everybody inevitably disagrees.  

  77. @josh: But that’s the problem of this whole arguement ‘possiblity’.

    Your not gonna be a freak like Robert Kirkman was and hit it out of the park with one try. More often then not creator owned work goes by the wayside and they need constantly make more and more titles before they finally get noticed. Again I think Rick Remender is the perfect example for this. Bendis, again, is also a great example. If it wasnt for someone in Marvel who actually read his work, we wouldnt be talking about how profilic he is today. It’s all a crapshoot and the odds will always be against you.

  78. @ TNC -I’m not the biggest fan of Bendis, either (though not to throw stones at my glass home — he’s obviously way more talented then I. No disrespect, just not my cup of tea)  — it wasn’t meant as a slight, so much as when you called Kirkman’s opinion "idiotic," I thought it was funny and something Bendis mighty say. Nothing at all but good natured (I’m enjoying these discussions), let me assure you. Anyways…

    You (and Bendis) are arguing What Has Been; Kirkman is making a case for What Could Be. All related dated was construed by Kirkman not to support it’s already existence, but to underline it’s potential and viability as a market model. What bothers me about what Bendis is saying is not that "it doesn’t work now" but "it could NEVER work, EVER." I think that’s too narrow a view on a market that was only 50 (?) years ago dominated by Westerns and Mysteries.

    In a roundabout way, the Bendis argument that "popularity only happened after Marvel" lends itself to the Kirkman proposed (not existing) model, which is creators gain an audience with Marvel and then strike out on their own later. Kirkman wasn’t saying "Don’t Ever, Ever work at Marvel, Ever." Kirkman was saying that working at Marvel and rehashing old Spider-man stories shouldn’t be the end goal. Telling your own stories should (unless drawing Green Lantern is all you ever wanted).

    I’d think however poor the sales, the 90s GL years still sold more then Fear Agent or DMZ. *shrugs* Maybe not, but that’s my guess. The independant books have lower production costs, they’re able to sustain themselves (and with some, thrive) with lower sales. This ties into what Conor said, as well as again, what Millar stated about his profits for Kick Ass as opposed to Civil War. 

    DC and Marvel still need to hire good writers and artists for Deadpool, obviously, but which is a more difficult drop for you — No Name Upstart Indie Title or [Insert Favorite Superhero from Childhood Here]? Big Two books have more breathing room with most people, as opposed to an indie title which has to be stellar from the gate or thbbbbbbbbbtttttt. It’s just the Little-Indie that Couldn’t. Kirkman thinks with large name creators educating their Marvel Zombies and DC…erm…fans (whatever they’re called…Didio-heads?) and diversify the markets. More money spread equally through the market is better for the established creators as well as the New Kids on the Block who has their new Image title on the shelves right beside the new Grant Morrison epic "Acid an’ Me: A Love Story."

    Anywho, long story short, I think it’s a business model that could work, given the right structuring. I’m not saying the current model is condusive to it, but it could work. *shrugs* It’s all conjecture at this point.

    Good Lord this has gotten so off-topic. My…bad?

    @ Mrlamme – Whether or not the enviroment for Indies is The Most conducive is debateable. The point though is not that it’s "Easier" but that it’s absolutely "Possible." In a capitalist system, success in an underserved market initiates changes to supply that demand. I don’t think Marvel would attempt to squelch a sudden Western revival so much as they’d try to capitalize on it (Marvel Zombies is a good example of even the Big Two adjusting to capitalize on trends sparked within the Indies) I think discussing current deficiencies in Diamond and others is certainly needed, but so are successful indie-books that prove that markets viability. 


    *phew* I’m done. I’m going to play Team Fortress 2 now. Good night.

  79. Josh:The web might be free, but if it was truly the best marketing tool available, I think sales might be a bit higher. Reaching a larger amount of people via the web doesn’t automatically translate to a better tool, as that same tool is being utilized by every one and every industry. In essence, comics are small voice in the storm.

    As you say: There was a time when there was considerably more diverse offerings. But you’re making generalizations over how the financial rewards were back during this period of history. You know who has owned a portion of Wonder Woman during the bulk of her existence? Or whose name was credited on Batman books for decades after he stopped working on said titles? Historically, we saw more diverse offering and much higher sales. Which translated to a larger degree of work for everyone. Some creators received royalties, just as some receive royalties now. Some publishing ventures were creator owned, just as some are now. The primary difference between now and the earliest days of comics are the greatly diminished readership and sales outlets. The web might make up for this, yes. But to date it has not.

    In regards to Diamond and distribution in general: I will say again: The topics are inseparable. the current approach by Diamond has created a tiered system within independent comics, and favors mainstream comics specifically. If the actual distinctions (or lack thereof) between independent and mainstream are not the point of your article, what is?


    Your understanding stands in contradiction with my own. I’ve worked in comics distribution for years and have looked over a number of contracts. I have seen some generous ones, yes. But most that I have seen come closer to a 50/50 split. 

  80. @Mrlamme – I am going by what I’ve been told by numerous people.  I do know of one person who was offered 100% profits after printing costs and distribution fees (and have heard secondhand about similar deals with other creators).  Obviously every deal is somewhat different depending on the creator and the company.  As I said, there are no universal truths. 

  81. @Otto: I understand that Kirkman is stating ‘this COULD be the future’ but it’s a pipe dream, simple as that. Imagine a film or novel where the entire world is perfect in every way….then lift the curtain to see nothing is perfect and people are ignoring the problems with their paradise. That’s what Kirkman’s arguement is to me.

    COULD the wave of the future be indie or creative-owned titles? Sure, but it would take years, possibly decades for something like that to happen. People arent just going to stop and say ‘Hey Spider-Man/Batman has run it’s course. Sure we’re making huge dough from these characters, but now I wanna go out and make a story about a sassy angel (example) and make my own dreams come true’. That, again, is a paradise that will never come to light of day. If we’re talking about only big name creators, why not the smaller and less fortunate? There are devote followers to people like Remender or Tomasi just as much as there are for Bendis and Morrison. It’s okay for the latter to make creative own titles but other, smaller writers should stick with ‘rehashing’ plots?

    Plus you cant tell me that people are always rehashing stories. Some writers, who are probably very very lazy, like to just rehash old stories. But more often then not I see writers who actually want to create their own image of Spider-Man or Batman. What Morrison has done is far beyond what anyone could’ve done in the past 70 years of DC. Geoff Johns is making Green Lantern stories that no one probably could’ve thought of years ago when the character was created. You can have just as much imagination with already created characters, you just gotta try and be different from the rest of the crowd.

    Who knows what could happen in the future? Kirkman could be absolutely right and I’m not saying he wont be. But what he’s talking about is something that is going to take possibly an entire generation of creators to comprehend. When we’re in our 50’s or 60’s, that’s when we’ll see his manifesto take place. Cause in the next 20-30 years all the names we love now will either pass on or retire from the industry. It’s not gonna happen in a few years time, it’ll take a very very long time. Plus who’s to say the comic industry will even last that long? If established companies like Marvel and DC are having a hard time keep up profits and an audience? What chance does a future writer has when he wants to make his own comic?

    Oh and…can I play TF2 with you? LOVE that game! 🙂

    @Paul: People complain that I am too overdramatic or too much of a jerk sometimes. But when other people make the same harsh comments I do, they dont get crap like I just got from those two….I mean I love these guys, but come on….dont just simply ignore the comment and say it’s wrong. That’s like me saying this article was a peice of crap. It wasnt, it was very thought out and josh once again did a wonderful job. But if I said it was a peice of crap without even bothering to comprehend the article, I would look like the bad guy.

  82. The point of my article is actually written at the bottom of it. It’s a comment on the defeatist and resentful attitude I’ve heard from indie comic book creators, and me trying to find a bright side. What’s your point?  You want me to say what?

    I still don’t think i’m wrong that the most important thing a comic creator can do is passionately make great comics.

  83. that was to @mrlamme, not TNC, btw.

  84. @Josh 

    "What’s your point?  You want me to say what?"

    I’m not asking you to say anything. I’m pointing out that your assessment does not appear to be taking a realistic view of the disparity between mainstream comics and indie comics. What you call "defeatist" seems to me to be realistic. There are obvious problems in the methods of distribution that have contributed to a schism in the reception between independent and mainstream efforts. There are alot of valid arguments that can be made for industry reform. Dismissing these concerns as you seem to do makes no sense.

