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Eric Stephenson on Big Comics: 'A Consistent Pattern of Behavior That Involves Degrading Talent'

Written by Jude Terror on Tuesday, September 17 2013 and posted in News with Benefits

Eric Stephenson on Big Comics: 'A Consistent Pattern of Behavior That Involves Degrading Talent'

A statement from the Image Comics Publisher implies bullying and blackmail at major comics publishers is the motivation for many to leave and do creator owned work.

Source: Multiversity Comics

Multiversity Comics has a treatise up this morning on the current state of creator owned comics. The 8,652 word article (seriously - we counted) is a good read if you've got a couple hours to spare, but what really stood out to Ol' Jude Terror was this quote from Image Publisher Eric Stephenson, talking about why so many big name creators are leaving Big Two work to do creator owned comics (emphasis ours):

“Well, I think a lot of it has to do with creators realizing they don’t have to toil away in a culture of intimidation and fear to be successful in this business,” Stephenson told us in an interview for this piece. “A lot of people aren’t familiar with how the comics industry actually works, but there’s a lot of bullying that goes on behind the scenes, on a lot of different levels, and I think many creators have grown tired of being wined and dined by their pal in talent management so that anecdotal information about their personal lives can then be turned over to some desperate little suit who calls up and makes all these veiled threats about their family’s well-being while hammering them with a contract.”

“It’s a story I’ve heard more and more often the last few years, and it’s almost comical, like a bad TV movie version of how the comics business works. It’s not everyone or everywhere, but there really is a consistent pattern of behavior that involves degrading talent in order to buy their loyalty, and I think people are getting wise to it.


A contract negotiation at Marvel Comics.


Wow. Those are some strong words. Of course, it seems to fit with the narrative of creators fleeing DC at an alarming rate, but does it apply to Marvel as well? Their creators don't seem to leave the company so... publicly, but you never know, and Stephenson doesn't distinguish. The entire article isn't all controversy - it's a great look at where the comics industry has been and where it's going, and you should definitely check it out (maybe book a day or two off from work so you can read it in one sitting).

DC Comics Vice President of Talent Relations Buddy Revell


But while you work that into your schedule, we want to know what you think about Stephenson's quote! Is he talking about Marvel? DC? Both? Is he on the money? Exaggerating? Tell us what you think!


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About the Author - Jude Terror

Jude Terror is the Webmaster Supreme of The Outhouse and a sarcastic ace reporter dedicated to delivering irreverent comics and entertainment news to The Outhouse's dozens of loyal readers. Driven by a quest for vengeance, Jude Terror taught himself to program and joined The Outhouse. He instantly began working toward his goal of forcing the internet comics community to take itself less seriously and failing miserably. A certified trash eater ruining the pristine field of comics journalism with his sarcasm and goofiness, Jude Terror is secretly friendly and congenial, so if you've got a complaint, why not just bring it up to him instead of subtweeting like a jackass, jackass? You can find him on Twitter or try your luck with an email, but keep in mind that he is notoriously unreliable and may not get back to you right away. Unless you want to send him free stuff, in which case he'll get back to you immediately.

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