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!