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Topic: Comics Should Not Be A Stepping Stone Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 11160
Posted: 13 March 2018 at 10:45am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I would point out that Stan Lee initially viewed comics as a temporary stopping point on the path to becoming a novelist.

"I was a little embarrassed to be doing the work I did, and I figured someday I'll write the Great American Novel and I don't want to ruin my possibilities by having my name disliked this way. And I became Stan Lee."

I don't think there's anything wrong in someone working in one capacity and having an eye on changing role later on, provided it doesn't lessen the work they are currently doing. Of course, making noises about how you want to move on would be obnoxious, but there is nothing inherently bad about having a long-term plan to move on, in my opinion.

I'd like to think Marie Curie's students from her teaching days didn't begrudge her going on to do Nobel-prize winning work in physics. And that her friends in the physics world didn't begrudge her when she went on to do Nobel-prize winning work in chemistry.

Jodie Foster has said she always wanted to be a director, but it didn't stop her delivering better work than most of her peers as an actor. Ron Howard even acted in the movie Eat My Dust, purely to get the gig as a director on the film Grand Theft Auto. I don't think Ron Howard was disrespecting acting by doing so; he was just leveraging his commercial muscle in one area to open up an opportunity in another.

In a general sense, I don't see why someone working in a field for a short time feels it is less of a privilege than someone who works in that field for life, or brings any less enthusiasm to the task. I think there is an argument to be made that, in many walks of life (and I'm not talking about comics here), there is a danger that when someone has a job for life that they might take it for granted.


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Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1198
Posted: 13 March 2018 at 1:11pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I have less attachment to the various corporation owned 'properties'. If they haven't already broken those long existing characters already though they're either unable to, or they will end like the Beatles and then there will be reprints and tributes and such so it still won't really be gone until nobody is buying anymore.

I've always been an outsider. I saw a guy named Todd going around saying he was 'born' to draw Spider-man, and I did not understand it. He seems to have gone on to do quite well and I said good for him while again I was out of step and people were trashing him and his new creation and co-op company. I don't get it when people feel they belong to something some else dreamed up where it's a serious almost mental-health issue they will do rude things to fellow artists or writers over, and I don't understand the hostility to someone doing their own thing which I've also seen. I remember one woman who did her own comic being trashed as a 'diva' or something when she allowed that co-op sort of company reprint them and create a new series there. Huh? Well, I just found out one of the slammers of her had one of his comics reprinted by that same company whose artists and ethics he had slammed so much.

I think the negative in comics is the obsessive fan(atic) aspect... I understand the point about people not respecting the form coming in but I don't really see this existential threat amidst a real poison and neagtive vibe. Love of an industry does not compute as 7 of 9 might say. Or perhaps look to the mote in your own eye?

If nobody makes new Popeye or new Thor or new The Flash... no problem! It's not probably going to be because a non-fan did it in over their big ego or career dreams as someone who gushes about loving it and wanting to fulfill their fantasy of seeing their name on something they didn't create. None of those things existed at one time. The people who actually dreamed them up are long gone usually. What we need are simply professionals who respect the readers and the characters as opposed to either kind of inflated head convention diva. Do the work and do it as well as you as a reader would want it done. Maybe it was better when a lot of it was anonymous?

But there should be room for everyone/everything. Just the "I deserve to draw X 'property' more than person Y" stuff seems to be more of a real problem than somebody 'slumming'. It's about making something people can enjoy and will want to support. The 'industry' might be in a better position right now without the fixation on certain past creations, it seems to me it was doing a lot better, had higher sales, more variety and was an actual mass-medium when decisions were based on the readers and creators were encouraged to create rather than fight with each other over who got to do X character 'the right way'. Feeding on yourself is the sign of a disease. Being closed to creators from 'outside' generally would have to be a negative.
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Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1198
Posted: 13 March 2018 at 1:14pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Bob Marley sang about how only you can free yourself from mental slavery. To paraphrase John Lennon, can you at least "imagine there's no heaven" by imagining comics without super-character 'universes'? No costumes to fight over, a brotherhood of writers and artists?
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