    "I still don’t think i’m wrong that the most important thing a comic creator can do is passionately make great comics."

    I never argued that making great comics wasn’t important. But unless the intent is to make those great comics and never show them to anyone, distribution is of equal importance. And the distribution model skews towards one end of the industry. This should be challenged.

  85. You’re no fun at parties are you?

  86. @OttoBott: I think the thing that you might be missing is the fact that as much those of us on site’s like these enjoy what a writer does no matter the company, most of the sales for a title are due to the character not the writer.  People will buy titles from the big two no matter who’s writing them, but good books by good writers outside DC and Marvel won’t get the same consideration no matter how good the writer.

  87. On the bookstore distribution front.  I am fairly sure that Diamond doesn’t have a huge hand in the distibution to bookstores.  I work at a Barnes and Noble and when we do returns it is to the publisher directly.  I’ve done plenty of returns to Marvel and DC.  I can’t think of the exact names of their publishers, but I’m fairly certain Diamond wasn’t a part of it.  I’ll check next time I’m in the back.  This has gotten me curious about it too. 

    I seem to side with Josh on a lot of this.   I get what he’s trying to sa, it just happened to spark about 5 different side debates.


    @TNC. I woulnd’t call any of Conor’s comments "half assed." He’s definitely more informed than most of us on anything (comic) business related.  All Josh and him were reprimanding you on earlier were your assumptions of Remender’s paychecks.  As per usual, Paul makes a fantastic point about arguing the contrarian viewpoint.  Kudos.


    Sorry if any of this doesn’t make sense it was formulated at 1:30 in the morning.  I can’t sleep.  Reading old Hellblazer issues, posting here, and chatting with girlfriend via aim.  Can’t sleep. Driving self insane.

  88. @Anson: I can help you with your point on the bookstores with comics. My work (borders) gets comics from newspaper distributors then Diamond. The only time I ever saw a box with the Diamond logo is when I ordered Box Office Poison and Owly for a friend of mine. Other then that, the actual single issue comics come from a regular publishing company.

    My LCS owner told me a hint when your guessing shipping dates for bookstores. If the comic says ‘Direct Sale’ or ‘Direct Edition’ on the barcode, it’s from Diamond. But if it doesnt sale it on the comic at all, it comes from a no name distributor. Which is why some bookstores (like my work) are constantly late with issues

    (Sorry to go even more off-topic, it’s just again my LCS guy told me the answer pretty clearly)

  89. @TNC God, we don’t even really get floppies in.  We get maybe three or 4 a month.  Random as hell titles too.  Like we had some Loeb hulk, an issue in the middle of one of the Dark Tower adaptations and one of the Johnny DC books.  They also get shoved into a crap place on the newsrack too.  It’s just kind of a shame.  Least my discount is still good on trades!

  90. TF2 was wildly disappointing tonight.

    @ TNC – Exactly. Agree to disagree. I can appreciate your viewpoint and yet hold a different one. 🙂 You play PC, right? What’s your Steam ID?

    @ HerrStarr – Yeah, midway through the comment section I pondered if that was the main factor of if that was the reason Indies were low or not. Where all the Didio-heads and Marvel Zombies anyways? And espcially in relation to fandom online; are they were just severely underrepresented on Teh Internets? Anyway, yeah, you’re right – that’s probably it anyway. 

  91. Am I the only guy that reads an almost 50/50 split between indy and "mainstream" (as if there are actually mainstream comics)?

     I mean, good comics are good comics.  Why does it matter if they are "indier than your books?" 

    I dont’ want content that I can’t acess anyway.  What’s the point of being a fan of something that you can’t get in your hands so you can enjoy it in the first place?

  92. @ Anson – I’m with you. I subscribe exclusively to indies and non-Big-Two. I figure they need it, and if anything amazing happens elsewhere, I can pick up the trades with Marvel and DC 6 mo. later anyway (and cheaper, too).

  93. @OttoBott: Thats the saddest part too, we have this great community here but on a week to week basis popular books are getting somewhere between 300-500 pulls, as much of a group as we may be, the amount of people who buy issues and don’t want to spend time on the internet talking about comics is way higher.  It’s the same for indie work in any medium there is only so large a group that will be receptive to nonmainstream work.  We can ojnly hope that the people who are willing to try indie titles do so and don’t stay trapped in the two company model.

  94. @otto.  I was saying that I’m not exclusive to either.  I buy floppies of both.  I buy more trades of indies. I don’t buy titles because I feel that they need it.  If i’m not enjoying a book be it indy or big two, I stop reading it. 

     Good comics are good comics, no matter who is publishing them.

    The third paragraph (if you can call it that) was kinda directed at Chlop.  I’ve seen him bring up these israeli comics a couple of times and I always think, "yeah that sounds great and all, but if I can’t get them, I can’t get them." and stuff like that seems to reinforce Josh’s statements regarding the lamenting.  Instead of complaining that our favorite book or creator isn’t getting recognition or money or whatever, shouldn’t we just do something about it?  I’m not saying I know what we should be doing, but complaining just seems like a waste of bandwith to me.

  95. @Anson17 – I’m saying don’t complain. Enjoy what you achieved. A Dark Horse logo or Top Shelf logo on your books and a Diamond number might increase sales and make your comicbook much easier to get.

  96. How many indie books would fare better as trades (hard or softcover) rather than individual issues in terms of recognition and appreciation- and sales?

    Good example: I bet Watchmen never once crossed the radar of Time Magazine when it was coming out in individual issues, but the collected edition?  One of the best "books" of the 20th Century.  Non-comics review sources will go for showcasing material like Persepolis or Blankets because they are one bound book, rather than "monthly periodicals."   Maybe it’s psychological or a sign of snobishness, but if it works don’t fight it.  Also, it may help with some of the gigantic gaps between issues- i’d rather wait a year for a good-sized book than for 32 pages with no sense of when the next 32 come out.

    And maybe it would help with the indie writer’s own issues- creating a "graphic novel" rather than a "comic book" may sound more special.



  97. The way I understand it, the problem with OGN’s is that it’s hard for the artist to get paid while the book is being created.  If traditional book publishers start putting out more OGN’s, maybe artists would get paid advances that would alleviate this problem.  But realistically I don’t even know how many authors in traditional publishing get substantial advances, so maybe that’s not realistic.


  98. @BC1 – I think in no way should be abandon the word comic book.  That would be sad. 

    From how I understand it, for a lot of indie creators, they don’t much much or any money from the issues, but they bridge the gap financially to the trade.  Once the book hits a collected edition, they could start making money.  But without the issues, the investment for going straight to trade is a little high.  It’s also a way to prove that the book has some legs.  It seems that with Image, for example, the issues come out, cover costs if you’re lucky, and generate some buzz so when the trade comes out eventually, it’s got some heat on it already.

  99. Call them comics, call them graphic novels.  Fine.  I call them ‘Pictorial Jaunts.’  It will catch on.  

  100. Graphic Chapters. If Watchmen is a graphic novel than the issues that came before the collection are graphic chapters.

  101. What I got out of this article is not that there’s no difference between mainstream comics and indie comics.  Moreso, that there are options out there.  And particularly that it’s silly to resent the Superheroes, or maybe I just love that point so I put a big emphasis on it in my head when I read the article. 🙂

    It’s not easy, it will never be easy.  Creating an indie comic book is essentially starting your own business.  The product, no matter how good, will not sprout legs and gambol into our waiting arms (throwing back our pocket change at it’s creator once it gets there).  You have to sell, you have to market, in some cases you’re even running printing and publishing.  To do a comic that is solely of your own ideas and where you’re the last say over content is the benefit, but you’re trading the stability of that in dev paycheck, and having all the business end responsibility being taken over for you.  It’s like Quinn’s analogy earlier of programmers joining an established company such as Microsoft or pioneering their own start up, but really it’s much broader than that.  That’s the way it is in any industry, you can’t place the blame upon the big two.  And while Diamond is definitely a problem, you can’t place all the blame there either.  To be honest, it’s downright petty to do so.

