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An interesting interview with Kirkman

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An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby 3MJ » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:06 am

In this weeks issue of CLiNT magazine (currently 1 year old! Hurray!)

Here's some good little snippets.

On questioned about his (in)famous creator-owned manifesto:

Give it time..... these exclusive contracts take a while to end. In order for this industry to survive, it needs to not be an industry of superheroes that lives or dies on Marvel and DC characters. Comic creators are a cowardly and superstitious lot, but as a collective, they need to man up and realise that they're not doing anyone any favours by propping up 60 year old characters decade after decade.

He continues

And beyond that, having the best and brightest doing work on Superman and X-men, when they could be using their talents to pump new ideas into this industry, new creations, is doing a disservice to the whole system.

companies aren't creative, no matter how editor-driven they become; they will always only do what will sell to the audience available. The big ideas, the ones that will change things and bring in new people -- that will only come from creators, as a collective.


I don't always like Kirkmans books, but I like what he's saying. The latest DC numbers are in. They destroyed Marvel. It's not enough. Only one book hitting 250,000 is nothing. We need fresh ideas. Kirkman seems to know this won't come from the big 2.

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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby Punchy » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:17 am

I'm bored of Kirkman now.

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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby 3MJ » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:18 am

Punchy wrote:I'm bored of Kirkman now.


I'm certainly no great fan of all his comics (or his work on The Walking Dead tv show, which he says he'll only write one full episode of next season) but I find what he's saying fascinating.

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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby LobsterJ » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:39 am

That fat hypocrite wants to force top creators to come work for him and scumbag Erik Larsen so they can get rich while the creators make peanuts. Hes trying to kill the industry I work in. He wants Marvel to produce kiddie comics while he and that hack Ottman put out torture porn month after month? Fat hypocrite.

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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby Punchy » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:50 am

Always Stay Safe wrote:
I'm certainly no great fan of all his comics (or his work on The Walking Dead tv show, which he says he'll only write one full episode of next season) but I find what he's saying fascinating.


I like Invincible and Walking Dead a lot, but it irks me when he talks about 'injecting new ideas' into comics, it's not like Invincible and Walking Dead are all that original.

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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby 3MJ » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:07 am

Of course you are right they aren't that original themselves. But at least they're slightly new. At least he's not completely restricted in what he can do. At least he's his own boss and writes more interesting stories as a result. I often think writers like johns come off worse as they never really do much new. Criminal makes brubaker. Azzarello may not always be great onsuperhero stories but 100 bullets kicks ass

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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby Amoebas » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:15 am

Robert Kirkman wrote:companies aren't creative, no matter how editor-driven they become; they will always only do what will sell to the audience available. The big ideas, the ones that will change things and bring in new people -- that will only come from creators, as a collective.

Comics, when you cut down to the core - is a business. The intent is to make money.

If your goal is to produce art - either deal with this simple fact or attempt it independently.

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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby 3MJ » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:20 am

I think the point is DC and Marvel have made such horrendous business decisions that they really aren't making that much money now

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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby Chris » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:47 am

LobsterJ wrote:That fat hypocrite wants to force top creators to come work for him and scumbag Erik Larsen so they can get rich while the creators make peanuts. Hes trying to kill the industry I work in. He wants Marvel to produce kiddie comics while he and that hack Ottman put out torture porn month after month? Fat hypocrite.


I think you left out "slob," and "greasy" from that, Bass.
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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby Chris » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:51 am

Ultimately, I don't think there's anything wrong with what he's saying.. the problem is, this isn't the 1960's. There's not really a vaccuum for these new ideas to take root in anymore. We've had generations grow up with the same characters, and there's an attachment there.

New characters don't really have the same appeal anymore. Very rarely do we see a new idea take hold..

Deadpool
Spawn
Hellboy
Invincible
The Walking Dead

What else in the past 20 or so years has made a significant impact?

At the end of the day, given the choice of reading Spider-Man, X-Men, Superman, Batman, etc. or some random new creation.. people will drop their cash on the stuff they grew up with more often than not. The sales numbers indicate this.

And getting big name creators to come up with fresh ideas isn't really an answer. Look at Bendis. Arguably the biggest name in comics, and what have his creator-owned stuff done?

The most recent Powers #1 from 2009 sold an estimate 20,000 copies.

That's cancellation numbers for some Big 2 books. And that's a highly acclaimed creator-owned indie book from the biggest name in comics, which gets plenty of hype and attention.
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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby 3MJ » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:14 pm

Scott pilgrim and kick ass. They're all making big bank

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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby outsider » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:18 pm

Kirkman's on the other side of the success bell curve, so it's easy for him to say that. Most creators are just trying to pay the light bill and get some groceries.
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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby Strict31 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:20 pm

Amoebas wrote:Comics, when you cut down to the core - is a business. The intent is to make money.

If your goal is to produce art - either deal with this simple fact or attempt it independently.


I don't know. I mean, everybody always says that, and it's certainly true, but...

Well, for both Marvel and DC, the publishing is the least profitable of all their business ventures, by a wide margin. Something's gotta give.
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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby Chris » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:22 pm

Always Stay Safe wrote:Scott pilgrim and kick ass. They're all making big bank


Ok.

With the ones I named, that's still barely a handful compared to the HUNDREDS (if not thousands) of books in the last 20 years or more that really don't, and haven't, done that well.

I get what Kirkman is saying, but it's foolish to think that every book will be a Scott Pilgrim or every new creation will be an Invincible.

I do think that more big name guys should branch out a bit.. I'm really happy to see Jonathan Hickman returning to some creator-owned stuff as well, but I don't think it needs to be an "either/or" thing as Kirkman seems to be implying.

Guys like Warren Ellis and Bendis have gone basically their entire careers doing both established properties and their own creations. But at the end of the day, they're able to keep doing the creator owned work BECAUSE they do the Big 2 work.

Creator owned books are just not that profitable. Otherwise everyone and their mother would be doing them, no?

Moreover, there are now avenues open to people under exclusive contracts to keep their own creations under one roof with ICON and Vertigo (granted, who knows how long Vertigo will be around now)

For Kirkman to keep going on and on and on about this just reeks of a publisher-based agenda. And that's fine. He's a head honcho at Image. Of course he's going to want big name creators to come work for him.

But it's just not sensible to think that the industry is in a downward spiral because it is too reliant on superhero books. If anything, superhero books are all that's keeping it afloat at this point. They're the only books that sell by and large.
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Re: An interesting interview with Kirkman

Postby outsider » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:27 pm

Holland Oats wrote:But it's just not sensible to think that the industry is in a downward spiral because it is too reliant on superhero books. If anything, superhero books are all that's keeping it afloat at this point. They're the only books that sell by and large.
Exactly. Once the Wednesday Habit drops below a certain level, the entire "industry" is going to become a niche of publishing companies. There's nothing wrong with pushing creator-owned material, but he can't expect comic shops to primarily stock their shelves with random creator-owned series that have random and/or occasional publishing schedules.
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