The internet was rocked this morning by literraly dozens of shocked gasps as comic book fandom learned that Paul Jenkins has signed an exclusive contract with BOOM! Studios. What's more, Jenkins announced his exclusivity by sending a letter to Comic Book Resources calling out the Big Two comics publishers for no longer caring about creators:
I'm going to remove myself from working for the foreseeable future with Marvel or DC, and I’ll be working exclusively from now on with BOOM! Studios. I'm finally going to make myself happy again in the process.
The first and most understandable question may well be, "Why make it a public affair? Why not simply go quietly and work wherever you like without feeling the need to shout it out to the whole world?" Well, the answer is that I have something to say, and I feel the subject is important enough to initiate some debate. I hope those reading this will agree the discussion will be worth their time. I feel that we are once again moving in the wrong direction, creatively. I’ve been down this road before, and it’s a road we can and should avoid. I don’t need to tell you what Greg Rucka and numerous other respected creators have already told you – that the Big Two have removed their focus away from the creators and towards the maintenance of the characters. I don’t blame Disney or Warner Brothers. After all, Avengers made a lot of money, didn’t it?
Rucka has, indeed, told us this. He said it a lot last year, and he just reiterated it this morning in an interview with us, of all people. How will the Big Two take this insult? Will they finally begin to see how their Dilbertesque corporate greed is destroying the comics medium? It certainly got the attention of Marvel head honcho Joe Quesada, who showed up at BOOM!'s offices this morning with a manila envelope full of legal documents.
"What's in there?" asked a suspicious Ross Richie, Founder and CEO of BOOM! Studios.
"It's the rights to the character The Sentry," Quesada informed him.
"Oh, no. No way. We're not taking those," Richie retorted.
"They're yours now," Quesada insisted. "Jenkins created him. We're giving him to you."
"I don't think so," the indignant Richie replied. "A character that's so powerful no one can harm him? He destroys all potential in stories. The only way Marvel escaped that trap was to wait until the character was so obnoxious nobody cared that it was completely implausible for Thor to kill him!"
Quesada blew him off. "The Sentry is a stud. He slept with Rogue."
"No he didn't!"
"He did," Quesada swore. "He was the only person who could touch her. She cried at his funeral."
"That's the most ridiculous..." cried Richie. "Who wrote that issue?"
"Paul Jenkins," said Quesada with a grin.
"Fuck!" Richie lamented.
Well, nothing worthwhile ever comes without a price, BOOM! Studios. At least you've got a writer who cares about his craft again. At least, that's what Jenkins claims when he basically admits that he didn't give a crap about his output at Marvel during his last few years there:
I believe those fans who want me to write books like "Sentry" and "Inhumans" will once again be able to expect that my name on the front cover of a book reflects a certain standard. I’m going to be building worlds and doing creator-owned stuff, and generally smiling when I wake up instead of fretting that my name is attached to something I do not believe in.
We may make fun, but Jenkins is, of course, correct. The very nature of Warner Bros. and Disney comics prevents them from ever doing anything meaningful with their characters. After all, those characters are worth far more printed on the front of a plastic lunch box than they can ever be on the pages of a comic book, and, as a result, comic book publishers have an imperative to preserve those characters for merchandising and movie rights instead of using them to create compelling stories.
The Outhouse applauds Paul Jenkins for taking a stand and concentrating on creator owned comics.
Even if he did create the goddamn Sentry.