    I mentioned earlier that I enjoy hitting up people who are putting out their own stuff.  NYCC 08′ I got a dozen or so indie comics.  Good on those guys for being there, that was great.  Some of it I was into, some of it I wasn’t.  How many have I persued Post-NYCC?  One.  Because I’m a jerk off who goes to sleep in my Batman pajamas everynight with a "Screw you indie comics" on my lips?  No.  Because I have no idea where to get the next issue. I have no idea if a next issue even exists.  12 books and do you know how many mailing lists I was asked to sign up for or business cards I was given.  One.  ONE!  I’m sorry, but that wasn’t Dan Didio keeping the indie creators down.  That was a straight up business fail.

    I don’t want to come off to harsh on creators.  I respect them IMMENSELY.  In fact, most that I have met don’t harbor the sort of resent or pretention.  Which is why it gets my goat even more when I come across those who do.

  102. @Otto: Yeah sure…..steam account *desperately hides XBOX version of TF2*

    @Anson: Sorry that comics gets kinda thrown by the wayside at your work man. The more I think about it, the better my store actually looks. The Barnes and Noble across from the mall I work at has very little actual floppies to sell. While my stores generally has every single mainstream comic on the rank. Plus I few indies like Buffy or Star Wars comics, plus Johnny DC and Marvel Adventures, and Simpsons/Futurama comics, AND (phew a lot of stuff) Archie comics….which surprising sell very well considering it’s Archie. Maybe it has to do with our customers getting into comics more, but if you want your mainstream comics (abiet with a huge delay in issues, we’re still on Batman #680) you can go to Borders at the Deptford Mall in Jersey 🙂

    @Paul: Pictorial Jaunts?….Just rolls right off the tounge…

  103. ‘Tounge’ eh?  

  104. @HerrStarr – Word.

    @ Chlop – Ha…clever.

  105. @Paul: It’s 10:37am….and I’m very tired…I dont even know if I’m talking to you…this could all be a dream…

  106. @TNC – dangit. Am I the only person who plays FPS’s on their PC anymore? Geez.

    I gotta get me an XBox.

  107. @Otto: If you want an XBOX just for TF2 playing let me give you some advice…..Dont get it

    It’s laggy as hell, the ‘hardcore’ players are nothing but kids who cheat in the game (i.e. go threw the map to make sentries to kill others), and overall it’s been 2+ years and we still havent got any damn updates for the glitches or maps or upgrades to the characters.

    So as much as I would love to play someone on ifanboy with TF2, dont spend the unnessicary cash just to get The Orange Box. It’s a waste of time and money since Valve has no love for the consoule version of their games.

    Anywho…back to comics…I guess 😛

  108. Periodical Pictorials? Time magazine’s 100 best periodical pictorials.

  109. @ TNC – I dunno if it’s still that way, but TF2 alone was $10 on Steam last weekend. That’s cheaper then the Orange Box, and the 2nd or 3rd time it’s gone on sale like that – you should pick it up when it does.

    But yeah, back to comics…

  110. @ Josh- I hear you about the individual issues vs. trades thing.  Scott Kurtz said much the same thing once on PvP, that the monthlies through Image generate "beer and pretzel money" compared to what the collected editions bring in, which is why he’s going to strictly trades after issue #50.  I will grant you that this is a different beast, since his work is reprints of material on his site and that he generates more buzz via that than via the monthlies, but the point about revenue is still true.  I think it also matters if the book comes out religiously every month like most books from Image and Dark Horse do, or if it’s on a bi/tri/whenever it can monthly schedule.  The former provides monthly revenue, the latter may not unless it sells well for the whole duration between issues.  It would probably vary from creator to creator, and it may come to pass that more will go the route Kurtz is and switch to collected/GN exclusively once they’ve made a name for themselves.

    @clop- "periodical pictorials?" Um, that would put comics in with some…interesting competition (which would be more important in that group for the 20th century- Action Comics #1 or Playboy #1?  Father of superhero comics or Marilyn Monroe nekid?  You decide!)

  111. itsbecca: "because I have no idea where to get the next issue. I have no idea if a next issue even exists."

    There’s this little thing called Google. I know… it’s difficult. Comics creators should come to your door with comics delivered in a velvet case. It’s not enough that creators spend all their time and resources creating that first issue and getting that first issue in your hands. It’s pretty asinine of them to expect you to follow up with a tiny bit of customer participation.



  112. Sorry. I should have included this caveat that precludes anyone from taking offense at my humor:

    Author’s note:  The preceding was satire.  It was written in response to a prevailing sentiment that I see from time to time.  It was also meant mostly as a joke, so don’t try to read too far into it, and don’t take it too seriously.  

    We’re not talking about life changing. She suggested an interest in seeing something past the first issue, but stated that she had no idea how to discover is a second issue existed. That is a ridiculous statement to make. It is indefensible. You have touted the wonders of the internet repeatedly on this thread. It cuts both ways.  


  113. @Mrlamme – I know you’re the new anonymous and mysterious expert source on all things comic, but don’t condescend to people the way you’re doing.  Becca’s point was as valid as any, and you treating her like that doesn’t endear anyone to you or your point at all.

    We have friendly, spirited discussions here, and we’d like to keep it that way.

    As far as I’m concerned, the reader doesn’t owe the creator a thing.  If you love someone’s work, you’ll follow it.  At that point you do what you can to support their work in whatever way you find appropriate.  Just because someone put a lot of effort into something doesn’t make it good.  If the book Becca read was something she really liked, she’d probably put as much effort into finding more as she felt was appropriate in regards to how much she liked it.  If it was OK, but is also hard to find, then it’s the comic creator’s loss.

    That sort of creator entitlement coming from someone would turn me off to their work in an instant to tell you the truth.

  114. Josh: "We have friendly, spirited discussions here, and we’d like to keep it that way."

    A matter of perspective, isn’t it? Your initial article wasn’t particularly friendly, in my mind.

    Josh: "As far as I’m concerned, the reader doesn’t owe the creator a thing. "

    Who said they did? itsbecca implied that she would have perused these books, but that she literally did not know how to find out if they existed.  

    Josh: "Just because someone put a lot of effort into something doesn’t make it good."

    Again, not partiularly relevant to the discussion. The quality was already implied as she stated quite clearly that her reasoning wasn’t based on a lack of quality, but a loss on where to find said product.

    Josh: "If the book Becca read was something she really liked, she’d probably put as much effort into finding more as she felt was appropriate in regards to how much she liked it.  If it was OK, but is also hard to find, then it’s the comic creator’s loss."

    Do you not see the break in your logic? That a reader might like a book enough to spend money on it, but not enough to type it’s title into a search bar? Come on. That’s pretty absurd.  

    Josh: "That sort of creator entitlement coming from someone would turn me off to their work in an instant to tell you the truth."

    We’re not discussing creator entitlement. We’re discussing a lack of reader involvement. If someone claims they like something enough to give up their money for it, then they like it enough to type a few letters into a search engine. 

  115. Oh, I get it.  You’re offended by my article.  Well, my conscience is pretty clean on that front.  I feel I and my partners have done as much as we can to spread the word about great comic books, indie or otherwise.  We get emails every day from people thanking us for showing them new books, and the creators seem to appreciate the word of mouth we spread.

    You can’t please everyone.  Anyway, I’ve said what I had to say, and I’m moving on from this now pointless argument.  

  116. @Mrlamme

    This is how I work.  I saw something interesting. I picked it up. I read it. I stuffed it in a long box and completely forgot about it.  I’ll even embarrass myself enough to say this article sparked in my memory a couple of those old books and made me think, "I wonder whatever happened to them?".  But since I read this article at work by the time I’d gotten home I’d already forgotten and spent my night doing something entirely unrelated.  That’s just life.  That’s what every company large and small is fighting for, to hold our attention.

    I guess I may have propped myself up a little to much as an indie crusader.  I’ll back down off that pedestal now.  I’d like to be, and sometimes if someone really lights my fire I’ll fight for them like hell, but life gets to us.  Marketing. is. not. my. job.  I’m the consumer.  Put something in my face and I will consume.  But you have to be pretty tantilizing for me to seek you out.  A new book that was kinda cool but I don’t know alot about, isn’t going to do that.

  117. @Mrlamme- But your argument is also flawed, as you’re assuming Becca didn’t search for the artist.  As she mentioned in her post, she was asked to sign up for one mailing list and/or received one business card out of 12 independent creators she met.  If a creator hasn’t gone through the trouble to even set up these basic marketing tools, would it be a safe bet that said creator has not set up a website or otherwise gotten their name out through the Web?  As she did not say whether or not she performed a search, you and I are both speculating, but there is a decent amount of evidence to show that such a search would have been fruitless. 

