Here’s an interesting essay from the Publisher of Image Comics about the history of the comic book industry and what the future might look like. Go read it if you are interested in the publishing world of comics. I think it’s a good read even for those more broadly interested in publishing for younger readers.
From Chris Arrant’s article at News-a-rama this is an address to comic retailers that Eric Stephenson gave.
It’s intriguing to look at comics not just as comic books in a comic book store but including things like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the host of wonderful GN’s for young readers that are coming NOT rom traditional comic book companies but from the large kid’s imprints.
Ken Min forwarded it on to me and I think it’s a good read even though I don’t agree with parts of his historical analysis. But I am not involved in the comics world as directly as I was at one time and so my opinions are not that informed. I was also never a huge reader of superhero books. I read a few but I was always drawn to the indy books and to me that’s what makes the comic book genre great. It’s one of the few places in media where you often get a writer/artist giving you their story without a huge amount of editorial interference. Now this isn’t always a good thing and too many indy books fail from a complete lack of professionalism. But sometimes that’s OK because a gifted creator can make you forget about the niceties if they get you wrapped up in their tale.
Of course editors often play a very important role in crafting a book (I have definitely benefited from working with very good editors). But I also enjoy the seat-of-your-pants energy of a creator just doing what they want.