Comics War- Whose Side Are You On?
Submitted by Tim Demeter on August 8, 2006 - 11:19
So in the comments section of my last post, an interesting point was raised. Some web cartoonists can take an Ã¢â‚¬Å“us vs. themÃ¢â‚¬Â mentality towards mainstream comics, proclaiming we are the future and that the comics industry as it stands right now is due for a major change. I find myself in this very camp, which is why the point came up. That got me thinking.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not asking if the above is true or not, we can all argue that until our typing fingers are sore and bleeding and nothing will change today, what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m asking is if this question is getting us anywhere?
How this came up, was DJ Coffman attended the Clickwheel panel at San Diego where part of my pro-digital comics argument was storage. Basically my point was having a huge collection of comics around my house was a pain (I happen to honestly believe that) and that digital comics solve that problem. Thing is, I worded it in a holier than thou, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Why would you waste all that space on silly booksÃ¢â‚¬Â kind of way. Needless to say, this was off-putting to a lot of the more traditional comic fans in attendance and some left.
I guess my point is, that I think a lot of us agree that comics need changing, badly. Do I think webcomics are going to be a big part of that change? You betcha. However, do I think mainstream comics are going to go away? Nope. Not to pass off DJÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s point as my own, but what do we, as webcartoonists, gain by pissing off mainstream comics institutions and fans? Answer: ZILCH. We may believe (and prove daily) that the comics audience can be expanded beyond the Marvel/DC/newspapaer strip fan, but that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean we need those fans to go away to do just that. We just need to show them, and everyone else, that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re bringing it, and tell them about it without getting into that Ã¢â‚¬Å“us vs themÃ¢â‚¬Â mentality.
Webcomics is out to make itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mark on the industry, and is doing so in great strides. Maybe one day the direct market will crumble or change radically, but in the meantime, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s likely in our best interests to all just get along and make the best comics we can, medium be damned. If certain segments of comics fandom turn up their noses at what we do, we wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t win them over by condescending to them, and if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want or need that audience, well, then you shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even worry about what they think.
Personally, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to try and do better at this.