    However, let’s also be fair to the creator.  I don’t think Becca was doing this, but it would be mean to assume that lack of marketing methods = lazy.  Some creators are very good at making their comic but don’t know how to sell it.  Maybe they simply don’t know what to do, maybe it comes from being isolated as opposed to working with a publisher.  There are resources out their for this that creators need to be aware of, and it would be a good idea for an interested writer or artist to seek out others in the independent field that are successful and approachable.  I’d recomend Eric Shanower and Hungry Tiger Press; he has a great website both for Age of Bronze and the publisher, he takes business cards wherever he goes, and he does tons of shows (even came to a weeklong Latin convention just days after doing San Diego).  That’s one way to get noticed- be noticeable.  

  118. Josh: "Oh, I get it.  You’re offended by my article.  Well, my conscience is pretty clean on that front." 

    Did I say I was offended? Nope. I said the article wasn’t "friendly". It’s nice that you think you can read my mind and put words in my mouth. Thanks for that. Really. It speaks volumes.

    I stated that the post wasn’t "friendly", with the clear qualifier that this was simply my perspective. I’m certainly not the first in this thread to suggest that the article is inflammatory. And if you don’t want inflammatory responses, don’t post inflammatory articles. Personally, I believe such discussion can be beneficial. At least, when both parties are willing to hold a discussion. But that’s not what you’re doing. Rather than address any points I make, you throw your hands up in the air and call the discussion "pointless". Nice job Josh. Way to make your argument that you want to keep the discussion "friendly’ yet "spirited".

    Josh: "I feel I and my partners have done as much as we can to spread the word about great comic books, indie or otherwise.  We get emails every day from people thanking us for showing them new books, and the creators seem to appreciate the word of mouth we spread." 

    I have no problem with this site. Seems like a decent enough comics news site. I challenged specific arguments. Go ahead and show me where I stated otherwise.

    Josh: "You can’t please everyone.  Anyway, I’ve said what I had to say, and I’m moving on from this now pointless argument."

    That’s fine, as you might notice that in this latest round of discussion, you addressed me. Not the inverse. 

  119. I was sure this was going to go 100+ comments, but I thought it was because an irate creator was going to hop on at about #41 or so.

  120. On the other hand, once Mrlamme wins this argument and saves comics, he can devote his attention to our failing auto industry.

  121. @BC1 just to clarify, I agree!  I definitely don’t mean it’s laziness.  Of course it could be, but if they’re at the con I doubt that’s the case for them.  Marketing is a skill, born both out of a natural sort of intuition and understanding of people, and a lot of learning and research.  Not everyone is going to have that. 

    There’s a local creator I ran into a month or two ago.  He is very small, DIY but literally picked up his friend in business to help him out with that side of things.  He writes, he draws, creative sun of a gun, but you gotta realize your weaknesses!  And HE has a website by the way.

    @Mrlamme  I wanted to say something, and please don’t take this as an attack.  You might be feeling the fire in responses to you because you can come off a little combatively at times.  For example, in your reply to josh regarding myself you used the phrase "pretty absurd" to describe myself, or rather something I did.  While I’m not personally offended, I have my thick skinned internet suit donned, arguments are a little like raquetball.  The harder you hit, the harder the ball comes back.

  122. BC1: "As she mentioned in her post, she was asked to sign up for one mailing list and/or received one business card out of 12 independent creators she met.  If a creator hasn’t gone through the trouble to even set up these basic marketing tools, would it be a safe bet that said creator has not set up a website or otherwise gotten their name out through the Web?"

    If the book was distributed in any capacity beyond a convention, there will be a web presence (even if just a small one). This is regardless of the creator having set up a website. Many creators include all the relevant information in the comics themselves, as those are the physical items the consumer is most likely to hold on to. And yes, a mailing list is something creators should do. I wasn’t saying otherwise. There is a level of responsibility in the hands of creators. But there is also a level of responsibility in the hands of readers, to keep track of and pursue what they are interested in. The role of a passive customer is part of the problem with diminishing comics sales. There is this aura of entitlement in our culture, that a consumer should simply have to wait and have their entertainment to be delivered. It’s a matter of perspective, I concede. I believe a active consumer (as opposed to a passive consumer) serves not just the creator of the material, but themselves. 

  123. Speculate no more you two.  I will go home and bring out every single one of those books and make a detailed report of their current state of affairs.  It will be on your desk by morning Mr. Lamme.

  124. itsbecca:

    To be fair in any argument you could choose to make against me, I also used the words "ridiculous" and "indefensible". I have no problem with you. I have no problem with people buying what they like and ignoring what they do not like. I have no problem with you sleeping in your Batman pajamas and being a "jerk" by ignoring independents. I would vehemently defend you against anyone who argued that you have a responsibility to like things outside of your interests. I’m droning on about this as I really want it to be abundantly clear: I am not attacking you. I am attacking your argument.

    If you, as a reader, are interested in a book, you have the tools at your disposal to keep track of that title. When I find something I like, I make a note of it. I add it to a automatic web search. I participate. In a perfect world, all comics creators and publishers would conduct business in a perfect manner. But as you say, not everyone has a talent for marketing.

    But if we, as readers, do not take the time and energy to follow works ourselves, but instead wait for that marketing and respond accordingly, we create a system where those who are shrewd at marketing are the top independent creators, while some creators of greater talent fall by the wayside. I’m not arguing that in favor of creator entitlement. It’s the readers who benefit from higher quality comics as opposed to better marketed comics.

    Again: not a personal attack. An attack on your earlier argument. And it’s one I stand by. I’m glad to see you are wearing your thick skinned internet suit. Because it helps keep the discussion in perspective. Thanks for being understanding.

  125. itsbecca:"It will be on your desk by morning Mr. Lamme."

    And I will likely be humbled by an absolute failure on the part of the creators to include relevant information in the pages of their own books, and also by an inevitable absence of information on the web. Ah well. 

  126. @Mrlamme- If the creator is truly independent, and they haven’t set up a website, and they are self-distributing their book (which from becca’s description sounds reasonable), then how would they otherwise have a web presence?  People from the con talking about it on their own sites and personal blogs?  Word of mouth is a great marketing tool, but then you have to have something to look at.  

    Also, not knowing from becca’s posts, we don’t know if the creators included info in their books.  Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, but I would guess that if they had, becca would have found them on the web back when first picking up the books rather than asking "where are they now?" months later.  

    Finally, it does come down to what you like.  There are things that we REALLY like, there are things that we KIND OF like, and there are things that we DON’T like.  I REALLY like Age of Bronze and check on the site for updates and such; I KIND OF like Rex Mundi, but not enough to go to Dark Horse’s site or the title’s personal site and find out more.  I think becca made it clear that she KIND OF liked the books she picked up, but not enough that she was drooling in anticipation of what came next.  So, they fell of the radar.  Now, someone else who picked up one of those books might have thought it was awesome and stayed with it; they’re having an enjoyable reading experience hopefully.  So, it may have balanced out in the end.  De gustibus non disputandum est and all that… 


  127. sooo….anyone going to WonderCon this time around?

  128. We MIGHT be going to WonderCon.  Ron will be there in any case.

  129. The problem is this.  I just don’t care enough about them.  It’s their responsibility to get me to care and THEN I will start making pains to support them and keep on their tails.  Like I said when I find a title that bowls me over I will do my damndest to support the creators.  White Picket Fences, for example, was hell for me to find after I moved.  I bugged the crap out of multiple Local Comic Store owners and paraded around this town day and night in my White Picket Fences hat till it was in my hands. (They have a great website as well.)

    While I’m certainly lazy, It’s not my laziness that drives this put it in my face culture.  It’s competition.  If there’s one movie theater in your town they don’t have to get all fancy to make you come.  If there’s 50 they’re going to start getting those nice plush chairs and letting you put as much butter on the popcorn as you want.  If comics were my only interest and freetime activity I might spend more time taking fledling creators and walking them around by my hand, but it’s not.  Comics aren’t just competing against comics, they’re competing against consumers free time for media.  Movies, books, music and video games all eat up that precious time.  But even for those that it is… there’s so many comics, past and present.  Does anyone want to post their towering "Next Pile" to drive this point home?

