My last “Fan Blast”—or whatever they call these things--appears to have gotten a few people’s attention.
Though writing such a critical dispatch is not what I’d prefer doing with my afternoon, my observations on what’s gone awry with the comic business, followed by a few offerings on how to right itself, have engendered more than a few critical responses. To those who missed out, here’s a brief review;
Imagine you’re an artist about to engage in the always challenging task of drawing a 22 pg. comic book. You’re full of inspiration, youthful invigoration, and, much like the greats who came before—you possess a vivid imagination. That’s why you’ve entered the comic book field, rather than doing sneaker designs for Nike and making ten times the bread.
You begin sketching your panels with high hopes and, one exhausting month later, when you’re certain you’ve put everything you have into these pages, you hand them in.
The front office rings. They have some concerns.
Concerns? As in problems with inept storytelling, poorly constructed figures, or confusing panel design? Is the perspective on your backgrounds out of whack, or your Superman faces way off model? What about deadlines? No one makes deadlines anymore.
No. It’s about that little tiny detail you included that violates some kind of “Copyright Infringement”. Y’know, like putting a can of Coke in an actors hand like the movies do? Except in that case, it’s not an infringement, it’s an invitation. Coke even pays them a couple mil for the privilege.
Maybe I’m in the wrong business.
But this copyright problem--is it really something to sweat over, like alcoholism, inoperable cancer, or surviving TSA lines? Or is it just some arbitrary trifle that world-weary adults make up to take the fun out of life?
For those who work under the vast, unsteady employ of W.B. and The Mouse, the mega corps to which I’ve aimed this wake-up call, give your legal team a 2 week break in Jamaica, and I, the humble Dude, will offer a couple of options I won’t even charge you for.
Option 1. Keep using this legal nonsense as an excuse to penalize the artist for doing their job.
Option 2. Abolish this legal nonsense, concentrate on real threats, and honor the artist for doing their job.
Punish or praise? If that’s a brain twister, scratch your subscription to Fortune 500 and Psychology Today.
If those ideas don’t appeal, here’s a bonus option: Fire the malcontents writing letters like this and have the lawyers and editors draw the books under their own suffocating rules.
No? Hey, you might save some $$!
Finally, to you uptight C.E.O’s who can’t recall a time when your attention wasn’t divided 300 ways and pine for your wild, carefree college days, think of this situation like month-old underwear. Your spouse keeps telling you to change your shorts, but since you no longer have a sense of smell, why change them?
Who wants a Coke?
Here’s to a few million surely owed in endorsements,
--Steve Rude the Dude