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Saturday, August 26, 2023 

Mark Millar laments the sad state of the industry he helped lead to

Bounding Into Comics pointed to a podcast interview Millar did where he laments the sorry state the industry's in now, something he had quite a hand in causing himself, and says legends should return to the Big Two:
During an appearance on the Thinking Critical channel, Millar confirmed his previously announced return to DC for a Superman story and then quickly segued into positing his idea that at least 20 comic book legends should return to both DC and Marvel to do at minimum two year runs in order to save the comic book industry.

Millar stated, “There’s something weird going on right now where I really feel like guys like me and guys who’ve worked in the industry for awhile and been very lucky, had a lot of big books and everything, we’ve got to man the stations.”

“I think everybody’s got to come in and do a couple of projects and find an artist who’s as good as you can possibly get and just do some killer run on something,” he added.

As for why he believes these comic book legends should return, he explained it’s because the industry is in the worst state it’s ever been in.

He said, “The retailers, they’re struggling out there. They’re dying. All my friends and retailers are saying it’s never been, they’ve never know it as hard as this.”
Now that's pretty rich coming from somebody who concocted some of the most revolting tales in the Ultimate line when it was around for at least a decade, relying as he did on fetishized bloodletting, and regurgitating the Hank Pym-abusing-Janet Van Dyne storyline from 1981. If memory serves, he even wrote a fanfiction-like take on Wolverine's crush on Jean Grey, who was supposed to be 17 in the new take, and left Ultimate Cyclops stuck in a valley while pursuing all this morally questionable affair. Why, if you think some of his comics are written to resemble movies, that's another mistake, recalling the Sean Howe argument of over a decade ago. So where does Millar get off by arguing "legends", many of whom are long gone, if we take Lee/Kirby as examples, have to come back and do more? What's needed are talented writers who aren't overt ideologues obsessed with wokeness like today's badly influenced generations.
Millar then went on to share his view that Marvel and DC need to do well in order to drive creator-owned success, “In reality, in the last 10 years there hasn’t been any real big, blow up success in the creator-owned world. Saga was probably the last one that went crazy. Things have done, you know, they’ve done nicely, but Saga was the last time there was a phenomenon. I think Walking Dead prior to that. So, you know, there’s been a few.”

“But the real success comes from the industry. And I’m not talking about as individuals, as creators. It comes from the industry when Marvel and DC are doing well, particularly Marvel. And again, people hate to hear this because you’re making money for the man, you’re showing it up a corporation. But the honest truth is that creator-owned growth comes from Marvel and DC doing well.”
No kidding. This is hilarious. What's needed is good advertising and marketing for any kind of comics themes, genres and publishers. If creator-owned comics are to rely almost entirely upon Marvel/DC's continued existence, then they can't survive on their own at all. And why should anybody want to pay good money that'll go into the pockets of corporations now, with the way they're going about business in woke directions? "Honest truth", my foot.
From there, Millar returned to his idea to save the industry, and noted that the current output from the companies are just not good, “Everybody needs to go back and do one or two projects, I think. And I’m going to try and get my friends to do this over the next couple of years, try and get some excitement going back at the companies.
I miss the part where he takes issue with the entire main staff of both outfits. First there was Joe Quesada and Dan DiDio representing a problem, and their successors, who failed upwards as much as they did, are equally problematic. If the worst editors - to say nothing of publishers - continue as employees, no matter how awful their work is along with the terrible writers and artists they employ by extension (Tom King, anybody?), and aren't dismissed from the payroll, then how does Millar believe anybody with potential (something he lacks) can be hired there? If you consider Chuck Dixon talented, remember that he's been blacklisted for a long time, and Millar doesn't sound particularly interested in helping him reverse that.
Millar is not the only one to suggest the comic book industry is struggling. Rod Lamberti, the owner of Rodman Comics in Ankeny, Iowa revealed in a blog post at Bleeding Cool that his new comic sales are declining.

He stated, “New comic sales here in the comic store are increasingly slowing down. The recent death of Ms Marvel in Amazing Spider-Man was not a big deal at the store.”

“The latest issues of Iron Man and Hulk are low sellers. The characters have fans, but few are interested in their latest adventures,” Lamberti added.
Which proves Marvel's Islamic propaganda isn't generating the appeal they think it has. And if new stories starring the green goliath and Shell-head emphasize woke politics, why do you think few care? Alas, they'll never get into those details. And neither will Millar. Something tells me that, if a right-wing advocate were considered for employment to write for the Big Two, he'd actively oppose any such move, much like SJWs over a decade ago opposed employing Orson Scott Card to write a Superman story, no matter how short, all because he disagreed with LGBT ideology. In other words, despite what he's arguing, he'd still be in favor of blacklisting even the most talented and understanding right-wingers, and wouldn't be willing to come off his petty liberal politics no matter how much it's damaged comicdom to date. So what would be his point in such a case?

This whole topic reminds me of a vaguely similar case reported by Entertainment Weekly a few weeks ago, where actor Zachary Levi complained Hollywood's got plenty of garbage, but forgot to mention he made sure to craft plenty of his own:
It's one thing for critics or the audience to call out Hollywood for making questionable fare. It's another for stars of said questionable fare to join in.

But Zachary Levi's got a bone to pick with what he called Hollywood "garbage" at Fan Expo Chicago on Saturday. The star of one of the year's biggest flops urged attendees to "actively not choose" crap movies, apparently oblivious to the fact that many of them decided to do just that when faced with Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
If he wouldn't admit his own comics-based movie was a scrap pile, he's undercut the whole argument. The woke leftism aside, there's far too many movies relying on heavy special effects for years already, and too much emphasis on them to boot. Why not make a case why there should be a new focus on character-driven drama? Alas, Levi's unlikely to consider that either.

And if none of these folks are willing to admit their petty leftism's got any responsibility for where the industries have arrived, then they might as well retire from their professions and spare us all the hollow arguments.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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