  130. BC1: "and they are self-distributing their book (which from becca’s description sounds reasonable)"

    As I stated in my earlier post: "If the book was distributed in any capacity beyond a convention". What I mean by that is if the creator has the book distributed through one of any number of distributers. I didn’t see anything in becca’s post to suggest that these books were solely delivered by the creator, as books sold at conventions are often available through other avenues. However, I admit that the possibility exists.

    BC1: "Also, not knowing from becca’s posts, we don’t know if the creators included info in their books" 

    Again, I stated my earlier comment with a qualifier. "Many". Certainly not all. So the possibility exists. That said, the title and creator name will certainly be present, and that is usually enough to go on. 

    BC1: "Finally, it does come down to what you like."

    Sure. But the implication in her original post was that she did like these books enough to continue reading them. She chose, through inaction, not to. I’m not saying that she must pursue everything that comes her way. But she remembered these books enough to comment on them now, including the clarification that she did follow up with one title. She liked them enough to keep them, and reflect on how she would have continued reading them, if she had known where to look. 

    Regardless, she told us to stop speculating, and she will answer our questions when time allows. It will be interesting to see the results. Like I stated previously, I could quite easily be wrong in my assessments. 

  131. Well it looks like there is a lengthy conversation I could only skim since I’m in class, but I must say Josh you did a fantastic job at making a very captivating and poignant article from start to finish, appreciate the good work as always.

  132. White Picket Fences was awesome, and I didn’t ever read the third issue.  I blew it.  I shall remedy that.

  133. @Josh-I will proudly wear my "members only" iFanboy shirt, and try to track down a members only jacket as well.  Hope you all show up.  After last year, my wife doesn’t want to go with me anymore.  I will be a sad lonely panda this time around 🙁

  134. Let me just note: I didn’t make my comment to damn creators, nor call attention to my profound lazyness.  I merely pointed out the fact because I found it fairly astounding in retrospect.

    Also, I solemly swear at next NYCC to get emails from anyone I take an interest to.  Even that guy dressed as Captain Hammer in the corner (you know they’ll be there in droves) who’s just kind of sort of thinking of maybe some day doing a comic, but he’s pretty cute so it’d be a good excuse for me anyhow.

    I relent that would’ve been smart of me to demand last go around, but I’m rather shy and kind of just went around smiling and pointing at things and holding out money.

  135. itsbecca: "The problem is this.  I just don’t care enough about them."

    Then I’m really not sure why you brought them up in the first place. You alluded to the fact that you would have kept reading the titles, but you didn’t know where to look. That’s not the same argument as "I just don’t care enough". If your initial argument had been "I just don’t care enough", I probably would never have responded to you. 

    itsbecca: "While I’m certainly lazy, It’s not my laziness that drives this put it in my face culture.  It’s competition.  If there’s one movie theater in your town they don’t have to get all fancy to make you come.  If there’s 50 they’re going to start getting those nice plush chairs and letting you put as much butter on the popcorn as you want.  If comics were my only interest and freetime activity I might spend more time taking fledling creators and walking them around by my hand, but it’s not.  Comics aren’t just competing against comics, they’re competing against consumers free time for media.  Movies, books, music and video games all eat up that precious time.  But even for those that it is… there’s so many comics, past and present.  Does anyone want to post their towering "Next Pile" to drive this point home?"

    Like I said, my response was based on your initial argument. If you liked the books enough to want to keep reading them, and to be at a loss for where to look for them, then it is your responsibility to keep track of them regardless of the flaws in the marketing. If you are content to go with the marketing over preference the majority of the time, that’s your prerogative. 

  136. itsbecca: "I relent that would’ve been smart of me to demand last go around, but I’m rather shy and kind of just went around smiling and pointing at things and holding out money."

    Let me reiterate that i do feel that this is a failure on the part of the creators in question. They certainly SHOULD be putting this information in your hands. I simply feel that to often readers take a fully passive role. There is no good reason for that. Both parties should, I think, meet in the middle in terms of effort.  

  137. I think my point was I liked them enough that if they were, say, at my store I’d pick them up.  Or if I’d gotten an email saying "New issue shipping xx/08 with diamond code xxxxx" I would’ve asked my store to order me a copy.  Or if I’d gotten an email saying "New issue out this week available here!" I would’ve ordered it online.  I liked them.  But they didn’t knock me off my chair, so I forgot about them and didn’t actively seek them out.  If any of those passive examples had happened I probably would’ve spent money on even a couple of the books I thought were just okay.  There’s a correlation between quality and how much effort I’ll put into obtaining said product.  And it’s an array, not binary.

  138. But yes. I think we’re essentially in the same place at this point…

  139. Well, if you have the time to find those books, it will be interesting to see if the creators bothered to put any information in or not. I will prepare myself for the potential humbling. And I admit to being really curious what the books are now. Are you sure this wasn’t actually a super sly way to drum up interest for said unnamed titles?

  140. Yay!  We’ve made a difference today! 🙂

    I think this discussion has brought up a good point, one that becca brought up earlier.  While readers should make the effort to keep up with good material, much like people who like a certain band should follow their work as much as possible, creators have to understand two things: 1) Creatively and aggresively sell, sell, sell through any means necessary; and 2) be willing and able to wait while the fanbase grows. 

    Does anyone have any names of resources for how to market books, BTW?  That would be a helpful outcome of this discussion.


  141. Hmmmm… no.  But I should really think about selling a marketing package during next years con season.  "Internet Kerfuffles" will be included for customers in tier two.

  142. I was told this was the place to go if I wanted my sentences diagramed. Looking for a personal stenographer.   

    "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." 

    Read that back, would you?   

  143. This does not coincide with "What I’ve Learned."

    diagram this sentence already: It was also meant mostly as a joke, so don’t try to read too far into it, and don’t take it too seriously. 

  144. @PaulMontgomery Ummmm its diagrammed not diagramed ok 😉

    Nice job on the article Josh, I really dug the style of it.

  145. That last sentence looks familiar.  Who wrote that?

  146. That was a rather unfortunate error.  I’m still cooler, albeit far less Robin Hood than Mr. Lame though.  

  147. PaulMontgomery: "I’m still cooler, albeit far less Robin Hood than Mr. Lame though."

    I see the nature of the "friendly spirited discussions" Josh was talking about includes petty personal attacks. I seem to be engaged in a rewarding dialog. how about you Paul?

  148. uh oh…somebody needs a Paul hug 🙂

  149. I know I’m having fun.  

  150. So you just like being a dick. Okay. I see what the tone is here.

  151. @itsbecca- for your package, I’d recommend the "Graphamaximo" storyline from PvP (5/22-6/02/02) and the follow up (6/10-1/16/03).  Here’s every stereotype not to live up to.  This whole discussion made me think of this today.

  152. Look, in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s joke going over your head!

  153. If it has to be explained, it not a very good joke.

  154. OK, now’s the point where people need to stop attacking Mrlamme.  Things are just all edgy here, and there’s no need for it.  Please everyone try to respect everyone else, and agree to disagree and all that, and let’s have that be the last bit of name calling.  Things were settling down, so let’s try to live up to our usual reputation.

  155. @paulmontgomery I think it’s an i not an l.  But maybe you could work out an Iams dog food joke?

  156. Eeeek! Posted before I saw Josh’s.  Though I was trying to lighten things up, not be snippy or anything.  For the record.  But still… apologies.

    And MrIamme’s good in my book. Unless he calls me absurd again. Then the internet gloves are off. 😉

  157. Thank you Josh. I will try to scale back my approach to discussion, and I apologize for giving a negative impression.

    @itsbecca: Absurd absurd absurd!

    Damn me for my lack of self control! 

  158. And that’s why I like IFanboy.  The only forum I’ve found that gives me the occasional feeling that I just participated in a virtual group hug.

  159. *shuffles feet*

    I apologize for the petty remark. I’m a little punchy today.  

    In closing, everyone should read this week’s Conan:The Cimmerian.

    Also, Happy holidays    

  160. @Paul

    It’s a punchy kind of week. And I can’t claim that you struck unwarranted. I apologize as well.

    I will read Conan. I know what’s good for me. 

  161. Josh,

    Just to let you know, this article changed my view on the whole "Indy" thing. I tried to find a counter argument to a lot of these and I couldn’t find any that satified me. Even reading through the comments, your point remains true.

  162. iFanboy: Where everyone can still go have a beer afterwards.

