I’m a fan of the classic pulps, having studied what made our American culture so great in the first half of the 20th century, which then declined as the entertainment industry became weaponized as a political tool. Normal people, consequently, exited culture, which led to its slow spiral which started in the 60s, but reached its apex in poor quality in the 90s-2000s, where the culture collapsed and never recovered.
Books went from selling millions to selling thousands. People stopped seeing movies. People stopped reading comics and they became a niche market. You know the drill if you’ve read along.
Both the content and the business models have been failures from the mainstream industry, and it’s why I’ve spent time on my last several projects doing something different.
My work on Dynamite Thor was a study of a golden age character, redoing a hero as an actual hero, adding humor to comics, making comics fun again. It highlighted that 1950s Americana which we lost as a culture. It may have seemed an esoteric concept to pursue, but it was a great work and test as a writer to learn to revitalize.
Another area where I’ve found needing revitalization is short comics. I started and continue to release them on my Patreon as I get them done after reading wonderful works by Steve Ditko in a Masters of Suspense compilation. I reviewed the book here:
Back when comics were a thriving industry, Marvel, Charelton Comics, EC, and others had magazines every month dedicated to shorts. They’d make punchy, witty, concepts and really exercise the mind creatively by doing different things — Jack Kirby even made romance comics into something super popular.
All of these had short concepts, packing a ton of story into 5 or 10 pages. Each story had something wildly different than the next. They made for incredibly refreshing reads.
This is what inspired me to do shorts on my patreon, which I’ve been coming out with and producing monthly in conjunction with my regular comics.
With the quarantine, I figure it’s best to get those out to a bigger and wider audience, so I compiled what I have to date into Spectacular Comics #1. This book has a little of everything — cute wholesome stories, horror, samurai, I wanted to use my comic storytelling to try something different each time, and with short comics it gives me more luxury to follow the creative instinct.
It’s already at #3 on Amazon and has three 5-star reviews. This is a great comic to bring back classic-style culture and you’ll really enjoy it. The print edition is “processing” right now so I’m just waiting on it to go live, but you can get Spectacular Comics and make comics great again on kindle for only $3.99.