LA Times Critical of Comics Business

The LA Times ran a commentary earlier this week severely criticizing the comics business. It was written by Gerard Jones, the author of “Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book“. The commentary gives a brief history of the business behind comics and points to the recent lawsuits involving Stan Lee and Marvel as an indication of overall business problems within the industry.

Here’s a quote from the commentary, “The result of this penny-pinching, shortsighted business culture is that American comics never grew far beyond their starting point.”

Ouch. It stings more because it’s true.

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3 thoughts on “LA Times Critical of Comics Business

  1. Tom always does an excellent job of explaining his point but I don\’t think he necessarily disagreed with Gerard. Tom\’s point was that the comic industry shouldn\’t be praised because other countries have higher regard for them then we do but because the creators are brilliant.

    The state of comic books today really is no better off then it was 70 years ago. It still mostly applies to \”extremes between mature work and adolescent thrills than other art forms\” (B) which is directly related to companies never changing from their roots as bootleggers and stealing as much of the profits for themselves (A). Here we have an example of where A leads directly to B because today\’s bootleggers (DC, Marvel, etc.) are still targeting extreme groups because extreme groups tend to be more loyal and pay more money. Why change a proven model? This success has led directly to \”comics never [growing] far beyond their starting point\”.

    Don\’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of outstanding comic books out there but in general the ones you hear about tend to be the same ones you read 15 years ago but in a different universe/dimension. Maybe the comic book industry will change with the introduction of such excellent sites such as Graphic Smash but then big companies always have trouble learning new tricks.

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