  163. *Cheers theme song plays in the background*

  164. Lack of money means lack of marketing. Yes – creators should include some info in their issues but some people don’t go to many conventions and are situated in a different part of the country from the convention or comic book stores. That’s where the internet helps – people don’t need to send you stuff for people to search for the book.

    If you try to sell a comic book in Jerusalem, you’re doomed. If you go to a convention in Tel Aviv there are more people with money that are interested in what you do and are willing to pay for it, so people need to find a place to stay in which can get costly and pay for a table or half a table which can get costly. I imagine other places aren’t about 42 NIS each way (if I remember correctly) and two hours from each other via the bus, and it costs more and takes more time meaning less time working in a job that pays the bills.

    The creator does make an effort – printing the issues and going around trying to sell them locally, trying to get a table at a convention and bring the books there, some of them spending money on posters or even making cheap home made ones, setting up a good looking website – good looking enough so you won’t run away screaming and learning HTML is an effort, trying to get the word out by delivering locally for free, trying to get the word out by selling it very cheap barely making a profit,  speaking to local store owners about putting soem copies in the store to sell, talking to comic book stores if there are any around about putting copies there, even selling it door to door – that’s an effort.

    Remembering a title of something you hold in your hands or writing it down somewhere before puting it away in a longbox, and googling it is by no means an effort. Not doing that is just lazyness. I’m lazy myself but that’s just too much.

    Someone in a convention might have a wife and/or kids, a time consuming job, and lives in the middle of Bumsville,USA far from the convention or other geeky conventions. He or she might not be able to make a giant effort of that kind.

    The reader has Google – using it is not an effort. Writing down titles is not an effort. 

    Nobody should fight the creator’s battles, or do his job, but not googling a title and seeing if it is worth the effort, or if someone that made an enjoyable issue, has a more interesting title, that is just lazy. 

  165. Why are we going after this imaginary reader who liked something they read and never sorted out how to find it again?  This person doesn’t exist.  Obviously, if they didn’t fire up a web browser, and type the comic in to google, it wasn’t much of a potential customer to begin with.

  166. When you think about it, it’s sad that we’ll never get to read the life’s work of any number of people both near and far from our couch, but there’s only so much time.  There’s an important distinction between laziness and prioritizing.  

  167. @Josh – there are lazy people around the world that expect to be spoon fed content. I can’t call them up and tell them they are lazy bastards, so I wrote that response instead.

    @Paul – Google takes several seconds, add to that reading a webpage and you’ve got maybe a minute. Are you kidding me? If people expect the creator to take the time and effort, I expect people to use a search engine.  

  168. @chlop – That’s not the point. As Josh said, if the reader really wanted to pursue it, they would.  It’s perfectly reasonable for a reader to spend their money and time on something else.  We try our best and explore new things, but we can’t be expected to attend to every project.  Again, we have to prioritize.  There are so many books out there to invest in and we’re only going to seek out the best.  

  169. Or, as I suggested, which is likely the lament of the forlorn indie creator, not the best, but the safest bet.  I’m sure that foreign movie is real good, but I don’t have to think about Live Free or Die Hard, and I know what I’m gonna get.  New Avengers it is!

    I think that’s just human nature, for the most part.  I certainly do it.  You just have to find a balance.

  170. @Paul – yes, but if they complain about it not being in front of their eyes, they are just lazy and expect a creator to go much beyond the little to no effort they are willing to take.

    @Josh – I already said I’m a misanthrope. Human nature is not something I enjoy 🙂 

  171. I don’t quite get this idea that the consumer can be "lazy." That’s a very basic rule of thumb in marketing, and you guys have stated it several times here. You, the vendor, simply cannot dictate what your customers should do to find your product. Good marketing doesn’t just mean putting the message out there. Your marketing message invariably offers a "call to action." This is the "We have what you want… AND YOU CAN GET IT RIGHT HERE."  That message must be as clear as possible to the consumer. It must be as easy as possible. 

    We all realize that there are various levels of indie publication. And there are various levels of marketing. Your straight up Kinko’s zine guy has very few options. They are: the internet, a local shop, a convention. And whichever route they choose, they MUST take on the burden of making their product as EASY as possible for the consumer to find it.

    This indie creator does NOT have Image behind it. Does not have Diamond behind it. Creators who have those forces have it easier. Yes, it’s true. They get a listing in Diamond. They might get Image house ads in other books. Whatever. Yes, they have it a little better. But they still don’t have it as good as the Corporate DC/Marvel books, which have a very significant brand name and more money for marketing and advertising. 

    But the point is: we don’t blame the consumer for Marvel have a well-recognized brand. We don’t the consumer for going into a comic shop and having a pull list instead of using Google. If you’re selling a product, you understand this. Fundamentally. It’s a free market economy. Not every creator has it equal. But you make do with what you have, and then if you’re lucky and you’re good enough, and you know how to sell, it is possible to get notice and recognition. You may end up with your own publishing company. You may end up at Dark Horse or Image or Marvel… whatever.  But if you just moan about how Marvel’s got it easier and consumer need to do more to find you? Well, then you’ve defeated yourself right from the get-go.

    The world of publishing isn’t fair. But that was never Josh’s point. His point was simply that Indie creators CAN and DO get noticed. They can get respect and attention. But you can’t expect the market to just embrace them all equally because… it’s nice. All we can do as fans is to read and talk about our favorite books — no matter how they find their way into our hands. We read, discuss, share. We approve with our wallets. And hopefully the creators, publishers, and shops will work to continue to supply to our demand while making sure that we can find them as easily as possible within their means.

  172. In the end it comes down to what the creator’s goals are.  If one just wants to create a labor of love and sell a few copies, he or she doesn’t need a big apparatus.  If one wants to make this a money making career, he or she better have the act together.  He or she is competing with a slew of other books out there as well as multiple other media- to make money, the story has to be good but it also has to have a marketing strategy behind it.  You have to have a website, you really should have a mailing list (this is easy), and if nothing else you should have something with your name and contact info on it.  I’ve seen bands one step up from garage-level do this much when they’re just having fun; if an indie writer or artist wants to make money, he or she better be doing at least this much.  Anyone who thinks that customers should come to him just because is being arrogant and won’t last long; anyone who doesn’t do this and is still wondering where all the readers are needs to learn how or adjust goals.

  173. Expecting a creator to do your work is lazy. If you enjoyed something but aren’t interested in reading the second issue – fine by me, but if you enjoyed it and you are interested enough to buy the continuation via the comic book store, I don’t see why you can’t be arsed to open a browser and type it in google.

    Don’t expect to be spoon fed. A creator creates out of his own pocket and works his ass off to get something out there. Don’t expect someone like that to travel the country and go to comic book stores all over the USA and talk to owners about putting several copies there.

    Don’t expect people to be Bendis & Marvel & Diamond…

    Someone created a comic, he goes around to conventions, puts up a website, makes sure it is cheap enough so people will buy it, might even deliver it for free locally, go to comic book shops and asks them to put several copies there, goes to stores and makes a deal with them to put several copies there that will make them a small profit, make posters, produce  comics until something sticks, send it to several publishers, spend the money on printing issues, having a day job that pays since he has no chance of making a living with comics, publish free previews, ship it in a way it won’t damage

    And you tell me you don’t want to waste time googline his name and/or comic title? I say you’re really really lazy.

    Don’t want to get another copy? great. Have fun. But saying you would have bought a copy if there was a copy in your LCS – from an indy guy, probably publishing by himself,that payed money for a table and a ticket and someplace to stay at to go to a convention and market his comic books – is like saying "POTW on iFanboy was Fear Agent by it wasn’t on the racks so I didn’t get it".

    Don’t be lazy – if you don’t see a comic book you enjoyed on the shelf  you ask your comic book guy to get it. It’s the same as googling it and seeing if it’s worth the price and shipment if one is needed – maybe the creator lives near you.

    I don’t expect people to market the books for the creators or work to get the comic books published or famous, but I expect them to have the decency to pick up their copy, write down the title or creator name, check in the issue itself for a website etc. and google the damn thing.

    He’s indy meaning he has a job so he can pay for printing and marketing this things, and he has obligations meaning he can’t roam around the USA pimping his warez. You on the other hand can while at work, use google, check if there  is a website at least. I don’t see anything other than justifying severe laziness…

  174. Whoah…ok, let’s wait a second here.

    If the creator has done some things to get the word out and made it possible for me to find the work, then either I keep up or I don’t.  This is the same as an indie band.  Onus = me.

