The most telling part of this industry is the way loyalties are divided. The people who fight ComicsGate are loyal first to brand – Disney, Warner Bros in their comic publishing form of Marvel and DC. Those loyalties then break down to characters created more than 50 years ago by Stan Lee and others that have gone through countless iterations, countless personality changes, countless revisions to where they aren’t even remotely the same character from month to month. It’s pretty amazing at how these companies brainwashed folk into supporting them no matter what product they put out.
These companies set things up like this for a couple of reasons: 1. they’re lazy and they don’t actually have to create real/good stories and 2. so they could cycle through talent and keep hiring cheaply to keep writing/art costs down, basically enslaving the industry.
I realized this fairly early and have been supporting indie comics for a long time. If you go back through my feeds you’ll find I’ve been pretty aggressive about supporting indies in stories and kickstarters of books from indies for a few years. I’ve been waiting for a movement like ComicsGate to come around and have everyone coalesce for a long time.
But even in the indies, the loyalty factor isn’t there. They’re all people trying to use their books as a stepping stone to get to these companies. So they’re all panicked and careful about their books that are struggling to get 100 backers and barely make a couple of thousand dollars. I’m not going to name names of some of the folk I’ve backed over the years, but I noticed a distinct lack of mention of Flying Sparks as soon as I hit the scene, and when i slowed down and asked for help directly (in case they didn’t see it), still had nothing.
They’re hyper-focused in their little bubble and are afraid to rock the boat in case these big two companies notice them so they can work for cheap and be enslaved to these characters they will never own. And the odds are, they’ll never get to work for them anyway. That’s the sad part.
Enter ComicsGate. The closest I’ve come to ComicsGate before now is when I met Mike Baron (Nexus, Punisher) last year. I backed his book Q-Ball — we’ll call this proto-ComicsGate, and he’s been a great guy to me ever since. This is a movement where even veteran writers like him treat folk coming in as equals and friends, it’s really refreshing to see.
The list of support goes on too long to list in a blog, but my experiences were like this down the line from the biggest name creators to the random comic fan. This group really cares about the movement going on, about the products and it keeps going. My book has already made significant history as the first non-Pro book with no big names attached to crack $20,000 in the campaign.
And it continues on. I was worried at first that this would just be a brief flash and it would run out of steam, but Jon Malin, my cover artist, already released a new IndieGoGo yesterday to tremendous success himself. It’s still rolling. People are saving their dollars from the big companies and supporting these books now. We have a trend. We have a new industry.
And that’s why we’re going to win this. Before I go today and create more content, I want to highlight one other kickstarter, Heroes Unleashed, a superhero novel franchise that’s going to be making waves over the next few years. It’s run by Silver Empire Publishing who are great friends and supporters. Books and novels need as much support as comics do if we’re going to change the culture, so it’s something to check out.
And don’t forget, Flying Sparks only has a couple of days left. Get in now because there’s going to be no more hardcovers after this run. You’ll want one for your collection!