April 21, 2015

"The one great beauty of comics, among the many others, is that you don’t have to worry about anybody funding it."

"In the worst-case scenario, you can just publish it yourself. You can Xerox it and hand it out to your friends. It will still get published if you want it to. In the past four or five years, I’ve just really embraced coming back to comics. It’s been the most fun it’s ever been."

Says Dan Clowes, who's had the experience of having his comics "Ghost World" and "Art School Confidential."
When you’re working on films, your work’s contingent on all these other factors that are beyond your control. For me, it was a good thing to do for a third or half of my time for seven or eight years, but at a certain point I got really tired of the arbitrary things that happen. You have projects all set up and then something loses its tax deferment or something like that—it’s so frustrating! 
I really identify with that because: 1. I used to maintain a daily sketchbook habit (mostly things in the manner of "Get Me a Table Without Flies, Harry," but I was a follower of many comics artists, including Clowes), and 2. It's the ethic of independent blogging, my daily habit of the last 11 years. Or wait... In the worst-case scenario, you can just publish it yourself.... That's not the worst case! That's the best case. No delay. No editors. No naysayers. No obstructionists. Freedom.


rhhardin said...

No editors. No naysayers. No obstructionists


rhhardin said...

My HD dictionaries list only soothsayers as -sayer's.

rhhardin said...

Shortest path through a thesaurus from soothsayer to editor

soothsayer clairvoyant visionary enthusiast aficionado connoisseur critic columnist editor

Ann Althouse said...


Commenters only enter the process after publication. You're in no position to obstruct. A published book also has readers who can say what they like after publication.

rhhardin said...

ob+struere to build against

in+struere to build on

con+struere to build together

de+struere to unbuild

It's all structural.

richard mcenroe said...

"Or wait... In the worst-case scenario, you can just publish it yourself.... That's not the worst case! That's the best case. No delay. No editors. No naysayers. No obstructionists. Freedom."

Could Ann be a Seekrit Sad Puppy and not know it?

jr565 said...

A few self published comics hit big - Bone, Cerebus, Elfquest, Hate, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghost World, among others.
But usually self publishing led to bankruptcy.

richard mcenroe said...

JR5655 that's because, like mainstream comics, 95% of self-published comics are derivative crap derived from older derivative crap.

The good artists and writers can still find a market, even as traditional comics continue their slow implosion. The online comic is replacing them and in fact offers many advantages in formatting, pacing and publication schedules.

eddie willers said...

even as traditional comics continue their slow implosion.

Iceman is now gay.

Bob Hope was right to worry.

Wilbur said...

When I was a child I read the daily comics. Hell, I read the whole paper. A small city, two section paper. It was easier than going to the public library, too far to readily walk to find something to read.

I loved "The Katzenjammer Kids", which only came on Sunday. We had two one panel cartoons in the daily paper, "Out Our Way" and "Our Boardinghouse" which you would swear were created back in the 1910's, and were clearly written to induce a chuckle from Grandpa instead of a laugh from you.

"Blondie", Hi and Lois" were good. "Henry" was existential. I liked "The Phantom, too".

My sisters read "Mary Worth". AA, did you?

jr565 said...

Iceman is now gay.

That's exactly why comics are getting worse and worse. Not because hes' gay. But because we have a history of him not being gay since the x men started as a comic.
Then all of a sudden, he's suddenly gay. In comics you can read a characters internal monologue. and not even in his thought balloons did he ever utter something like "I wonder what Cylops looks like naked".
But all of a sudden, they want to introduce a gay character, to show how tolerant they are of gays.
And so Iceman becomes gay. You know that they only picked him because he's not a top tier character.
They're not going to make Wolverine gay, for example. Maybe him and colossus doing the cannonball special is actually a euphemism for gay sex.
But anyway, they pander to the audience with this horrible political correctness crap. But they can't introduce a character who's gay in his own right. Because they're not sure the character will sell, if he/she has to be established as a gay character off the bat.

Christopher said...

Ultimate Iceman or Main Marvel universe? Anyway I haven't read Marvel at Civil War and I stopped caring about DC after they decided to reboot everything with Flash Point.

About the only comic I read regularly anymore is Fables, which is ending with the next issue.

As for the industry in general, it has long been a money loser for the owners. It has only been kept around for the merchandising opportunities (movies, toys, and games).

Christopher said...


It's like the whole "Green Lantern is gay" thing from a few years back. Except it turned out to be an alternate reality version of a golden age character nobody but die hard fans knew about.

I suppose DC at least had the decency to acknowledge that he was a new character.

Anga2010 said...

No naysayers? Nay, I say!
You are not always right and sometimes people disagree.
I like that best!

richard mcenroe said...

Will the last straight X-Man please turn out the lights on the franchise...