    If the creator hasn’t done this, though, that’s not my problem.  There has to be something on the web for me to find to use google.  Onus = creator.

    If we can agree on this point, then we’re cool.

    Now, moving forward.  This creator has done some good work.  I like their stuff.  I want to find out more.  OK, let me log onto the interwebs… oh, crud, my internet’s down.  I’ll have to call and get that taken care of.  (Hours later)  OK, what was I getting on for?  Oh, yeah, indie book.  Yeah, I’ll check that right after I look at my bank balance… that reminds me, have to pay the bills. (30 minutes later)  Now, what was I getting on to do before?  Uh, hm.  Oh well, I’ll go to iFanboy while I think of it.  OOH, Bendis is exclusive to DC and he’s invading Earth with Daxamite-Martian hybrids?   Crap, this is going to crack the internet in half!  I’m checking the message boards. (Hours later)  OK, time to grade papers before hittin’ the sack.

    Obviously exaggerated a bit, but you get the point- stuff happens and things get in the way.  It’s an unfortunate aspect of human nature, but it’s not the same as laziness.  This is the speed bump indie creators have to get over, and it takes that much extra work to get over it when they are on their own.  Some succeed, some try and fail, some just fall into the "nobody gets me" routine, and some sadly get lost in the shuffle.  There are a number of creators who’ve hit the speed bump and gotten over it, and rolled on to some nice pay days.  But they’ll tell you that it was not easy getting over the speed bump in the first place. Not their fault, not out fault, just the way the system works.  

    Having said that, sources like iFanboy, Newsarama, mania.com and Entertainment Weekly have done a lot to help indie artists get their work noticed which… hey, gets back to the original article.  Great job on it, Josh, BTW- the tone and style are perfect and, having listened to the podcasts, I can actually "hear" that conversation going on.  Creepy but cool.

  175. Pen and paper? And you have the copy – it’s not some web comics you forgot to bookmark…

    Someone saying the creator needs to pay the money to get to your town (and back to his house), put 50 copies out of the maybe 600 he printed in your LCS just so you would be so grateful as to buy a second issue of something you enjoyed, is severe laziness. It’s like saying you wanted to grab a copy of something someone recommended on this website (that actually has a known publisher and a diamond code) but you didn’t notice it so you didn’t bother.

    You can always ask the guy behind the counter, or use Google.com, Ask.com and many other search engines. Someone saying "someone with barely any money that created something enjoyable and is marketing it, needs it to be in front of my eyes at all times for me to bother buying it" is someone I want to smack on the head, but since this is supposed to be civil, I’ll probably just give him the stink eye.

    Someone is making something good with barely any resources.

    He markets it with barely any resources.

    He pays to go to a convention where people will see his work and might buy it.

    And you’re telling me you can’t be bothered to pick up your copy, search the cover for a title and/or creator name (which is probably there), go to a computer or write it down or just take the copy with you, and use one of the many web browsers available, and go to one of the many search engines available and write something down?

    People ars asking for a time traveling and teleporting De Vinci. You want something that is good enough to stick but you can’t be bothered to look it up, you want him to go to every two bit store at every part of the USA and put copies there, and work at a job for 70 years and go back in time with that money and start again and accumulate enough money to put up posters at any little two bit store.

    It seems people want indy creators to somehow infiltrate Diamond HQ and slip indy titles to the shipments made to comicbook stores. How the hell do people think something like that is possible? Or are they stupid enough to think some indy creator can roam around the country hitch hiking and placing copies in every comic book store available?

    I don’t get what is so hard in going several feet to your copy, putting in the name in a search engine and at least checking if an official website is available. We have laptops, PDAs, cellphones, telephones, pen and paper and pencils, a decent memory, internet connections everywhere,  crayons, paint, sticky notes, etc.

    Don’t want to buy it – okay by me. Want to but don’t want to open a browser and search in google? really really lazy. 

  176. Three more, and then I behead this thread and drive a stake through it.

  177. @chlop – In all honesty, I think the message is received.  You’ve said the same thing for the past eight posts.  Whoever this abstract reader is who loves an indie book but refuses to Google it, they’re really intensely lazy. Shame on them.  Tisk squared, even.   

  178. I can’t believe I put the popcorn up.

  179. @Paul – people seem to continue to justify lazyness.

    It’s beheading time. 

  180. Nothing says ‘Happy Holidays’ by Ifanboy like a huge 180 post arguement. 🙂

  181. @chlop

    "Someone created a comic, he goes around to conventions, puts up a website, makes sure it is cheap enough so people will buy it, might even deliver it for free locally, go to comic book shops and asks them to put several copies there, goes to stores and makes a deal with them to put several copies there that will make them a small profit, make posters, produce  comics until something sticks, send it to several publishers, spend the money on printing issues, having a day job that pays since he has no chance of making a living with comics, publish free previews, ship it in a way it won’t damage."

    I specifically mentioned that a number of people didn’t have a mailing list which is considerably easier to set up than many of the things you mentioned in that paragraph. Which is why I found it surprising. CLEARLY if someone is going through this much effort they weren’t the type of person who’s lacking in marketing/getting themselves out there that I was speaking of.  Clearly.  CLEARLY.  Like so absolutely, positively clearly that my face hurts.  My eyes are crossing and my vision is fuzzy I’m so blindsided by the oddness of the rhetorical situation you’ve set up here, yet still it remains CLEAR that they are not the same person.

    I assure you I am not a slothful creator hating demon. I am a very very very average consumer.  For example, If you go back and read some of my posts I specifically mention bugging my LCS for a book.  All I’m saying is it needs to be clearly available.  If the guy is doing all he can then he’s doing all he can.  No one ever suggested hand delivery to distant comice shops or ringing my doorbell with a singing telegram when the next issue is printed.  (Although, I have to say that would be pretty cool and I would be devoted to them for life.  Someone make that one happen. In fact, that will be teir 6 of my indie marketing package.)

  182. I’ve scripted, drawn up, published and distributed eight independent comics (meaning i WALKED to every comic shop in america and hand delivered them) in the time it took you guys to have this argument.

  183. Too bad I couldn’t my saggy ass off the couch to give a shit about that comic FACE.

  184. Hang on while I write a lengthy post defining just how wrong that is. And while you wait, you might google or grab a snack. 

  185. I totally missed out on this whole discussion.  Say again?

  186. Im too lazy to read Josh’s response to FACE’s comment.  I’ll google itsbecca response instead

  187. OK.  That’ll do.  Let’s not dogpile.  I started it and shouldn’t have.  Sorry.

  188. Trying to find some perspective in all of this. It’s interesting.

    @chlop – as a few folks have noted, we do understand what you’re saying about the consumer. Let’s go with that for a moment. OK, so…we advocate that the consumer changes his/her habits. Great. We… post this message on sites like this? We take out an ad? How do we train the consumer at this high level?

    Answer: you’re doing it. This is about the only way. Grass roots advocacy. And you might change a few people’s minds. But this is all on you, preaching a better way. It’s no different than you telling everyone to "recycle more." Yeah, you can preach, and you might change a few people’s minds. And it’s great. 

    However, the creator/publisher cannot take this approach. If they spent all their time reaching out and trying to change consumer habits, they may has well have just sent them a URL for their comic book!

    It’s nice to say that the consumer should not expect to be spoonfed, but unless you have the power to suddenly legislate this, the publishers will ALWAYS need to appeal to the lowest common denominator. It’s just business. If I’m starting a publishing company, I simply cannot sit back and wait for the consumer to come to me. I have to meet them where they are. It’s not about an ideal situation, it’s about entering the marketplace and dealing with the reality of what is.

  189. @itsbecca – it still doesn’t justify thinking someone needs to put copies in front of your eyes for you to bother googling a title. Some creators take some of the routes I specified and they work hard to create. By not even taking the time to google you’re basically pissing all over their effort. People market, set up websites etc, but they are of no use if someone can’t be botherd taking a few seconds to search for them – just look if there is an official website. A creator that came to a convention might not live anyhere near you, might not have the money to market etc. He might advertise locally – he can’t be everywhere.

    @daccampo – I don’t care if people are lazy. I care if people justify it. Some creators aren’t born as marketing machines and they might have school or jobs and not much time, and they might invest their money in a convention, some small and cheap adverts in a small forum, and local adverts.

