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Friday, May 18, 2018 

Unprofessional "pros" can hurt the business

Charles Rodriguez wrote a whole item on how so-called pros in comicdom who engage in hostile behavior to fans can prove detrimental to the medium as a whole:
Mark Waid and other comic book pros provide perfect exemplars of how access to the internet can easily lead to potential PR disasters. Walt Disney’s Mark Waid, a once beloved comic book artist, repeatedly called and harassed a smaller publisher, one Antarctic Press, to prevent them from printing an apolitical action graphic novel called Jawbreakers. It’s not the first time that Mark Waid has made himself and those he represent look bad because of social media drama.
Yep, once there was a time Waid had positive regard. He was the co-creator of Impulse with the late Mike Wieringo back in the mid-90s, after all, as a cousin for Wally West who was born with his superhuman speed and became the new Flash sidekick, quickly achieving his own solo book just like Robin, Superboy and Supergirl at the time. Now, Waid's basically tarnishing what good regard he once had for the sake of...jealousy? I don't know. All I know is he's lost his mind, let his politics get the better of him, more so than in the past, and now they're taking their toll.

The guy also presents a few examples of what artwork's become like of recent with a few pictures from a Star Wars comic, and seeing these, I just have to post them here so you can see why this just isn't very good, and is in fact laughable:
So Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo are drawn to look photo-realistic? If this is just what it appears to be, it's waaaay too much, and only diminishes the appeal of the story. You'd think they photoshopped Harrison Ford's head onto the drawing, and maybe they did, but in any event, what matters is that this serves as an example of being overly demanding, and lessens the quality of art. There's plenty of artists who draw inspiration from real life figures (from what I know, John Romita Sr. used Ann-Margret as inspiration for Mary Jane Watson's character design), but this is trying much too hard, and turns the concept of art into a silly joke. If the early Marvel series from 1977-86 had been like this, it would've been dreadful. As noted here:
Richard Meyer has pointed out issues in the art and in the writing. Issues that are apparent, even in apolitical comics like Star Wars. For this sort of criticism, Richard has become a black sheep and enemy # 1. This is because many of the more political stripe see criticism of work made by minorities as hating minorities. Meyer argues that they are just hiring young inexperienced people for low pay and that the results are self-evident.
If they were trying to lower the costs of illustration by making their drawings look like the real deals, they blew it. And here I thought some artists in the past argued they have an "unlimited budget" for these projects. If so, they're not utilizing it correctly.
Every Tweet costs Marvel, erego Disney, money in the long-run. Is it in their interests for Mark to tell customers to “fuck off” and to “never read” comics? Is it in their interests to be blind to poor products? Sure, it could be a troll, but if it’s a fan that’s a great way to alienate them. Same goes for every other company that Mark Waid works for. Not only that, but it may result in people never buying comics from other companies, thus hurting the whole industry.

Other comic book professionals have been just as aggressive. Stating that they wish they could punch Richard Meyer and those like him. How do you think fans would respond? How does this make Disney, DC, and Marvel look?
I'd say it makes it look like they're hiring a whole bunch of lunatics who don't learn lessons from how Hollywood celebs usually go about their business, and the smart ones wisely avoid making themselves look like vulgarians and schemers in public. Worst, it makes the comics business as a whole look like a refuge for crude, nasty, selfish and entitled troglodytes from the margins of society, and weakens the image even more.

You can read the rest of the item for more, but for now, it should be made clear that if the leaders of the industry really want to make it a success, they cannot put up with inmates running the asylum, and have to start laying out the guidelines, to say nothing of enforcing them when a creator is discovered engaging in bad activity. They also have to stop the publicity stunt mentality that's been taken to extremes over the years and led to the flood of politics washing out entertainment value from modern superhero and other comics.

Only that way will the industry be able to improve itself, and even then, there's still many more steps that need to be taken from a business perspective. But that's another story.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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