The Industry is Abominable.

Recently, via Twitter, a Marvel editor asked what the company can do to excite readers again. The editor acknowledged comic fans seem apathetic to everything at the moment and there’s a general malaise sweeping over the industry. This came on the heels of the worst sales month for comics in over 30 years. Some people are panicking, some people are being pro-active, but everyone is missing a major point: Fans want to care about characters. Give them an excuse to care and they’ll hang with you for years.

If you defer to creators on every matter and allow constant revamps or retcon’ing and you lose your core. At which point you have to put out a movie to ignite temporary interest among a transitory readership. “Those people aren’t your friends” says it best. Movies help drive readership, but only a small percentage of those people will be life-long readers. Take a cue from bodybuilders- maintain your core.

Here’s an example: Abomination. This dude, when written well, has pathos for days. He’s multi-dimensional and menacing. I really like him. But I don’t have a clue what is going on with the character at this moment. Is he dead in that Jeph Loeb book I couldn’t finish? I don’t know. Because nothing seems real. Nothing has gravity when we know a character will come back, and worse, come back without real explanation outside of “new creative team didn’t like what the last one did.”

Knock that shit off. Brilliant creators can be reined in to respect continuity. Sacrificing one for the other makes you look deficient at your job of editor. Crack a whip. Make rules. Upset your staff. It’s what a boss does.

Here’s an auction that brings me back to a simpler time. Check it. Pour out some liquor for another character lost in the swell of editorial pussyfooting.

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