    If I hear let’s say on this website that Box Office Poison is good, I check out what it is about and if I want to spend the money and who create it and who publishes it and I call my LCS to check if they have a copy. If it is something that is sold on the interent I check if the shipment charges are worth it. I don’t wait for the creator to put posters where I live advertising his book.

    Creators and readers need to meet about half way – the creator needs to take time setting up a website, advertise locally and maybe on the internet etc. but some can’t. The reader always can spare several seconds and google.

    I don’t care about human nature like someone wrote here, or the reality. If you can’t be bothered using Google.com for several seconds don’t expect a creator to chase you around. A creator invested money and time which is something the reader rarely does. He spent time making a good comic that is worth printing, spent money printing it, advertised locally probably and maybe talked to local comic book stores, and maybe set up a website. He probably took the time off his free time or from work to go to a convention and pay for a table and residence. You can have the decency of going to a computer with an internet connection for several seconds and use Google.com and put in the title of the comicbook and see if there is at least a website. If there isn’t return to your life and have fun.

    Don’t want to spend a few seconds? Than don’t justify your laziness. It’s like an indy movie – someone made a movie for some months, looked for  actors and workers, looked for places to shoot etc. You go to your local shopping mall, go to the theater and check the posters for the movie name. You see it’s only showing Bolt and a Keanu movie an you go home, lamenting about how things would have been different if he only got more in debt and spent more money putting posters up.

    That’s the same situation in my opinion. The creators spend much more time and money than the reader does by googling a title. If you can’t be bothered googling the title, don’t lament about how you would have bought it if only the creator took the time to write a URL in his comic book or somehow put a copy thousands of miles from his house in your LCS.

    Want to be lazy?Go right ahead. Don’t justify it and piss on someones work. I’m not a creator and I’m a lazy sod myself but I don’t blame a creator for not spending his entire time chasing me. I know about local people that haggle with store owners about puting several copies in the store and some of them create stands for those books and try to put them somewhere noticable, pay for 600 copies to get printed and haggle with a small printing store, create adverts and put them in the windows of the stores he put copies in, make little to no money from selling them since the store owners want a good profit, draw and write the comic, some make it in color to be appealing, put posters up, advertise in the internet and publish small creations or previews on the website etc.

    If someone does even some of those things, I see no justification for someone not taking the time to use Google. 

  190. <to self>OK.  Count to three.  Reply calmly</to self>

    Chlop, we get it.  In fact, we got it yesterday when Mrlamme was making the same argument.  Once again, I will stipulate that, if a creator has done one of three basic things (set up a website, set up a mailing list, provide a method of contact such as notes in book or a business card), and the consumer does not follow up, then the consumer can take the blame for not doing so.  I would ask, in turn, that you stipulate that if the creator has not done one of these things, which are easy to do and very basic and if they are going to the trouble of attending a con to hawk their wares then they should be doing this, that a Google search will probably, PROBABLY, not bear much fruit.  If we can agree on that much, then all’s well.  If not, then let’s all bid this argument good day as it can’t go anywhere new.

  191. If a creator didn’t do one of those things and a simple google search comes empty it’s fine by me, but the reader should still google – that’s the minimum I expect someone.

    I don’t know if this is over – I’m still waiting for the crazy creator I was promised. Just hope he’s not Alan Moore 🙂

  192. This is what we call a stalemate.  Let’s move on please.

  193. Uncircle the wagons, boys. Keep a driftin’ ’till they write another article about piracy. Or prices per page. Yeehaw.

  194. @bc1 you put things in a very concise way without getting snippy.  You are my new posting idol.

  195. Please let’s stop with mommy and daddy fighting!

  196. So according to some of the posts on this thread, if I’ve ever purchased the first issue of a smaller series and only sorta liked it and failed to pick up the second issue I stabbed the creator in the back.  Well, guess I’m a heartless bastard for not buying the second issue. 

     Seriously though, it is not someone’s duty to keep buying a series unless they want to.  I plan on creating comics one day and if someone buys even 1 issue of mine, I’ll be the thankful one.  I don’t expect readers to grovel at my feet because I put out a product they enjoy.  Hell, it’d make me sick (although I won’t mind having a couple fans.)

  197. @Chlop.  Who "pissed" on anyone’s work? 

  198. Don’t pick at the scab!   😉

  199. @Paul, Sorry, I’m just sick of all the generalizations, slandering, and assuming.  I’ve never seen it get this bad on iFanboy. 

  200. The reason it kept getting bad is that we all forgot how internet works.  If you keep trying to get the last word, but no one is willing to change their minds, you go in a mindless circle.  It’s almost like we’re spoiled here.

    There’s no argument to be won.  It’s just repetition now.  

  201. @Anson – if someone doesn’t want to buy it I don’t expect them to buy it. If someone says they would have bought it if it was in front of their eyes tells me they liked it enough to buy it, and a short google search is not different than an online purchase or looking in your LCS for a copy.

    Expecting someone to chase you around is stupid – having copies in your LCS of a comic book you bought at a convention is not a likely thing to happen since indy guys can’t be everywhere or have the money to be everywhere. I consider a google search something far easier and less time consuming than searching the racks for a copy. If you searched google and saw the date the next issue is coming out and forgot, that’s okay – you didn’t expect to be spoon fed via a mailing list or a creator putting copies in every local store in the USA.

    To me even the small thing of a creator paying to go to a convention is a big enough effort for me to search google for the creator or comicbook if I enjoyed it which i gathered she did, and enjoyed it enough to buy the second one which i gathered she did. Saying that someone made something good but that that someone didn’t chase me around or was an oiled marketing machine for me to buy it – to me is pissing on their efforts. I know of local creators that produce great work and have school or work and are producing funny and interesting comic books and haggle with store owners and put up websites, publish great work for free there etc.

    So much effort is put into even the simplest of comic books that I don’t see why someone can’t take the time to google a title they say they would have bought if a copy somehow appeared in their LCS, which is something I don’t expect an indy to ever take care of – the amount of distribution they can handle is limited and making sure to put copies at every LCS is out of their capabilities.

    I expect creators to not whine and moan, I don’t expect them to be like Marvel or DC. I expect people to appreciate the effort someone took to even be at a convention and selling a #1 issue of something that might not get to a #2. That appreciation means realizing someone went a long way to produce that single comic book and the least you can do if you enjoyed it enough to buy a continuation is search for the creator or title in google. Just look in the first page of results. You don’t have to buy it. That short google search that costs barely any money and takes a little time is nothing compared to the effort a creator took to create and I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t take that small step, even if the creator forgot to include a URL in the issue or couldn’t for some reason.

    As for the last comment, quoting Dr. Hackenbush: "Well, it’s early yet." 

  202. @Josh — ’tis true, it’s what the ‘net is about. And before that, there were other forums for debate. Like that 3am at Denny’s while in college, all jacked up on too many coffees? All the same thing.

    And Josh is right that it’s repetition at this point. But it is interesting to see the way arguments boil down, and I think there’s stuff we can take from it. 

    Chlop’s stance — and I get it –is a complaint about consumers complaining. It’s a fine moral stance. It’s a grass roots call to action for those who wish to support indies. And, as everyone has noted — it would be really, really nice to expect that consumers take a little effort to support things they like. 

    And that’s really that. The seven people who have read this far — hey maybe we’ll remember this next time we vaguely remember an indie comic and decide we’d like to know what happened to it.

    On my side, I’m thinking about Josh’s article in terms of creators. And what they can do. While it’s nice to expect more from a consumer, that’s not a philosophy around which you can plan a business. Publishers have to go to the consumer. Or, to be clear — they have PLAN to do everything in their power to reach the consumer. If the consumer has read this message board, and they’ve googled that creator, and they have done a little extra on their part…? Fantastic! You’ve made it that much easier for the creator! But if I’m the creator, I am *NOT* going to gamble my business on that. I’m going to plan to everything in my power to reach out as FAR as I can.

    Fans *should* do what they can.

    Creators *need* to do what they can (because they’re making the money, not giving it).


  203. @ Josh.  You speak many words of wisdom on a daily basis.  Thank you. I always look forward to your articles and the discussions that erupt from them.  Keep it up.

    It’s always sad to realize that iFanboy is the only place online where this is the ugliest an argument gets. The net is just an ugly place.

  204. @ deaccamp. Thanks for showing that both sides have valid arguments.  It really does require effort from both parties.

  205. @itsbecca – I overreacted and I was being an ass. I’m sorry.