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Ed West on Mark Waid's 'Truly Digital Comics'

'Missing the Point'

Published: 03/01/2012 01:38am
Ed West, an editor in the book publishing field, from Garden City, Michigan read about Mark Waid's recent comments regarding the future of digital and print comics (see "What Is a Comic?") and had this to say.

Mark Waid is welcoming the future, but why has he grown disenchanted with the comics of his youth?  Did the stories he love suddenly become less worthy now that digital delivery and new formatting possibilities are emerging?  Whether a comic book used to be sold on a spinner rack, outdoor newsstand or specialty shop, it didn't change the quality of the art and story.  That is the point, and I believe Mr. Waid is missing that point big-time.  Different ways to tell stories in a comic book type format, regardless of how it is delivered, does not magically create better stories, or artwork.

And how much will he pay artists and writers if his comics are getting out there at $1.99 each?  By his own admission, he had his chance at BOOM! Studios do something different, to get away from the standard superhero.  But, it wasn't until they started doing such comics that they started making money.

"At BOOM! when I started three years we had the luxury of tossing out a few books that maybe would sell three or four thousand copies, but would help us build our ideal library or bring attention to something that's not the standard superhero genre.  But over the last few years, it's become incredibly cost prohibitive to do that.  I'm really proud of the fact that Irredeemable and Incorruptible are BOOM!'s bestselling books and they bring in a great deal of revenue, but three years ago that was not the mission statement of BOOM! Studios, to do superhero comics... But all our best intentions aside, it wasn't until we did superhero books that making a substantial enough profit to really do well." (Source: Comics Alliance)

I would politely suggest to Mr. Waid that great stories and art are not created by new delivery platforms and 'embracing the future' means little without doing something worth paying even 99 cents.

The opinions expressed in this Talk Back are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
 
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