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Wednesday, January 16, 2013 

The comics industry won't talk about itself

In a recent interview the Comics Reporter ran with Sean Howe, author of Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, the following was said:
SPURGEON: You didn't have the reluctance problem, did you? Did you think anyone chose not to talk to you, or changed the way they talked to you, out of careerist or similar concerns?

HOWE: Oh, sure. Tons of people. Tons of people. It's no secret that this book really accelerates in the last ten years, and it has a very sudden ending. There are multiple reasons for that, but one of them is that no one in the comics industry now is really interested in talking about the comics industry.
It could be that the low sales are a factor in any company's reluctance to speak more directly about the industry. But the insular path they're taking could be another. And with only so much bad storytelling littering mainstream offerings, that's one more reason why it may be hard for anyone to feel bold enough to say anything.

The biggest problem of all though, is the lack of people in comics willing to take responsibility for the damage done to the industry they work in.

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Very interesting; I get the feeling that the reason story-telling standards are so low is creators are intimidated and afraid to lose what contracts they do have.

I recently finished the book, and yeah -- I thought the section from the 1990s-present felt rushed. No wonder.

Howe seems to lay much of the blame for the expansion of gratuitous violence on the feet of Bill Jemas. Jemas wanted to push the envelope -- really shake things up. Whenever someone had a really wacky/outlandish idea, he'd usually so "Go for it."

Jemas really helped to bring Marvel down. Remember "Marville," for instance? That was horrible.

Jemas also had a hand in producing awful miniseries like "Trouble", "The Truth: Red, White and Black", and what finally got him removed from his post was the time he tried to mandate the Fantastic Four, which was kind of ironic since Mark Waid's story had an anti-war theme going on, which Jemas would surely have approved of. His departure from Marvel was something he asked for, but the sad part is that Quesada still remained, and Dan Buckley wasn't any better.

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